By DAVID REESE
WEST GLACIER, Mont. (CN) – Invasive mussels have been found in Montana and in response, Glacier National Park has closed its waterways to boating.
After the recent detection of invasive mussel species in central Montana, Glacier National Park is issuing an interim boating closure within all park waters. The closure includes motorized and nonmotorized watercraft.
The park will begin an assessment period to conduct testing, inspect park boats, and evaluate the risk that boats pose to park waters and waters downstream from the possible introduction of invasive mussels. The closure will remain in place until the nature of the threat is better understood, park officials said in a statement.
Glacier National Park is at the head of three continental watersheds. Water from the park drains into the Columbia, Missouri and South Saskatchewan basins.
In 2011, the park initiated a mandatory boat inspection and launch permit program to reduce the risk of invasive mussels.
Photo: Aquatic invasive species detection dog Tobias sniffs a boat to check for mussels. (National Park Service photo)