Boat owners must stop at aquatic invasive species cleaning stations

2014-06-09T11:11:00Z 2014-06-09T22:31:04Z Boat owners must stop at aquatic invasive species cleaning stations The Billings Gazette
June 09, 2014 11:11 am

Boat owners and operators are reminded that they are required to stop at a state-run aquatic invasive species check and cleaning station that will be operating in the Fort Peck Information Center parking lot from Thursday through the Labor Day weekend.

Staff members from Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks and other agencies will inspect boats and other types of personal watercraft and trailers for a variety of invasive species, including plants, fish and mussels that could accidentally be introduced into Fort Peck Reservoir, the lower Missouri River and other area water bodies. The check station will be located off Montana Highway 24, just east of the Gateway Inn.

AIS species can overwhelm lakes, ponds, rivers and streams, kill fish and beneficial plants and damage ecosystems. Invasive species can also harm recreational and agricultural resources by damaging boats and gear, clogging water pipes and hydropower facilities, restricting flows at community water services and plugging up irrigation systems.

A roving AIS inspection crew will also be working at Hell Creek State Park and Rock Creek Fishing Access Site on the Big Dry Arm of Fort Peck periodically throughout the summer.

Parts of the reservoir have already been heavily impacted by invasive Eurasian watermilfoil, and boaters there are asked to be especially careful about leaving the area with this plant material on their watercraft and trailers.

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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