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Published December 19, 2022

Free Ice Fishing Weekend 

Written by
The Dakotan
| The Dakotan

North Dakota’s free ice fishing weekend is Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. Resident anglers may fish those two days without a license. All other winter fishing regulations apply. 

The weekend provides a great opportunity to try ice fishing for the first time or take someone new. Share your story for a chance to win a fish house. 

Information on regulations, where to fish and what equipment is needed to ice fish is available on the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s website at gf.nd.gov. 

2023-25 Watercraft Registrations 

North Dakota watercraft owners should note that 2023 is the first year of a new three-year registration period. 

Watercraft registrations must be renewed online by visiting My Account at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov. A credit card is required. 

The price to register motorboats in North Dakota under 16 feet in length, and all canoes, is $18; motorboats from 16 feet to less than 20 feet in length is $36; and motorboats at least 20 feet in length is $45. Fees are prorated. 

The 2023-25 watercraft registration cycle begins Jan. 1 and runs through Dec. 31, 2025. 

In addition, a state law created in 2019 requires an aquatic nuisance species fee of $15 for each motorized watercraft registered in North Dakota to run concurrent with the three-year watercraft registration period. 

For motorized watercraft operated on state waters and not licensed in North Dakota, the law establishes an ANS fee of $15 to be paid for each calendar year, and to display an ANS sticker on the watercraft. 

New watercraft owners can attach the required documentation, such as the bill of sale or proof of taxes paid, with the online purchase, or send in the required documentation via standard mail. A 10-day temporary permit will be issued to allow for processing and delivery of registration and decals. For timely processing, Game and Fish encourages watercraft owners to submit attachments online

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