Glacier National Park will begin implementing a program to reduce the risk of unintentional introduction of aquatic invasive species into park waters. The program includes both education and accountability of boat owners and operators.
Beginning June 1, all motorized boats entering the park will be required to obtain a free boat launch permit prior to launching. Motorboat operators will be required to certify that their boat is free of invasive species to qualify for a permit. The permits are valid for 14 days, provided a vessel is not launched outside of Flathead or Glacier counties during those 14 days. Park landowners and park residents may obtain an annual permit for vessels operated solely within Glacier National Park. Persons failing to obtain a launch permit, or violating the terms of the permit, are subject to fines and possibly additional sentencing.
In general, boats and boat trailers should be cleaned with a high-pressure hose with hot water, such as those found at car washes, and dried to make sure they are not transporting invasive species. No cleaning facility is available in the park. Suitable facilities can be found in Columbia Falls on the west side of the park or Browning on the east side. A permit may be denied if park staff determines a vessel poses a high risk of carrying invasive species.
Permits are free and may be obtained at backcountry permit offices in Apgar Village, St. Mary Visitor Center, Two Medicine and Many Glacier Ranger Stations and the Polebridge Entrance Station. Permits can also be issued on a limited basis at visitor center information desks and at park headquarters in West Glacier.
A boater checklist is available on the Glacier National Park website along with other information on aquatic invasive species, such as descriptions and images to help with identification, at www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/boating.htm.
Anglers are reminded that all live bait except for earthworms, maggots and meal worms is prohibited. Prohibited bait includes but is not limited to fish and fish parts, leeches and crayfish.