Attention Boaters–Watercraft inspection stations to open in SW Montana
By angelamontana

Posted: May 10, 2019

Several watercraft inspection stations in southwest Montana will soon become operative for the 2019 boating season. These stations help boaters meet state laws in preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species.

Boaters with either motorized or nonmotorized watercraft must stop at any inspection station they encounter in Montana. In addition, boaters must seek out an inspection prior to launching if they are coming into Montana from out of state, traveling west over the Continental Divide into western Montana, coming off Tiber or Canyon Ferry reservoirs, or launching anywhere within the Flathead Basin with a watercraft that last launched on waters outside of the Basin.

Several decontamination stations at Canyon Ferry Reservoir are scheduled to open in the coming weeks. Their hours of operation are Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., and Friday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.:

  • Canyon Ferry Bureau of Reclamation Visitor Center and Silos stations open May 11.
  • Canyon Ferry Hellgate station opens May 18.
  • Canyon Ferry Goose Bay station opens May 25.

Several other stations in and around the region are currently open or scheduled to open soon:

  • The Dillon inspection station (Red Rocks Rest Area on northbound I-15, south of Dillon) is currently operating daily from 6:30 a.m. to 8:45 p.m.
  • The Anaconda inspection station (westbound I-90) is currently operating daily from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • The Helena Highway 12 inspection station (westbound) opens May 18. Hours of operation will be posted at the web address listed below.
  • Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ Helena office inspection station operates weekdays from 9 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
  • FWP’s Bozeman office operates weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

If regulations require you to get a watercraft inspection and you will be traveling past a station outside of operating dates and hours, please plan to go to FWP’s Helena or Bozeman offices during the hours listed above, or any other regional FWP office. Boaters are also asked to voluntarily clean, drain and dry their boat and equipment before launching in Montana waters.

For more information on how you can help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species in Montana, please visit


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