Skip to main content
Go to search page


Couple carrying a canoe


Whether you boat to fish, boat to ski, boat to relax or boat to explore, Montana's rivers and lakes offer it all.

State Parks with Boating

Fishing Access Sites With Boating

Montana's Fishing Access Sites are great places to begin your water adventures. 

Wildlife Management Areas with Boating

Wildlife Management Areas offer a wide variety of recreation opportunities. 

Boating Safety, Rules, and Registration

It's extremely important that all watercraft operators practice boating safety, follow the laws, and operate registered watercrafts. 

Boating Courses and operating certificates

Online Boating Courses

Complete the online course. Then take the certification exam online if you wish to receive your Montana Motorboat Operator's Certificate. Online classes are available at the following websites:

Home-Study Boating Course

The Montana Motorboat Operator's Homestudy course is available:

  • at all regional Fish, Wildlife and Parks offices;

  • or by emailing Sara Smith at

Persons 13 years of age or older who successfully complete the course will receive a Montana Motorboat Operator's Certificate. The homestudy course is available free of charge.

Aquatic Invasive Species

Boaters, Anglers, Paddlers, and Seaplane Pilots

CLEAN.  Completely remove all mud, water, and vegetation before leaving the access area.

  • Inspect your boat, trailer, and all gear. Pay attention to crevices and hidden areas.

  • Remove all vegetation (by hand or sprayer).

  • Remove all mud (use a pressurized power sprayer, found at most do-it-yourself car washes).  The hot water kills organisms and the pressure removes mud and vegetation. No need to use chemicals or soap.

  • Dispose of debris in trash or on dry land away from water or ramp.

DRAIN.  Drain all water from watercraft and equipment.

  • Drain or remove water from boat, bilge, live well, engine, internal compartments, and bait buckets by removing drain plugs before leaving the access area.

DRY.  Aquatic invaders can survive only in water and wet areas.

  • Dry your watercraft and fishing equipment thoroughly; this will kill most invasive species.  The longer you keep your watercraft, trailer, waders, and other equipment outside in the hot sun between fishing trips, the better.

Key areas to Clean. Drain. Dry. on any watercraft:


For more information visit

Aquatic Invasive Species

Help protect Montana's waters

AIS can be easily spread from one waterbody to the other. Anglers, boaters, construction workers, pond owners, gardeners, seaplane pilots, field workers - virtually anyone who works or plays in or around water can unknowingly transport these pests on their boats and equipment. It takes only one mistake to potentially infest a new water body.

Prevent the spread of AIS