Mussel encrusted boat

Fourteen boats were found contaminated with invasive mussels this summer.

With the decrease in boating traffic, some watercraft inspection stations are reducing hours or closing for the season.

Watercraft owners 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.

To find a watercraft inspection station, go to

Here are some highlights from this boating season:

FWP and partner agencies operated 50 inspection and decontamination stations across the state.

More than 92,000 watercraft had been inspected as of Sept. 18.

Inspection stations intercepted 14 boats with mussels coming into the state.

FWP, with the help of partner organizations, sampled more than 250 bodies of water using a variety of methods to observe and collect invasive species, including rock picking, kick nets, snorkeling, and placing artificial substrates in the water. No new populations of aquatic invasive species have been detected.

Shoreline surveys looking for adult mussels have been conducted at Tiber, Canyon Ferry, and other waterbodies around the state, none were detected.

Plankton tow samples were used to detect invasive mussel larvae. More than 1,000 samples have been analyzed; no plankton samples collected this year have found any larval mussels. 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.

Enforcement has issued 47 citations and more than 160 written warnings related to invasive species violations this year.


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