Aquatic invasive species inspection stations and roving inspection crews are now in operation at key border crossing sites, along major highways, and on heavily used water bodies across Montana.
By law boaters must stop at AIS watercraft inspection stations for a brief interview and inspection. Already this month, two boats stopped at inspection stations were found to be fouled by zebra mussels, and another contaminated boat was found by an alert private citizen.
Boaters are urged to inspect, clean and dry boats, trailers and gear exposed to the water to ensure they don't carry organisms from one water body to another, whether they plan to travel an inspection route or not.
"At the inspection stations, boats and trailers will be carefully inspected and boaters can learn more about how to identify invasive species and prevent their spread from one water body to the next," said Allison Begley, Fish, Wildlife and Park's AIS coordinator.
The most likely aquatic invasive species threats to Montana waters include quagga and zebra mussels, New Zealand mudsnails and Eurasian watermilfoil.
Montana's AIS laws were beefed up by the 2013 Legislature. One change established a means to create a statewide AIS management area. FWP will develop management area rules over the next few months, Begley said.