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Watercraft inspectors intercept live fish

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News from the Flathead Lakers

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Aquatic Invasive Species Specialist Linnaea Schroeer reported that boat inspection crews have found 164 boats that did not pass inspection so far this year, with standing water being the most common infraction. 

“Public awareness of aquatic invasive species has never been higher,” she said, “but it seems that people are still forgetting to inspect, clean, and dry their boats after use.” 

Standing water can easily carry fish diseases, invasive mussel larvae, and weed fragments, and should be drained at the end of every trip.

“Also worrisome,” Schroeer said, “is the number of illegal live fish that crews have found.” 

Inspectors found eight people transporting live fish, which is illegal in Montana, except on roadways within the eastern fishing district. 

Lake Mary Ronan is the latest victim of illegal fish movement, as northern pike were found there this summer. 

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