Get Your Watercraft Checked for AIS!
Keep Aquatic Invasive Species out of Riding Mountain National Park!
Parks Canada staff are working closely with visitors to keep aquatic invasive species (AIS) like zebra mussels out of park waters through watercraft inspections and strict decontamination procedures (Inspection schedule). The cooperation of watercraft operators is essential in preventing this threat to park waters. 100% compliance is necessary to ensure the ecological integrity of park waterways, as it only takes one contaminated watercraft to transport zebra mussels and other aquatic invasive species into the park. In managing national parks, Parks Canada maintains or restores ecological integrity, and provides Canadians with opportunities to discover and enjoy them.
Why are watercraft inspections mandatory?
Zebra mussels were first confirmed in Manitoba in Lake Winnipeg in 2013, and there is a high threat that they will spread to other lakes in the province.
Keeping aquatic invasive species out of national park waters is essential to:
- Protect aquatic environments and fish stocks
- Reduce damage to watercraft
- Conserve municipal infrastructure.
RMNP staff from Resource Conservation, Visitor Experience, and Law Enforcement have received training in AIS inspection and decontamination from Manitoba Sustainable Development.
Where can I launch my boat at Clear Lake?
Boat launches around Clear Lake have been consolidated. Watercraft can launch from Boat Cove and East End (at the Clear Lake Golf Course entrance), however East End is limited to existing boat launch ramps with no access along the shoreline.
Launches at Frith Beach and Spruces day-use area are closed permanently.
Monitoring for zebra mussels
In 2015, as part of a pilot project with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to monitor the spread of zebra mussels in Manitoba, inspectors collected water samples from high-risk watercraft to analyse the samples for zebra mussel environmental DNA (eDNA). Resource Management Officers also conducted eDNA sampling on lakes in the park, and received permission from the Manitoba Department of Sustainable Development to obtain samples from lakes adjacent to the park. Park staff continue to take samples and monitor park waters.