Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - On April 3, 2024, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks announced that a warden stopped a driver pulling a ski boat after he drove past an aquatic invasive species (AIS) inspection station near Anaconda last week.  

According to FWP, the warden noticed some mussels on the boat and had the driver return to the inspection station where many more mussels were detected. A full decontamination was performed at the station and the boat was locked to the trailer.  

Watercraft inspection stations are Montana’s first line of defense to prevent the movement of AIS, which can have devastating impacts on Montana waterways. AIS are plants, animals, or pathogens that are not native to Montana and can cause harm to our environment and economy.   

Why it is Important to Stop at Inspection Stations

FWP wanted to remind everyone that it’s the law that anyone transporting watercraft must stop at all open inspection stations they encounter. Watercraft includes paddle boards, kayaks, canoes, rafts, and pack rafts.  

Nonresidents and residents returning home must have their watercraft inspected before launching in Montana and watercraft must also be drained of all water before transporting.   

READ MORE: Aquatic Invasive Species Checkpoints: Protecting Montana's Water

 “Although it might be tempting to drive past an inspection station, boaters need to be aware that it’s up to them to prevent AIS from coming into our state,” said Tom Woolf, FWP’s AIS bureau chief. “An inspection typically takes less than 10 minutes.”  

FWP added that this was the fourth mussel-fouled watercraft intercepted in Montana this season. On Monday, a fifth boat was found to have mussels at the inspection station near Dillon. 

“It’s everyone’s responsibility to help stop the spread of AIS to Montana waters,” Woolf said.  

Click here to learn more or call the FWP Aquatic Invasive Species Bureau at 406-444-2440. 

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