2023 Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Prevention Course - Online

Riding Mountain National Park


  1. Watch the AIS Prevention Course video
  2. Read the course FAQ resource sheet
  3. Print and answer the 5-question multiple choice quiz.

1) AIS Prevention Course video


[Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Prevention Course for Self-Propelled Watercraft Owner Seasonal Permit Applicants]

[Riding Mountain National Park]

[The Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Prevention Program in Riding Mountain National Park has enhanced inspection and permitting of watercraft for 2023. ]

[These changes are in response to confirmation of zebra mussel environmental DNA (eDNA) in Clear Lake.]

[Although presence of zebra mussels in the lake is not yet confirmed, this presence of eDNA is a warning to take stronger prevention measures.]

[You can help protect park waters from zebra mussels and other aquatic invasive species. ]

[Clean, Drain, and Dry your watercraft and water equipment after each use. Make it a habit and encourage others to do the same.]

[Your watercraft must pass an initial inspection before the AIS Prevention seasonal permit is issued.]

[The seasonal permit provides your self-propelled watercraft access to all park waters. ]

[If your self-propelled watercraft or water gear has been used in any water body outside the park,]

[your watercraft and gear must be inspected and decontaminated before you launch in any park water body.]

[Please go to the Boat Cove inspection station for your watercraft and gear to be inspected and decontaminated. ]

Riding Mountain National Park is in treaty 2 territory, where we work with Anishinabe, First Nations from treaties 2, 4, and 1. We honour, acknowledge, and recognize indigenous contributions to the park, the province, and Canada. There are three main objectives of this refresher course: 1) To provide updates on Riding Mountain National Park’s Aquatic Invasive Species program, also known as the AIS program 2) To define your roles and responsibilities as a seasonal watercraft permit holder 3) To promote knowledge of the Aquatic Invasive Species we focus on to protect the park’s waterbodies

[If you find what you suspect is an aquatic invasive species, please call Parks Canada Dispatch at 1-877-852-3100]

[What is a Watercraft?]

A watercraft is a vessel that floats on water and carries people. Inflatable and hard shelled kayaks and canoes, motorized boats, floaties or dinghies, paddleboards, and sail boats are all considered watercrafts. Water related equipment refers to anything that comes into contact with the water. Trailers, nets, anchors, ropes, bait buckets, life jackets, water wings, scuba gear, sand toys, fishing lines are all considered water related equipment.

[Prevent the spread]

How can watercraft owners prevent the spread? In order to stop the spread, you as a watercraft owner need to ensure that you are doing your part by: Cleaning your watercraft, trailer, and water related equipment as soon as you leave a body of water. Check to ensure there is no plant matter, mud, or living things attached to your watercraft or water related equipment. Draining all of the water from your watercraft and water related equipment as soon as you leave a waterbody. Make sure to check your live wells, buckets/bail pail, bilge, ballast tanks, motor, as well as your sand toys, life jackets, inflatables, and ropes. Ensure that you are not travelling with your drain plug in. Drying all parts of your watercraft and water related equipment before launching in a different body of water. You can use a rag, towel, or sponge to soak up water or leave your watercraft and equipment out in the sun to speed up the drying process. If you launch your watercraft in a waterbody outside of the park, you must have your watercraft re-inspected by Riding Mountain National Park inspectors before re-launching in park waters Provincial inspections and decontaminations are not valid in RMNP. This means that, regardless if you have stopped at a provincial inspection and/or decontamination station, if you wish to re-launch in RMNP waters you must have your watercraft re-inspected and/or re-decontaminated at a RMNP station. The inspection and decontamination processes are the same as last year. Inspections take approximately 5-10 minutes and if required, decontaminations take 30 to 60 Minutes depending on the complexity of your watercraft and where you last launched You can help the inspectors by ensuring that you know when and where you launched last.

[Smallmouth Bass]

In August of 2020, park staff were notified that anglers had observed and caught Smallmouth bass in Clear Lake. This is a concern because Smallmouth bass are not native to RMNP and are considered an invasive species in Clear Lake. Smallmouth bass are very aggressive predators that may impact native populations by predation or competition for food and habitat resources. Smallmouth bass prey on crayfish and other fish species. We can’t say for sure how Smallmouth bass got into Clear Lake. It may have been an intentional introduction, where someone illegally transferred Smallmouth bass from another waterbody in hopes of establishing a population for recreational fishing. It may also have been an accidental introduction, where someone illegally used or dumped live bait in Clear Lake. Parks Canada does not currently stock fish species in any waterbodies within the park.

