Mussel Boats #35 & #36 Intercepted At Watercraft Inspection Stations

On Sunday, June 27, watercraft inspection stations in eastern Montana intercepted two boats entering the state carrying invasive mussels, making it the 35th and 36th mussel-fouled boats intercepted this year. This surpasses the total number of 35 mussel-fouled boats intercepted in 2020.

Shortly after noon on Sunday, the Wibaux station found mussels on a used inboard ballast boat that had been recently purchased in Michigan and was destined for Billings. Inspectors decontaminated the hull and locked the boat. AIS staff in Billings will flush the ballast tanks before removing the lock from the boat. The Wibaux station is operated by the Garfield County Conservation District.

Sunday evening the Hardin inspection station detected mussels on an inboard/outboard motorboat last used in the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. The recently purchased boat was being commercially transported to Washington State. Inspectors removed the visible mussels, locked the boat to the trailer and notified officials in Washington for further action. The Hardin station is operated by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.

FWP staff reminds anyone transporting motorized or nonmotorized 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. 

Learn more at or call the FWP Aquatic Invasive Species Bureau at 406-444-2440.


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