2010 Glacier Rule Changes: Camping Limits, Fishing Regulations, Boating Permits
Contact: Amy Vanderbilt, 406 888-5838
Contact: Wade Muehlhof, 406 888-7895
WEST GLACIER, MONT. – The release of the 2010 Glacier National Park Compendium was announced today. The compendium is the park’s collection of rules and regulations. Each year the Superintendent, under his discretionary authority, establishes regulations that designate certain closures, permit requirements and other restrictions in the park. The 2010 compendium has a number of revisions including changes regarding fishing, frontcountry camping limits and launch permits for motorized boats.
In an effort to prevent the unintentional spread of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS), a permit is now required to launch motorized watercraft in all waters within Glacier National Park. All motorboat users will obtain a launch permit from any backcountry permit center (or other designated locations) prior to launching their vessel and have it displayed on the dash of the tow vehicle while the watercraft is in use. All vessels must be certified to be free of AIS to qualify for a launch permit. This may require an inspection. Details of the permit process are available at http://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/boating.htm.
Another change in regulations pertains to frontcountry camping. A person or party may not camp in the same campground more than 14 consecutive days during the time period that camping fees are charged. When no fees are charged a person or party may not camp in the same campground more than 14 days a month. Previously a person or party could not occupy the same campsite for more than seven (7) consecutive days, and when no fees were charged, could not camp in same campground for more than seven (7) consecutive nights or more than 14 nights in a season.
Park superintendent Chas Cartwright said, “This change in frontcountry camping limits is based on some campers taking advantage of a loophole that allowed a party to stay in the same campground for the entire summer. This effectively locked out other campers, and was not in keeping with Glacier National Park’s mission to conserve the park and provide for its enjoyment by all.” This change also makes Glacier’s camping limits consistent with other parks and forests in Montana and Wyoming.
Changes have been made to park fishing regulations to favor conservation of native species and increase harvest opportunity on non-native species. Catch-and-release fishing regulations were adopted for cutthroat trout in all park waters within the North and Middle Fork of the Flathead River drainages, with very limited exceptions. Brook trout limits have been increased to 20 fish park-wide. Anglers are reminded that it is their responsibility to know how to correctly identify fish species prior to harvesting a fish and that the use of all lead fishing gear (except downrigger weights) is prohibited in the park. The only live bait permitted in the park under the new regulations are earthworms, mealworms, and maggots, crickets, grasshoppers, and other terrestrial bait. Fish, fish parts, and non-preserved fish eggs may not be used as bait.
There are a number of other minor changes which further define or fine-tune existing regulations included in the compendium, which is available at http://www.nps.gov/glac/parkmgmt/lawsandpolicies.htm.
Did You Know?
Lake McDonald is the largest lake in the park with a length of 10 miles and a depth of 472 feet. The glacier that carved the Lake McDonald valley is estimated to have been around 2,200 feet thick.