Fending Off Aquatic Invasive Species

September 10, 2008
Grand Teton National Park and the Bridger-Teton National Forest are partnering to provide Teton County residents with an opportunity to learn more about aquatic invasive species that threaten Wyoming’s waterways. Interested persons are invited to attend a free barbecue dinner and presentation on Wednesday evening, September 17th. Boaters, anglers and outdoor enthusiasts who use Wyoming’s lakes and streams will learn about invasive species that threaten the health of these waterways from Bob Wiltshire of the Center for Aquatic Nuisance Species out of Livingston, Montana. Wiltshire will give a presentation immediately following the barbecue to inform the audience of the consequences of aquatic infestations, and to offer suggestions about what can be done to protect local waters.

The barbecue will be held from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. at the University of Wyoming/National Park Service Research Center — formerly known as the historic AMK Ranch — located one mile north of Colter Bay near Leeks Marina.

“Anyone recreating in the waters of the Greater Yellowstone Area, or anyone interested in learning about protecting Wyoming’s watersheds would be a well served to attend this dinner and presentation,” said Bridger-Teton National Forest Supervisor Kniffy Hamilton. “Bob Wiltshire is a recognized authority on the subject of aquatic invasives, and as a community, we are fortunate to have such an expert come to share with us how our role can serve to slow the spread of these nuisance species,” said Hamilton.

Grand Teton National Park Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott said, “Aquatic invasive species are a growing concern across the western states and other parts of the country. As a first step to address this problem locally, the park initiated a self-certification program this past summer whereby people applying for a park boat permit could certify that their watercraft was free of contamination.” Superintendent Scott added, “Grand Teton has also ordered a high-pressure decontamination system that boaters can use in the future before they launched their craft on park lakes or the Snake River.”

Currently, efforts are underway to survey waterways across Wyoming’s Teton and Lincoln counties and to look for and identify various aquatic invasive species that could be colonizing in area waters.