Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - Responding to a spirited discussion on watercraft etiquette, or lack thereof, that occurred on the KGVO Catching the Big Ones Fishing Show on Friday, I reached out to Kylie Kemble, the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Outdoor Skills Coordinator at her office in Helena about some common sense tips for those who will be recreating on Montana’s lakes, rivers and streams this summer.

After confirming the fact that every person in every watercraft must be outfitted with a proper life jacket, Kemble provided some hard and fast requirements for anyone on a Montana waterway.

There are Specific Rules and Regulations while on Montana's Waterways

“You're actually required to stay 75 feet from any hunters or anglers on shore or on boats, and then stay 20 feet outside of any designated swimming areas and 200 feet away from any diver-down flag, which you can find images of those in our boating law book, and that just kind of helps keep everybody safe,” began Kemble.

Reacting to the angry confrontation that was described on the fishing show, Kemble had this important advice.

How to Safely Confront Those Who Are Not Boating Safely

“Kindness goes a long way,” she said. “Approaching people with a smile, and encouraging them and then just letting them know, like, hey, there are resources available, and I can help. They can help direct them to it, if you've got extra boating laws or and sharing those contacts and then, you know, just kind of be kind about it. It's always hard to approach somebody if you think that they're doing something wrong or they may just not know. So just take that understanding with you when you approach people.”

Kemble added what many might not realize is that all watercraft must be inspected for invasive species.

Kemble said ALL Watercraft Must be Inspected for Invasive Species

“The Aquatic Invasive Species rules apply to any watercraft,” she said. “No matter regardless of where you have launched or where you are launching, you have to stop at those inspection stations if you're passing one. If you're traveling from the eastern portion of Montana into the Flathead Valley, you have to have your boat inspected prior to launching on any body of water.”

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Kemble provided contacts for those concerned that someone might be violating boating regulations.

“Our waterways are patrolled by our warden staff, so if you're seeing human safety issues, you can try our 1-800 Tipmont phone number, and that'll help you,” she said. “Dispatch will help you connect with the local warden, or you can always try your local sheriff's office as well.”

Click here to get more boating rules and regulations.

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