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Montana Opening Boat Check Stations, Intercepts First Mussel-Fouled Boat Of Season

Clean: Completely remove all mud, water, and vegetation before leaving the access area. Drain: Drain all water from watercraft and equipment. Dry: Aquatic invaders can survive only in water and wet areas.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is reminding boat owners to ensure their crafts are cleaned, drained and dry before heading out for the season after watercraft inspectors intercepted a boat with invasive mussels on it this weekend.

The watercraft inspection station in Anaconda opened Saturday and found the first mussel fouled boat of the year, according to the agency.

The used motorboat was recently purchased in Wisconsin and had dry, dead zebra mussels attached to the anchor.

Zebra mussels and other aquatic invasive species can disrupt natural food chains and cause costly damage to irrigation and hydropower systems.

FWP is beginning to open roadside watercraft inspection stations across the state and offers inspections at regional offices. Boats, trailers and gear coming into Montana, crossing west over the Continental Divide and entering the Flathead Basin must be inspected prior to launch. Anyone transporting watercraft must stop at all open inspection stations.