[If you have information about unlawful use of live minnows as bait or the introduction of smallmouth bass,]

[please contact Parks Canada dispatch at 1-877-852-3100]

Riding mountain’s resource conservation team is currently determining the extent of the invasion and the potential impacts to the Clear Lake ecosystem and its connected waterbodies. We are looking at different ways we can respond to the invasion. Watch for updates--new information will be shared as the situation evolves. You can help to prevent the spread of smallmouth bass by ensuring that you are following Riding Mountain National Park fishing regulations. And remember, it is illegal to possess or use live bait in Riding Mountain National Park.

[Smallmouth bass reporting information]

If you catch a Smallmouth bass, please take a photo and record the location and date. You can report your findings by bringing your fish to the AIS inspectors at the boat cove inspection station. If you wish to keep your fish, we encourage you to stop by and let the AIS inspectors know when and where you caught it. Samples help us learn more about the invasion by studying fish size, age, diet, and genetics.

[• Location caught • Date caught • Photo of specimen]

[Whirling disease]

Whirling disease is a microscopic parasite that affects fish in the salmon family including lake whitefish and trout. It can cause high mortality rates in the younger life stages of susceptible species. Infected fish may exhibit a whirling swimming pattern, skeletal deformities, and a darkened tail.

[UPDATE: This year, all watercraft coming from Alberta will be prohibited from launching in Riding Mountain National Park waters]

Whirling disease can be spread by contaminated watercrafts, water related equipment,and/or infected fish live or dead. At this time, there are few decontamination methods for whirling disease, and the options available may damage watercrafts and/or aquatic ecosystems. So, if you plan to travel to Alberta with your watercraft, please be aware that you will not be permitted to launch in Riding Mountain National Park waters until further notice.

Please visit our website to view inspection and decontamination station hours. If you have questions or comments, come visit us at the inspection station or contact us through our AIS email at the end of this video.

Thank you for taking the time to review this information. Keeping Aquatic Invasive Species out of Riding Mountain National Park waters is a shared responsibility.

[How to Proceed]

[Review: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Resource Sheet]

[Take the AIS quiz]

[Bring your watercraft, water equipment, and the completed quiz with you to the Boat Cove Station in Wasagaming, Manitoba]

[Whirling Disease Information: www.alberta.ca/whirling-disease.aspx]

[Visit: www.pc.gc.ca/riding Aquatics management]

[email: comms-riding@pc.gc.ca]

[Parks Canada logo and Canada wordmark]

2) Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) Resource Sheet


The Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Prevention in Riding Mountain National is changing for 2023. Our prevention monitoring program found Zebra mussel environmental DNA (eDNA) in Clear Lake. This is a warning to take stronger prevention measures.

Q: What can I do to help?

A: You can Clean, Drain, and Dry your watercraft and water equipment after each use. Make it a habit and encourage others to do the same.

If your human-powered watercraft or water equipment has been in any water body outside the park this year, please go to the Boat Cove Station for a full inspection and decontamination before launching in the park.

Q: How do I Clean, Drain, Dry to prevent the spread of AIS Should I use bleach or other chemical cleaners?

A: No. Please do not use bleach or other chemical cleaners unless your watercraft/gear requires a full decontamination due to the presence of invasive species. Chemical cleaners may cause damage to your watercraft, gear, or park waters. To clean, drain, dry your self-propelled watercraft and gear follow these steps after each use:

  • Remove all plant and dirt material from your watercraft & water gear.
  • Use a clean cloth or sponge to thoroughly wipe down your watercraft & water gear.
  • Drain your watercraft & gear thoroughly. Use a cloth or sponge to soak up and remove any remaining water-soaked spots after draining.
  • Wipe down your watercraft & gear with a dry towel.
  • Use your hands to feel for small bumps, on all parts of watercraft and gear that were immersed in water.  Young mussels feel like sandpaper and survive 30 days out of water.
  • Dry your watercraft and gear thoroughly in the sun before storing or using again.

Q: What should I do if I suspect zebra mussels have attached to my watercraft or gear?

A: You may be fined up to $100,00.00 for possessing and/or transporting AIS. Contact the Department of Transportation for a permit to take your boat to the nearest provincial or federal decontamination station.

Q: My watercraft is only used in Clear Lake. I never take it anywhere else.  Do I still need a permit?

A: Yes, every watercraft on any park water body requires a permit. The permit can be a temporary permit for a specific period, or a seasonal permit. The permit must be carried with you while on the water.

Q: Can I use my human-powered watercraft on other lakes in the park as well as Clear Lake?

A: Yes, human-powered watercraft can be used on all park water bodies in 2023. Please Clean, Drain, and Dry before moving between water bodies.

Q: Can my children use my permit?

A: Permits are for the watercraft and are not transferable from boat to boat. The watercraft owner must inform and educate other users of the watercraft on how to Clean, Drain, and Dry the watercraft/gear after each use. The permit has two parts: one to display in the vehicle and the other remains with the watercraft.  The owner/user of the watercraft must provide the permit to authorities whenever requested.

