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Boat cleaning (copy)

Watercraft inspector Colin Hoback runs 140-degree water through an in-board boat motor at the Silos decontamination station on Canyon Ferry Reservoir. Watercraft inspection stations in southwest Montana are gearing up to open for the 2019 boating season.

Watercraft inspection stations gearing up for season

One watercraft inspection station in southwest Montana is now open; others will open later this month for the 2019 boating season. These stations help boaters meet state laws in preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species.

Boaters with either motorized or nonmotorized watercraft must stop at any inspection station they encounter in Montana. In addition, boaters must seek out an inspection prior to launching if they are coming into Montana from out of state, traveling west over the Continental Divide into western Montana, coming off Tiber or Canyon Ferry reservoirs, or launching anywhere within the Flathead Basin with a watercraft that last launched on waters outside of the Basin.

Several decontamination stations at Canyon Ferry Reservoir are scheduled to open in the coming weeks. Their hours of operation are from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Those stations include:

  • Canyon Ferry Bureau of Reclamation Visitor Center and Silos stations opened May 11.
  • Canyon Ferry Hellgate station opens May 18.
  • Canyon Ferry Goose Bay station opens May 25.

Several other stations in and around the region are currently open or scheduled to open soon:

  • The Dillon inspection station (Red Rocks Rest Area on northbound I-15, south of Dillon) is currently operating from 6:30 a.m. to 8:45 p.m. daily.
  • The Anaconda inspection station (westbound I-90) is operating from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
  • The Helena Highway 12 inspection station (westbound) opens May 18. Hours of operation will be posted at the web address listed below.
  • Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ Helena office inspection station operates from 9 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. weekdays.
  • FWP’s Bozeman office operates from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

If regulations require you to get a watercraft inspection and you will be traveling past a station outside of operating dates and hours, plan to go to FWP’s Helena or Bozeman offices during the hours listed above, or any other regional FWP office. 

For information on how you can help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species in Montana, visit www.CleanDrainDryMT.com.

Bear awareness update class upcoming

Do you trail run or mountain bike? Hike or backpack? Camp, hunt or fish? Float or trail ride?

Join Bill and Marti Cook — Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks volunteers — at Montana Wild from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 29,  for an update on the latest in bear awareness.Learn new information about grizzly bear presence in our region, new state-of-the-art bear safety products and the latest research on defense against bear attacks. Hands-on instruction on how to use bear spray will be offered the last half hour of program. Montana Wild is located 2668 Broadwater Ave.

The program is free, and no registration is required. To learn more, call 406-444-9944.

Flint Creek Campground closed for improvements

Flint Creek Campground located south of Philipsburg along Highway 1, will be closed during the 2019 camping season for reconstruction of the road and camp spurs. The work is being completed through funding from Tri-County Resource Advisory Committee and the Anaconda Job Corps.

During 2018 much progress was made to complete the road work and it is expected that work will be completed by the end of 2019 in order to reopen the campground for the 2020 season. 

The area is closed to all entry to provide for public safety while students from the Anaconda Job Corps work with heavy equipment to regrade and install culverts along the main road and realign the campsites.

For information contact the Pintler Ranger Districts at 406-859-3211.

Fishing regulations scoping survey available online

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks invites anglers and other interested parties to participate in a survey regarding changes to the 2020 fishing regulations. The survey is available at fwp.mt.gov/fish/publicComments/regsScoping.html.

The survey is part of a public scoping process to review fishing regulations and identify potential issues with fisheries. This review happens every four years.

This initial scoping process runs through June 21, 2019. FWP staff will then formulate tentative proposals to present to the Montana Fish & Wildlife Commission in August. Additional public comment on tentative proposals will be collected this fall and the final regulations will be considered at the October commission meeting.

Anglers and others are invited to participate by reviewing these and other FWP ideas -- and by contributing additional ideas of their own.

Comments can be submitted online or at public meetings that will soon be scheduled in each FWP region. Comments can also be sent by mail to Montana FWP Fisheries Division, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701 or via email at fwpRegs20@mt.gov.

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