Quetico Park News

     Mike made the long journey to Atikokan, Ontario for the Annual Quetico Provincial Park Outfitter’s Meeting.  There were many items on the Agenda and as always Mike came away with some information for me to share with you. 

     Some of you may remember the proposed changes for fishing in the Quetico Park that were to take place this season.  Park Superintendent Robin Reilly’s goal for the Quetico is to have a healthy aquatic eco-system in an “Environment as healthy as possible.”  In an effort to do this the Quetico Park will implement the following changes in 2008. 

        The Quetico will no longer allow any live, dead, frozen, or salted bait to be used within the Park.  Only artificial lures will be allowed and hooks must be barbless or crimped back.  Some anglers fear this will hurt their fishing experience but the Park is quite confident the fish will be more than willing to bite on artificial bait.  The new artificial baits on the market do look quite convincing and get better every year so hopefully the success rate will not be impacted.   

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  The Quetico Park was also hoping to be lead free but for now and in the near future they will only strongly recommend the use of lead free jigs and tackle.  Many jigs and sinkers are made out of lead which can be fatally harmful if consumed by an animal.  Loons are susceptible to eating lead sinkers and jigs because of how they scoop rocks up from the bottom of the lake to aid in their digestion.  Eagles and other birds that eat fish can also be injured or killed if the fish has swallowed a lead lure.  We do carry a large variety of lead free tackle at Voyageur and encourage all anglers to use these items.     


      There isn’t anything better than a fresh meal of fish when you’re out on a canoe camping trip.  The preferred fish to eat for many anglers is the walleye.  The Quetico Park would like to encourage anglers to consume smallmouth bass as well so the natural balance of fish species is maintained in each of the lakes.  The fish that come from the cold, clear lakes of Northern Minnesota and Canada taste remarkably similar when eaten fresh from the water so it shouldn’t be a sacrifice to eat what you catch.     


     The Quetico Park hopes the implementation of these practices will preserve the precious eco-system of the Quetico Park .  With the proposed changes successful fishing trips into the Quetico should continue for many years to come.  Those who love to paddle and fish the Quetico know how important it is to keep the Quetico a pristine wilderness where future generations can enjoy the same remarkable experiences year after year.

   Other Information  

  One thing Mike learned at the meeting was in regards to traveling in the Quetico Park when the Ranger Station is closed.  We always thought canoeists had to physically visit the Ranger Station to fill out and pay for their camping fees.  However, if preferred you can take care of overnight camping permits through the mail and not stop at the Ranger Station before or after the open season.   

     The recent passport laws have added some confusion to groups wanting to paddle in the Quetico Park .  Although a number of permits must be obtained prior to a Quetico canoe trip a passport is not one of them this year.  If you were flying into Canada via a major airline then you would need a passport but paddling your way into Canada from the border of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness without a passport is fine in 2007.  

     The uniqueness of this wilderness area allows a person to cross into Canada without checking into Customs.  A Remote Area Border Crossing Permit allows a person to travel into Canada in this remote area and these applications can be downloaded from this website.  The permit must then be mailed to Canadian Immigrations where it can take from 3-6 weeks to process.   

     An entry point permit is required to enter into the Quetico Park and overnight camping permits must be purchased as well.  The cost of overnight camping fees has been increasing and for the 2007 the rates are $20.00/person/night for guests 18 years of age and older and $8.00/person/night for guests 6-17 years of age.  The price to reserve a Quetico Permit is $12.00 plus an additional $100.00 deposit is taken at the time of the reservation.