Boaters and anglers who recreate on the waters of Grand Teton National Park and the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway are reminded to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.
“We need everyone’s help to ensure aquatic invasive species do not enter our waters,” said Superintendent David Vela. “Aquatic invasive species can cause irreparable harm to the ecosystem of not only the park, but the entire Snake and Columbia river systems downstream.”
Aquatic invasive species which pose a threat to the park and parkway include animals such as zebra and quagga mussels, plants such as Eurasian milfoil and curly leaf pondweed, and various pathogens. Mussels in particular pose a serious ecological and economic threat as they remove plankton, a key food source for fish, from the water and can attach to boats, motors, and equipment causing damage. They can also clog public infrastructure such as dams and docks.
To help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, Grand Teton National Park operates two boat inspection stations, one at Moose and one at Moran, seven days a week. Visitors transporting any watercraft, including non-motorized vessels such as canoes and kayaks, are required by law to stop at these check stations to undergo an inspection when passing. These inspections are necessary as the introduction of even a small plant fragment or few drops of water containing microscopic juvenile mussels can result in the infestation of a new water body.
Boaters and anglers can assist the park’s efforts to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species by ensuring they drain, clean, and dry their watercraft and any gear such as boots, waders, or buckets that come in contact with the water. All water should be drained from boats including the motor, bilge, live well, and any other compartments. All plants, mud, and debris should be cleaned and the boats or gear left out to dry.
Boaters are reminded that both a park boat permit and a state of Wyoming aquatic invasive species decal are required before launching on any park waters. Boat permits can be purchased at visitor centers located in Moose, Jenny Lake, and Colter Bay. Aquatic invasive species decals may be purchased at the Wyoming Game and Fish Regional Office in Jackson, at local vendors including marinas or other stores that sell fishing licenses, or online at https://wgfd.wyo.gov/apply-or-buy.
All park boat permits for Grand Teton and the Rockefeller Parkway are valid for the calendar year. Boat permits for all motorized watercraft are $40. Permits for all non-motorized watercraft, including stand-up paddle boards, are $10. More information on boating in Grand Teton can be found at www.nps.gov/grte/planyourvisit/boat.htm.