Montana’s boating season is slowing down, and with the decrease in boating traffic some watercraft inspection stations are reducing hours or closing for the season. To find a watercraft inspection station, go to www.cleandraindrymt.com.
Watercraft owners are reminded that they still must stop at all open inspection stations. Watercraft coming into Montana from out of state must be inspected prior to launching. In addition, anyone transporting watercraft traveling west over the continental divide or into the Flathead Basin must be inspected before launching.
Here are some highlights from this boating season:
- FWP and partner agencies operated 45 inspection and decontamination stations across the state.
- More than 104,000 watercraft have been inspected so far this year.
- Inspection stations have intercepted 14 boats with mussels coming into the state.
- FWP, with the help of partner organizations, sampled more than 180 bodies of water using a variety of methods to observe and collect invasive species including shoreline surveys, kick nets, snorkeling and placing artificial substrates in the water. New populations of curlyleaf pondweed, Asian clams and New Zealand mud snails were detected this season.
- Shoreline surveys looking for adult mussels have been conducted at Tiber, Canyon Ferry and other waterbodies around the state; none were detected.
- More than 1,500 early detection samples have been analyzed for invasive mussel larvae. To date, no invasive mussel larvae have been detected this season. Sampling and analysis will be ongoing through the fall.
- Divers spent several days searching the Tiber Reservoir dam area for adult mussels; none were detected. Flathead Lake Biological Station conducted eDNA testing for mussels. No evidence of mussel DNA was detected.
- Enforcement has issued nearly 100 citations and more than 200 written warnings related to invasive species violations this year.
For more information about Montana’s efforts to defend against aquatic invasive species, visit www.cleandraindrymt.com and the “Protect Our Waters Montana” Facebook page.