A number of watercraft inspection stations have already opened for the season in Montana, and apparently for good reason.

The Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Dillon watercraft inspection station intercepted a watercraft carrying invasive mussels Monday. The boat owner was traveling north on Interstate 15 enroute to British Columbia and stopped at the recently opened inspection station. The watercraft was not launching in Montana.

The mussels were found on the motor and were dried up and dead (see photo below). The inspectors could not conduct a hot water decontamination because of freezing temperatures.  The watercraft was locked to the trailer, and officials in Canada were notified and will follow up with their own inspection.

This is the first boat with mussels that watercraft inspectors have intercepted this year.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks reminds all those transporting motorized or non-motorized boats into Montana to have their watercraft inspected before launching. Boat owners are required to stop at all open watercraft inspection stations. Persons purchasing used boats should ensure the watercraft are clean, drained and dry before crossing Montana state line.

Very small mussels. (Montana FWP Photo)