Superintendent's Compendium

Isle Royale National Park Superintendent's Compendium Header
 

The Superintendent’s Compendium is the summary of park specific rules implemented under Title 36 Code of Federal Regulations (36 CFR). It serves as public notice, identifies areas closed for public use, provides a list of activities requiring a special use permit or reservation, and elaborates on public use and resource protection regulations pertaining specifically to the administration of Isle Royale National Park.

This Compendium supersedes all previous releases. Changes are specific to two sections, face coverings and commercial filming/photography. All prior releases are rescinded.

 
Superintendent Digital Signature "Denice Swanke" 8-18-21
 

Compendium Index Navigation

 

Introduction

The purpose of the compendium is to provide the public and park employees with a document that lists the special designations, closures, public use limits, permit requirements and other restrictions imposed under the discretionary authority of the Superintendent. The Superintendent’s authority to implement these designations, closures, use and activity restrictions, is found at 36 CFR §1.5(a). Other sections of 36 CFR provide the Superintendent with discretionary authority as outlined further in this document. The regulations and provisions contained in this Compendium apply to all persons entering, using, visiting, or otherwise within the boundaries of federally owned lands and waters administered by the National Park Service (NPS) as part of Isle Royale National Park (the park). Other applicable regulations found in the CFR and United States Code (U.S.C.) are enforceable without further elaboration at the park level. The Code of Federal Regulations and USC are available online at http://www.ecfr.gov/ and http://uscode.house.gov/.

The park intends that this compendium, in conjunction with park brochures, maps, signs, and other media, provide the public and park employees with a clear understanding of park regulations to ensure adequate protection of the park’s resources and provide for public safety and enjoyment. The closures and restrictions delineated in this compendium do not apply to official/administrative use or applications (36 CFR 1.2(d) and 1.5(a)). Additional guidance for park residents is provided in park policies and the Housing Management Plan. Many of the requirements of this compendium complement existing state and local law and regulations which are also in effect within the park. If a state or local law is currently enacted, this compendium does not replace or repeal that law.

A person who violates any provision of the regulations found in 36 CFR Parts 1-7, along with this compendium, is subject to a fine as provided by law (18 U.S.C. 3571) up to $ 5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for organizations, or by imprisonment not exceeding six months (18 U.S.C. 3559), or both, and shall be adjudged to pay all court costs associated with any court proceedings.

The Compendium is reviewed and updated annually, or as needed, to address changes in public use patterns. The park welcomes comments about its regulations, programs, and activities at any time. Inquiries regarding National Park Service regulations, discretionary actions, requests for permits and comments about this compendium may be directed to:

Superintendent
Isle Royale National Park
800 E. Lakeshore Drive
Houghton, Michigan 49931

Copies of the Compendium are available at https://www.nps.gov/isro/learn/management/superintendents-compendium.htm. Paper copies may be requested at park visitor centers.

 

36 CFR Part 1 – GENERAL PROVISIONS

The specific discretionary authority for Park Superintendents to establish reasonable schedules for visiting hours, impose public use limits, and close park areas for all public use or specific use is found at Title 36 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) §1.5. These park-specific restrictions are also based upon 36 CFR, Chapters 1-7 to protect park resources, visitors and employees. Under CFR §1.7 notice of all restrictions, closures, designations and permit requirements will be made available to the general public by a least one or more of the following methods of notifications: maps, brochures, signs, permits, or other appropriate methods, as well as within this compendium.

36 CFR §1.4 Definitions


Some terms used in this Compendium may have specific meaning defined in 36 CFR 1.4 Definitions. In addition to definitions found in 36 CFR § 1.4(a), the following apply to all parts of this Compendium:

Archipelago means a group of islands closely scattered in a body of water. Isle Royale National Park is an archipelago with approximately 400 islands.

Artificial lure means a man-made fishing lure manufactured to imitate natural bait. Artificial lures include spoons, spinners, flies, and plugs made of metal, plastic, wood, and other non-edible materials.

Barbless hook means a hook manufactured without a barb or a hook on which barbs have been filed, closed (point of the barb has been crimped or pinched so the barb touches the hook shank), or has otherwise been completely removed.

Catch and release means a fish must be carefully and immediately returned alive to the water from which it was taken.

E-bike means a two- or three-wheeled cycle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts (1 hp).

General Management Plan/Final Environmental Impact Statement (GMP) was approved by a Record of Decision, signed May 11, 1999, by the Midwest Regional Director of the National Park Service. The GMP established park zones with specific provisions authorized or restricted in those zones. The zones were established to protect park resources and the wilderness values sought by most park visitors. The full GMP may be referenced at: https://ia800609.us.archive.org/12/items/finalgeneralmana00roya/finalgeneralmana00roya.pdf

Park Resident means an NPS, concessions, or partner agency employee, contractor, or volunteer and their family members and/or invited guests.

Seaplane means an aircraft with floats that lands on water or an aircraft with amphibian floats (floats with retractable wheels) that can land on water or land.

Unmanned aircraft means a device that is used or intended to be used for flight in the air without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the device, and the associated operational elements and components that are required for the pilot or system operator in command to operate or control the device (such as cameras, sensors, communication links.) This term includes all types of devices that meet this definition (e.g. model airplanes, quadcopters, drones) and are used for any purpose, including for recreation or commerce.

 

36 CFR §1.5 (a)(1) Closures and Public Use Limits

Closures

Seasonal Closure

All islands, including the main island of Isle Royale National Park, are closed to public use from November 1 – April 15.

Determining Factors: This seasonal closure is necessary for the safety and protection of visitors and emergency responders due to extreme weather conditions.

General Closures

America Dock

  • The America Dock in Rock Harbor is currently closed for all visitor use.

Determining Factors: This restriction is necessary for public safety after storm damage made the dock unstable and unsafe.


Housing

  • Government and concessionaire employee housing areas and recreation halls are closed to public access. This does not include guests of employees.

Determining Factors: Restricting public access to government and concessions employee housing areas provides improved security and privacy to residents and their families while not adversely impacting park visitors.

