Keep aquatic invasive species out of our national parks! Healthy aquatic ecosystems are vital to our national parks and are threatened by Aquatic Invasive Species.  CLEAN, DRAIN and DRY is now mandatory in Kootenay and Yoho National Parks.You must:

CLEAN all mud, sand, plant, and animal materials from your boats, SUPs and fishing gear. 
DRAIN coolers, buckets, compartments, and other items that may hold water. 
DRY completely for at least 48 hours before entering any river, lake or stream if coming from Alberta or BC or for 30 days if coming from anywhere else. 

You must also possess a permit stating that you have done so. Violators may be charged under the Canada National Parks Act: maximum penalty $25, 000. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What do I need to know about recreating in waterbodies in Yoho and Kootenay National Parks?
 
It is mandatory to: 
  • Clean, drain, dry and complete a self-certification 
  • Release all fish (zero possession limit)
  • Never use felt-soled waders

Are you coming from outside of Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon or Northwest Territories? You must dry your watercraft and gear for 30 days or visit a decontamination station

2. How does the watercraft and gear self-certification permit system work?
 
Beginning June 15 2019, visitors must complete a mandatory self-certification of their watercraft before entering any new body of water in Yoho and Kootenay national parks. The inspection form will act as a permit.

Self-certification permit stations are located throughout the park at boat launches and the most popular boating areas. People recreating on the water must have their permits available for examination. Since the permit is a legal requirement, Park Wardens will be checking that visitors completed the self-inspection and will take appropriate action as necessary.  Not complying with the mandatory self-inspection could result in legal action ranging from a small fine to a court date and maximum fine of $25,000. Information will be gathered to determine the number and type of watercraft in the park, where watercraft come from, and will help quantify the risk of contamination.
3. Where can visitors obtain a watercraft and gear self-certification form?
 
Self-certification forms are available at self-certification stations and from Parks Canada staff at the following locations:

Yoho National Park

Kootenay National Park

Staff Self Certification Station Staff Self Certification Station
Park Gate Emerald Lake Park Gate Dolly Varden Picnic Area
Kicking Horse Campground Faeder Lake Redstreak Campground Kootenay River Picnic Area
Lake O'Hara Bus Station Finn Creek Visitor Centre McLeod Meadows Campground (Dog Lake Trailhead)
Monarch Campground Wapta Lake   Olive Lake
 Visitor Centre     Simpson River Trailhead
      Vermillion Crossing Picnic Area
4. What type of watercraft and gear require a permit?
 
All watercraft, fishing equipment, and aquatic recreational equipment used in Yoho and Kootenay National Parks require a permit, including but not limited to:
  • Canoes
  • Kayaks
  • Paddleboards
  • Kiteboards
  • Windsurfers
  • Rowboats
  • Inflatables
  • Fishing Gear
  • Wading Boots
  • Waders/Lifejackets
  • Wetsuit
  • Paddle
5. Why is Parks Canada requiring visitors to obtain a watercraft and gear self-certification permit in Yoho and Kootenay National Parks?

 

Healthy aquatic ecosystems are vital to the overall health of our national parks and are threatened by Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS). 

AIS:

a. alter aquatic ecosystems.
b. cause irreversible damage.
c. impact already vulnerable species at risk.
d. are introduced by people.

This program aims to prevent AIS from entering new areas of the park, educate about the problem of aquatic invasive species and provide data that Parks Canada can use to further our knowledge of aquatic invasive species.
6. Why is a permit required in Yoho and Kootenay National Parks but not Banff National Park?

 

The mandatory self-certification program will be piloted in Yoho and Kootenay national parks throughout 2019. Information collected from this program will be shared with other national parks, including Banff National Park, to help develop effective solutions in preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species.

7. Where should visitors clean their watercraft and gear?
 
Visitors should rinse all mud and debris from equipment and gear, drain water from boats before leaving an area, and allow all equipment and gear to dry before entering another water body. If it is not possible to clean watercraft directly after use, visitors can clean it at home away from watercourses.  By doing so, visitors can help to protect the ecological integrity of national parks.  
8. Have aquatic invasive species been found in Yoho or Kootenay National Parks?

