By angelamontana

Posted: July 12, 2021

The watercraft inspection station located near Hardin on Interstate 90 extended operating hours until midnight for four days prior to the July 4th holiday. The station normally operates during day-light hours, which is 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. this time of year. FWP officials conducted a focused night operation to gather information about movement of watercraft at night and to evaluate the risk of those boats from transporting aquatic invasive species (AIS).

Between June 30 and July 3, the Hardin station inspected 18 boats during the extended hours from 9 p.m. to midnight.

“We didn’t see as many boats as we expected,” said Sean Flynn, FWP’s eastern AIS supervisor.  “We know boats are moving at night, but this operation only encountered a small number of mostly local boats.”

Inspectors added extra lighting and followed safety precautions to ensure the operation ran smoothly. FWP law enforcement also supported the night operations, with wardens on-site to ensure safety and compliance with inspection requirements.

Anyone transporting watercraft in Montana must stop at ALL open watercraft inspection stations they encounter. Failure to stop could result in a fine of up to $500. Watercraft inspection stations are located across the state during the boating season to ensure both motorized and nonmotorized boats are Clean, Drained and Dry and not transporting aquatic invasive species and

Learn more at CleanDrainDryMT.com or call the FWP Aquatic Invasive Species Bureau at 406-444-2440.