Administration Facilities, Maintenance Facilities, Utility Areas, and Equipment

  • Except for facilities designated for visitor use, all buildings are closed to visitor entry. This includes, but is not limited to historic structures closed to the public, all maintenance facilities, shops, sheds, water and wastewater treatment facilities, water towers, power generation facilities, communication buildings, and fire tower cabins and catwalks.

  • Utility areas and utility/operational equipment are closed to visitor access and use. This includes solar panels and batteries, radio towers, fuel storage tanks, fuel system access, fuel containment areas, maintenance machinery and equipment, heavy equipment, and NPS vessels (except public areas of the Ranger III ferry when authorized during passenger season operations).

  • This shall not apply to persons in non-public areas who have been granted specific permission by the NPS, another authorized Federal agency, licensed concessionaire or their representatives, or those who are under escort of park employees acting within the scope of employment.

Determining Factors: These restrictions are necessary for public safety and the protection of infrastructure and equipment. Restricted access allows employees to safely conduct work in non-public areas.

Public Use Limits

Maximum Occupancy


In order to provide room for social distancing, the number of visitors authorized inside facilities such as visitor centers, restrooms, stores, lodge office, restaurant, laundry facilities, historic structures, museums, and exhibits may not exceed the maximum occupancy as posted. Entering or remaining in any of these locations after being asked not to enter or to leave the location because the maximum occupancy has been reached is prohibited.

Determining Factors: The purpose of this administrative order is to maintain public health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. This order will be revised as necessary to remain consistent with Centers for Disease Control, federal, state, and local guidelines.

Docking and Mooring Areas

Portions of park docks may be closed to public mooring according to this schedule, or as posted during the operational ferry season. All times are listed in Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

  • The following docks are closed at these times to accommodate passenger ferry operations:

  • Daisy Farm, Tue/Thu/Sun, 9:00 am - 10:00 a.m.

  • Chippewa Harbor, Tue/Thu/Sun, 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

  • Malone Bay, Tue/Thu/Sun, 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

  • McCargoe Cove, Mon/Wed/Sat, 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

  • Belle Isle, Mon/Wed/Sat, 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

  • Windigo – northeast, Sun/Thu (Jul 15 – Aug. 17), 12:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

  • Windigo – southwest, Daily, 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

  • The following docks are open for public mooring only from 6:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. EDT:

    • Amygdaloid Island (except for residents or invited guests of residents)

    • Crystal Cove

    • Edisen Fishery

    • Hidden Lake

    • Mott Island (except for residents or invited guests of residents)

    • Passage Island

    • Raspberry Island

    • Wright Island

    • Any NPS or concession fuel dispensing dock

    • Any other dock posted as closed to overnight use

  • The following docks are closed to public mooring:

    • America Dock in Rock Harbor

    • Malone Bay Dock – North side

    • Ranger III Docks at Mott Island and Rock Harbor

    • Any other dock posted as closed to public entry

  • Shipwreck America is closed between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. EDT between June 1 and Labor Day.

Determining Factors: Mooring restrictions at dock facilities are necessary to ensure safe and unrestricted access for concession vessels that provide scheduled visitor transportation services and contractors that perform a variety of required Government projects or functions. Some docks or portions of docks are closed for government use to ensure the safe and effective use, operation, maintenance, and administration of the park. Docks may be closed temporarily for public safety during construction. Dock closure alerts and information will be posted at https://www.nps.gov/isro/planyourvisit/conditions/htm.

Boating and Aircraft

  • All inland lakes and streams are closed to the use or possession of motorized vessels and aircraft. All vessels (including non-motorized craft such as canoes and kayaks), motors, and trailers transported to the park via the Ranger III (or other vessels) must be decontaminated prior to being loaded for transport to the park. Decontamination can be accomplished by any of the following:

    • Clean and dry watercraft, and/or all associated gear and equipment so they are dry and free of any vegetation, animals, and mud, and that the bilges, live wells, and other compartments are also clean, dry, and free of all organic material. A minimum of 5 days of drying before loading is required.

    • Wash the vessel, bilge, and equipment with hot (>140º F) and/or high-pressure water.

    • Wash the vessel, bilge, and equipment with disinfectant. Follow manufacturer requirements for disinfectant treatment time frames.

  • All aircraft and vessels (including non-motorized craft such as canoes and kayaks), motors, and trailers visiting or transiting within park boundaries must be decontaminated prior to entering the waters of the park (which extend for 4.5 miles from Isle Royale and the outer islands, including Passage Island, or to the international boundary). Decontamination can be accomplished by any of the decontamination methods described above.

  • If the vessel is large and not trailerable, or below the water line is not visible, the vessel owner/operator shall inspect the vessel hull, outdrive, trim tabs, and motors for attached Aquatic Invasive Species prior to entering Isle Royale National Park waters. All vessels, regardless of size or configuration, are subject to inspection for Aquatic Invasive Species at the island. Vessel owners are responsible for Aquatic Invasive Species decontamination prior to entering park waters.

  • The Chickenbone Lake outlet, an unnamed stream between Chickenbone Lake and McCargoe Cove, is closed to all vessels including paddle craft.

Determining Factors: These restrictions protect park resources and prevent the introduction and spread of Aquatic Invasive Species and disease including Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia Virus (VHSv) into Lake Superior or the park’s inland waters through transport via water, mud, etc. on aircraft and vessels.

Use of Electronic Devices, Other Mechanical Devices, and Generators

Electronic/Mechanical Devices in Developed and Motorized Zones

  • The audible use of electronic devices such as stereos, televisions, radios, cell phones, tablets, and similar devices is allowed only within the Developed Zones of Windigo, Rock Harbor, and Mott Island and the Lake Superior Open Water Motorized Zone (areas not designated as Quiet/No Wake Zones), subject to the requirements of 36 CFR 2.10(b)(4) Camping and Food Storage, 2.12, Audio Devices, and 2.34 Disorderly Conduct. Park residents in housing units located within Quiet/No Wake Zones may operate electronic devices if the noise associated with such devices is quiet enough that it cannot be heard beyond the immediate vicinity of the residence.

