Aquatic Invasive Species

Quagga mussels crowd a boat's propeller
Quagga mussels on a boat propeller


Protect your waters—Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers!

Aquatic invasive species (AIS) are non-native plants, animals and pathogens that can significantly harm native aquatic ecosystems and negatively impact visitor use and enjoyment of waters in the North Cascades National Park Service Complex (Ross, Diablo and Gorge lakes, Lake Chelan, the Stehekin, Skagit and Cascade rivers.) AIS such as quagga and zebra mussels, New Zealand mudsnail and Eurasian watermilfoil can clog cooling systems on boats, ruin fisheries, foul hulls and equipment and adversely impact lakeshore recreation. These species can hitch rides on boats, trailers, fishing gear, waders and even seaplanes.


Why Should We Be Concerned About AIS?

  • Economic impacts to hydropower and water systems. Industrial biofouling of hydropower facilities, irrigation canals, and water pumps can occur when invasive species are present in an aquatic system.
  • Recreation impacts to boating, angling, swimming and more. Docks, beaches and boats can become encrusted by invasive species.
  • Ecological impacts to native fish, invertebrates, plants, waterfowl, and water quality; reduced production in the park. Invasive species can take over habitat from native species, reduce native populations and even spread toxic algal blooms.

What Can You Do to Help Prevent AIS?

Currently North Cascades National Park Service Complex is free of AIS. We currently do not have quagga or zebra mussels or New Zealand mudsnails and need your help to keep it that way! You can help keep the park’s waters clean by following the steps below every time you leave a water body, even if accessing more remote locations and ‘creeking’ with kayaks or other hand-powered vessels.
Clean boat, trailer and equipment. Remove plants, mud and debris.
Drain water from bilge, ballast, livewell, motor and bait bucket.
Dry all equipment for 5 days before entering new water.
Never move plants or live animals away from a water body.

If your boat has been in waters with confirmed or suspected AIS (such as Lake Mead, Mohave or Powell) within the last 30 days contact the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife AIS hotline at 1-888-WDFW-AIS.


Last updated: May 1, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

810 State Route 20
Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284


(360) 854-7200

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