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Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
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      A crack!     

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Argo
senior member (77)senior membersenior member
 
06/08/2020 05:59PM
Ottawa loosens COVID-19 border restrictions to allow some families to reunite.

Ottawa loosens Covid border restrictions
 
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GraniteCliffs
distinguished member(1835)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/08/2020 06:36PM
A crack is good. Now lets kick the &^$#@! door down.
GraniteCliffs
distinguished member(1835)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/08/2020 06:37PM
I always do a solo at this time of year. I keep waiting and waiting hoping the Q will open. If it doesn't open up in a couple of weeks, it is off to the BW.
24kGold
distinguished member (361)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/09/2020 07:36AM
I have an August permit. It's gonna be a close one. I heard a new rumor that when the border is opened, it will not include tourism for a while. Hope the rumor is wrong.

Terry
Argo
senior member (77)senior membersenior member
 
06/09/2020 09:56AM
24kGold: "I have an August permit. It's gonna be a close one. I heard a new rumor that when the border is opened, it will not include tourism for a while. Hope the rumor is wrong.

Terry"

I think that's kinda what this is, no? The border never closed for trade. Now it is opening for family visits. What's left?
24kGold
distinguished member (361)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/09/2020 12:50PM
Argo: "24kGold: "I have an August permit. It's gonna be a close one. I heard a new rumor that when the border is opened, it will not include tourism for a while. Hope the rumor is wrong.

Terry"

I think that's kinda what this is, no? The border never closed for trade. Now it is opening for family visits. What's left? "

Yes, but was supposedly going to be open completely later this month. May extend the trade and family crossing only for a while. Maybe I wasn't clear.

Terry
LarryS48
member (44)member
 
07/31/2020 03:40AM
GraniteCliffs: "A crack is good. Now lets kick the &^$#@! door down."
There is a good reason the border is closed. Averaged over the last week, Canada had 8 COVID deaths per day and 447 new infections per day. The population of the USA is about 8.77 times that of Canada.

At the rate things are going in Canada, corrected to the US population, their numbers would be 70 deaths per day and 3,920 new infections per day. The US numbers averaged over the last week are 1058 deaths per day and 66,263 new infections per day. That means the death rate in the US per capita is 15 times higher than in Canada. The infection rate is 17 times higher in the US than Canada. Forget about kicking the door down. No matter how much we'd like to go to Quetico, it's not likely to happen until the US can control the pandemic at a level similar to Canada.

info from www.worldometers.info for July 24 - 30.
07/31/2020 06:39AM
I agree with Larry. I think we'll be fortunate if they reopen in 2021. I've got an early Sept. permit and refuse to get my hopes up for going north of the border. Ain't gonna happen.
Minnesotian
distinguished member(1821)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/31/2020 01:23PM

If you lived in Canada and saw how poorly the United States was managing this pandemic, would you allow the border to open?

I am pretty sure no Quetico trip will be happening for me this year.
GraniteCliffs
distinguished member(1835)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/31/2020 01:59PM
I would speculate zero chance of reopening until next spring. My new hope is that it is open by May.
Going to the BW next week again and will make sure I hit the border with a portage on the northern side so I can keep my streak of being in Quetico for a number of decades alive. I suppose straying over the "line" in a border lake would technically count but would like to be able to stand in the Q.
MichiganMan
senior member (60)senior membersenior member
 
07/31/2020 03:40PM
Minnesotian: "
If you lived in Canada and saw how poorly the United States was managing this pandemic, would you allow the border to open?


I am pretty sure no Quetico trip will be happening for me this year. "


+1, sadly.
LarryS48
member (44)member
 
07/31/2020 05:55PM
GraniteCliffs: "I would speculate zero chance of reopening until next spring. My new hope is that it is open by May.
Going to the BW next week again and will make sure I hit the border with a portage on the northern side so I can keep my streak of being in Quetico for a number of decades alive. I suppose straying over the "line" in a border lake would technically count but would like to be able to stand in the Q."


