If you're summer plans involving boating on one of the beautiful lakes in Yellowstone or Glacier National Parks in 2024, you'd better plan ahead.

That's because the parks have imposed a 30-day quarantine for sailboats, and some types of motorboats in 2024.

It's all part of tougher new regulations to stop the spread of zebra and quagga mussels from fouling our Northwest rivers and lakes.

RELATED: More on 2024 Summer Reservations in Glacier

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Higher alert

Both parks have employed steps to counter the spread of invasive aquatic species for the past several years. But the discovery of mussels on the Lower Snake River last summer, and in Yellowstone's case, inspectors stopping fouled boats has raised the alarm.

The concern isn't just over contamination of the pristine waters in the parks, but how the critters could infect the downstream Columbia Basin since Yellowstone and Glacier are on the headwaters of the entire system.

READ MORE: FAQ about new Yellowstone Boating Rules

30-day dry time

This year, both Yellowstone and Glacier are going to use a "30-day" dry time for sailboats, and what are called "complex" motorized boats, which are inboard, inboard/outboard and jet-powered vessels. Those are the ones that are toughest to "clean, drain and dry", and the park says manual decontamination with hot water isn't always "100% effective."

ANY boats that have been previously contaminated will be denied entry at Yellowstone.

Inspections underway

Glacier's boat inspections are already underway, requiring both motorized and non-motorized vessels to stop for a check.

The new Yellowstone restrictions go into effect with the start of the boating season on May 25, the first day of fishing and boating season in the park.

Montana's 'Exotic Noncontrolled Species'

Here's a sample of some of the exotic animals that the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks consider "noncontrolled species" meaning they aren't prohibited unless it falls under Montana or Federal law. For more information about these species and other "exotic noncontrolled species" refer to the guidance from Montana Fish Wildlife, and Parks.

Gallery Credit: Ashley

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