Boating and Paddling

Protecting park waters

Help keep zebra mussels out of the park. Get your mandatory inspection before launching your motorboat, canoe, kayak, paddleboard, and inflatables into the water. Inspections are free and only take 15-30 minutes. See below for inspection station hours.

Riding Mountain National Park has taken significant steps to prevent aquatic invasive species (AIS) such as zebra mussels from entering waterways in the park. Unfortunately, in the fall of 2017, Whirlpool Lake tested positive for zebra mussel eDNA (environmental DNA). It is important to note that live zebra mussels have not been found in Riding Mountain National Park and eDNA does not confirm a viable population. Whirlpool Lake open for winter use. Parks Canada staff will continue to monitor and test park waters regularly. 

Due to the increased risk, our AIS prevention program is changing for the 2018 season.


What do I need to know about watercraft inspections and permits?

MANDATORY INSPECTIONS are required for all watercraft, including motorboats, canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, and inflatables entering RMNP waters. This includes Clear Lake, South Lake, and all outlying lakes (Deep Lake, Lake Audy, Moon Lake & Lake Katherine) as well as all streams and rivers. The service is free of charge and watercraft passing inspection will receive a permit from Parks Canada. See inspection schedule below.

  • Inspections are available seven days a week at the Clear Lake Boat Cove and on weekends at the East End boat launch (at the Clear Lake Golf Course entrance). See schedule below.
  • During the shoulder season, you can schedule inspections in advance by calling Parks Canada at (204) 848-7275.
  • Inspections can take anywhere from 15-30 minutes depending on the size of your boat. If decontamination is necessary, you will have to make an appointment and the decontamination process can take 30-60 minutes. Factor this time into your trip planning.
  • Parks Canada will not be issuing permits for the entire 2018 season as has been done in the past. Permits will be valid for a maximum of 7 days.
  • When you launch your watercraft (motorboat, canoe, kayak, paddleboard, and inflatables) outside of RMNP, your permit becomes invalid. In order to re-enter park waters, re-inspection is mandatory.
  • Park Wardens will be monitoring watercraft and doing checks to ensure that watercraft operators have received inspections and possess valid permits. Non-compliant operators face a maximum fine of $100,000.

Inspection Hours: Fall 2018

Park staff inspecting watercraft

Clear Lake Boat Cove

Monday - Thursday: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Book an inspection by calling 204-396-4579

Inspector at the Boat Cove
Friday: 12:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Saturday: 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Sunday: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

East End Boat Launch

Closed for the season 

North Gate Inspection Station

Closed for the season 

Decontamination Station Available

7 days a week: 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.


NEW This year to the Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Program

Banning of leeches as fishing bait

Due to the increased risk of spreading microscopic zebra mussel veligers (larvae) via natural bait, the use and possession of leeches is prohibited. Parks Canada encourages fishers to confine the use of tackle to individual lakes and to ensure that all fishing gear is clean and dry before entering park waters. 

Seal system for motorboats leaving Clear Lake

Boats will be sealed to their boat trailer upon exiting Clear Lake with a security seal. If, upon return, the boat is still sealed to the trailer, an inspector will grant you access to the lake without re-inspection. If the seal is broken, re-inspection is mandatory. Permits will not be valid for the entire 2018 season. Re-inspection is mandatory if your motorboat is not sealed to the boat trailer.

Sticker system for canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards staying in RMNP

Resident paddlers will be issued a sticker for their non-motorized watercraft and a permit that will only remain valid if their canoe/kayak/paddleboard remains within the park boundary. If removed from the park, the sticker becomes invalid and re-inspection is mandatory. 

Permit system for canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards visiting RMNP

Visitors bringing in non-motorized watercraft will be issued a permit that will only remain valid for the duration of their stay. Re-inspection for return trips is mandatory.