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New AIS rules for nonresident boaters and anglers

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Posted at 5:43 PM, Feb 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-29 15:45:03-05

HELENA — Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) have new aquatic invasive species (AIS) rules this year for nonresident boaters and anglers.

Nonresidents launching a watercraft in Montana now have to purchase a Vessel AIS Prevention Pass. The fee for motorboats is $30, and non-motorized watercraft like rafts and kayaks will need to pay $10.

The Vessel AIS Prevention Pass expires at the end of the year, and is non-transferable.There is no decal and proof of purchase can be electronic, such as a cell phone, or paper receipt.

Vessel AIS Prevention Pass can be purchased online or at any FWP office.

The 2019 Montana Legislature also reduced the $15 fee nonresidents pay in half to $7.50 for the Angler Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Pass. Nonresident youth under the age of 16 will be exempt from purchasing the Angler AIS Prevention Pass. The AIS Prevention Pass fee is included in the purchase of fishing licenses.

Boaters are reminded that all watercraft coming into Montana from out of state must be inspected prior to launching. Anyone transporting watercraft must stop at all open watercraft inspection stations they encounter.

Montana’s first watercraft inspection stations opened this month in Kalispell and Ravalli with more inspection stations opening later this spring. Watercraft can also be inspected at any Fish Wildlife & Parks regional office. Watercraft inspection stations are Montana’s first line of defense to prevent the movement of aquatic invasive species.