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Contact: C.J. Adams, 307-739-3431MOOSE, WY— Grand Teton National Park will participate in Operation Dry Water, a nationwide awareness effort to promote boating safety, this weekend, July 2-4. All visitors are reminded to operate boats safely and with regard to others.
As part of Operation Dry Water, rangers will provide heightened awareness and enforcement on all park waters. Rangers will also conduct vessel safety inspections. These inspections are meant to ensure boaters have all the requisite safety gear on board including:
- All vessels must carry U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) approved personal flotation devices (PFDs) of the appropriate size for each person on board. Passengers 12 years of age and under must wear a PFD.
- A sound-making device such as an air horn or whistle for emergencies.
- Navigation lights for all watercraft that will operate at night.
- A throwable flotation device such as a seat cushion or ring buoy. These are required on all motorized vessels 16 feet in length or longer and must be USCG approved Type IV devices.
- Fire extinguishers for motorized vessels with an internal fuel tank.
Themes noted from the 2021 operation included overloading number of occupants onboard, lack of compliance concerning required vessel documentation, and failure to use an orange skier down flag while skiers were in the water on Jackson Lake. There were also a number of insufficient PFDs and inadequate fire extinguishers.
Rangers will also perform increased lake and river patrols with the goal of increasing awareness about the dangers of boating under the influence of alcohol. Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in recreational boating deaths in the United States. It is illegal to operate a vessel with a blood alcohol concentration level of .08 or higher.
All boats are required to have a park boat permit prior to launching on any water in Grand Teton, including canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddle boards and inflatable watercraft. A park non-motorized boat permit is $17, and a motorized boat permit is $56. Park boat permits can be purchased online via Recreation.gov. The mail-order system allows boaters to plan ahead and have their permit mailed directly to them within two weeks. Boating permits can also be purchased via credit card at the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center in Moose and the Colter Bay Visitor Center, open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The permit is valid through the calendar year in which purchased.
A Wyoming State Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) decal is also required and can be purchased online at https://wgfd.wyo.gov/Fishing-and-Boating/Aquatic-Invasive-Species-Prevention/AIS-Decal or from a variety of local vendors.The park is working in partnership with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to provide education, watercraft inspections, and monitoring to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species into Wyoming.
All watercraft entering the state of Wyoming, including Grand Teton National Park, must be inspected by an authorized AIS inspector prior to launching on waters within the state. Recreationists transporting any watercraft, including non-motorized vessels such as canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and inflatables are required to stop every time they pass an open inspection station in Wyoming or Grand Teton National Park.
Park inspection stations are located in Moose, adjacent to the post office, and in Moran, north of the Moran Entrance Station. The stations operate daily 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through September 11.
Watercraft that are dirty or have standing water will require a more in-depth inspection and potentially decontamination. As in past years, park boat inspectors are issuing visitors an inspection verification card upon completion of the inspection. Frequent visitors should carry this card with them to expedite the inspection process during future visits.
Everyone boating and recreating on Jackson Lake is reminded to respect other recreationists. Boaters on the lake have many different interests, including fishing, wildlife watching, access to wilderness, and water sports. Music should be kept to a reasonable volume and adequate space given to other boats.
Learn more about Operation Dry Water by visiting www.operationdrywater.org. Information on boating in Grand Teton can be found at go.nps.gov/tetonboating.
Last updated: June 30, 2022