Canyon Ferry aerial

An aerial view shows the Missouri River flowing into Canyon Ferry Reservoir near Helena.

LARRY MAYER, Gazette Staff

Five boat ramps on Canyon Ferry Reservoir are now open to all boaters and four Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks decontamination stations are operating seven days a week.

Yacht Basin, Kim’s Marina, Goose Bay, Silos and Hellgate are open to all boats. The rest of the boat ramps on Canyon Ferry Reservoir are open to certified local boaters only.

The ramps open to all boaters either have a decontamination station assigned to them or in close proximity. Decontamination stations are located at the Bureau of Reclamation Visitor Center on the north end of the reservoir, at the Silos boat ramp on the south end, and at Hellgate and Goosebay, both on the east side of the reservoir.

All watercraft leaving Canyon Ferry and Tiber Reservoirs will be required to go through a decontamination station unless they are part of the certified local boater program. This protocol is in response to a water sample last year at the reservoir that was suspect for aquatic invasive mussel larvae. Similar water samples at Tiber Reservoir were positive for the mussel larvae.

At Tiber Reservoir, two boat ramps remain open to all watercraft: Tiber Marina and the VFW Campground. All other ramps at the reservoir are only open to certified local boaters.

These restrictions are part of the statewide response to the discovery of the invasive mussel larvae. Other piece of the response plan are expanded inspection stations and monitoring plan and new rules requiring a pre-launch inspection for all watercraft from outside of Montana along with all watercraft crossing the Continental Divide in the Columbia River Basin. Additionally, it is now illegal to transport surface water in Montana. Anglers with live bait must transport them in clean, non-surface water.

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