Bait fish and the water they are contained in can carry disease, invasive species or foreign organisms. If released into a body of water the biological impacts can be devastating and irreversible.
"It is illegal to move bait fish between states," said Eileen Ryce, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.
"While this regulation is particularly easy to forget for anglers who may cross state lines during a single fishing trip, it is critical these days that we all take responsibility for monitoring our use of bait fish."
For details on the use of live bait in Montana check the Montana fishing regulations online at fwp.mt.gov; click Fishing.
Ryce said anglers should dispose of live bait in a zip-lock bag that is put into a landfill or in a garbage bag bound for a landfill site.