Nonresident boaters will need new pass before launching in Montana

by Hungry Horse News
| March 4, 2020 7:26 AM

Nonresident boaters and anglers visiting Montana will see new rules regarding aquatic invasive species this year, including a fee reduction for anglers.

According to a press release from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, nonresident anglers will now pay $7.50 instead of the $15 fee that was charged last year. In addition, nonresident youth under the age of 16 will be exempt from purchasing the Angler Aquatic Invasive Species Pass. The fee is included in the purchase of a fishing license.

New this year, nonresidents launching watercraft in Montana must purchase a Vessel AIS Prevention Pass, the press release states.

The fee for motorboats is $30 and applies to all motorized watercraft registered in another state or country. For nonmotorized watercraft, the fee is $10 and applies to rafts, kayaks, drift boats, catamarans, and sailboats brought into Montana by nonresidents.

The Vessel AIS Prevention Pass, which can be purchased online or at any Fish, Wildlife and Parks office, expires Dec. 31, 2020, and is not transferable between vessels. Nonresidents passing through Montana who are not launching a watercraft are not required to purchase the pass.

According to the press release, all watercraft coming into Montana from out-of-state must be inspected prior to launching. Anyone transporting watercraft must stop at all open inspection stations they encounter.

The state’s first watercraft inspection stations opened this month in Kalispell and Ravalli, with more inspection stations slated to open later this spring and aside from designated stations, watercraft can also be inspected at any Fish Wildlife and Parks regional office.

To find a station or to learn more, go to CleanDrainDryMT.com or call the FWP Aquatic Invasive Species Bureau at 406-444-2440.