HELENA – So far this year, FWP and its partners have inspected 66,000 watercraft for aquatic invasive species. Of those, 35 were mussel-fouled and more than 200 were found with aquatic weeds.
FWP and partner agencies, which include tribes, counties and conservation districts, operate more than 17 road-side watercraft inspection stations across the state. To find a watercraft inspection station or to learn more, go to CleanDrainDryMT.com or call the FWP Aquatic Invasive Species Bureau at 406-444-2440.
A July survey for Eurasian watermilfoil (EWM) in Beaver Lake near Whitefish found no EWM. Another follow-up survey will be conducted later this month. Eradication of EWM is the goal for Beaver Lake through persistent survey and removal.
Eurasian watermilfoil in Nilan Reservoir (near Augusta) was treated with herbicide by FWP in 2022. Surveys conducted last month found no evidence of EWM in the lake. Nilan is the only location of EWM on the Rocky Mountain Front and EWM eradication is the objective for that system.
All boaters and other water recreationists need to follow the rules to prevent aquatic invasive species from affecting Montana’s waters.
Those rules include:
- All boats must stop at all open watercraft inspection stations they encounter. Failure to do so could result in a fine of up to $500.
- Always be sure to clean, drain and dry your boat.
- All watercraft entering Montana are required to be inspected for aquatic invasive species. An inspection is required before launching on Montana waters.
- 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.
- Inspection is required for Montana residents before launch IF: the boat is entering the state, crossing west over the Continental Divide or entering the Flathead basin.