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Author Topic: NEW RULE FOR ENTERING CANADIAN WATER  (Read 19896 times)

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Revtro

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NEW RULE FOR ENTERING CANADIAN WATER
« on: July 11, 2011, 09:14:05 PM »

I just spoke to the Canadian Border Patrol.  I was just notified that one week ago Canada changed their rules for fishing Canadian water.  First, the officer I spoke with verified that you cannot under any circumstances enter Canadian water while fishing without an enhanced driver's license or Passport.  

Upon ENTERING Canadian water, you must call the Canadian Border Patrol at 1-888-226-7277 (CANPASS) and tell them where you are fishing.  At that time one of two things will happen.  The officer will either require you to report to a marina for a search or give you a clearance number allowing you fish.  

This doesn't need to happen prior to entering the country.  It's supposed to happen WHEN YOU ENTER according to the officer I just spoke with.  However, I can't help but wonder if you can avoid the possibility of a search if you call ahead of time.  My guess is that they will not clear you if you are not in their waters though. (just a guess)

Regarding safety equipment, here's what the Transport Canada website states:
Foreign pleasure craft (pleasure craft that are licensed or registered in a country other than Canada) need to comply with equipment requirements of the country in which the vessel is usually kept.  So I guess we keep our safety equipment up to date for our home country and need not comply with any further safety requirements than what we already adhere to.

I asked the officer: "what happens if an angler is unaware of this new law and is fishing in Canada?"  She told me that anglers would be susceptible "to a minimum $1000 fine and seizure of your vessel."  I asked her if this was really going to be a big deal for anglers who don't know the new regs and she bluntly and quite rudely told me it's our responsibility to know the regulations before coming into Canada.  

Thanks to Bassinman#1 for telling me about the new regulation.  This really sucks for US anglers.  This is a huge hassle if it ever ends up including a search.  I strongly suspect this will keep many US anglers from fishing Canadian waters from here on out.  And God only knows what this will do to tournaments.  This has the potential to really hurt the amount of visitors we get to our waters for big tournaments.  All anyone has to do is end up searched just one time and publicize it and it can seriously damage the tournament scene on our waters.  No one is going to want to risk search during a tournament they paid good money to enter.  I'm hoping this ends up being treated like a formality and Canada doesn't start requiring people to report to marinas.  Only time will tell.  This is extremely annoying and frustrating in my opinion.  Way to go Canada.  This is just another reason I'm not a fan.  Stupid.

« Last Edit: July 12, 2011, 04:50:35 PM by Revtro »
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gothooked

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Re: NEW RULE FOR ENTERING CANADIAN WATER
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2011, 09:50:54 PM »

This will make some fisherman think twice about purchasing Canadian fishing Licenses. I know I will.
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bassinman#1

Re: NEW RULE FOR ENTERING CANADIAN WATER
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2011, 10:41:09 PM »

And now if you are OK to enter Canadian waters but your co angler can't, then what? If you are on good fish, your screwed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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djkimmel

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Re: NEW RULE FOR ENTERING CANADIAN WATER
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2011, 01:02:49 AM »

I will have to get a copy of an actual changed regulation that DEFINES what entering Canada / Ontario / whatever is because something smells bad.

If they truly did change their law that entering Canada includes driving across an invisible line in the lake (and nothing else) then I would make a habit of calling before I cross the line and if they say I have to go to a marina then I will not cross the line. Most likely, I just won't buy an Ontario license anymore. Too much hassle to be a the mercy of border officers who feel like ordering people to marinas many miles away... Better things to do with my time.

