Watercraft inspection stations open across most of Montana

This just in from Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks

Watercraft inspection stations open across most of Montana

2,000 watercraft inspected so far this year

HELENA – With the exception of Eureka, watercraft inspection stations are open. All vehicles transporting any type of boat, including canoes, kayaks, paddleboards and rafts are required to stop at all inspection stations they encounter.

Watercraft inspection stations are Montana’s first line of defense to prevent the movement of AIS, which can have devastating impacts on Montana waterways.

More than 2,400 watercraft have been inspected so far this year. Of those, 13 boats were found to be transporting invasive mussels. Recently, a pontoon boat was intercepted at the Wibaux inspection station (operated by the Garfield Conservation District). The boat had been purchased at auction in Wisconsin and was being transported to Idaho. Inspectors preformed a decontamination, locked the boat to the trailer and notified Idaho to follow up.

Boat owners should ensure their watercraft, trailers and gear are clean, drained and dry before transporting and need to be aware of Montana’s inspection rules:

  • All watercraft coming into Montana from out of state must be inspected prior to launching.
  • All watercraft traveling west across the Continental Divide into the Columbia River Basin must be inspected prior to launching.
  • Anyone transporting watercraft must stop at all open watercraft inspection stations they encounter.
  • And all boaters are reminded to always clean drain and dry their boat, live wells, anchors, boots and gear when leaving the water.


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