Grand Teton NP needs help from boaters and anglers this summer Car Plant community Buckrail - Jackson Hole, news
National Park Service staff inspect a kayak for aquatic invasive species. Photo: NPS

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Grand Teton National Park doesn’t want anything to do with the spread of aquatic invasive species any more than Yellowstone. The park is asking for the public’s help in being vigilant about boat cleaning.

“We need everyone’s help to ensure aquatic invasive species do not enter our waters,” said GTNP 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 posing a threat to the park and parkway include 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.

Grand Teton National Park operates two boat inspection stations—at Moose and Moran. They are manned 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 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.