JACKSON (WNE) — Boaters and anglers, remember these words: drain, clean and dry.
Grand Teton National Park is reminding people to follow all three steps with their vessels and fishing gear before using them in the park so as to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, like quagga and zebra mussels.
Watercraft inspections are another key part of the prevention effort, and Grand Teton’s start this Saturday.
“All watercraft entering the state of Wyoming, including Grand Teton National Park, must be inspected by an authorized AIS inspector prior to launch on waters within the state,” a park press release said. “Recreationists transporting any watercraft, including motorized and non motorized vessels such as canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and inflatables, are required to stop at every inspection station in Wyoming and Grand Teton National Park.”
One Grand Teton National Park inspection station is in Moose, adjacent to the post office. The other is in Moran, north of the entrance station. Both will operate daily from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through Sept. 10.
Besides mussels, the list of undesirables that will try to hitch a ride on rafts, kayaks and other gear includes burbot, rusty crayfish, curly-leaf pondweed and Eurasian milfoil, the park press release said.
“Aquatic invasive species often have widespread economic, recreational, and ecological impacts,” the release said. “They can cause millions of dollars in damage to boats, marina infrastructure, and hydropower facilities. Once an infestation has occurred, it requires costly cleaning regimens, repairs, and maintenance to infrastructure.
“A single boat or piece of gear that has not been properly drained, cleaned, or dried could introduce non-native species and have serious and irreversible ecological consequences.”