Take the short, confidential RMNP 2021 Creel Survey (Anglers) to help provide valuable information to park resource managers based on your fishing in Clear Lake experience.

RMNP encompasses over 1900 lakes, 650 permanent and ephemeral streams and countless wetlands. Recreational fishing opportunities exist within all bounds of the Park. Whether it is back country fishing for northern pike, landing walleye on Clear Lake, or fly fishing for brook trout inhabiting the mountain like streams along the escarpment, Riding Mountain National Park has the experience for you.

 pdf-icon Winter recreational fishing (1.3 MB)  |  pdf-icon Fishing Regulations (1.2 MB)
 
Where can I buy a fishing permit and Park Pass outside of Riding Mountain National Park?

Banning of leeches as fishing baits

Due to the increased risk of spreading microscopic zebra mussel veligers (larvae) via natural bait, the use and possession of leeches is prohibited. Parks Canada encourages fishers to confine the use of tackle to individual lakes and to ensure that all fishing gear is clean and dry before entering park waters.

 

Mandatory watercraft inspections for aquatic invasive species (AIS)

 

MANDATORY INSPECTIONS are required for motorboats, canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, and inflatables entering RMNP waters. This includes Clear Lake, South Lake, and all outlying lakes (Deep Lake, Lake Audy, Moon Lake, Whirlpool Lake & Lake Katherine) as well as all streams and rivers. The service is free of charge and watercraft passing inspection will receive a permit from Parks Canada. Inspection schedule

Here are just a few recreational fishing opportunities that exist within Riding Mountain National Park:

Prominent Clear Lake Recreational Fishing Species Road accessible Northern Pike Fishing Backcountry Fishing Opportunities Escarpment Brook Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) Fishing Opportunities
Northern Pike (Esox lucius)
Yellow Perch(Perca flavescens)
Walleye (Sander vitreus)
Lake Whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis)
Bobhill Lake
Deep Lake
Grayling Lake Jackfish Creek
Lake Audy
Lake Katherine
Moon Lake Whirlpool Lake Whirlpool River
East Deep Lake
Edwards Lake
Gunn Lake
Kinasao Lake
Long Lake
Muskrat Lake Tilson Lake
Whitewater Lake
McKinnon Creek
Scott Creek

Note: There are many more remote recreational fishing opportunities throughout Riding Mountain National Park. 


Smallmouth Bass

Background

Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

In August of 2020, park staff were notified that anglers had caught and observed smallmouth bass in Clear Lake. This is a concern because smallmouth bass are not native to Riding Mountain National Park and are considered an invasive species in Clear Lake. Smallmouth bass are very aggressive predators that may impact native populations by predation or competition for food and habitat resources. Smallmouth bass prey on crayfish and other fish species.

How did they get here?

We cannot say for sure. It may have been an intentional introduction, where someone illegally transferred smallmouth bass from another waterbody in hopes of establishing a population for recreational fishing. It may also have been an accidental introduction, where someone illegally used or dumped live bait in Clear Lake. Parks Canada does not currently stock fish species in any waterbodies within the park.

Possession and use of leeches, minnows, and other fish parts as bait is prohibited in Riding Mountain National Park. If you have information about unlawful use of live bait or the introduction of smallmouth bass, please contact the park wardens through Parks Canada Dispatch at 1-877-852-3100.

What are we doing about it?

The resource conservation team is currently determining the extent of the invasion. Next steps will involve characterizing impacts to the Clear Lake ecosystem and its connected waterbodies, as well as exploring response strategies and management tools. Watch for updates--new information will be shared as the situation evolves.

How can you prevent the spread?

Ensure that you are following Riding Mountain National Park fishing regulations. Anglers may retain an aggregate limit of 5 game fish. Smallmouth bass are considered game fish and therefore, count towards the aggregate limit if caught and retained.

If you catch a smallmouth bass, please take a photo and record the date and location. You can report your findings by bringing the fish to the AIS Inspectors at the Boat Cove Launch Area during Peak Season (May-October) or call 204-841-8097 during Shoulder Season (November-April). If you wish to keep your fish, we still encourage you to report when and where you caught it. Fish samples help us learn more about the invasion by studying their size, age, diet, and genetics.

Walleye were also introduced. Why are they not considered an invasive species in Clear Lake too?

Walleye were introduced through federal stocking programs from the 1920s through the 1960s, ceasing in 1968. While the ecosystem impacts of the walleye introduction are unknown, they have been naturally reproducing and co-existing with Clear Lake’s native fish species for nearly a century and can be considered naturalized meaning that they do not disrupt the native ecosystem.

Over the last 60 years, Parks Canada’s perspective on stocking non-native fish species has evolved. Introducing non-native species can have unintended consequences for aquatic ecosystems, such as impacts to community dynamics like competition for food or habitat resources and spreading disease.

 

For more information, please contact Brandice Hollier, Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Project Coordinator at 204-848-7214 (brandice.hollier2@canada.ca).


Fish Consumption Advisory (Mercury)

Parks Canada has been advised that elevated mercury concentrations have been found in fish in some RMNP waters. Therefore, Parks Canada, in consultation with Health Canada, has established consumption guidelines for women of reproductive age and children (see Table 1). Mercury is a toxin that can affect human health. It can come from natural sources (e.g. soils and sediments) or sources outside the park (e.g. transported through the atmosphere). It can be passed up the food chain and become concentrated in top predators (e.g. Northern pike, walleye). Mercury data does not exist for all fish species in all park waters and fish mercury concentrations may change over time. To be precautionary, anglers may wish to apply the following guidelines to all sport fish caught in park waters.

Table 1: Recommended maximum weekly consumption amounts of fish from Clear Lake, Riding Mountain National Park, Manitoba

 

Recommended Maximum Intake (g/week)

(meals/month in brackets)1

Location

General Fish Advisories

Fish Length (cm)

Mean Mercury Concentration (ppm)

General Population

Specified Women2

Children under 12 years of age

Clear Lake, Riding Mountain National Park, MB

Walleye

< 50

0.48

465 (8)

230 (4)

80 (3)

> 50

0.99

225 (4)

110 (2)

40 (15)

Northern pike

< 65

0.36

620 (12)

310 (6)

110 (4)

> 65

0.7

320 (6)

160 (3)

60 (2)

1 Meal sizes are considered to be 227 grams (8 ounces) for adults and 114 grams (4 ounces) for children under
the age of 12 years.

2 Specified women are women who are, or may become pregnant or are breastfeeding.

 

It is recommended that if consuming both walleye and Northern pike from Riding Mountain National Park in a given month, or consuming only one of these species but the fish sizes fall within both of the size categories for which consumption guidance is recommended, consumers should reduce their consumption of walleye and/or Northern pike accordingly to amounts lower that those presented in the table above.

As well, consumers of fish from Riding Mountain National Park may also wish to be aware of the federal fish consumption advisory that has been issued by Health Canada for several commercially available types of fish. [1Please contact provincial authorities for any consumer advisories for sport fish outside national park boundaries.