Clean Lake Initiative Protocol

New Protocol for 2019 can be found at

The Clean Lake Initiative of Improvement District #4 Has Developed a Safe, Simple and Cost Effective Protocol to Keep Waterton Lakes Free of Invasive Mussels

  1. All currently prohibited watercraft would be subject to a minimum three-month quarantine prior to launch.
  2. The quarantine process will begin October 4, 2018;
  3. The quarantine will be enforced through the use of lockable steel cables that will secure/seal the watercraft to the trailer.
  4. For boats to access the lake, boat owners will have had to place their boats in quarantine and arrive at the lake with the steel cable/seal intact.
  5. Boat owners that choose to remove their vessel from the lake at any time during the season can have their watercraft re-sealed on egress, thus maintaining the quarantine.
  6. Boat owners who choose to move their watercraft to other lakes or otherwise fail to re-seal their vessel on egress will have to re-enter a three-month quarantine period to access the Waterton Lakes again.
  7. Public access and egress to the lake will be at the townsite marina boat launch only which will be locked at all times;
  8. The program will be operated by Improvement District #4 in conjunction with the townsite marina operator. The program will be cost-recoverable, with a fee charged for all users.
  9. Improvement District #4 is charging $25 for each quarantine seal.

From November 1, 2018 to April 30, 2019 (inclusive),   there will be an out-of-season sealing surcharge of $25 in addition to the $25 seal. (Cash or cheque only) Call 403-632-5079 or email to make an appointment.



  1. Only Waterton cable seals are valid on Waterton Lakes.
  2. For each and every launch, only boats with an intact and properly affixed and registered Waterton seal will be permitted on Waterton Lake. Seals are unremovable and attach the boat to the trailer. Seals will be attached to and removed from boats by trained and approved persons only.
  3. To launch a trailered or motorized watercraft in Waterton in 2019, it must have been registered, sealed and quarantined for a minimum of 90 days prior to date of launch. This includes new boats.
  4. There is one locked launch site which is located at the marina. Boats cannot be launched elsewhere.
  5. There will be a fee for each seal. This includes the seal, one seal removal upon launching, and one seal attachment upon egress. There will be two colours of Waterton seals. Quarantine seals will be one colour, temporary seals will be another colour.



FALL 2018

  1.  For reasons of seasonality and staffing, if you intend to launch your boat in Waterton in 2019, it is advisable that you have a seal affixed to your boat before October 31, 2018.
  2. There will be a 3 day ‘sealing event’ at the marina in Waterton October 4-6, 2018. Your boat will be visually inspected and must be clean, drained and dry.
  3. If you are unable to bring your boat to Waterton for the 3 day event, you will need to make an appointment for your boat to be sealed.
  • From October 7-12 call 403-632-5079.
  • From October 13-31 email
  1.  If you must have your boat sealed between October 31, 2018, and April 30, 2019, you will need to contact 403-632-5079 or email to make an appointment. This will incur an out-of-season surcharge of $25 in addition to the seal cost of $25.
  2.  Transfer your boat to be stored over the winter as per your usual routine.


For Further Information

Further information on the quarantine program can be found online at or by contacting the CLI Committee at

More information on Waterton Lakes National Park’s approach to managing invasive mussels can be found here.




This is general information only.

Detailed instructions and costs will follow early in 2019.



  1. Make an appointment by email with Shoreline Cruises for boat launch and seal removal.
  2. You must give Shoreline 24 hours notice if you have to cancel your appointment. You will be charged for failing to give 24 hours notice of a cancellation.



  1. Arrive at the marina at the appointed time.
  2. Alert staff at Shoreline.
  3. Visual inspection - is the boat clean, drained and sealed properly?
  4. Shoreline staff will remove and discard Waterton seal, and unlock gate at boat launch as per your appointment.
  5. Launch boat.



(If you wish to return to the lake)

  1. Make appointment with Shoreline to remove boat and have temporary seal applied.
  2. You must give Shoreline 24 hours notice if you have to cancel your appointment. You will be charged for failing to give 24 hours notice of a cancellation.
  3. Arrive at marina at appointed time.
  4. Alert Shoreline staff who will unlock gate at boat launch as per your appointment.
  5. Remove boat.
  6. Have new serialized Waterton temporary seal applied and properly registered.




  1. Make appointment with Shoreline for application of quarantine seal.
  2. Arrive at marina at appointed time.
  3. Have new serialized and properly registered Waterton quarantine seal applied.
  4. Remove boat.
  5. Clean, drain and dry the boat.
  6. Take to storage.


Q: What is the cost to have my watercraft sealed for quarantine?

A: Improvement District #4 is charging $25 for the 2018 quarantine seal. This includes one removal. The cost for 2019 will be determined prior to boating season.

Q: When can I have my watercraft sealed?

A: There will be an initial sealing event October 4 to 6, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. daily at the townsite marina. Appointments are available from October 6 to October 31. From October 6 to 12, call 403-632-5079, and from October 12 to 31 email

Q: What if I want to have my watercraft sealed between November 1, 2018 and April 30, 2019? How can I get it sealed within that time frame?

