Teton River Recreation Update

May Water Update 5/28/2021
June 2, 2021

 

 

The Greater Yellowstone Area is experiencing a significant increase in visitation and recreation, and the Teton River is no exception.

Many of you may be wondering, what can be done? We don’t have the final answer, but we have ideas and information to share.  Our hope is that sharing these points will bring everyone closer to understanding the current recreation planning for the Teton River and will give actionable steps for those who would like to be involved in shaping the future of the Teton River.

#1 We can all act as role models for responsible recreation. Each of us knows the kind of behavior that we don’t want to see on the river, and we can work to model behavior that makes the river more welcoming for everyone. Some core behaviors that we should role model and remind others to practice: 

  • Respect other users and wildlife
  • Pack out trash 
  • Respect private property

 

#2 Teton County initiated the development of a recreation management plan for the Teton River in winter of 2020-2021. This summer, the County is working to gather data on amount of use and to research a variety of management actions.  In the fall/winter of 2021-22, public surveys will be broadly distributed to gather input from river users, and public meetings to gather input from stakeholders will be held.  It will be critical for the public to actively participate in this process to shape the future of management for the Teton River. 

 

#3 Commercial use has become a complex aspect of the growing use on the Teton River. Idaho Fish and Game (IDFG) has developed commercial operator requirements for permit holders at public access points that IDFG manages. At this time, there are two commercial recreational watercraft suppliers licensed by IDFG to operate on the Teton: Teton River Supply and Wai Mauna SUP tours. 

 Commercial Operator Requirements: 

  • Commercial operators are limited to using S. Bates, Bates Rd, Rainey and Cache Bridge (N 4000 W) access points, between 9:30 AM and 6:00 PM. All commercial parties must take out by 6:00 PM.
  • Commercial operators are only allowed to park and stage at designated parking/staging areas for a maximum of 20 minutes when loading and unloading and are allowed to use boat ramps only for entering and exiting the river. Operators are not allowed to use the boat ramps for preparing watercraft, safety talks, training, or other activity.
  • Vehicles and trailers used by commercial operators must be clearly marked.
  • Each operator is allowed to launch a maximum of 12 total groups per day. No more than 6 of those launches may be at Bates access and Rainy access.
  • There is no limit on group size.

If you see commercial activity that is outside of these timelines or in violation of these requirements, please document your observations and contact either Rob Howe ([email protected]) or Brett High with IDFG ([email protected])

 

 

Thank you for your efforts to encourage responsible recreation Teton River and to protect wildlife and the river environment. If you are looking for a quiet time on the water, you can try to float outside of  times where commercial use is more active. Please share this information with others to increase awareness and involvement in creating a recreation management plan for the future.