Aquatic Invasive Species Program Glacier National ParkPhoto Credit: NPS Photo

Since the 1980’s, zebra and quagga mussels have advanced steadily westward, carried by trailered boats. They have created a devastating impact on every lake they have inhabited. As a way to protect the pristine lakes found in Glacier National Park, the Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Program was started in the park in 2010.

Inspection stations have been set up in different areas of the park and all non-motorized watercraft and non-trailered electric motorized watercraft are inspected and then tagged when the inspection is passed. (Gas-powered watercraft are subject to a different inspection system).

The inspection station in Apgar is open every day from mid-May until the end of October and is staffed by backcountry personnel and volunteers, and some are members of the Glacier National Park Volunteer Associates (GNPVA). These volunteers help with the inspections, fill out paperwork and then attach tags to the watercraft.

Without this AIS Prevention Program, the beautiful lakes in the park would be more susceptible to a mussel infestation which would have disastrous impacts on their quality for many, many years to come.