A: From November 1, 2018, through April 30, 2019, out-of-season quarantine sealing is available for a $25 seal charge plus a $25 out-of-season surcharge. By appointment only, call 403-632-5079 or email

Q: Can I book my launch and quarantine seal removals, or pay for seals, online?

A: Online booking and payment is not available for 2018. You must contact Waterton Shoreline Cruise Co. 403-632-5079 to make an appointment outside of sealing events.  

Q: What if I miss my removal appointment and the marina is closed?

A: A missed appointment fee of $25 will be applied unless an appointment is cancelled 24 hours prior to the appointment time.

Q: Will there be boat slips available?

A: Contact Waterton Shoreline Cruise Co. for slip availability.

Q: Can I take my motorized or trailered watercraft out of Waterton Lakes National Park, the province, or the country for the 90 day quarantine period?

A: Yes, as long as the seal remains attached you may transport your watercraft elsewhere. The watercraft and trailer may not enter any other water bodies.

Q: Will there be storage available in Waterton Lakes National Park for my watercraft while it is quarantined?

A: Owners can store their watercraft as they usually would. There is no requirement to store your watercraft in Waterton during the quarantine process.  No additional storage space will be made available.

Q: If I sell my watercraft with an affixed seal, would the seal registration transfer to the new owner?

A: Yes, seals are transferrable from owner to owner (not boat-to-boat) with valid documentation.

Q: Who will inspect, seal watercraft, and remove seals? Will it require training?

A: Staff from Waterton Shoreline Cruise Co. will provide inspections, apply seals, and remove seals. Parks Canada will train Waterton Shoreline Cruise Co. staff on seal application and procedure.

Q: What is the cost to train staff and manage the quarantine program?

A: The quarantine program is cost-recoverable through the seal fees.

Q: I cannot satisfy the 90 day quarantine requirement. Will there be motorized watercraft available for rent?

A: Contact Shoreline Cruises Co. for rental information. Canoes, kayaks and paddleboards are also available for rent in the townsite.

Q: Does quarantine have to take place over winter?

A: No. Quarantine may take place at any time, provided that is for at least 90 days.

Q: I received a seal at another lake. Is this seal valid in Waterton Lakes National Park?

A: No. Any motorized or trailered watercraft used in Waterton Lakes National Park must have a seal applied in the park by Waterton Shoreline Cruise Co.

Q: If I have my watercraft decontaminated or inspected elsewhere, would that eliminate the need for 90 day of quarantine?

A: No. The seal and 90-day quarantine is required for any motorized or trailered watercraft operating in Waterton Lakes National Park.

Q: Would my Waterton seal be accepted at another lake in a Canadian National Park?

A: No. Any seal applied in Waterton is valid only in Waterton Lakes National Park.

Q: I had my Waterton seal removed at another Alberta lake where they do not have invasive mussels. What do I need to do to boat in Waterton again?

A: You will need to call and make an appointment with Waterton Shoreline Cruise Co. and bring in your clean, drained, and dry watercraft and trailer, where it will undergo a visual inspection. You will purchase a new quarantine seal and have it attached to your watercraft and trailer. Your watercraft and trailer will be quarantined for 90 days before it can be launched in Waterton Lakes National Park.

Q: What if I am staying in Waterton on my way to somewhere else. Can I bring my trailered watercraft into the park?

A: Yes, but neither can enter park waters. The watercraft and trailer must go through the quarantine process to do so.


Boaters in Waterton received disappointing news in March 2017, when a ban was placed on motorized watercraft in the park because of the threat of invasive mussels, an exploding and insidious danger. This ban is still in place.

Waterton Superintendent Ifan Thomas informed the public that “invasive mussels were found in the Tiber Reservoir in Montana, less than a half-day’s drive from Waterton Lakes National Park. Mussel infestations have devastating and permanent ecological and economic impacts. To protect the unique ecology of the Waterton Lakes from invasive mussels, Parks Canada is prohibiting the use of motorized and trailer-launched watercraft in the park.

Motorboats and their trailers have mechanical compartments and reservoirs in which leftover, mussel-contaminated water may collect and remain hidden. While the motorboat ban removes an activity that has been part of the Waterton experience for decades, it was necessary considering the risk invasive mussels pose to the ecological integrity of the park and potential downstream impacts. It was critical that Parks Canada took this action to minimize the heightened risk posed by invasive mussel contamination.

The Council of Improvement District #4 struck an ad hoc committee, the Clean Lake Initiative, whose objective is to help establish a protocol to certify boats that are free of mussel contamination. This is being undertaken with the cooperation and assistance of Parks Canada in the hopes that if an acceptable method could be determined to certify non-contamination, power boat use in Waterton may resume in 2019. The committee was hoping to have the ban removed for the 2018 season, but after the devastating Kenow fire in September 2017, it became necessary to postpone that goal.

The committee quickly asked for suggestions and comments from the public. Approximately fifty letters were received. The committee catalogued information received from the public, and then outlined a scope of work and timelines. To begin, the Clean Lake Initiative committee had conversations with Parks Canada administration, Parks Canada scientific staff, followed up on suggestions from the public, met with additional experts in the field of invasive species, and travelled to and consulted with other jurisdictions as to preventative and certification measures they may have in place, and noted their successes, failures and recommendations.