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Glacier National Park Ramps Up Invasive Species Inspections Of Boats

Fisheries biologists checking for adult invasive mussels.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks
Fisheries biologists checking for adult invasive mussels.

Glacier National Park will lift restrictions on non-motorized, hand-propelled boats this season. But park superintendent Jeff Mow says mandatory invasive species inspections will simultaneously ramp up across the park."We’re figuring out how we open up that spigot in the face of this continuing threat," says Mow. "We’re still trying to come to grips and understand what the extent of that threat is."

The threat Mow’s talking about is the same one that prompted Glacier National Park to close its lakes to boating back in November; the discovery of invasive mussels in Tiber and Canyon Ferry Reservoirs. Non-native mussels could not only devastate the park’s aquatic ecology, but the economy of Glacier’s gateway communities.

Mandatory boat inspections begin May 15 for Lake McDonald and the North Fork. Inspections everywhere else in the park start June first.

Every kayak, canoe and paddle board will be inspected at stations in Apgar, Two Medicine, St Mary and Many Glacier. Spot inspections are also possible in remote locations.

No privately owned motorized boats and watercraft will be allowed on Glacier’s waters this summer.

A Glacier Park press release includes answers to frequently asked questions about mussel inspections and restrictions.

Edward O’Brien first landed at Montana Public Radio three decades ago as a news intern while attending the UM School of Journalism. He covers a wide range of stories from around the state.  
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