Tribes update emergency watercraft restrictions

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The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes have updated their watercraft restrictions enacted to prevent the spread of invasive mussels into the Flathead Basin.

According to a press release issued on April 11, once a watercraft has been inspected, it will not be required to have another inspection during the season unless that watercraft is used on another water body outside of the Flathead Basin. Documentation of the inspection will be provided to the watercraft owner to verify that an inspection has occurred, the release states.

The restrictions ban all motorized watercraft or boat trailers on all reservation waters, with the exception of Flathead Lake and the Lower Flathead River.

Watercraft used only in Flathead Lake and are non-transportable or launched only by rail or shore stations can apply for a Flathead Lake Local Boat Certificate to fulfill the need for inspection prior to launching in Flathead Lake, according to the release.

On April 15, the watercraft check station currently operating out of the Salish Kootenai College campus will move to Ravalli. Staff from the CSKT Natural Resources Department will continue to offer watercraft inspection by appointment, the release states.

Locals and visitors frequenting reservation waters are encouraged to clean, drain and dry all equipment including anchors, ropes, waders and even pets that enter waters on the reservation.

For more information contact the CKST Natural Resources Department.

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