I am not sure of the law, but I think there is no problem if you stay on the water of border lakes. However, I think you will be breaking the law if you put your foot on Canadian soil. As I say I don’t really know the law but even being on the water might be a problem. Say for example you were in North Bay of Basswood. Even if you were still on a border lake but miles from the actual border, I would think you might have a problem. Some people on this website have reported problems when fishing on the Canadian side of a lake with Minnesota fishing licenses.
GraniteCliffs
distinguished member(1835)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/31/2020 08:11PM
As long as you are on a border portage you are allowed to use the portage trail that is there, regardless of it being on US or Canadian soil. if it is on the Canadian side you can portage without a RABC or Quetico Park permit. The same holds true for Canadians crossing a border portage on the southern or US side. Totally legit in both circumstances.
Jaywalker
distinguished member(2254)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/01/2020 05:02PM
LarryS48: "I am not sure of the law, but I think there is no problem if you stay on the water of border lakes. However, I think you will be breaking the law if you put your foot on Canadian soil. As I say I don’t really know the law but even being on the water might be a problem. Say for example you were in North Bay of Basswood. Even if you were still on a border lake but miles from the actual border, I would think you might have a problem. Some people on this website have reported problems when fishing on the Canadian side of a lake with Minnesota fishing licenses.
"


I don't think anyone is breaking the law by stepping on the portages on the Canadian side. I'm not lawyer, but my thinking is the Webster Ashburton Treaty of 1842 is still in effect even if the borders are closed. The portage is technically Canadian soil, but not really a border as you are not going into Canada in any real sense - just using it in transit. I think it would be exactly like an international flight; you might have a flight where you land and are technically in another country, but until you go through the boarder control and customs you are not really in that country legally. By now this year, hundreds and hundreds of people have used the portages on the Canadian side to get to Knife Lake, including me. Not an issue.

I would expect trouble if you were clearly in Canadian water and fishing. Sadly, I saw a lot of that in June.
LarryS48
member (44)member
 
08/01/2020 06:14PM
There seems to be consencious developing among the non-lawyers that being on a portage connecting border lakes is okay, and also that fishing on the the side of a border lake for which you don't have license is not okay. The last area I have a question about is what about being far over the border, on the water and not fishing. For example, an American paddling on the north end of north bay of Basswod or a Canadian on the south end of Lac la Croix.
marsonite
distinguished member(2292)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/01/2020 07:26PM
LarryS48: "GraniteCliffs: "I would speculate zero chance of reopening until next spring. My new hope is that it is open by May.
Going to the BW next week again and will make sure I hit the border with a portage on the northern side so I can keep my streak of being in Quetico for a number of decades alive. I suppose straying over the "line" in a border lake would technically count but would like to be able to stand in the Q."



I am not sure of the law, but I think there is no problem if you stay on the water of border lakes. However, I think you will be breaking the law if you put your foot on Canadian soil. As I say I don’t really know the law but even being on the water might be a problem. Say for example you were in North Bay of Basswood. Even if you were still on a border lake but miles from the actual border, I would think you might have a problem. Some people on this website have reported problems when fishing on the Canadian side of a lake with Minnesota fishing licenses.
"


I have to disagree. I think you would not be looked upon kindly if you were caught on North Bay of Basswood. You are allowed to use portages and waterways as needed to get to where you are going, for example going from Basswood to Crooked, but don't go straying on the Canadian side. I think they are watching pretty closely these days.
LarryS48
member (44)member
 
08/01/2020 08:09PM
marsonite: "LarryS48: "GraniteCliffs: "I would speculate zero chance of reopening until next spring. My new hope is that it is open by May.
Going to the BW next week again and will make sure I hit the border with a portage on the northern side so I can keep my streak of being in Quetico for a number of decades alive. I suppose straying over the "line" in a border lake would technically count but would like to be able to stand in the Q."




