Manitoba updates AIS law

A few recent changes have been made to Manitoba’s Aquatic Invasive Species regulations.

MLOA members, as well as boaters of all stripes, should be aware of the following changes (below) to the AIS regulations.

For information on complying with the new and existing regulations, please click here.

Changes to AIS regulations, effective May 2017

Summary of changes

  1. More “water-related equipment”:

What’s new? “Towels, cloths or other items used to wipe or dry a conveyance or water related equipment” has been added as water related equipment – section 1(2).  Pumps, construction and industrial equipment have also been added.

What are the implications of this change: Water-related equipment must be dry prior to launching your boat if moving between water bodies. All boaters must inspect their water-related equipment for mud, aquatic plants and AIS like visible zebra mussels. This also applies to depth finders, anchors, and ropes.

  1. Control Zone tributaries:

What’s new? The lower reach of tributaries entering Control Zone water bodies, up to the first impassable barrier, are now part of that control zone. For example, the La Salle River downstream of the dam at La Barrier Park is now considered part of the Central Control Zone.

What are the implications of this change? If one is boating on the lower reach of a tributary that enters into a Control Zone, the boat and water-related equipment now have to be decontaminated and completely dry before moving upstream past the first impassible barrier, or moving to another water body.

  1. Control Zone language:

What’s new? Differently-named water bodies within a river’s reach are now considered the same water body. For example, on the Nelson River, whether one is boating on Cross Lake or Sipiwesk Lake they are on the Nelson River. Similarly, if boating on Dorothy or Nutimik Lakes, they are on the Winnipeg River.

What are the implications of this change? This makes it clear that decontamination is not necessary between areas of a Control Zone with different names. Decontamination is only necessary when leaving the Control Zone altogether.

  1. Specific Control Zone changes:

What’s new?

  • The Whiteshell Control Zone was changed to include just the portion of the Whiteshell
    River from Jessica Lake to Betula Lake.
  • The Central Control zone now consists of the Red River, Lake Winnipeg and the
    portions of the Winnipeg River and Saskatchewan River from the generating station to
    their entry into Lake Winnipeg.
  • The Nelson River has been separated from the Central Control Zone and is now its own zone.
  • Cedar Lake is now the Saskatchewan River/Cedar Lake Control Zone.

To view updated maps of the Control Zones, click below:

Province-wide overview of Control Zones (map)

Nelson River Control Zone map

Winnipeg River Control Zone map

Whiteshell Control Zone map

Cedar Lake/SK River Control Zone map

  1. New reporting requirement:

What’s new? The reporting requirement has been amended so a person who finds a zebra mussel or spiny waterflea within the Nelson River or Saskatchewan River/Cedar lake control zones must notify the AIS Director.

  1. Possession of dead AIS

What’s new? The “Schedule A” invasive species list has been amended so a person may possess some species in the condition identified in the column. So you can now possess many of the invasive fish species as long as they are dead, or for Asian carp, dead and eviscerated.

  1. AIS on boats in Control Zones

What’s new? There is now a provision that recognizes a person does not contravene the act or regulations if they have an AIS on their boat, dock, etc., when moored in a Control Zone water body. For example, now when boats are pulled up and stored on land at the Gimli Harbour, the owners are not in contravention for possession. This changes if the watercraft is transported elsewhere. It only applies while within the Control Zone.

  1. Written exemptions

What’s new? There is now the ability for the AIS Director to write an authorization to exempt a person from complying with requirements, but with terms and conditions. The intent is to only use these exemption authorizations for larger companies, not individuals, like Hydro, MI, Pipeline companies, etc. where after mitigation, there are provisions they still cannot meet but the risk of spreading AIS is low.