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Rules & Regulations

From license and registration fees to slot limits and harvest numbers, make sure you have the information to stay legal while enjoying our great resource.

Some Quick Regulation Highlights Are:

  • A fishing year is defined as April 1 in any calendar year through March 31 of the following calendar year.
  • The licensee shall carry the fishing license on his/her person at all times while fishing.
  • Any nonresident under the age of 16 years may take and possess a limit of fish without a nonresident license if accompanied by an adult possessing a valid fishing license.
  • ND law permits the use of boats legally numbered under the numbering system of another state for a period of 90 days.
  • Ice houses are no longer required to be licensed. An unoccupied house does require identification. The house must display on its outside, in characters at least 3 inches high, owner’s name and address or phone number.
  • All aquatic vegetation must be removed from boats, personal watercraft, trailers, and fishing and hunting equipment such as fishing poles, bait buckets, lures, duck decoys, and waders, before leaving a body of water. That means “vegetation free” when transporting watercraft and/or equipment away from a boat ramp, landing area or shoreline.
  • Live aquatic bait or aquatic vegetation may not be transported into North Dakota.
  • All water must be drained from boats and other watercraft, including bilges, live wells, baitwells and motors before leaving a body of water.
  • All drain plugs that may hold back water must be removed, and water draining devices must be open on all watercraft and recreational, commercial and construction equipment bilges and confined spaces during any out-of-water transport of same.
  • All water must be drained from bait buckets as anglers leave the shore or remove their boats from the water. Anglers must properly dispose of unused bait away from the river, as dumping bait in the water or on shore is illegal. In all other waters not infested with Class I ANS species, anglers can transport live bait in water in containers of five (5) gallons or less in volume.

Visit the North Dakota Game and Fish Department for more information on how you can prevent Aquatic Nuisance Species in our lakes.