 

To date, aquatic invasive species have not been found in Yoho or Kootenay national parks.  Parks Canada regularly tests for invasive species including mussels and whirling disease, following similar protocols as the U.S. National Parks Service in Glacier National Park and Alberta Environment and Parks.

9. How are aquatic invasive species introduced? 

 

Aquatic invasive species are introduced through activities such as canoeing, kayaking, stand-up paddle-boarding and fishing. Residents and visitors can help keep aquatic invasive species out of the national parks by following clean, drain, dry as a best practice across North America.

Aquatic ecosystems are vital to the health of our national parks. These ecosystems are threatened by invasive species that alter aquatic ecosystems, cause irreversible damage and impact already vulnerable species at risk, such as the Westslope Cutthroat trout.

10. How can visitors help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species?

 

In addition to completing the mandatory self-inspection permit before using human-powered watercraft, scuba gear and fishing equipment in park waters, people need to adhere to the clean - drain - dry program, following these steps:

Clean

  • Clean and inspect watercraft and gear (including fishing and SCUBA equipment). 

Drain

  • Drain buckets, ballasts, bilges, coolers, internal compartments, and other containers that may hold trapped or standing water.

Dry

  • Dry completely for 48 hours before entering any river, lake or stream (in the Provinces of AB, BC, YK, NWT)
  • Leave compartments open and sponge out standing water.
  • Dry for a minimum of 30 days after being used in the United States or provinces other than BC, AB, YK or NWT.

11. What if a visitor is unsuccessful in the watercraft and gear self-certification process or does not meet the clean, drain, dry standards?
 
Visitors that are unable to meet the clean – drain – dry standards and do not use the gear self-certification process are prohibited from launching in Yoho and Kootenay National parks until they meet the specific conditions. These visitors are able to have their watercraft decontaminated at a provincial station and must retain proof of the process. Once decontaminated they are still required to fill out a self-certification permit. Not complying with the mandatory self-inspection could result in legal action ranging from a small fine to a court date and maximum fine of $25,000.
12. Where are the nearest wash/decontamination stations?

 

There are no wash/decontamination stations in Banff, Yoho and Kootenay National Parks. The closest provincial wash/decontamination station to Yoho National Park is located in Golden, near the Golden Visitor Centre (1000 Trans-Canada Highway). The closest station to Kootenay National Park is located in Radium, just off of Highway 95 on the way to Invermere (west side of the highway). 

13. Where and how do you report an aquatic invasive species sighting?

 

Aquatic invasive species sightings in the Lake Louise, Yoho and Kootenay Field Unit can be reported to pc.llykaquatics-aquatiquesllyk.pc@canada.ca. Sightings outside of the national parks can be reported to 1-855-336-2628 (BOAT) in Alberta and 1-888-933-3722 in British Columbia.

14. Why are some visitors required to dry their watercraft and gear for 48 hours and others for 30 days?

 

Watercraft coming from outside of the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, the Yukon and Northwest Territories are required to dry for 30 days and those coming from inside the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, the Yukon and Northwest Territories are required to dry for 48 hours. This is because certain areas carry the risk of different types of aquatic invasive species and this helps to eliminate the spread.

If a visitor cannot meet the 30 day drying time they are able to visit the nearest decontamination station.

15. What if a watercraft has been decontaminated the day before they entered the park by one of the provincial stations or another jurisdiction? 

 

Proof of decontamination from a provincial inspection station will be accepted for those not meeting regulations.

16. Is it necessary to clean, drain, and dry watercraft and gear if it’s being used in the same body of water for multiple days?

 

If a visitor decides to use their watercraft in the same body of water for multiple days, it is not necessary to clean, drain, and dry their watercraft until they decide to relocate to another body of water. Visitors must obtain a new permit and meet the permit conditions if they decide to relocate to a new body of water in Yoho or Kootenay National Parks. 

17. Are the self-certification permits available online?

 

The self-certification permits are not currently available online but are expected to be posted in the near future.

For more information: pc.llykaquatics-aquatiquesllyk.pc@canada.ca