Boating Permits and Season Dates
Boating on park waters closed for the season on November 1, 2020. Lake McDonald and Bowman Lake will reopen for boating on May 8, 2021. At this time it has not been decided which other lakes may open to boating for the 2021 summer season. We will post updates here when they become available.
On the surface things look fine, but in the past stocking of non-native fish changed the ecosystems of most park lakes. These fish out compete native species for food and habitat. We need to prevent additional non-native species of animals or plants from accidentally being introduced, because each small change effects the overall health of park waters.
Use this field guide to help you identify AIS.
Don't Move a Mussel
Now there is a new and serious threat. Imagine a future where going to your favorite rock-skipping beach, you find the shoreline matted with tens of thousands of small mussel shells, with everything cemented together in a sharp, smelly mess. Imagine once productive fisheries wiped out by these new invaders. It's not science fiction, impacts are already occurring in waters in the Great Lakes, eastern provinces and states, the prairies and plains, and more recently in the Southwestern United States.
Since the 1980s freshwater zebra and quagga mussels have steadily advanced westward, transported on trailered boats. Very recently, a mussel-carrying boat was intercepted at a marina on Flathead Lake. The boat had come from the Southwest. Flathead Lake is just downstream from Glacier.
Protecting the waters of the Peace Park requires immediate action, both by the parks and by every boater.
Glacier National Park Watercraft Launch Regulations
*All watercraft (motorized and non-motorized) with unispectable water holding compartments are prohibited from launching in Glacier National Park
Waterton Lakes National Park Permit Regulations
Currently, motorized and trailer-launched watercraft require a 90 day quarantine after inspection before launching on Waterton Lake. Non-motorized boats may self-certify prior to launching.
To obtain the permit you must complete a self-inspection form, which will act as a permit. Watercraft users must ensure their permits are available for examination. Self-inspection forms will be available at the park gate, Visitor Reception Centre, Operations Building and Wardens Office, campgrounds, and select locations in town. Permit stations will also be located throughout the park at boat launches and the most popular boating areas.
More information is available on the Waterton Lakes National Park Lakes Activities page.
Additional Aquatic Invasive Species Information
Last updated: March 31, 2021