Fewer boats inspected so far, but more AIS detected. We;'re not sure what that indicates, but we appreciate the continued vigilance.

Watercraft inspection stations in Montana had exceeded 2020 numbers of boats found fouled with aquatic invasive species quite some time ago. And the number got another bump in the past week.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks tells us that on Thursday, August 26, watercraft inspectors at the Nashua MT station inspected an outboard motorboat with mussels on the transducer and other areas of the transom. The Great Lakes region has not been kind to AIS inspectors. This particular motorboat had been on Lake Erie and was bound for Kalispell, which, accurate or not, immediately conjures up images of a mussel-fouled boat on Flathead Lake.

This is the 50th mussel-fouled boat intercepted so far in 2021, surpassing the total number of 35 mussel-fouled boats intercepted in 2020. The Nashua watercraft inspection station, located on Highway 2, is operated by the McCone Conservation District under a contract with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.

Statewide, 94,800 watercraft inspections have been conducted this year, slightly down from the 112,300 number of inspections conducted at this time last year. Our friends at Montana FWP always ask us to remind anyone transporting motorized or non-motorized boats into Montana that an inspection is required before launching, and stopping at ALL open watercraft inspection stations is required. Failing to stop at an inspection station can result in a fine of up to $500.

Boaters should ensure their watercraft, trailer and all equipment that is in contact with water (anchor, lines, swim ladder, etc.) is clean, drained of water and dry.

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