We all know a lot of people are not going to call. Can you see jet skiers whipping out a cell phone to call?? Not.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2011, 01:07:50 AM by djkimmel »
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Durand Dan

Re: NEW RULE FOR ENTERING CANADIAN WATER
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2011, 07:25:04 AM »

Just curious, but doesn't the US require all that and more from Candians entering US waters? I think they are required to also file a float plan and recieve an ID number prior to entering. Canadians have been required to have a Passport or Enhaced Licence since about 2007, I think,
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Team houston

Re: NEW RULE FOR ENTERING CANADIAN WATER
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2011, 08:58:26 AM »

Dan I talked to Anthony at the BFL meeting. He said all the tournaments are a GO in Canada. He said things are being worked out with the politics. They recognise the huge loss of revenue and steps are being taken. NY rep Chuck Schumer is on top of things. No disrespect intended but border agents can tell you anything just like police which somtimes aren't true. Since this story has been big news lately I think we would have seen somthing in the press about a NEW law. The old law does say to call entering Canada but after the blowup in NY I think they went back to the status qua which is dont land or anchor.
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bob620

Re: NEW RULE FOR ENTERING CANADIAN WATER
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2011, 09:01:03 AM »

I found this article on Walleye Central,I hope this helps everybody and eases tensions.

Feedback: Canadians Ease Rules On U.S. Anglers
Tools



Story Published: Jul 8, 2011 at 2:17 PM EDT

Story Updated: Jul 8, 2011 at 6:49 PM EDT

The Canadian government has decided to let people from the U.S. fishing in Canadian waters check in by cell phone, the office of north country Congressman Bill Owens announced Friday morning.

In addition, the Canadian government has agreed to pay back $1000 it took from a U.S. boater in the incident that touched off the dispute over where U.S. anglers could fish.

The decision came in the form of an 'operation bulletin' issued by the Canadian government.

It reads, it part:

"Certain private boaters will now be permitted to report to the TRC from their cellular telephones from the location at which they enter Canadian waters.  The following groups of individuals may report by cellular phone:

Canadian citizens and permanent residents who have not landed on US soil.

United States citizens and permanent residents who do not plan on landing on Canadian soil..."

Owens hailed the decision as 'a step in the right direction.'

"We clearly have more work to do in order to fully resolve this situation and make it easier for both Americans and Canadians to fish and recreate on the St. Lawrence River," Owens said.

"I appreciate the willingness of the Canadian government to work with us on this issue, and I think this is a clear sign that we are making progress."

The Canadian decision will likely ease tensions between the Canadian government and U.S. anglers, tensions that began when a central New York man's boat was seized as he fished in Canadian waters of the St. Lawrence River, even though the man had a valid Canadian fishing license and was not anchored.

The Canadian government agreed Friday to reimburse Baldwinsville resident Roy Anderson for the $1,000 he was forced to pay after his boat was seized by Canadian authorities:
 
“Mr. Anderson deserves to get back every last penny, and I’m glad the Canadians agreed," said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, who was in the north country Friday to encourage U.S. and Canadian officials to work out the dispute.

"This is one important victory, and I’m going to keep working to make sure this type of incident doesn’t happen again, so that anglers and recreational boaters are free to enjoy all that the St. Lawrence has to offer.”

Schumer is pressing the Canadians to allow 'pre-clearing' (essentially, phone check-ins) for people participating in fishing tournaments.

"This would allow tournaments to continue uninterrupted this year as well as bolster local fishing and tourism by allowing anglers, recreational boaters, water tours, and others to enjoy the St. Lawrence River without interruption."

Schumer acted after reports that fishing tournaments were being forced to make Canada 'off limits,' which hurts the draw of those tournaments.
                                          bob620
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Revtro

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Re: NEW RULE FOR ENTERING CANADIAN WATER
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2011, 09:47:45 AM »

Maybe what will help is if someone fishes in Canada, gets stopped and not hassled, then posts their experience online.  I may try the call ahead thing this week and see what happens. If I do, I will post my experience.

The last thing I want to do is over-react to all this, so sorry if it seems that way.  But like I posted, the officer told me this was a new ruling from only a week ago, so a lot of what's been discussed prior to one week ago may need to be altered if indeed this rule will be enforced in the way she told me on the phone.  

I think the article posted below lines up pretty well with what the officer told me.  As noted, she basically told me that we had to call from here on out which is what this article is saying as well.

I'm ok with the check in first idea for the reasons Lt. Dan stated.  I'll give it a try and post my experience.  I may go to Canada and fish tomorrow or Monday.  Hopefully the officer was just off in this one detail and checking in ahead of time will be the deal.  All in all, I believe it going to take experiences that get posted online to really ease our concerns and illustrate what the real status quo will be.

