BWCA Border lakes Boundary Waters Trip Planning Forum
Chat Rooms (0 Chatting)  |  Search  |   Login/Join
* For the benefit of the community, commercial posting is not allowed.
Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Trip Planning Forum
      Border lakes     
 Forum Sponsor

Author

Text

JN
senior member (58)senior membersenior member
 
08/09/2021 02:31PM  
For a trip in October, my group is considering traveling through lakes that border Canada. We have no desire to cross over to Canada, and would just plan to paddle on by. Nevertheless, I would like a better understanding of what we can and cannot legally do.

Do we have to steer clear of the imaginary border line when paddling? We will not be fishing at all and do not even bring fishing gear.

How do the shared portages work? A few members of our group always bring handguns, so I'm assuming they're off limits to us.

Also, if there's a good site to look up this kind of info, please let me know.

Thanks much!

 
Reply    Reply with Quote    Print Top Bottom Previous Next
08/09/2021 04:21PM  
Just don't go into bays or inlets on the Canadian side. You'll get some opinions from other people I'm sure. Be curious if by the rare chance you come across a Canadian "Ranger" and the hand guns should be in your packs and not out.
JN
senior member (58)senior membersenior member
 
08/09/2021 05:07PM  
Blatz: "Just don't go into bays or inlets on the Canadian side. You'll get some opinions from other people I'm sure. Be curious if by the rare chance you come across a Canadian "Ranger" and the hand guns should be in your packs and not out."

Well one of my rules (as much as I have power to make rules...ha ha) is if you bring a handgun, you wear it. No reason to have it uselessly buried in the pack where you can't get at it, and there's even less reason for everyone else to portage your 2 lbs of steel and lead for you.
08/09/2021 05:29PM  
JN: "Blatz: "Just don't go into bays or inlets on the Canadian side. You'll get some opinions from other people I'm sure. Be curious if by the rare chance you come across a Canadian "Ranger" and the hand guns should be in your packs and not out."
Well one of my rules (as much as I have power to make rules...ha ha) is if you bring a handgun, you wear it. No reason to have it uselessly buried in the pack where you can't get at it, and there's even less reason for everyone else to portage your 2 lbs of steel and lead for you."

Ok, you're entitled to your "rule". You most likely will have some issues if you wander over to Canadian waters and get stopped. My advice would be to stay close to the American shore while on the border lakes.
cyclones30
distinguished member(3899)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/09/2021 09:31PM  
This is assuming the areas like Iron, Crooked etc are opened by then due to fires. You'd like to hope so but for now....you can't paddle that part of the border.

And there are spots where you have to portage on the Canadian side. I wouldn't want to get checked by a canadian ranger if I had a gun on me standing on their soil. Treaties or not...

But anyway, stick to the US side while paddling when you can and you can only fish on the US side, camp on the US side, eat lunch, etc. The only thing you can do in Canada is portage or paddle to/from a portage.

If you're on a river where it's 30' wide...no real big deal about trying to hug the US shore or something.... you need to navigate the waters where you can. If you're on a lake like Basswood...you better not be found a mile into a Canadian bay. Common sense
flaxman
senior member (89)senior membersenior member
 
08/09/2021 10:33PM  
A "few" members of your group bring handguns?! My goodness, what are they so afraid of?
JN
senior member (58)senior membersenior member
 
08/10/2021 05:00AM  
flaxman: "A "few" members of your group bring handguns?! My goodness, what are they so afraid of? "

That's not really the rabbit hole I want this thread to go down. Suffice it to say, firearms are tools that have been part of a woodsman's kit for as long as they have been available to them.
Voyager
distinguished member (334)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/11/2021 07:52AM  
There are some in the fire suppression business that think the fires in Canada will burn until snows put them out. Have a back-up trip in mind.
JN
senior member (58)senior membersenior member
 
08/11/2021 08:01AM  
Voyager: "There are some in the fire suppression business that think the fires in Canada will burn until snows put them out. Have a back-up trip in mind."

Yes, a few weeks ago I had a little more hope that the fires would be out by October. It's starting to look less likely...
gravelroad
distinguished member(699)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/11/2021 07:20PM  
The quickest way I know of to get to Fort Frances or Thunder Bay is to be on the wrong side of the boundary with a handgun. It will take you substantially longer to get back, but your meals and accommodations will be provided for you while you’re “waiting.”
JN
senior member (58)senior membersenior member
 
08/11/2021 09:01PM  
You know, I really debated even mentioning the handguns since I was afraid they'd cloud up the thread too much. Imagine the response if I had admitted we bring aluminum canoes too! Heavens the gnashing of teeth!

In all seriousness though, if anyone has a good source of information on the rules for the shared portages, I'd love to read up on them. As it is, we're smart enough to play it safe. We won't be portaging any guns into Canada, nor was that ever the plan.
08/11/2021 10:15PM  
We could quote you the rules of the treaty and you could call Canada and have them quote them to you too but in the end its the interpretation of said rules by a border agent at the exact time he catches you on a shared portage with your 9mm on your hip. You may get by ok, you may get talked to a while or you may get your trip cut short and have to make some tough phone calls to eventually get back to your car. I personally choose not to leave anything up for interpretation. Its not fun to push issues along the border.

08/12/2021 07:56AM  
cyclones30: "


But anyway, stick to the US side while paddling when you can and you can only fish on the US side, camp on the US side, eat lunch, etc. The only thing you can do in Canada is portage or paddle to/from a portage.


If you're on a river where it's 30' wide...no real big deal about trying to hug the US shore or something.... you need to navigate the waters where you can. If you're on a lake like Basswood...you better not be found a mile into a Canadian bay. Common sense"


As a paddler that seems to attract visits from Quetico enforcement…this is your best advice and what I have been told. The treaty pertains to travel along the border, not fishing, hunting, site seeing, lunch, emergency camping etc…I have always been treated with respect by Q employees but the visits were long and there seemed to be a determined effort to find a reason to fine.

The handguns…yea probably wouldn’t of mentioned them :) Have’em packed away if you are on the border/portage. They won’t look for them if you aren’t doing something wrong. You far up in bay…lounging on the Canadian side of a portage. They may take a part your gear and look. Then you’d be in big trouble, but I assume you knew this?

T
JN
senior member (58)senior membersenior member
 
08/12/2021 08:27AM  
Our group discussed routes some more last night, and we're going to save a border route for next year (assuming we don't have a repeat of forest fires...) since it looks like some of the nicer areas will not be accessible. We'll probably do Kawishiwi to Sawbill (or vise versa) via the lady chain. Hopefully the river levels are not too low...

Thanks for the input.
 
Reply    Reply with Quote    Print Top Bottom Previous Next
Trip Planning Sponsor:
True North Map Company