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Bighorn AIS Station Opens for Season

AIS Station workers wearing yellow safety vests inspect a pontoon boat

The Bighorn AIS station will open for the 2024 season on Saturday, April 27th. The station, which is funded by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MFWP) and overseen by the Bighorn Conservation District (BCD), is located on the north end of the Big Horn Valley Ranch and is marked with signs and flagging tape. Hours of operation will be Thursday - Sunday from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM.

In the state of Montana, it is illegal to drive past an open inspection station without stopping for inspection when pulling watercraft. Non-compliance increases the risk of invasive species introduction and compromises state funding of which the inspection station depends. The Bighorn River Alliance has worked with the local community, MFWP and the BCD to develop a system to improve drive by rates at the Bighorn AIS station through creation of a guide fast pass program, and additional signage. These efforts, coupled with the hard-working staff at the stations, have reduced drive by rates from 40% in 2022, to 5% in 2023.

The Bighorn River Alliance asks all Bighorn boat users, resident and nonresident, to support the Bighorn AIS station through compliance, and by supporting AIS station workers who are trained to be thorough in their inspections. If you are interested in working at the inspection station part-time for the 2024 season, please contact Bighorn Conservation District's Kylie Marin at 406-629-3229. For questions regarding the guide fast pass program or the state AIS program, contact MFWP's Paul Bramblett at 406-230-1746.


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