  • The use of marine band radios and other emergency communication devices is allowed within all areas of the park; however, non-emergency communication use is subject to 36 CFR 2.10(b)(4), 2.12, and 2.34.

Electronic/Mechanical Devices in All Other Areas Including Quiet/No Wake Zones

  • The audible use of electronic devices such as stereos, televisions, radios, cell phones, tablets, and similar devices is prohibited in all other areas of the island not listed in the authorized bullet above (approximately 99% of the all terrestrial areas) and Quiet/No Wake Zones. Information on Quiet/No Wake Zones is found at https://www.nps.gov/isro/planyourvisit/quiet-no-wake.htm.

Portable Generators

  • The use or operation of a portable generator is prohibited at all times and locations within the park except as follows:

    • While underway in the Lake Superior Open Water Motorized Zone.

    • When moored at any shipwreck mooring buoy within the park, between the hours of 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. EDT. Shipwreck buoys are to be used only by divers with a valid permit during actual dive operations.

    • At the Windigo and Snug Harbor public docks between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (noon) and 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. EDT.

    • The far west end of Florence Bay, Glenfiddick Bay (west and north of Duncan Bay), and the unnamed southwestern arm of Five Finger Bay (lying between Stockly Bay and Duncan Bay), between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EDT.

Determining Factors: These actions promote a quality visitor experience by protecting resources and providing relatively tranquil, natural marine and/or wilderness surroundings consistent with the values enunciated by the Wilderness Act, GMP, and other applicable law and policy.

On-board Vessel Generators

  • The operation or use of a permanently installed on-board vessel generator is prohibited at the following public dock locations:

    • Birch Island

    • Chippewa Harbor

    • Daisy Farm

    • Duncan Narrows

    • Duncan Bay

    • McCargoe Cove

    • Merritt Lane

    • Moskey Basin

    • Three Mile

    • Todd Harbor

    • Tookers Island

    • Siskiwit Bay

  • Operation or use of a permanently installed (by the boat manufacturer) on-board vessel generator is allowed in the Lake Superior Open Water Motorized Zone and at all other boat docks otherwise open and available for public camping or overnight use, subject to the requirements of 36 CFR §2.10(a)(4), 2.12, and 2.34.

  • Operation or use of a permanently installed on-board vessel generator is allowed by vessels at anchor within Hay Bay and at anchor within other Quiet/No Wake Zones except when anchored within 1/4 mile of a designated park campground (see Boating and Water Use Activities, Section 3.6 – Prohibited Operations).


For overnight dock use, see camping conditions in 36 CFR §2.10.

Determining Factors: All docks where generator use is prohibited are located close to primitive campgrounds. A generator operated at these docks would be clearly audible in the adjacent campgrounds. This action reduces the impact of mechanical noise on visitors camping in or otherwise using Wilderness and/or non-developed areas of the park. The action promotes a quality visitor experience by providing relatively tranquil, natural marine surroundings.

Fishing

State regulations apply unless otherwise specified below. See also 36 CFR §2.3:

Fishing on Lake Superior Waters

  • Transporting fish or fish parts for use as bait to the park is prohibited.

  • The possession or use of fish as bait within the Lake Superior waters of the park is limited to:

    • Only those fish and or fish parts taken from fish that are caught using lawful fishing methods within Isle Royale National Park waters may be used during a current visit. Use during subsequent visits is prohibited.

  • Brook trout within 4.5 miles of Isle Royale (see additional inland water information below).

    • Daily Catch and Possession Limit:

      • Brook trout are catch-and-immediate release only; no possession is allowed.

Fishing on Inland Lakes, Streams, and Rivers of Isle Royale

  • Method of take; all species:

    • Live, dead, or preserved bait or organic food may not be used or possessed at any time.

    • Only barbless hooks may be used.

    • Only artificial lures may be used.

Determining Factors: The use of fish, fish parts, or roe (fish eggs) for recreational bait fishing is a means by which Aquatic Invasive Species and diseases such as Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHSv) can be transmitted to new populations of fish. These bait and lure restrictions apply to all inland lakes, streams, and rivers of Isle Royale to protect the fish from disease transmission. Barbless hooks are easier to remove and minimize damage to mouth parts, gills, etc of fish, which is especially important to any fish that doesn’t meet size requirements or fish being caught and released.

  • Brook Trout

It is unlawful to take brook trout in any manner from Hidden Lake, or the streams, rivers, and creeks of Isle Royale National Park that are tributaries of Lake Superior, except with the following restrictions:

  • Season:

    • Last Saturday in April through Labor Day.

  • Size Limit:

    • Catch-and-immediate release only, no size limit.

  • Daily Catch and Possession Limit:

    • Catch-and-immediate release only; no possession is allowed.

Determining Factors: Annual surveys in the park show the coaster brook trout has extremely low population numbers. Isle Royale National Park is home to two genetic variants of coaster brook trout. These are believed to be some of the last viable native coaster populations in the Great Lakes. These restrictions protect the remaining population.

  • Rainbow Trout

Rainbow trout may be taken in the streams, rivers, and creeks of Isle Royale National Park that are tributaries of Lake Superior with the following restrictions:

  • Season:

    • Last Saturday in April through Labor Day.

  • Size Limits:

    • Minimum size is 7 inches.

  • Daily Catch and Possession Limits:

    • Five fish.

Determining Factors: Rainbow trout utilize the same spawning streams as coaster brook trout at Isle Royale. One of the limiting factors for coaster brook trout viability at Isle Royale is suitable spawning habitat. Rainbow trout compete for limited spawning habitat and food for fry and fingerlings in the streams and may also prey on brook trout fingerlings. A minimum size limit of 7 inches maximizes the opportunity for anglers to take rainbows without jeopardizing brook trout (at smaller than 7 inches, trout species often are hard to distinguish from each other). A daily possession limit reduces additional fishing pressure in these streams and subsequent unintended impacts.

  • Lake Trout in Siskiwit Lake

Lake trout in Siskiwit Lake may be taken with the following restrictions:

  • Season:

    • April 16 through October 31.

