New AIS rules for nonresident boaters and anglers
By angelamontana

Posted: February 28, 2020

Nonresident boaters and anglers visiting Montana will see new aquatic invasive species rules in 2020.

The 2019 Montana Legislature reduced the fee nonresident anglers pay for the Angler Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Pass. Nonresident anglers will pay $7.50 instead of the $15 fee that was charged last year.  Also, nonresident youth under the age of 16 will be exempt from purchasing the Angler AIS Prevention Pass. The AIS Prevention Pass fee is included in the purchase of fishing licenses.

New this year, nonresidents launching watercraft in Montana must purchase a Vessel AIS Prevention Pass.

  • The fee for motorboats is $30 and applies to all motorized watercraft that is registered in another state our country.
  • The fee for nonmotorized watercraft is $10 and applies to rafts, kayaks, drift boats, catamarans, and sailboats that nonresidents bring into Montana.
  • The Vessel AIS Prevention Pass expires Dec. 31 and is not transferrable between vessels.

Nonresidents can purchase the Vessel AIS Prevention Pass online or at any FWP office.  Proof of purchase is an electronic or paper receipt. Nonresidents passing through Montana and not launching a watercraft are not required to purchase the pass.

Boaters are reminded that all watercraft coming into Montana from out of state must be inspected prior to launching. Anyone transporting watercraft must stop at all open watercraft inspection stations they encounter.

Montana’s first watercraft inspection stations opened this month in Kalispell and Ravalli with  more inspections station opening later this spring. Watercraft can also be inspected at any Fish Wildlife & Parks regional office. Watercraft inspection stations are Montana’s first line of defense to prevent the movement of aquatic invasive species.

To find a watercraft inspection station or to learn more, go to or call the FWP Aquatic Invasive Species Bureau at 406-444-2440.


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