Q: Does Parks Canada check watercraft for permits?

A: Yes. 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. If you are fishing, Park Wardens may also check for valid National Park Fishing Permits

Q: Why isn’t the Province of Manitoba Fishing licence valid for Clear Lake or other waters in Riding Mountain National Park?

A: Riding Mountain is a national park administrated by the Government of Canada.  Therefore, a National Parks of Canada Fishing Permit is required under the National Parks of Canada Act and Regulations.

Q: Can I use leeches for fishing?

A: No. The use of live bait can bring undesirable AIS or diseases in RMNP waters. The use and possession of leeches is prohibited. Natural bait such as leeches increases the risk of spreading AIS. The use and possession of live or dead fish (minnows), or fish parts is prohibited. The disposal of excess bait within the park is also prohibited.  Baits such as night crawlers and earthworms may be used. When fishing, confine the use of tackle to individual lakes and ensure that all fishing gear is clean and dry before entering park waters.


AIS: Aquatic Invasive Species

Trailer Launched Watercraft: Any large vessel used to transport people that must be launched into water from a trailer, such as: large complex sailboats, pontoon boats, motorized boats, etc.

Human-powered watercraft or vessel / self-propelled watercraft or vessel: Any vessel used to transport people that can be launched without the use of a trailer such as canoes; kayaks, row boats, paddle boards, dinghies, inflatables.

3) AIS quiz

  1. Print the quiz and answer the quiz questions.
  2. Bring your watercraft, water equipment, and the completed quiz with you to the Boat Cove Station in Wasagaming, Manitoba. Please ensure that your watercraft and equipment are Clean, Drained, and Dry.

2023 Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Prevention Riding Mountain National Park Quiz for Human-Propelled Watercraft Owner Seasonal Permit Applicants

  1. Before I enter any waterbody and after each use of my watercraft, I must:
    1. ☐ Eat my lunch
    2. ☐ Check my GPS for directions
    3. ☐ Clean, Drain, and Dry my watercraft
  2. If I use my watercraft in waters outside of the park, when I return to the park:
    1. ☐ I can launch in any water body if my watercraft is clean, drained, and dry
    2. ☐ I must proceed to the Boat Cove Station for a full inspection and if required, a decontamination
    3. ☐ I must wait for 30 days before I enter any park waterbodies
  3. When others want to use my watercraft, it is my duty to:
    1. ☐ Ensure they carry the watercraft permit with them and instruct them how to Clean, Drain, Dry the watercraft after use.
    2. ☐ Charge them a fee
    3. ☐ Make sure they have water rescue certification
  4. To prevent the spread of AIS when fishing, I will:
    1. ☐ Carry a valid national park fishing permit and never use leeches, live or dead fish (minnows) or fish parts in national park waters.
    2. ☐ Carry a Manitoba fishing licence and never use leeches, live or dead fish (minnows) or fish parts in national park waters.
    3. ☐ Carry a valid national park fishing permit and never use leeches, night crawlers, or earth worms.
  5. After I have cleaned, drained, and dried my boat, the surface of the boat feels like sandpaper with small bumps. I should:
    1. ☐ Refinish and polish my boat
    2. ☐ Suspect the presence of zebra mussels. Contact the Department of Transportation for a permit to take my boat to the nearest decontamination station.
    3. ☐ Not be concerned at all, bumps and scratches are normal.

Privacy: Collection of information for Aquatic Invasive Species

The personal information you provide is collected under the authority of section 6 of Species at Risk Act and the section 8 of the Canada National Parks Act for the purpose of participating to the Aquatic Invasive Species quiz that will provide authorization to use your personal watercraft in a specific area. Personal information may be used to enforce Section 18 of the Canada National Parks Act and its regulations for the purpose of protection and conservation of natural and cultural resources. Failure to provide the requested personal information will result in the denial of your request for a personal watercraft use permit.

The information may be used for policy analysis, research and/or evaluation purposes by Parks Canada and shared with other government ministries. However, these additional uses and/or disclosures of your personal information will never result in an administrative decision being made about you.

Your personal information is administered in accordance with the Canada National Parks Act and the Privacy Act. You have the right to the protection of, access to, and correction of your personal information, which is described in Personal Information Bank Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Permits (PC PPU 055 ) Instructions for obtaining this information are outlined in the government publication entitled Info Source, which is available at the following web site address: www.infosource.gc.ca

You have the right to file a complaint with the Privacy Commissioner of Canada regarding the institution’s handling of your personal information at https://www.priv.gc.ca/en/report-a-concern/file-a-formal-privacy-complaint/file-a-complaint-about-a-federal-institution/

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