  • Size Limits:

    • Minimum size is 15 inches, but not more than one lake trout 34” or greater.

  • Daily Catch and Possession Limits:

    • Three fish, but not more than one lake trout 34” or greater in possession.

Determining Factors: Inland lake regulations for lake trout are a combination park and state regulations in Keweenaw County. The seasonal dates reflect the park’s operating season. Current population data does not support less restrictive measures (higher daily possession limits).

  • Northern Pike

It is unlawful to possess northern pike from any inland lakes within Isle Royale National Park that are greater than 30 inches in length.

  • Season:

    • May 15 through October 31.

  • Size Limits:

    • No Minimum size: maximum size is 30 inches.

  • Daily Catch and Possession Limits:

    • Two fish.

Determining Factors: To protect the most productive northern pike spawners, an upper limit of possession of 30” is in effect.

  • Lake Herring (Cisco) and Lake Whitefish, Coregonus sp.

It is unlawful to take cisco or whitefish in any manner from inland lakes within Isle Royale National Park, except with the following restrictions.

  • Season:

    • April 16 through October 31.

  • Size Limits:

    • Catch and release only, no size limit.

  • Daily Catch and Possession Limits:

    • Catch and release only; no possession is allowed.

Determining Factors: The inland lake populations of cisco are currently at the point where harvest may cause local extinction of the species. The “catch and release” designation for ciscoes and whitefish (all Coregonid species) in the park’s inland lake waters, reflects concerns over the very low populations within these lakes. This action does not limit fishing in the Lake Superior waters surrounding Isle Royale.

Diving

  • The following areas are closed to diving use:

  • Passage Island Cove.

  • Inland lakes.

  • Shipwreck America between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 12 noon EST, between June 15 and Labor Day.

  • Wreck mooring buoys.

    • Shipwreck buoys are to be used only by divers with a valid permit during actual dive operations.

    • No more than two vessels are to be moored at any one time.

    • Overnight mooring on buoys is not allowed.

  • All SCUBA diving equipment, regardless of dive locations prior to arriving at the park, must be decontaminated and clear of aquatic nuisance species before diving in park waters. This can be accomplished by the following:

  • Soak all dive equipment in a chlorine solution of ½ ounce bleach per gallon of hot (>140º F) water for 10 minutes and then rinse with tap water, OR

  • Allow dive equipment to dry thoroughly for at least 14 days ensuring that all interior and exterior surfaces and parts, including, but not limited to the internal BCD bladder, inside inflator and regulators, and pockets or hard to dry areas of exposure suits, are completely dry.

Determining Factors: Restrictions for Passage Island and the Shipwreck America are necessary to ensure safe and unrestricted access for concession vessels that provide scheduled visitor transportation services in these areas. Shipwreck mooring buoys are established solely to secure vessels actively diving or in the process of diving on the shipwreck sites and to protect historic resources. The purpose of the decontamination requirements is to protect park resources and prevent the introduction and spread of Aquatic Invasive Species such as Zebra Mussels and diseases such as VHSv.

Firewood

  • Transportation, importation, and/or possession of firewood obtained from sources outside of Isle Royale National Park are prohibited.

Determining Factors: This restriction is necessary to prevent the spread of invasive insect species such as Emerald Ash Borer to Isle Royale.

Unmanned Aircraft

  • Launching, landing, or operating an unmanned aircraft from or on lands and waters administered by the NPS within park boundaries is prohibited except as approved in writing by the Superintendent. See unmanned aircraft definition above.


Determining Factors: Until the NPS determines whether specific uses of unmanned aircraft are appropriate and will not cause unacceptable impacts on park resources and values, Isle Royale National Park is closed to the use of these devices. The use of unmanned aircraft within the boundaries of the park has the potential to harm visitors, disturb wildlife, impact viewsheds, cause excessive noise, and interfere with other visitors' enjoyment of the area and may be incompatible with the purposes for which the park was established, including providing those opportunities for recreational, use and experiences which are compatible with the preservation of the park’s wilderness character. A less restrictive approach is not appropriate at this time due to the impacts the devices could potentially present to visitor safety, park values, and to park resources.

 

36 CFR §1.5(a)(2), the following areas have been designated for a special use or activity, under the conditions and/or restrictions as noted

Face Coverings

All individuals over the age of two who are not yet fully vaccinated must wear masks, except when actively eating or drinking, in the following locations:

  • All common areas and shared workspaces in buildings owned, rented or leased by the National Park Service, including, but not limited to, park visitor centers, administrative offices, lodges, gift shops and restaurants.

  • The following outdoor areas, when others are present, where the superintendent has determined that physical distancing (staying at least six feet apart) cannot reasonably be maintained:

    • Docks during ferry and seaplane boarding or other popular times, outdoor areas adjacent to visitor centers, public restrooms, common areas in campgrounds, crowded trails, decks of ferries, viewpoints, stairways, pavilions, and other areas of interest.

Masks must cover the nose and mouth and fit snugly around the nose and chin with no large gaps around the sides of the face. Masks not designed to be protective, masks with ventilation valves, and face shields do not meet the requirement.

Regardless of vaccination status, all individuals must comply with all orders regarding masks issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CDC prevention measures continue to apply to all travelers on public transit, regardless of vaccination status. Masks remain required on all forms of public transit that operate within Isle Royale such as seaplanes and ferries and in transportation hubs.

Park staff should not ask visitors whether or not they have been vaccinated. Absent evidence to the contrary, park staff should operate as though non-masked visitors are fully vaccinated.

Determining Factors: The purpose of this administrative order is to maintain public health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Masks are a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from reaching others and prevent the spread of COVID-19. This restriction will be revised as necessary to remain consistent with federal, state, and local guidelines.

E-bikes

  • E-bikes are allowed in the park where traditional bicycles are allowed, and e-bikes are prohibited where traditional bicycles are prohibited. Except where use of motor vehicles by the public is allowed in Houghton, using the electric motor to move an e-bike without pedaling is prohibited.

