"Inspect. Clean. Dry."
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks encourage Montanans and visitors to "inspect, clean, and dry," boats, trailers and fishing gear to "Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers!"
The hitchhikers are aquatic invasive species unintentionally brought into Montana from other places. They include clams, fish, mussels, plants, weeds, and disease-causing organisms that can overwhelm lakes and rivers, kill fish and plants, and damage ecosystems. AIS harm recreational and agricultural resources by damaging boats and gear, clogging water pipes and hydropower facilities, jamming community water sources and choking off irrigation systems.
Once again, FWP's mandatory watercraft inspection stations will be in operation at strategic highway locations and boat ramps this boating season. Crews annually inspect more than 20,000 boats—about 5,000 from out-of-state.
"Montana's best defense against invasive species is to inspect, clean, and dry boats, trailers, and fishing gear after each use," said Jeff Hagener, director of FWP in Helena.
"If boaters and anglers get into the inspect, clean and dry habit, we'll help to prevent a number of unintentional introductions of harmful species in Montana," Hagener said.
FWP inspection crews are reporting more boat owners are becoming familiar with FWP's "Inspect-Clean-Dry'' message and are showing up at inspection stations with their boat plugs out. Boat owners said that's a direct response to information received from previous inspections on the importance of having a drained and dry boat.
To learn more, visit FWP's website at fwp.mt.gov. Click "Inspect. Clean. Dry."