I am not sure of the law, but I think there is no problem if you stay on the water of border lakes. However, I think you will be breaking the law if you put your foot on Canadian soil. As I say I don’t really know the law but even being on the water might be a problem. Say for example you were in North Bay of Basswood. Even if you were still on a border lake but miles from the actual border, I would think you might have a problem. Some people on this website have reported problems when fishing on the Canadian side of a lake with Minnesota fishing licenses.
"



I have to disagree. I think you would not be looked upon kindly if you were caught on North Bay of Basswood. You are allowed to use portages and waterways as needed to get to where you are going, for example going from Basswood to Crooked, but don't go straying on the Canadian side. I think they are watching pretty closely these days. "
LarryS48
member (44)member
 
08/01/2020 08:13PM
"I have to disagree. I think you would not be looked upon kindly if you were caught on North Bay of Basswood. You are allowed to use portages and waterways as needed to get to where you are going, for example going from Basswood to Crooked, but don't go straying on the Canadian side. I think they are watching pretty closely these days. "

Actually, we agree. I originally added to this thread to say that Canada has made a perfectly reasonable decision to close the border and that we shouldn't be kicking down the door. I support obeying the law and not pushing the limits. As for myself, I probably won't get within a thousand miles of Quetico while the border is closed. As part of the discussion, we as a group are trying to figure out what the rules actually are. The discussion so far seems to suggest that you can paddle on the Canadian side of a border lake at least to get to a portage to another border lake and you can walk the portage. The question I was trying to raise was how far are you allowed to go with paddling on the Canadian side of a lake. As you suggested, it seems unreasonable that things like going to North Bay of Basswood would be allowed. I was not trying to promote that behavior. In fact, I was trying to clarify what the rules are, all the time expecting that such extreme examples of being over the line (border) would be the wrong thing and an illegal thing to do. There is obviously going to be some confusion as to how far over the line is too far. I encourage everyone to respect the sovereignty of their neighbors. So, I think we agree. It would be nice to have someone with actual knowledge of the rules give a response.
marsonite
distinguished member(2292)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/01/2020 09:06PM
LarryS48: ""I have to disagree. I think you would not be looked upon kindly if you were caught on North Bay of Basswood. You are allowed to use portages and waterways as needed to get to where you are going, for example going from Basswood to Crooked, but don't go straying on the Canadian side. I think they are watching pretty closely these days. "


Actually, we agree. I originally added to this thread to say that Canada has made a perfectly reasonable decision to close the border and that we shouldn't be kicking down the door. I support obeying the law and not pushing the limits. As for myself, I probably won't get within a thousand miles of Quetico while the border is closed. As part of the discussion, we as a group are trying to figure out what the rules actually are. The discussion so far seems to suggest that you can paddle on the Canadian side of a border lake at least to get to a portage to another border lake and you can walk the portage. The question I was trying to raise was how far are you allowed to go with paddling on the Canadian side of a lake. As you suggested, it seems unreasonable that things like going to North Bay of Basswood would be allowed. I was not trying to promote that behavior. In fact, I was trying to clarify what the rules are, all the time expecting that such extreme examples of being over the line (border) would be the wrong thing and an illegal thing to do. There is obviously going to be some confusion as to how far over the line is too far. I encourage everyone to respect the sovereignty of their neighbors. So, I think we agree. It would be nice to have someone with actual knowledge of the rules give a response. "

Oh sorry. My bad. I misread your post. I see we are agreeing. It is a very good question.

The Webster-Ashburton treaty says: "It being understood that all the water communications and all the usual portages along the line from Lake Superior to the Lake of the Woods, and also Grand Portage, from the shore of Lake Superior to the Pigeon River, as now actually used, shall be free and open to the use of the citizens and subjects of both countries."

I've done a bit of googling, and I can't find any reference to a court case where this has been tested. What exactly is a "water communication"?
tumblehome
distinguished member(1680)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/02/2020 06:43AM
Water communication might have been an acceptable description of water travel when the treaty was written. Today the noun conveyance is used.