  • A person operating an e-bike is subject to the following sections of 36 CFR part 4 that apply to the use of traditional bicycles: sections 4.12, 4.13, 4.20, 4.21, 4.22, 4.23, and 4.30(h)(2)-(5).

  • Except as specified in this Compendium, the use of an e-bike within Isle Royale National Park is governed by State law, which is adopted and made a part of this Compendium. Any violation of State law adopted by this paragraph is prohibited.

Bicycles and Similar Wheeled Devices

  • Use of motorized or non-motorized, wheeled vehicles such as bicycles, tricycles, “deer carriers,” boat/canoe portaging devices, and wagons are prohibited except for:

  • Tricycles, bicycles, and other non-motorized wheeled devices may be used on authorized roads at Rock Harbor, Mott Island, and Windigo. These devices, however, may not be used during peak visitation times such as when: visitors are waiting for or disembarking from ferries, equipment or vehicles are under operation, rangers are leading activities, or any other work or event that creates congestion and/or hazards between people, equipment, and bicycles.

  • For additional information on bicycles see 36 CFR §4.3 and e-bike information above.

Determining Factors: Motorized and non-motorized vehicles are prohibited in Wilderness areas; see Section 4(C) of the Wilderness Act. In the developed areas of Rock Harbor, Windigo, and Mott Island, bicycles and other similar wheeled devices are restricted to times when the ferry is not operating for public safety and resource protection.

Compressors

The use or operation of a portable or permanently installed on-board compressor to fill SCUBA diving tanks is prohibited at all locations within the park except as follows:

  • While underway in the Lake Superior Open Water Motorized Zone.
  • When moored at any shipwreck mooring buoy, between the hours of 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. EDT.
  • At the Windigo and Snug Harbor public docks between the hours of 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. (noon) and 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. EDT.
  • The far west end of Florence Bay, Glenfiddick Bay (west and north of Duncan Bay), and the unnamed southwestern arm of Five Finger Bay (lying between Stockly Bay and Duncan Bay), between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EDT.

Determining Factor: A compressor used to fill SCUBA diving tanks produces significant noise and potential disturbance to park visitors. These actions protect the natural quiet and wilderness values sought by most Isle Royale visitors. A specific provision in the GMP allows the operation of a compressor within some locations not near any park campgrounds or trails. The Superintendent has determined that the occasional use of an on-board compressor at these locations is not likely to disturb other visitors.

Quiet/No Wake Zones

Operating a vessel in excess of 5 mph or creating a wake in areas so designated is prohibited. The following Quiet/No Wake Zones are designated within the boundaries of Isle Royale National Park:

  • Barnum/Washington Islands: the sheltered waters bordered on the North by Barnum Island, on the west and south by Washington Island, and on the east by Booth Island.

  • All of Chippewa Harbor: beginning at the small, unnamed island of rock located at the narrow entrance to the harbor.

  • All of Conglomerate Bay.

  • Crystal Cove: all of Crystal Cove on the northeast end of Amygdaloid Island.

  • Hay Bay: beginning at a point 1/8-mile northeast of the Hay Bay Campground and dock, thence southwesterly to the end of the bay.

  • All of Duncan Bay, including side bays, beginning at the Duncan Bay Narrows.

  • Five Finger Bay (including Stockly Bay): all waters within these two bays located south of a line running from Hill Point, thence northeasterly on a straight line through Battleship Island to the main island of Isle Royale.

  • Johns Island: the entire small cove located on the northeast side of the island.

  • All of Lane Cove.

  • Lorelei Lane: the narrow waterway beginning at the northeast end of Mott Island, thence northeasterly to Smithwick Channel. This designated zone is bordered on the south by a line of named and unnamed islands including (from southwest to northeast) Outer Hill, Mad, and Heron islands. The zone is bordered on the north by Inner Hill, Star, Davidson, Tookers, Shaw, and Smithwick islands.

  • Malone Bay: that portion of Malone Bay bordered on the east and south by Hat, Ross, and Malone islands, thence northwesterly to the point of land adjacent to the Malone Bay dock, thence northeasterly along the shoreline back to Hat Island.

  • All of McCargoe Cove (including Brady Cove) beginning at the mouth (Indian Point).

  • All of Merritt Lane: beginning at Red Rock Point near the southwest end of Porter Island, thence northeasterly to a point 1/8-mile northeast of the Merritt Lane Campground dock, and including all waters bounded by Porter Island on the west, Long Island, and Third islands on the south, and Elizabeth and Merritt islands on the east.

  • All of Moskey Basin beginning at Baker Point.

  • Passage Island: all of the Small Boat Cove on the south side of Passage Island.

  • Robinson Bay, Pickerel Cove, and Belle Harbor Area: all of the named waters. The coastline of Belle Isle (south shore) and the main island (Isle Royale) define the north, west, and south perimeters of the zone. The eastern perimeter begins at the northeast end of Belle Isle, thence southeast to the southwest end of Cork Island, thence northeasterly to the southwest end of Dean Island, thence northeast along the south shore of Dean Island to the northeast end of the island, and on a direct line to Hill Point.

  • Tobin Harbor: the western half of Tobin Harbor, beginning at a line connecting Moose Point on the south and the Duncan Bay Portage Trail on the north, thence southwesterly to the west end of the harbor.

  • Todd Harbor: beginning at Kamloops Point, thence following the coastline southwesterly around the perimeter of the harbor to Wilson Point, thence northeasterly on a direct line back to Kamloops Point.

  • Wright Island: the sheltered cove adjacent to the historic Wright Island Fishery located on the southwest side of Wright Island.

Determining Factors: Zones established in the GMP protect the natural quiet and wilderness values sought by most park visitors and reduce wake impacts on park resources and paddlers. The zones promote a quality visitor experience by providing relatively tranquil, natural marine surroundings and are in sheltered harbors and bays where calm water and relative quiet are desirable for resource protection.

Discharge of Ballast Water

  • The discharge of any untreated ballast water that comes from outside of park waters is prohibited within the boundaries of Isle Royale National Park.
    • The boundaries include those waters within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States within 4.5 miles of the shore of Isle Royale and immediately surrounding islands, including Passage Island, Gull Islands, and international boundary.