On the positive side, I have never even been in proximity to a Canadian Border Patrol boat on the open water in St. Clair.  I have seen them in the rivers, but never in the lake.  I have seen the Ontario Police and they motored right by me in the open water right near the border with nary a look at me.  They were unconcerned with me fishing near or in Ontario.  
« Last Edit: July 12, 2011, 10:25:08 AM by Revtro »
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Re: NEW RULE FOR ENTERING CANADIAN WATER
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2011, 03:14:09 PM »

Rev, I see this as just another example of how messed up and confused this has been the entire time it has been going on. You can ask even the same person a month later and you get a different answer and almost all of them act like they are the final authority on it when I think most of them are going by office hearsay just like we go by hearsay. I had one officer tell me one thing (I wrote it down) and then deny he would ever say something like that later. Very frustrating for the majority of us who just want to go fishing on water that happens to have invisible lines in them...

I doubt there is any new law or regulation. I have not seen or found it. I think there is a whole bunch of knee-jerking going on in every direction depending on who you ask when still - no different than it has been.

As much as I want to get a definitive answer for people who visit this site, I'm not sure I can no matter who I call. And there will always be someone somewhere who has a different experience that shouldn't happen.

To my knowledge there has been no change in the definition of landing in Canada and you don't legally have to check in unless you land. It is the same in the US last time I checked with the higher ups. It just seems like somewhere down below, things are getting mishandled once again.

There is ALWAYS the possibility no matter what that either US or Canadian Customs can question whether or not they believe you landed which is why in the past I have recommended getting the Enhanced License (I have mine - though some officers still say it has to be a passport fun fun fun), I used to recommend getting the I-68 and I don't blame anyone who decides to just call. Even if there is the risk you may be ordered to a marina many miles, or even dangerously out of your way at the whim of an officer.

On the US side, last time I checked, if you did land in Canada, you had to report to one of the approved marinas for inspection after calling in first no matter what unless you reported to an actual Customs crossing. I have not had any officer of any higher rank tell me differently. I asked the head officer in Detroit only a couple months ago if that had changed and he said nothing had changed on the US side. He is the one we are supposed to call in our region for the official word and the one I go by every year.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2011, 03:18:35 PM by djkimmel »
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Re: NEW RULE FOR ENTERING CANADIAN WATER
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2011, 05:02:56 PM »

Agreed.  Just when you talk to an agent and think you have clarification, it becomes obvious you really don't. 

Interesting article. 
http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/article/20110709/NEWS03/307099954
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Re: NEW RULE FOR ENTERING CANADIAN WATER
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2011, 08:01:12 PM »

I still need to get a hold of the actual law to see where this 'new' deal is coming from. Both sides have this unrealistic marina phone setup that completely ignores time and expense that is also unrealistic. In the end, it will cost Ontario and Canada a lot more money both ways than it will cost the US. They will get more and more bad press too. What happen to the friendly Canadian? I still think this is coming down to a relatively small number of persons with something stuck somewhere... and they are taking it out on everyone.

"Mr. Schumer suggested that politics in Ottawa could be part of the recent crackdown. The idea of Americans infringing upon Canada's sovereignty is a sore point, he said."

Where and how? Jeez. I know. We go there and spend money, and then come back. Eeeeekk! ;D

"They remain quite different, as Canadian boaters fishing in U.S. waters without anchoring or docking their boats are not required to report to U.S. Customs and Border Protection."
« Last Edit: July 12, 2011, 08:05:33 PM by djkimmel »
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Re: NEW RULE FOR ENTERING CANADIAN WATER
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2011, 07:01:21 AM »

Here is the link to the Canadian's site with the New Law.
http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/media/facts-faits/096-eng.html

The following attachment is a good document to keep on board with the call-in numbers and a break down of what you are supposed to do when entering Canada for fishing but not anchoring or going ashore.

