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New 2017 Watercraft Inspection Requirements

The State of Montana now requires all watercraft transported from out of state or transported from east of the Continental Divide into Western Montana to be inspected before launching. Additional Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes regulations apply on the Flathead Reservation.

An Inspection Certificate is now required for all watercraft boating on the southern part of Flathead Lake and other waters managed by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes on the Flathead Reservation. Inspections can be arranged at the MT Fish, Wildlife and Parks office on Meridian Road in Kalispell (406-752-5501) or call the CSKT Department of Natural Resources office in Polson (406-675-2700). It is wise to call first to make sure an inspector is available. Inspections can also be completed at roadside watercraft inspection stations and at additional FWP offices. See map of 2017 FWP Inspection and Decontamination Stations.

An AIS inspection station managed by the Flathead Basin Commission is open on weekends and holidays beginning Friday, May 12 at Jesco Marine and Power Sports, between Somers and Kalispell. It will be open Friday from 5 pm to 10 pm, Saturday and Sunday from 7 am to 7 pm, and from 6 am to 10 pm on Memorial Day. After Memorial Day, it will be open 6 am to 10 pm on Saturday and Sunday.

If you boat only on Flathead Lake and moor your boat all summer on the lake, you may qualify for a CSKT Flathead Lake Boat Certificate that waives inspection. Contact the CSKT for more information (675-2700).

For updated and important information on invasive mussels in Montana, please check out our Thwarting Aquatic Invaders page.