    • Untreated ballast water is defined as ballast water that is not treated by one or more of the State of Michigan Department of Environmental Quality treatment methods. The following ballast water treatment methods are acceptable: 1) hypochlorite treatment; 2) deoxygenation treatment, 3) chlorine dioxide treatment; and 4) ultra-violet light radiation treatment preceded by suspended solids removal. Requirements for each of these treatment techniques can be found within the State of Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Ballast Water Control General Permit, Port Operations and Ballast Water discharge, Permit No. MIG140000.

Determining Factors: The purpose of this restriction is to prevent the introduction and spread of Aquatic Invasive Species and disease including Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia Virus. There have been detections of VHSv in far eastern Lake Superior as well as Duluth Harbor and other locations of western Lake Superior. The Lake Superior waters of Isle Royale hold diverse populations of multiple species of fish including lake trout, coaster brook trout and lake whitefish which are all susceptible to VHSv and are known to be present in Lake Superior. These species contribute substantially to recreational fisheries at the park. Migratory species, such as lake trout, also contribute to both commercial and recreational fisheries outside of park waters.

Service Dogs

  • The Americans with Disability Act (ADA) definition and guidelines for service dogs are followed at Isle Royale. However, to protect wildlife on the island from transmission of disease or parasites, service dogs must have an approved veterinary certificate dated no more than 15 days before they are brought within Isle Royale National Park boundaries. Contact the Houghton Visitor Center or visit https://www.nps.gov/isro/planyourvisit/service-dogs.htm to download the required Service Dog Veterinary Certification Form.
  • Handlers are required to bag and dispose of feces from service dogs in garbage receptacles.
  • Service dogs must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices. In that case, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls.
  • If a service dog becomes ill while on the island, then the handler and service dog must leave the park to prevent the spread of illness to wildlife.

Determining Factors: Service dogs are authorized under the ADA, however, the NPS must protect the unique and isolated archipelago ecosystem. Therefore, service dogs are required to receive a veterinary check certifying they are healthy prior to entering park boundaries. The park witnessed devastating effects of disease on wildlife populations in the past. In the 1980’s, canine parvovirus was likely transmitted to the island from a pet dog and infected the wolf population; wolves on Isle Royale plummeted from 50 individuals down to 14. Fox and American marten on Isle Royale are also susceptible to canine parvovirus. 36 CFR §7.38(c) currently states “ Dogs, cats, and other mammals may not be brought into or possessed in the park area, except for guide dogs accompanying the blind.” The park intends to change this definition to match ADA wording through the Federal Register.

CCTV Policy Statement

Closed circuit television systems (CCTVs) are in use at Isle Royale National Park within and around federal buildings to provide for the protection of employees and property. In accordance with NPS Law Enforcement Reference Manual 9 (RM-9), notice is hereby given that Isle Royale National Park uses CCTV security camera monitoring.

The park’s use of CCTV for law enforcement and security purposes will only be to visually monitor public park areas and public activities where no constitutionally protected reasonable expectation of privacy exists. Such use, which will have adequate privacy and First Amendment safeguards, will be to help ensure public safety and security; facilitate the detection, investigation, prevention, and deterrence of terrorist attack and crime; help ensure the safety of citizens and officers; help assist in the proper allocation and deployment of law enforcement and public safety resources; and help facilitate the protection of the innocent and the apprehension and prosecution of criminals. (RM-9, 26.1)

This policy does not restrict the official use of CCTV in government administrative areas, including administrative buildings, jail holding facilities (RM-9, 26.3.7), revenue collection sites, etc., where the government may record/monitor its facilities. For example, the government may perform unrestricted video/audio recording at revenue collection points (entrance stations, visitor center counters, etc.). This policy does not restrict the use of an Audio/Visual Recording Device (AVRD) in patrol vehicles or officer-worn recording devices used by commissioned rangers (RM-9, 26.1).

Operation of CCTV cameras, maintenance of recorded images and use of recorded images will be in accordance with NPS and Department of Interior policy and applicable laws and regulations (RM-9, 26.1-26.4). No person will be targeted or monitored merely because of race, religion, gender, sex, disability, national origin, or political affiliation or views (RM-9, 26.4.2).

 

36 CFR §1.6 – Activities that Require a Permit

(f) The following is a compilation of those activities for which a permit from the Superintendent is required by contacting the park address shown on page one, or email, unless otherwise specified below:

  • §1.5(d) Activities related to Public Use Limits and closures

  • §2.4(d) Carry or possess of certain types weapons, traps, or nets.

  • §2.5(a) Research specimen collection (take plant, fish, wildlife, rocks, or minerals).

  • §2.10(a) The following camping activities require permits. Contact the Houghton Visitor Center 906-482-0984 or visit the park website for more information:

○ Camping – visit the Camping page on the park website.
○ Boaters Staying Overnight- visit the Boating page on the park website.
○ Cross-Country Camping - visit the Cross-Country page on the park website.
○ Group Camping - visit the Group Camping page on the park website.
Camping conditions are identified in Section 2.10 of this compendium.

  • §2.12 Audio Disturbances:

    • (a)(2) Operating a chain saw in developed areas.

    • (a)(3) Operation of any type of portable motor or engine, or device powered by a portable motor or engine in non-developed areas (e.g., portable generator).

    • (a)(4) Operation of a public address system in connection with a public gathering or special event for which a permit has been issued pursuant to §2.50 or §2.51.

  • §2.17 Aircraft and Air Delivery:

    • (a)(3) Delivery or retrieval of a person or object by parachute, helicopter, or other airborne means.

    • (C)(1) Removal of a downed aircraft.

  • §2.37 Soliciting or demanding gifts, money goods, or services (pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit issued under §2.50, §2.51, or §2.52).

  • §2.38 Explosives:

    • (a) Use, possess, store, or transport explosives or blasting agents.

    • (b) Use or possess fireworks.

