Invasive Species Found on Boat Trying to Enter Yellowstone NP
During a routine inspection of a visitor's boat inside Yellowstone National Park last week, an inspector found an invasive species attached to the vessel, according to a press release from the National Park Service.
The Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) discovered on the boat at Grant Village was quagga mussels, and can cause "catastrophic changes to the ecosystem," according to the press release.
Once the AIS was discovered, the boat inspector prevented the boat from launching at Yellowstone National Park, which avoided a "major potential release of this highly invasive species into Yellowstone waters," according to the NPS statement.
I commend the Yellowstone AIS inspection team for their efforts at preventing the introduction of this dangerous aquatic invasive. It’s critical the public continues to partner with us to do their part to prevent the spread of AIS in Yellowstone waterways. -Cam Sholly, Yellowstone National Park Superintendent
Boaters and those wanting to use their own angler float tubes in YNP need to have a permit and an AIS inspection. Inspectors will check all "boats, kayaks, canoes, and float tubes before visitors can launch them in the water," and "boats with ballast tanks are not permitted to launch within the park," according to the National Park Service.
Those who bring their watercraft to the inspection site dirty, or with standing water inside may be subject to decontamination as some of these mussel species are microscopic according to the National Park Service. Watercraft that cannot be properly decontaminated will be prohibited from launching into Yellowstone National Park waters.
According to the press release, it's critical for YNP to keep the aquatic invasive species out of waterways, because "removal after they become established in a watershed is usually impossible and efforts to reduce their impact can be extremely expensive."
For boaters and anglers planning a trip into Yellowstone National Park, CLICK HERE to get all the information about permits and AIS inspection locations.