Aquatic invasive species (AIS) pose a grave and growing threat to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and surrounding economies. AIS can quickly and drastically alter habitats and food webs, causing declines in sport fish and food resources for native wildlife. If nonnative mussels are found in Yellowstone, park waters may close to all watercraft (except authorized National Park Service boats) to prevent the spread to other waterways.
Preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species starts with you. Following a few simple steps whenever you leave a body of water will greatly minimize the risk of spreading aquatic invasives to new locations.
Remove all plants, animals, and mud from your boat, anchor, boots, and other equipment as soon as you leave the water. If possible, rinse equipment and boat hulls with high-pressure, hot water (120 to 140 F).
Check owner’s manuals before using high-pressure, hot water to clean equipment. Because of risks to the environment and human health, the use of chemicals like bleach is not recommended for cleaning watercraft or recreational equipment.
Drain all the water from your boat, including the motor, bilge, livewell, and anything else that traps water. Leave drain plugs out during transport. Do not dump water or organisms from one water body into another.
Dry all compartments and equipment in the sun for at least five days before entering another body of water.
At least eight aquatic invasive species already exist in Yellowstone's waters: New Zealand mud snail, red-rimmed melania, five nonnative fish, and whirling disease. If you think you’ve found a new aquatic invasive species in Yellowstone, note its location, take a photo, and contact us as soon as possible.
Permits & Inspections
If you plan to use your own boat or angler float tube in Yellowstone, you’ll need a boating permit and a free Yellowstone aquatic invasive species inspection.