  • §2.50(a) Special Events: Conduct an event, pageant, regatta, public spectator attraction, entertainment, ceremony, and similar events (e.g., weddings).

  • §2.51(a) Public assemblies, meetings, gatherings, demonstrations, parades, and other public expressions of views by groups greater than 25 persons.

  • §2.52(c) Sale or distribution of printer matter by groups greater than 25 persons.

  • §2.61(a) Residing on Federal lands (use and occupancy).

  • §2.62 Memorialization:

    • (a) Erection of monuments (requires approval from regional director).

    • (b) Scattering ashes from human cremation.

  • §3.19 Use of manned or unmanned submersibles.

  • §5.1 Advertisements (display, posting, or distribution).

  • §5.2(b) Sale of intoxicants on private lands.

  • §5.3 Engaging in or soliciting any business requires a permit (CUA, SUP), contract, or other written agreement with the United States, or must be pursuant to special regulations.

  • §5.5 Commercial Photography/Filming

    • The following types of filming activities may occur in areas open to the public without a permit and without advance notice to the NPS:

      • Outdoor filming activities [outside of areas managed as wilderness] involving five persons or less and equipment that will be carried at all times, except for small tripods used to hold cameras.

    • The organizer of any other type of filming activity must provide written notice to the Superintendent at least 10 days prior to the start of the proposed activity. Based upon the information provided, the Superintendent may require the organizer to apply for and obtain a permit if necessary to:

      • maintain public health and safety;

      • protect environmental or scenic values;

      • protect natural or cultural resources

      • allow for equitable allocation and use of facilities;

      • avoid conflict among visitor use activities.

    • Contact this email for more information.

  • §5.7 Construction of buildings, facilities, trails, roads, boat docks, path, structure, etc.

  • §6.9(a) Operation of a solid waste disposal site.

  • §7.38(b) Underwater diving, with the aid of an underwater breathing apparatus.

    • Permit available in person at visitor centers or visit the Scuba Diving page on the park website for more information.

 

36 CFR Part 2 – PRESERVATION OF NATURAL, CULTURAL, AND ARCHEOLOGICAL RESOURCES

36 CFR §2.1 – PRESERVATION OF NATURAL, CULTURAL, AND ARCHEOLOGICAL RESOURCES

(a)(4) Dead wood on the ground and driftwood may be collected for use as fuel for campfires within the park in the following areas:

  • In areas with park-provided fire rings or grills (see Section 2.13).

  • Near campgrounds when using a self-contained wood-burning backpacking stove.

  • Driftwood along Isle Royale’s Lake Superior shoreline.

Determining Factor: Limited use of these renewable resources will not adversely affect park resources.

(c)(1) and (c)(2) The following fruits, nuts, or berries may be gathered by hand for personal use or consumption, only in accordance with the noted size, quantity, collection sites and/or use or consumption restrictions:

  • Apples

  • Beach peas

  • Blueberries

  • Chokecherries

  • Cranberries

  • Currants

  • Elderberries

  • Hazel nuts

  • Juneberries

  • Mushrooms

  • Pin cherries

  • Raspberries

  • Rhubarb

  • Rose hips

  • Strawberries

  • Thimbleberries

  • Wintergreen berries

Listed fruits, nuts, and berries may be gathered in quantities not to exceed one quart per person per day; except for apples which may be gathered in quantities not to exceed two gallons per person per day; and blueberries, raspberries, thimbleberries, and mushrooms which may be gathered in quantities not to exceed four quarts per person per day.

Determining Factor: This use provides the broadest use and enjoyment of the park in the least restrictive manner so long as there is no adverse effect to park wildlife, the reproductive potential of a plant species or otherwise adverse effect of park resources.

36 CFR §2.2 - WILDLIFE PROTECTION

(d) The transporting of lawfully taken wildlife through the park is allowed under the following conditions and procedures:

  • Transporting wildlife through Isle Royale National Park is prohibited.

Determining Factor: Isle Royale is an island closed to the legal taking of wildlife and there are no roads passing through the park that would necessitate access through the park.

(e) The following areas are closed to the viewing of wildlife with the use of an artificial light:

  • The use of an artificial light to view wildlife anywhere in the park is prohibited.

Determining Factor: This restriction is necessary for the protection of wildlife from unnecessary stress. Artificial light can alter natural habits including mating, resting, and feeding. Artificial light also disrupts the natural darkness of night sky that visitors enjoy and expect in wilderness.

36 CFR §2.3 – FISHING

See additional fishing section above, 36 CFR §1.5 (a)(1).

(d)(2) Possession or use of live or dead minnows or other bait fish, amphibian, non-preserved fish eggs, or roe is allowed in the following freshwater areas:

  • All Isle Royale inland waters are closed to the use of all live or dead bait.

Determining Factors: The use of fish, fish parts, roe (fish eggs), amphibians, insects, invertebrates (leeches, worms, and clams) for recreational bait fishing is a means by which Aquatic Invasive Species and diseases detrimental to fish populations can be transmitted to inland waters. These bait restrictions apply to all inland lakes, streams, and rivers of Isle Royale to protect the fish from disease transmission.

(d)(8) Fishing is allowed in or from the following otherwise prohibited areas:
Public boat docks:

  • Fishing is allowed from all public boat docks, so long as it does not interfere with boat traffic.

Determining Factor: This restriction is necessary for the safety of those fishing on the dock and boaters approaching and/or docking.

36 CFR §2.10 – CAMPING and FOOD STORAGE

(a) The sites and areas listed below have been designated for camping activities as noted. A permit system has been established for certain campgrounds or camping activities, and conditions for camping and camping activities are in effect as noted:

  • Permit required for all overnight stays within the park, except Rock Harbor Lodge guests, and guests of employees and/or authorized residents staying at their assigned quarters, dock, or guest housing.

  • Small parties are defined as parties consisting of 1-6 persons.

  • Groups are defined as parties from seven persons to no more than 10 persons.

  • The following areas are closed to camping:

    • Within ½ mile of all eagle and osprey nests.

    • Passage Island.

    • Within ¼ mile of any trail or portage.

