Today, Montana boaters have new rules to abide by because of the state's effort to keep invasive mussels from spreading throughout Montana's waterways. Basically it boils down to: clean, drain, and dry your boat.

Apparently, the larvae from the invasive mussel is so small, it can't be seen by the naked eye. So the state has set up more than 30 inspection stations, as well as decontamination stations at Tiber and Canyon Ferry Reservoirs, where the invasive mussels have been found. They have also designated two boat launch ramps at each of those reservoirs, unless you are designated as a local boater.

Out-of-state boats, and watercraft traveling across the divide into the Columbia River Basin must be inspected before launching. Also, it is illegal to use surface water to transport live bait, so use clean domestic water.

Use hot water to clean all mud, debris and vegetation off your watercraft; drain all ballasts, bilges, live wells and motors; and dry equipment, any standing water and the insides of compartments. You'll save time at inspection stations, and hopefully, prevent the spread of invasive species.

Find local boater training, Tiber and Canyon Ferry Reservoir boat ramp maps, and directions and rules for "Clean, Drain, Dry" techniques at HERE.

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