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Aquatic Invasive Species Pass Now Required For All Montana Anglers

A fisherman hooks a big one on the Clark Fork River.
Josh Burnham
A fisherman hooks a big one on the Clark Fork River.

Montana anglers will now have to purchase an Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Pass — even if they've already bought a fishing license for 2017 — as part of a program passed by the Legislature and signed into law Thursday.

The passes are expected to generate $3.2 million dollars per year to be used in the fight against aquatic invasive species (AIS) that threaten the health of the state's waters.

In a press release, FWP director Martha Williams said, “We know this will be an inconvenience for some anglers, but protecting the health of our waterways is critical. The AIS program we have in place is our best chance at keeping mussels from spreading to other Montana waters and at keeping other invasive species from gaining a foothold in the state."

The Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention passes can be purchased at all Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks license providers, or online from FWP. The cost is $2 for Montana residents and $15 for non-residents.

Non-anglers who wish to contribute to Montana's aquatic invasive species prevention efforts can also buy a pass.

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