New pleasure craft licence needed in northern Lake St. Clair

by Jeff Helsdon | August 10, 2021
OOD’s Scott McGuigan holds a Bass he caught below the Basset Channel on the St. Clair River.
OOD’s Scott McGuigan fishes below the Basset Channel on the St. Clair River, a spot you’ll now need to shell out an extra $100 to access.

Boaters and anglers require a pleasure craft licence from Walpole Island First Nations (WIFN) as of June 1, if they want to stop in the south end of the St. Clair River.

The need for the $100 licence for motorized boats of non-band members who stop in the bays and channels of Walpole Island First Nation was announced in a May 21 news release. This includes the Canadian side of the main channel of the St. Clair River. Those travelling down the St. Clair River or Snye River will not need a licence, if they don’t stop in Walpole waters. Those who have a valid Walpole Island fishing licence will not require the pleasure craft licence, either.

The decision to implement the licence was in reaction to watercraft speeding and landing in sensitive ecological areas, potentially causing damage. Personal watercraft and waterskiing are now prohibited there, too.

Walpole Resource Protection Officers will enforce the new measures. Licence revenue will help defray the costs of enforcement to stop the harmful activities. 

Licences can be purchased at the Walpole Island First Nations Governance Building and several commercial locations on the island. For more information call 519-627-1481.

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