The Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks boat inspection station at the base of Lost Trail Pass in Ravalli County is not as busy as other sites, but equally important to keep aquatic invasive species out of Western Montana.

The Sula station is located to intercept boats coming from Idaho before they get to the Bitterroot Valley's Painted Rocks Reservoir or Lake Como. The three men are in front of the now-shuttered Sula Ranger Station on US 93 and are there from dawn to dusk during the summer. All vehicles transporting boats, including non-motorized watercraft, must stop at Montana inspection sites.

Don Oliver told KLYQ that 40 boats were inspected Sunday, July 23. Only 15 boats had come through the day before. The inspectors have found that many boat owners are not draining their onboard water compartments. The simple rule is "Clean, Drain, Dry."

Thomas Woolf of Montana FWP said that statewide over 23,000 watercraft have been inspected so far this summer and invasive mussels have been found on nine boats.

The water in the Bitterroot Valley is part of the Columbia River Basin, connecting with the Pacific Ocean.

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