Play it Safe in Western Montana’s Waterways

It’s important to play it safe in our waters. In additional to knowing how to swim, please wear a personal floatation device (PFD) while boating, floating and paddling. Ensure your chosen activity matches your skill level and water comfort level. Always bring the appropriate gear you need for your specific water activity. Please note that Montana waters can be cold year-round thanks to snowmelt; keep this in mind. Don’t drink alcohol while recreating in and on the water. We highly recommend recreating with a friend or group. As always, check the weather before you head out. 

Swimming Safety

Our rivers and lakes make the perfect place to cool off on a hot summer day, but please make sure you know how to swim, and take the following precautions:

  1. Only swim in designated swimming areas.
  2. When in doubt, get out. 
  3. Know the conditions.
  4. Never swim alone.
  5. Choose the right equipment.
  6. Understand currents.
  7. Don’t mix swimming and alcohol.
  8. Wear a USCG-approved life vest.
  9. Have a plan for emergencies.
  10. Swim parallel to the shore.

Learn more about these important 10 open water safety tips

Boating Safety

There are multiple ways to boat and float Montana’s waterways. That means many different types of recreators may be sharing a boating area. Please recreate responsibly by operating your boat at safe speeds and keeping an adequate distance from others. Give sailboats and other non-motorized craft a wide berth. Read more about boating safety here

River and Stream Safety

Montana is known for world-class river recreation, drawing anglers, rafters and floaters from far and wide. To ensure a memorable experience, play it safe by being prepared with the right gear, understanding river flows and currents and being prepared for water hazards. Read more about river and stream safety here

August 17, 2022