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Aquatic invasive species (AIS) are plants, animals, or pathogens that are not native to Montana. AIS threaten recreational opportunities and can cause harm to our environment and economy. Some aquatic invasive species are mussels, clams, crayfish, snails, fish, and weeds.

  • AIS can reproduce quickly and spread rapidly because there are no natural predators or competitors to keep them in check. They can kill native species by preying upon them, competing with them for food and space, or introducing harmful pathogens or parasites.
  • AIS harm our recreational and agricultural resources by damaging boats and gear, clogging water pipes and hydropower facilities, and choking off irrigation systems.
  • Boats, trailers, and fishing gear can transport AIS. It takes only one mistake to infest a new area. To protect Montana’s waters and native aquatic species, please follow these guidelines:
    1. Clean. Remove all plants and mud from boats, trailers, and gear. Clean anchors, lines, props, fishing gear, and waders.
    2. Drain. Eliminate water from all equipment including bait buckets, livewells, pumps, motors, ballast tanks, and bilges. Remove the drain plug. Lower and drain the motor. On canoes and kayaks, ensure all water is drained or sponged out.
    3. Dry. Allow time for boat and gear to dry before your next trip.
Hydrilla on boat
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