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Launch restrictions lifted at Canyon Ferry Reservoir

Wednesday, February 19, 2020/Categories: Watercraft Inspection Stations, Certified Boaters/Tags:

Restrictions on Canyon Ferry reservoir boat launches have been removed allowing all boaters to access all boat ramps this year.  Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks sought to remove the launch restrictions after three years of testing resulted in no detections of invasive quagga or zebra mussels.

The discovery of invasive mussel larvae in Tiber reservoir and a suspect detection of Canyon Ferry reservoir prompted restrictions on boating access in 2017. Boaters were required to launch at designated boat ramps and go through a decontamination station when exiting the water. 

Regional guidelines allow for the delisting of a suspect waterbody and the removal of the mandatory exit inspections if three years of monitoring show no detections of invasive mussels.

Restrictions on Tiber Reservoir will remain in place for at least two more years.

Last year, decontamination stations operated at four boat ramps on Canyon Ferry and conducted 7,920 inspections. 

Watercraft inspections will be significantly reduced on Canyon Ferry, but FWP will maintain an inspection station at the Silos boat ramp and a roving crew that will operate at high-use boat ramps in the Missouri river system.

“With the recent discovery of adult mussels in a North and South Dakota, our mission to keep Montana’s waters free of mussels is more important than ever,” said FWP’s AIS Bureau Chief Thomas Woolf. “Boat owners and anglers need to do their part to protect our waters from invasive species and make sure their watercraft and gear are clean, drained and dry.”

Boat owners and anglers should follow the principles of clean, drain, dry to help protect our waters:

  • Clean all mud and debris from the watercraft, trailer, waders and fishing equipment.
  • Pull drain plugs and make sure all compartments, bilges and ballasts are drained.
  • Dry out watercraft, including dry wells, storage areas and compartments

For more information, visit or call 406-444-2440.


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AIS Bureau, Montana FWP
1420 East Sixth Avenue
Helena, MT 59620
Phone: (406) 444-2440

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To protect Montana’s waters and native aquatic species, please follow these rules and guidelines:

Clean Drain Dry

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