By angelamontana

Posted: July 2, 2024

38,000 watercraft inspected so far this year

HELENA – As boaters and other water recreationists gear up for the July Fourth holiday, they 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 including canoes, kayaks and paddleboards. 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.

So far this year, FWP and its partners have inspected 38,000 watercraft. Of those, 25 were mussel-fouled and 150 were found with aquatic weeds. The most recent detection was on June 30, when mussels were found on a recently purchased pontoon boat traveling from Ohio to Northern Idaho. Inspectors from the Garfield Conservation District at the Wibaux inspection station decontaminated the boat and locked it to the trailer. Idaho AIS staff were notified and will follow up with the boat when it reaches its destination.

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.


New Podcast!

Riley's Meats - Butte Wild Game Processing