Glacier National Park has announced that hand-propelled watercraft, such as kayaks, canoes and paddleboards will be permitted in the park with mandatory inspections beginning on May 15.

On Friday, Superintendent of Glacier National Park Jeff Mow said the park was closed to all watercraft last fall after invasive mussels were discovered in two locations within the State of Montana.

"We've been looking at it all winter in conversations with the State and others who are looking at he infestation on the Missouri, and so we decided to lift our closure by allowing for hand-propelled watercraft to be operated in the park with mandatory inspection," Mow said. "It's a pretty conservative approach because it has to do with the geography in Glacier National Park. We are at the Crown of the Continent and we have headwaters of rivers that go out to Hudson Bay, the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean, so if we get an infestation in the park, it wouldn't take much to spread it."

Mow said inspection stations will be set up at four locations throughout the park.

"Here on the west side at Apgar," said Mow. "On the east side, we'll be doing them at Two Medicine, St. Mary and Many Glacier, so then, given how our inspection program rolls out we'll try to facilitate some of those more remote locations, like Polebridge, for example. Motorized use in the park will be limited to the tour-boat vessels we have on a number of lakes in the park, as well as the rental motorized vessels that they have, such as the motorized skiffs at Lake McDonald."

The park’s threat assessment activities will continue throughout the spring and summer, including testing of samples taken in Glacier’s lakes and lakes and reservoirs across Montana this summer as waters warm. Glacier will update the public with any findings and conclusions available when testing results are available later next fall.



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