With the remote location contributing to challenges in staffing and equipment, effective immediately, Two Medicine Lake in Glacier National Park will close to boating for the rest of the season due to the closing of the Two Medicine Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) inspection station. Boating and AIS inspection stations in all other areas of the park remain open for the remainder of the season, including the St. Mary station operated by the Blackfeet Tribe. The park partnered with the Blackfeet Tribe and Glacier National Park Conservancy to open AIS stations at St. Mary and Two Medicine lakes for the first time since the 2019 season.
Waters from Glacier’s extensive system of lakes, rivers and streams are the headwaters of three major watersheds that reach the Columbia River System and the Pacific Ocean; the Missouri River and the Atlantic Ocean via the Gulf of Mexico; and the South Saskatchewan River and Hudson Bay. Protection of these headwaters is critical in preventing the spread of invasive species throughout the continent.
“We’ve been successful at reopening the St. Mary station – which is purposefully designed for boat inspections and is being staffed by our partners – but the set-up at Two Medicine has been more challenging,” said Dave Roemer, Superintendent of Glacier National Park. “Taking a pause will allow us to dedicate our collective efforts on the east side of the park to inspection stations at St. Mary, Many Glacier, and Browning to ensure the protection of these waters. We are grateful for our ongoing partnership, and plan to get an early start next year to have inspection stations for boating at Two Medicine, St. Mary, and lakes in the Many Glacier area in 2024.”
All watercraft launched within Glacier National Park must be inspected for AIS such as zebra and quagga mussels, Eurasian watermilfoil, and pathogens such as whirling disease, prior to launching. AIS inspections are required for protection against non-native species that can devastate native aquatic ecosystems, as well as negatively change visitor use and enjoyment of park waterways. These species can hitch a ride on any equipment including motorized and non- motorized watercraft such as float tubes, kayaks, paddleboards, canoes, and trailers.
For more details, including location and hours of operation for all AIS stations in the park, please visit the park boating webpage.