Aquatic invasive species (AIS)
Keep park waters clean
You can prevent the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS). Before you drive to Jasper, clean, drain, and dry all watercraft and items you plan to put in the water here. Make clean, drain, dry a habit everywhere you go!
Clean off all plants, animals, and mud from your watercraft, gear, pets, and footwear, each time you exit the water and before you move to the next water body.
Drain onto land all watercraft and items that can hold water. Invert or tilt items. Open all compartments. Remove seats to drain well. Pull the drain plug if there is one.
Dry all watercraft and items well. Wipe them with a dry cloth. Best practice is to then air dry watercraft and items for 48 hours before you place them in a new body of water.
If so, a provincial watercraft inspection is required. Call 1-855-336-BOAT (2628) for further information on boat inspections. You must dry watercraft and items a minimum of 30 days after being used in the United States or provinces other than British Columbia, Alberta and/or the territories of Canada.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS)?
AIS are non-native plants, animals, and diseases. Many AIS are harmful to fresh water. AIS reproduce fast. They have no known predators. The top AIS threats to Jasper waters are: Quagga Mussel, Zebra Mussel, Whirling Disease, and Didymo (Rock Snot). Check out the Alberta AIS Pocket Guide for a complete list of species.
More on Whirling Disease
Whirling disease causes change to the bones of fish. Sick fish may swim in circles as a result of these body changes. The diseased tail may look dark or black. The disease spreads from one water body to the next through spores found in the mud. Whirling disease impacts fish. It is not harmful to humans or other mammals. Whirling disease was confirmed in Banff National Park in 2016.
More on Mussels
Quagga and Zebra mussels are small. They are fan shaped. They range from dark brown to white in colour. Just a few mussels can produce millions of eggs. They filter food from the water. This leaves no food for native species. Large clusters of mussels can clog water pipes. Their sharp shells and rotten smell make beaches unfit for use.
More on Didymo
Didymo is often called Rock Snot. It is algae that clings to rocks in streams. It can form large brown mats that cover the stream bottom. These mats impact the health of fish and plant habitat. Didymo clings to gear and clothing. It is spread by humans moving from one body of water to the next. For this reason, felt soled waders are banned in the mountain parks.
Where are invasive mussels found?
Invasive mussels are present in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, and 34 states of America.
Are there invasive mussels in Jasper National Park?
To date, invasive mussels have not been detected in Jasper National Park. Each year, waters are tested for mussels and whirling disease.
Have invasive mussels been found near Jasper National Park?
Invasive mussels have been found on watercraft at inspection stations just outside Jasper National Park. The biggest risk to Jasper National Park is transfer of mussels from infested areas.
How do AIS spread?
AIS spread mainly through human use. AIS can stick to items in the water such as boats, canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, pack rafts, gear, clothing, and fur. When these items are brought from one body of water to the next, the AIS spread. AIS are hard to detect. They are not always visible to the human eye. AIS survive for a long time on unclean gear, boats, and other items used in and on water.
Keep AIS out of the park waters. Clean, drain, dry before you arrive at Jasper.
Why are some visitors required to dry their watercraft and gear for 48 hours and others for 30 days?
Some places have a higher risk of AIS. Watercraft coming from inside the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, the Yukon and Northwest Territories are required to be completely dry. Best practice is to leave dry for 48 hours before use. Those coming from outside of the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, the Yukon and Northwest Territories are required to dry for 30 days due to higher risk.
Must I clean, drain, and dry watercraft and gear if it’s being used only in the same body of water but more than one time?
If you use your watercraft and gear only in the one body of water, you do not need to clean, drain, and dry between uses. Before you move to a new body of water, you must clean, drain, dry to prevent the spread of AIS.
Does Parks Canada conduct boat inspections?
Some parks have self inspection stations in place. On site inspections will take place in some rocky mountain national parks this season. By next summer, all rocky mountain national parks will conduct inspections.
Where are the nearest inspection and decontamination stations?
- Inspection and decontamination stations motor watercraft are located at Lake Minnewanka in Banff and near the entry gate to Waterton Lakes. These stations cannot decontaminate non motor watercraft.
- Jasper National Park: Closest station is located between the East Park Gate and the Town of Hinton, Alberta.
- Banff National Park: please call 1-855-336-2628 (BOAT) to arrange inspection and decontaminate your watercraft before travel to the park or once in the park at the Lake Minnewanka station.
- Yoho National Park: Closest station is located in Golden, near the Golden Visitor Centre (1000 Trans-Canada Highway).
- Kootenay National Park: Closest station is located in Radium, just off of Highway 95 on the way to Invermere (west side of the highway).
What are the impacts of AIS?
AIS impact the economy and the balance of nature. AIS may destroy healthy water and aquatic life. AIS can make water and beaches not suitable for swimming. AIS can damage watercraft and gear. Once established, many AIS never go away. Most often, we cannot reverse the harm caused by AIS. AIS presence may result in closures and restrictions.
What is Parks Canada doing to protect waters from AIS?
Parks Canada works with partners to research and monitor AIS. Parks Canada adheres to the clean, drain, dry best practice.
Report an AIS sighting in Jasper National Park
Take a picture, note the location, and send it to email@example.com.
Report sightings of AIS outside of the national parks to 1-855-336-2628 (BOAT) in Alberta and 1-888-933-3722 in British Columbia.