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Aquatic Weed Program

Invasive Boat Inspection

Invasive weeds threaten the ecological integrity of aquatic environments in Montana.  Eurasian watermilfoil, curly-leaf pondweed and flowering rush have become established in the state, and there is a high risk of invasion by other non-native aquatic plants.


These plants are highly competitive and affect fisheries, native plants, waterworks, power generation and irrigation.  Increased aquatic plant biomass also impacts water quality and recreational resources.


Invasive aquatic plants are transported by hitching a ride on animals, watercraft and recreational vehicles, as well as scuba, fishing and hunting equipment.


How can you help?

Boating - Before launching & before leaving:

  • Inspect boat, trailer, and equipment.
  • Remove aquatic plants, animals, and mud.
  • Drain water from boat, motor, bilge, live wells, and bait containers.
  • Spray/rinse boats and recreational equipment with high pressure, and/or water above 140 degrees, or let recreational equipment dry for at least five days.


  • Clean waders and boots.
  • Drain water from bait containers.

Hunting & Other Outdoor Activity

  • Inspect equipment, decoy lines, anchors, waders and pets.
  • Remove weeds/seeds by washing equipment and brushing or cleaning animals.


List of Montana aquatic noxious weeds:

  • Eurasian Watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum)
  • Flowering Rush (Butomus umbellatus)
  • Curlyleaf Pondweed (Potamogeton crispus)


Other aquatic plants of concern in Montana:

  • Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata)


Guide to Montana's Freshwater Aquatic Plants:

Click on the items below to download the complete guide or parts, meant to help with identification of Montana's freshwater aquatic plants.



Montana Pollutant Discharge Elimination System

State requirements regarding discharge permits have changed. Please visit the Montana Department of Environmental Quality website for information.


Aquatic Pesticide License

Application of aquatic herbicides in Montana requires a special-use license. The Montana Department of Agriculture oversees the licensing and training of aquatic pesticide applicators. Applicators who intend to treat waters with state restricted-use aquatic herbicides (xylene or acrolein) must attend a special aquatic training session and pass an Aquatic Pest Control Exam for initial certification. Training and testing is offered once a year by the Department.


The Department conducts aquatic herbicide applicator recertificaton training sessions periodically. These are listed with other applicator training opporunities on the Pesticide Training website.


For more information about pesticide licensing click here.




Dave Burch

Weed Program Manager
Montana Department of Agriculture
302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 444-3140
E-mail: dburch@mt.gov
Fax: (406) 444-9493


Published: Mon Apr 04 11:53:00 MDT 2011.
Last Modified: Mon Aug 22 14:59:00 MDT 2016