Montana’s aquatic invasive species program is preparing for a busy season.
Watercraft inspectors have intercepted 21 mussel-fouled boats so far; the latest boat was stopped at the Broadus watercraft inspection station on Wednesday, May 19. Inspectors found dry and dead mussels on a commercially hauled outboard motorboat from Ohio that was destined for Washington state.
Memorial Weekend is the unofficial start to summer in Montana and as boaters venture out to our rivers and lakes, please keep in mind the rules aimed at protecting our waters and preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species.
- All boats must stop at all open watercraft inspection stations they encounter. Failure to stop at inspection stations could result in a fine of up to $500.
- All watercraft coming into Montana from out of state must seek out an inspection prior to launching.
- Non-residents transporting watercraft into Montana must purchase a Vessel AIS Prevention Pass before launching. The fee is $30 for motorized and $10 for nonmotorized watercraft. The pass is valid until Dec. 31.
- All watercraft travelling west across the Continental Divide must be inspected.
- All watercraft launching anywhere within the Flathead Basin that were last launched on waters outside of the Flathead Basin must be inspected.
- Watercraft leaving Tiber Reservoir must be inspected at an FWP decontamination station.