Watercraft Inspection & Decontamination

It is mandatory to have all motorized and non-motorized watercraft inspected prior to launching in Whitefish Lake. High risk watercraft must also be decontaminated (Section 13-5-3 of the Whitefish City Code).

Whitefish City Beach and Whitefish Lake State Park Inspection Stations 

  • May and September 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. 
  • June through August 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

The City Beach and Whitefish Lake State Park boat ramps will be closed but not locked after staffed watercraft inspection hours. During times when rangers are not available to inspect boats, boaters must have a permit to launch. An Early Angler Permit will be required to access the launch prior to opening and permits will need to be displayed on your vehicle dashboard. To obtain a permit, visit https://www.cityofwhitefish.org/174/Aquatic-Invasive-Species-Self-Certificat.

Boats coming off the lake after hours will be able to exit by removing and replacing the chain (City Beach) or opening and closing the gate (State Park). Boaters that have watercraft with ballast tanks can take advantage of the Late Boater Program which allows users to self-seal their watercraft to avoid a decontamination. 

Inspection stations are closed October 1st through April 30th.

The City Beach and Whitefish Lake State Park boat ramps will be locked in the off season.  All motorized and non-motorized watercraft users may launch at these sites in the off season by passing the Off-Season online AIS Self-Certification Program. Users who successfully pass the test will be issued a certificate and lock code to enter and exit the boat ramps at City Beach and Whitefish Lake State Park. AIS Self-Certification Tests for all Watercraft Users

Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Prevention & Decontamination Station

Located on the corner of Edgewood Place and Washington Avenue near Whitefish City Beach.

Decontamination Station Hours

  • June 1 through August 12 - 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • UPDATE - August 13 through September 9 - 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • May and September - Decontaminations available on weekends, 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday by appointment only. Call 406-212-0750 to schedule.

Decontamination must be performed prior to launching in Whitefish Lake—whether or not you have been inspected at another inspection station—on all the following watercraft:

  • with ballast tanks or bags as determined by watercraft inspection staffDecon May 2021
  • that have been in a mussel infested waterway in the last 30 days
  • with standing water
  • that inspectors deem are too dirty to inspect.

There is a NO fee for decontamination.

Learn more about the rules specific to the Flathead Basin and existing populations of AIS on this map