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Permit now required for water activities in Banff National Park

Last Updated Jun 18, 2021 at 5:43 pm MDT

Rafters enjoying the Bow River in Banff National Park (Government of Alberta newsroom)

BANFF – You will now need a permit in order to use non-motorized watercraft, fishing equipment and other aquatic recreational gear on, or in, any waterway within Banff National Park.

The restrictions are being put in place to prevent aquatic invasive species from spreading around.

Non-motorized watercraft is being classified as any boat, kayak, raft, stand-up paddleboard, inflatable, or other type or class of vessel that is not motorized.



Fishing rods, tackle, waders, wading boots, gloves, nets, or any other type of fishing equipment that comes into contact with water or animal material will also not be allowed.

While aquatic recreational equipment can be linked to personal floatation devices, throw bags, water shoes, wetsuits, and other gear that comes in contact with water.

Anyone who is caught breaking the rules can be fined up to $25,000 under the Canada National Parks Act.

Permits will be made available at visitor centres, as well as boat launching locations.

The passes will be free but will need to be renewed every time you head out on the water.

But, there are some other guidelines when it comes to the equipment you will be using. You will need to let your equipment dry for 48 hours before using it at another location within the park.

If you happen to be coming from outside of Alberta and B.C., you will have to dry your equipment for 30 days before entering the water.

Passes are expected to be made available sometime this week.