YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK PRESS RELEASE
MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, WY – Yellowstone National Park announces the boating and fishing season will begin Saturday, May 28, and emphasizes cleaning, draining and drying to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) and protect park waters. The season will end on October 31.
Boaters and anglers should clean, drain and dry [nps.gov] all boats and equipment before arriving in the park to minimize the risk of introducing ISA into Yellowstone waters. Boats with sealed internal ballasts are prohibited in all park waters, as inspections may not always detect aquatic invaders in these types of boats. Also, shoes with felt soles are prohibited as they may carry microscopic pathogenic organisms even after cleaning.
- Clean, Empty, Dry Boaters and anglers: make sure you do not bring AIS to the park.
- To do the housework all plants, animals, mud, sand and other debris from your boat, anchor, boots and gear. Use high pressure hot water (120-140F) if possible.
- Drain all the water in your boat, including engine, bilge, live well and other compartments before you arrive. Leave the drain plugs in place during transport. Do not move water or organisms from one body of water to another.
- To dry all compartments and equipment in the sun for five days.
- Cleanup, drainage, and dewatering requirements are essential steps in protecting park and country waterways.
- AIS AIS pose a serious and growing threat to the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem and surrounding economies. AIS can rapidly and drastically alter habitats and food webs, leading to a permanent decline in sport fish and food resources for native wildlife.
In February 2022, an angler caught an invasive predatory smallmouth bass [nps.gov] at the confluence of the Gardner and Yellowstone rivers just north of the park boundary in Gardiner, Montana. Soon after, biologists sampled the Gardner River upstream from where the smallmouth bass was caught and found no evidence of the species in Yellowstone. However, since anglers are very good at removing invasive fish in waters where they coexist with native species like cutthroat trout, regulations now require them to kill and report any smallmouth bass that get caught. it is caught in park waters.
Potential future threatsDreissenid mussels, including zebra and quagga mussels, are among the world’s most damaging invasive species, with significant and widespread ecological and economic effects. If zebra or quagga mussels are found in Yellowstone, park waters may be closed to all watercraft to prevent spread to other waterways.. People are encouraged to report potential AIS violations and discoveries. The park will continue its efforts to develop an AIS management plan and rapid response framework in collaboration with surrounding states.
Permits and InspectionsBoat floats and anglers must have a Yellowstone National Park permit and AIS inspection before launching in park waters. Permits and inspections are available for purchase from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., seven days a week during the summer season, at the following locations:
Motorized and non-motorized craft (including angling floats)
- Bridge Bay Ranger Station
- Grant Village Backcountry Office
- Lake Lewis Ranger Station
Float tubes angling only
- West Yellowstone Visitor Information Center
- Bechler Ranger Station
- Mammoth Hot Springs Backcountry Office
- northeast entrance
Yellowstone fishing licenses can be purchased at park stores, from vendors in surrounding communities, or online through Recreation.gov [recreation.gov].
Learn more about boating [nps.gov]sin [nps.gov] and AIS [nps.gov] on the park site.