With the advent of the aquatic invasive species introduction of mussels, however isolated, in Montana, federal and state agencies are taking strong preventive proactive measures. This includes Glacier Park, whose mission makes this extremely important. For those of us on the North Fork, this is having a significant impact on watercraft practices, particular to Bowman and Kintla Lakes. Watercraft usage is limited to hand propelled vehicles only. If trailers are utilized, they are not allowed to enter any water. Inspections are going to have a greater impact. All watercraft are required to be inspected each and every time they enter the park, no exceptions, even for those that never leave the valley.
The only fully authorized inspection station is at Apgar. However, the Park has gratefully taken us locals into consideration and are offering limited inspections at the Polebridge Ranger Station under the auspices of our new Ranger, Jim Dahlstrom. He has requested boaters contact him in advance (888-7842 in case he is occupied elsewhere and unavailable, thus avoiding unfortunate inconveniences. In addition, due to overcrowding at Bowman Lake, new protocols are in place.
Because parking on the road will no longer allowed there when the parking lots are full, vehicle traffic on the Bowman Road may be restricted until parking becomes available. This is to ensure visitor safety and that emergency vehicles can enter the area. They are going to do their best to give advance warning to folks, but the entrance to the North Fork at Polebridge will not be affected. Jim asks that everyone be aware and respect these new protocols, and to contact him directly if they have any questions.