Gov. Doug Burgum has proclaimed May 14-20, 2023 as Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) Awareness Week in North Dakota. ANS Week is a time to learn about aquatic nuisance species and how to prevent their spread.
“As spring fishing and boating seasons heat up, we like to highlight preventative steps recreationists can take to stop the spread of ANS into our waterways,” North Dakota Department of Commerce Outdoor Recreation Manager Mike Jensen said.
Tourism officials and partners at the North Dakota Game & Fish Department remind the public to pull drain plugs, dry any remaining water, and inspect boats and equipment, making sure to remove all plants and animals from watercraft or equipment prior to leaving any recreation area.
“Small steps taken by individuals can prevent the spread of ANS in North Dakota,” says Jensen. “If we all do our part, we can stop preventable new infestations.”
Rural communities rely on water recreation for their tourism economies, with fishing being particularly beneficial to the rural areas of North Dakota. It plays a crucial role in attracting visitors to the main streets of these towns, fostering vibrant and desirable communities where people choose to live, engage in recreational activities, and work. However, the presence of aquatic nuisance species poses a significant threat to North Dakota's waters and the health of its fisheries. To mitigate this risk, it is essential to consistently clean, drain, and dry all equipment after each use.