close
close

To stop the spread of aquatic invasive species, sailboats and other types of boats must dry out for 30 days

Yellowstone National Park is adding additional measures to try to prevent aquatic invasive species from entering park waters.

An AIS is a freshwater or marine organism or plant that is not native to the area. AIS can cause ecological damage and damage infrastructure and water systems.

Two new requirements will go into effect this boating season, which opens Memorial Day weekend.

Sailboats and some types of powerboats must dry for 30 days before being launched in the park. And whatever the dry weather, boats that have had mussels in the past are prohibited.

Mike Canetta, an aquatic invasive species biologist at Yellowstone, said quagga mussels were recently found in Idaho’s Snake River, about a four-hour drive from the park.

“This is now an increased level of protection for the park in response to new detections of quagga mussels and zebra mussels in the area,” he said.

Canetta said quagga and zebra mussels do not exist in Yellowstone waters, but the park is increasing its monitoring efforts because an invasion could damage native fisheries and have other negative impacts.

Last year, the park inspected just over 3,000 boats and found or suspected aquatic invasive species on 16 boats. A boat carrying mussels was intercepted and prevented from launching.

Copyright 2024 Wyoming Public Radio