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State: Boaters must always stop at inspection stations in Montana

Posted at 4:19 PM, Jul 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-03 18:19:32-04

Montana’s waterways will be seeing plenty of activity over the July 4 holiday and Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks is reminding boaters to stop at AIS inspection stations before and after visiting the lake or river.

For example, if a person goes through an inspection station at 7 a.m. and receives a copy of the watercraft inspection form, and then drives past the same inspection station at 2 p.m. on their way home, they need to stop again.

FWP states it’s not uncommon for boaters to bypass inspection stations after already being inspected, thinking they are in the clear for the day, or even the weekend, with the copy of the inspection form.

“Montana law requires that boaters stop every time they encounter an inspection station. Having a copy of a previous inspection will speed things along during an inspection, but it does not give a boater the right to bypass a station,” said FWP Boating Law Administrator Phil Kilbreath.

FWP is asking that the public to take the right steps to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. Two Montana bodies of water tested positive for invasive mussels in 2016 — Canyon Ferry Reservoir and Tiber Reservoir.

Boaters can also use the Watercraft Inspection Passport as proof of inspection. Instead of a paper receipt, the inspector will stamp the boat owner’s passport with the station name and date. Passports are issued to boaters at the watercraft inspection stations.

FWP notes that boaters who pass an inspection station without stopping can be pulled over.

Click here to learn more about preventing the introduction of invasive species in Montana.

 information from Connor McCauley included in this report.

RELATED: FWP issues reminder to prevent spread of aquatic invasive species