The action or process of transporting someone or something from one place to another.

The treaty allows the conveyance of people and equipment along the border. Of the portages I know of where the treaty applies, the water is narrow and the borders are on either side of the water. By chance the portages are either on US or Canadian soil depending on the best path through the woods.

For the seasoned travelers, we know that we can use the portages as a mean of conveyance. We can not recreate in waters that we are not permitted to use. This means traveling into Canadian waters for site-seeing, fishing, or camping, not even a little bit unless we have the permits and clearance to do so . With our maps and technology, a prudent camper knows exactly where the border is and pleading ignorance if stopped will probably increase the chance of citation or arrest.

Tom
08/02/2020 08:57AM
LarryS48, Not a lawyer...but I got stopped in Quetico on Argo Lake by a float plane one year. MNR deputy or whatever they call themselves said they were busting people fishing over the border on Crooked Lake. I don’t think the Canadians would charter and pay for a float plane if they didn’t have a leagal right to give fines for crossing the border or fishing on the wrong side of the border.

I’ve also fished LOTW and resort owners have always told us make sure you have an accurate GPS...if you stray over the border the Canadians will be on you quick with a fine. If you are fishing the fine will be worse.

T
goatroti
distinguished member (243)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/02/2020 03:17PM
Latest prognostications on the border...

Not the official party line, but informative nonetheless.
Jackfish
Moderator
 
08/03/2020 12:13AM
goatroti: "Latest prognostications on the border..."
Disappointing to read, but not surprising.
LarryS48
member (44)member
 
08/03/2020 01:58AM
timatkn: "LarryS48, Not a lawyer...but I got stopped in Quetico on Argo Lake by a float plane one year. MNR deputy or whatever they call themselves said they were busting people fishing over the border on Crooked Lake. I don’t think the Canadians would charter and pay for a float plane if they didn’t have a leagal right to give fines for crossing the border or fishing on the wrong side of the border.


I’ve also fished LOTW and resort owners have always told us make sure you have an accurate GPS...if you stray over the border the Canadians will be on you quick with a fine. If you are fishing the fine will be worse.


T"

Argo is completely within Canada, Ontario and Quetico. Of course you would have to have an Ontario fishing lisence, a permit for Quetico and have legally crossed the border. Fishing on Crooked Lake would only be allowed on the side of the lake for which you had a lisence, and the appropriate permits to be there. Seems fairly straight forward.

Where it was not as straight forward for me, was what is the law regarding paddling the border lakes. Several people have made it clear that the Webster-Ashburton treaty of 1842 allows travel along the border lakes and use of the portages connecting them to citizens of both countries. One of the things I learned here was that the portages on either side of the border are fair game as long as they connect border lakes. I also learned that you need to stay along the line of water communication or conveyance. So, as I actually suspected an American could not take a site seeing paddle around North Bay of Basswood without the appropriate permits just because it is part of a border lake.

One interesting case is the grand portage. It seems to have been specifically been included in the treaty which made a lot of sense in 1842. If there hasn't been a change to the treaty, it would mean a Canadian could take the portage to Lake Superior. At that point he/she would be about fives miles south of the border. I assume that they would then have to stay along the water communication (conveyance) to get back to Canada i.e. they would have to paddle Superior back. This would have been fairly common in the days of the Voyageurs, but it seems strange now. In 1842 Canada wasn't a country yet and the Webster-Ashburton treaty was between the US and Britain. I wonder if there have been some changes.

Finally, regarding the opening of the border, here is what I think. I think the border will not open until America gets the pandemic under control. Unfortunately, I don't have much hope that the US can do that by social means. Therefore, I am putting my hopes on a vaccine. There are some promising signs but still a ways to go. But getting it approved, manufactured, then vaccinating hundreds of millions of people and finally actually seeing that it worked will take time. I am tentatively planning a Quetico trip for the fall of 2021. I hope the border will be open by then.
 
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