Rules and regulations
You can prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species!
Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) are non-native plants, animals, and diseases. Many AIS are harmful to freshwater ecosystems. AIS reproduce fast, they rarely have natural predators and often out-compete native freshwater species. Learn more.
Banff National Park is taking extra steps to protect park waters from harmful aquatic invasive species, including invasive mussels and whirling disease.
Clean, Drain and Dry your watercraft and water-related gear before entering any river, lake or stream:
Clean all mud, sand, plant, and animal materials from your watercraft and water-related gear.
Drain coolers, buckets, compartments, and other items that may hold water on land before leaving the waterbody.
Dry all watercraft and water-related gear coming from outside of British Columbia, Alberta, Yukon and Northwest Territories for 30 days; those coming from inside British Columbia, Alberta, Yukon and Northwest Territories are required to dry for 48 hours. When entering a new waterbody within Yoho, Kootenay, and Banff national parks, watercraft and water-related gear must be dried for 48 hours.
Obtain an AIS Prevention Permit for all watercraft and water-related gear before entering a waterbody in Banff, Yoho and Kootenay national parks.
- When entering any new waterbody within Banff, Yoho and Kootenay national parks, users of watercraft and water-related gear must obtain a new AIS Prevention Permit.
Lake Minnewanka is the only waterbody in Banff, Yoho, or Kootenay national parks where boats with motors, both gas and electric, are allowed. There is an unloading ramp and parking area for boats and trailers. There are no public boat docks in the park.
Clean Drain Dry and obtain a Parks Canada AIS Prevention Inspection Permit for all motorized watercraft before launching.
You can obtain an inspection permit at the Lake Minnewanka inspection station, located 6 km from the town of Banff along the Minnewanka Loop Road.The Lake Minnewanka inspection station will be operational:
- Shoulder seasons (May 20 to June 4 and September 6 to October 10): 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 7 days per week or as operationally required
- Peak season (June 5 to September 5): 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. 7 days per week or as operationally required
Anyone launching non-motorized watercraft such as canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, inflatables, and water-related gear are required to Clean Drain Dry their equipment and obtain an AIS Prevention Self-certification Permit or Inspection Permit every time you enter a new lake, river or stream in Banff, Yoho and Kootenay national parks.
Clean Drain Dry non-motorized watercraft or water-related gear and complete a Self-certification Permit before recreating in any body of water in Banff, Yoho, or Kootenay national parks.
If you are unable to meet the Clean Drain Dry requirements indicated on the AIS Prevention Self-certification Permit, you are prohibited from launching a watercraft in Banff, Yoho and Kootenay national parks until the permit conditions are met, or your watercraft or water-related gear have been inspected at a Parks Canada watercraft inspection station.
The Lake Louise Inspection Station (non-motorized watercraft) is located at the Lake Louise Overflow parking lot in Banff National Park, and is open:
- June 5 – Oct 10 - 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. 7 days / week or as operationally required.
The Lake Minnewanka inspection station (non-motorized and motorize watercraft) is located along the Minnewanka Loop Road in Banff National Park, and is open:
- Shoulder seasons (May 20 to June 4 and September 6 to October 10): 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 7 days per week or as operationally required.
- Peak season (June 5 to September 5): 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. 7 days / week or as operationally required.
Banff National Park
|Watercraft inspection stations
|Banff Visitor Centres|
|Lake Louise Visitor Centre|
|Two Jack Lakeside Campground|
|Lake Louise Campground|
|Baker Creek Chalets|
|Boom Lake Trailhead|
|Bourgeau Lake Trailhead|
|Bow Lake - Day Use Area and near Num-Ti-Ja|
|Fish Creek Trailhead|
|Glacier Lake Trailhead|
|Helen Lake Trailhead|
|Lake Louise (Lake) Canoe Launch and kiosk|
|Lake Minnewanka Boat Dock|
|Lake Minnewanka Loop Road|
|Mosquito Campground Kiosk|
|Mosquito Creek Trailhead|
|Redearth Creek Trailhead|
|Smith/Copper Lake Trailhead|
|Taylor Lake Trailhead|
|The Bow River - Castle Junction, 5 Mile, Bow Falls, Golf Course Road and Station Restaurant access points, Trans-Canada Highway across from Morant’s Curve (un-named)|
|Two Jack Lake and reservoir|
|Vista Lake Trailhead|
|Waterfowl Lakes (Campground, Kiosk and Viewpoint (pullout))|
Yoho National Park
|Yoho National Park Visitor Centre|
|Kicking Horse Campground|
|Lake O'Hara Bus Station|
Kootenay National Park
|Radium Hot Springs Visitor Centre|
|Kootenay Park Gate|
|Dolly Varden picnic area|
|Kootenay River picnic area|
|McLeod Meadows campground (Dog Lake trailhead)|
|Simpson River trailhead|
|Vermillion Crossing picnic area<|
|Numa Falls (or Marble Canyon)|