Also note that if there is more than one person entering, the rules for calling in are based on the person with the lowest level of clearance. An example would be that I have a Nexus card which means I have went to the US and Canadian Boarder Patrol and was fingerprinted and and a background check was already done and I'm considered a "Trusted Traveler" so I can call-in before I even leave my house in the morning, however, if I take someone who doesn't have this level of clearance then we both have to call-in upon entering the same as if I didn't have a Nexus card.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2011, 07:08:13 AM by MBFT »
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Re: NEW RULE FOR ENTERING CANADIAN WATER
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2011, 12:44:11 PM »

This won't work well in tournaments!  What if the co does not have a passport or enhanced licence?  I always carry my passport anyway - just in case of a breakdown where I would have to touch land.

This is just crazy.  I think in the future I will just operate as before, not call in and take my chances.  I have never ever seen Canuk enforecement off shore in the big lakes anyway.

I doubt they care, but we should really make it tough on Canadians to come to our side of the line as well.
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TCook

Re: NEW RULE FOR ENTERING CANADIAN WATER
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2011, 02:15:10 PM »

If this is all true in my opinion it will ruin the tournament scene on st clair, detroit river, and erie. I would have to imagine all pro-am tournaments will be forced to make canada off limits. Might be time for you east siders to consider lakedrive for your tournament fixes. Best competition and payout in the state, nothing else comes close.
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Re: NEW RULE FOR ENTERING CANADIAN WATER
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2011, 05:09:30 PM »

As I thought, it really isn't a 'new' law: "While the law has not changed"

Whomever in Canada has the bee in their bonnet and is taking it out on the US has reinterpreted the existing law and is trying to slip it through as if it is a new law by saying we have always had to report when we cross the line, not by the definitions of touching or anchoring. That is not true. That is one thing I have ALWAYS consistently been told by every Canadian officer I have ever asked - that you don't have to check in unless you land in Canada.

I've got to find out who is behind this and why they are doing it. I guaranty there is an incident or a tit-for-tat occurrence that has caused this. Maybe just a new politician or bureaucrat in position somewhere in Canada who hasn't spent any time considering all the consequences of this 'reinterpretation' of the existing regulation. What a waste of everyone's time and good will. Shame on whomever it is if it turns out to be what it appears.

The number you call, in case you choose not to take a chance on the water, is 1-888-CANPASS (226-7277). Just remember, once you call the number, they can choose to order you to proceed to a port some distance away regardless of cost in gas, time or bad water conditions, to await someone to show up and inspect you. Kind of a double-edged sword.

Here is information on how to pre-register to be a CANPASS 'member' but note it is probably impractical for tournaments since it only works if everyone in the boat is a CANPASS member: http://cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publications/pub/bsf5058-eng.html

I've looked for hours and I cannot find a legal definition of 'arrival in Canada' whereas all references talk about landing on or moving into Canadian soil, trains crossing into Canada, planes landing on Canada, boats arriving at port or has a destination in Canada planned with all destinations being a place on shore not out in the lake on water - no mention I can find of that... Guess I'm going to have to make some phone calls that I'm sure will be fun later this week.

Maybe we are now expected to be able to walk on water!?! ;D
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Re: NEW RULE FOR ENTERING CANADIAN WATER
« Reply #15 on: July 13, 2011, 08:27:25 PM »

anyone go to the Everstart meeting.  wonder if anything was said??
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Re: NEW RULE FOR ENTERING CANADIAN WATER
« Reply #16 on: July 13, 2011, 09:41:48 PM »

I bet there was. Bill Taylor had already sent out an email telling everyone they would have to plan on calling in the morning if they were running to Canada.
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Re: NEW RULE FOR ENTERING CANADIAN WATER
« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2011, 12:25:48 AM »

I'm guessing then that what the border officer I spoke with meant is that as of a week ago, they are enforcing the regulation in this way.  Probably via a memo or something.  Either way, this is a hassle.

I totally agree with Tcook and SethV about the tournament thing.  It'll be quite a hindrance.
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Re: NEW RULE FOR ENTERING CANADIAN WATER
« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2011, 01:11:03 AM »

I'm glad I'm not answering the CANPASS line tomorrow morning!
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Re: NEW RULE FOR ENTERING CANADIAN WATER
« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2011, 09:40:35 PM »

I may just call CANPASS in the morning to ask about policy, weather, temperature, ect just too bog the system down a bit and mess with some Canadians.   :P

If I were fishing the Everstart I would still go to Canada and NOT call.
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