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Watercraft Inspection Stations

Why Do Inspections?

Watercraft inspections are a way of intercepting vessels and equipment that have the potential to spread aquatic invasive species (AIS), and to decontaminate them (if necessary) before launching into Montana waters. Data collected at watercraft inspection stations also provide valuable information on boater movement, cleaning habits, and bait use while providing information and education about invasive species to the public.

What to Expect at a Watercraft Inspection Station

Watercraft inspection stations serve to inform the public of the threat of AIS and to physically inspect vessels for aquatic invasive species. This includes watercraft that originate both in-state and out-of-state. These inspection stations are generally manned by two trained inspectors. The inspection consists of a boater interview, a watercraft inspection and decontamination (if necessary). The interview consists of questions relating to boater origin and movement, water user type, live bait usage, knowledge of AIS, cleaning methods, cleaning frequency, and number of launches per year.

What is Expected of You?

CLEAN, DRAIN, DRY your watercraft prior to arrival at a watercraft inspection station. Drain your bilge, ballast tanks, live wells, and any storage compartments. Dispose of all plants and animals away from lakes or rivers. If you have an outboard engine, lower the outdrive on the engine to release any residual water. Know your local fishing regulations. It is prohibited in some areas to be in possession of live fish/bait. Failure to follow these steps will result in a longer inspection. If you arrive prepared, inspections should take only a few minutes.

Image of Inspect. Clean. Dry. logo

Station Locations

Each spring, watercraft inspection station locations are selected based on several factors including:

  • Number of water bodies in the vicinity
  • Ease of public access
  • Proximity to known AIS locations/main thoroughfares
  • Safety of inspectors

Montana Locations


 

Western US & Canada Locations

Role of the Watercraft Inspector

FWP Watercraft Inspectors are seasonal employees, trained to give you the best most efficient inspection possible. A typical watercraft inspection consists of a boater interview, an inspection and decontamination (if necessary). The interview consists of questions relating to boater origin and movement, water user type, live bait usage, knowledge of AIS, cleaning methods, cleaning frequency, and number of launches per year. FWP inspectors will be friendly, polite and courteous at all times, making the inspection process as pleasant and informative as possible.