FWP AIS Staff state that it's hard to believe that the summer is already winding down, as always the beautiful Montana summer passes all too swiftly. While most of our stations will operate until Labor Day, some of our stations will be closing early or going to reduced hours to accommodate those workers who are returning to school. The Hardin station moved from 7 days a week to 4 days a week (Thursday-Sun) starting August 12, Billings Roving will be ending on August 17, and Dillon will be going to 4 days a week starting August 18th. AIS Program Staff would prefer to keep these stations open seven days a week all season, but as many of our station employees are students, this is an unavoidable situation they run into every summer. They continue to work to find solutions to this problem.
Since the last update there have been no new findings of zebra/quagga mussels or illegally transported live fish, but inspectors have continued to find many occurrences of vegetation, standing water, and just plain dirty boats. So far inspectors have checked a total of 22,576 boats this season, with 264 failing inspection.
See the AIS Inspections table (87 KB) for a summary of the number of inspections done at our seasonally permanent and roving watercraft inspection stations from the beginning of the season (May 22) through August 8, 2014.
The AIS Staff thank everyone for their continued interest and support.
FWP AIS Program staff are finally catching our collective breaths as the 2014 Field season gets underway. Following a three-day training May 19-21 here in Helena, stations began opening up starting May 22 on a staggered basis. As of June 12, all of the stations are operating with the exception of Culbertson, Glasgow Roving, and Swan Roving. AIS staff plan on starting the Swan and Culbertson stations in the next two weeks, and hopefully Glasgow roving as well. Some of the newly opened stations like Fort Peck have not submitted data yet, but totals will be included in the next update.
A big thanks to all our partners and co-workers who have helped get these stations up and running, especially Montana Department of Transportation (MDT), our Enforcement personnel, and Regional Supervisors and Fish Managers.
AIS Program Staff do still struggle with drive-bys, particularly of vehicles carrying or pulling non-motorized watercraft. AIS staff ask those of you on this list who communicate with a user group to please reiterate the fact that everyone needs to stop, every time, regardless of the type of watercraft. If users are going back and forth to the same water body on a regular basis they can request a sticker from that station and won't have to go through the whole survey each time, but they still need to pull in and get inspected.
See the AIS Inspections table (68 KB) for a summary of the number of inspections done at our seasonally permanent and roving watercraft inspection stations from the beginning of the season (May 22) through June 16, 2014.
2014 AIS Inspection Station - Helena Roving Crew -Canyon Ferry Reservoir
2014 AIS Inspection Station- Helena Roving Crew- Missouri River
The Montana AIS Program is gearing up to open watercraft inspection stations for the 2014 season at the following locations: see map ( 380 KB)
AIS Decontamination Training at Fort Peck Inspection Station
Crew training will be May 19-21 in Helena and stations will open on a staggered basis in the following ten days. FWP AIS Program Staff are still looking for crew members for Culbertson, Fort Peck, Glasgow/Malta Roving, and Shelby. If you know of anyone interested in working for us this summer please direct them to FWP jobs
The watercraft inspection station at Coram, previously a voluntary station operated by the Flathead Basin Commission, opened on May 1st. This station will operate through the weekends until Memorial Day weekend, and then will jump to 7 days a week. Flathead Basin Commission is providing the funding so that this station can operate mandatorily under FWP authority. The first weekend of traffic was slow, but we anticipate that will pick up as the boating season gets going.
Once all the stations are up and running FWP AIS staff, LInnaea Schroeer will be sending out biweekly updates of watercraft inspection station and monitoring activity.