    • Within ½ mile from all developed areas, designated campgrounds, and fire towers.

    • All offshore and inland lake islands except those officially designated with campsites.

  • There are 46 Backcountry Camping Zones. A map and information on restrictions and closures for each zone can be found at park visitors centers and on the park website.

  • The following area is closed to commercial kayak trips:

    • West end of the Island between Todd Harbor to the north and Fisherman’s Home to the south.

Determining Factor: This action implements components of the GMP to prevent the establishment of undesignated campsites by repeated use in sensitive resource areas. This action helps maintain isolated shorelines with outstanding opportunities for solitude. Backcountry Camping Zones and/or allowable uses are monitored and revised to protect park resources.

  • The following docks are closed to camping and overnight docking/mooring. Docking/mooring is prohibited between the hours of 10 p.m. EDT and 6 a.m. EDT:

    • America Dock (Snug Harbor).

    • Amygdaloid Island Dock (except for residents or invited guests of residents).

    • Crystal Cove.

    • Edisen Fishery Dock (except for residents or invited guests of residents).

    • Hidden Lake Dock.

    • Malone Bay Dock, north side (except for residents or invited guests of residents).

    • Mott Island Docks (except for residents or invited guests of residents).

    • Passage Island Docks.

    • Ranger III Dock at Rock Harbor.

    • Raspberry Island Dock.

    • Wright Island.

    • Any NPS or concession fuel dispensing dock except the south side of Malone Bay dock.

    • Any other dock posted or signed as closed to overnight use or public entry, or private.

    • All docks assigned to life lessees, park VIPs, use and occupancy permits, and assessment fishermen, except by permission of authorized resident.

  • The following buoys are closed to camping and overnight use:

    • Any shipwreck mooring buoy.

  • At docks where overnight use is permitted:

    • Dock space is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

    • Docks and shelters may not be reserved or held for others.

    • Boaters already set up at a campsite or shelter and who have a valid camping permit shall be given priority access to space at the dock.

Determining Factor: Docks located at Raspberry Island, Edisen Fishery, Passage Island, and Hidden Lake are located in areas designated for day use only and do not have necessary facilities for overnight use. Closure of the docks to overnight use provides ready access to the docks for transient vessels whose occupants desire to day hike or visit interpretive exhibits at these locations. Further, the closures help protect sensitive natural and/or cultural resources at these locations. The north side of the Malone Bay dock, the RANGER III dock at Snug Harbor, the NPS and concession fuel docks, and the docks at Amygdaloid and Mott Islands are closed to provide for the docking needs of vessels used for park administrative and emergency purposes. The AMERICA dock closure is necessary for public safety after storm damage made the dock unstable and unsafe. Shipwreck mooring buoys are established solely to secure vessels actively diving or in the process of diving on the shipwreck sites and to protect historic resources.

  • Camping outside of the following conditions is prohibited:

    • Groups

    • Groups (camping parties of 7-10 people) must have reservations for camping before arriving on the island.

    • 10 persons is the maximum size of any camping party.

    • No organization/group may have more than 20 persons camping within the boundaries of Isle Royale National Park at any one time.

    • No organization/group may exceed 80 persons per year camping within the boundaries of Isle Royale National Park.

    • Groups must use established group campsites.

    • Groups may not use shelters or campsites other than designated group sites or engage in cross-country overnight travel.

    • Groups must not deviate from itineraries listed on backcountry permits, except when changed by an authorized NPS representative or due to an emergency.

    • Small parties (six persons or less) that are associated with other parties from the same group/organization that are camping on the island during the same time period must apply for their permits in advance. (For example, if you are organizing two small parties of six persons from your church to go canoeing at Isle Royale, you must apply for your permit in advance.)

    • Small parties (six persons or less) associated with other parties from the same group/organization may not change their permits or itineraries in a way that cause two or more parties from the same group/organization to camp in the same campground on the same night. (For example, your summer camp has scheduled and applied for permits in advance, for three small parties of six backpackers each to Isle Royale. During their trips, the parties may not change their itineraries in such a way as to end up in the same campground on the same night.)

    • Parties with separate overnight permits, but sharing the same affiliation (camp, school, church, scout group, organization, family, friends, etc. or any combination thereof) may not travel or camp within one half (0.5) mile of each other.

    • All

      • A party may only use or occupy one site at each campground.

      • A party may not split up or register separately obtaining two permits for the purpose of obtaining two sites.

      • Shelters may not be used for the sole purpose of storage and/or cooking.

      • Temporary additions to shelters such as food storage boxes, lean-tos, clothes drying racks, lining with plastic, when attached with nails, staples, tape, and/or tacks, are prohibited.

      • Tents may not be erected at shelter sites, except for free standing tents within shelters.

      • Tents may not be erected outside of tent pads where provided.

      • Hammocks may not be hung at shelter sites or within shelters.

    • Cross-Country

      • Only small parties of 1-6 individuals are allowed to camp in cross-country areas.

      • A cross-country permit is required for camping outside of developed campsites.

        • The camp must be out of sight and sound of other camping parties.

        • Maximum stay at any location is one night.

        • Must camp at least (tent and camping gear must be moved) ½ mile from the previous night’s stay.

        • Must be ¼ mile away from any trail or portage.

        • Must be ½ mile from all developed areas, designated campgrounds, and fire towers.

        • See Backcountry Camping Zone information above.

  • Camping longer than stay limitations at designated campgrounds and their associated docks between June 1 and Labor Day, or September 15th for Rock Harbor, as indicated below, is prohibited unless specifically authorized by permit:

Campground & Stay Limitation (Nights)

  • Beaver Island: 3

  • Belle Isle: 5

  • Birch Island: 3

  • Caribou Island: 3

  • Chickenbone Lake, East and West: 2

  • Chippewa Harbor: 3

  • Daisy Farm: 3

  • Desor, North and South: 2

  • Duncan Bay: 3

  • Duncan Narrows: 3

  • Feldtmann Lake: 2

  • Grace Island: 3

  • Hatchet Lake: 2

  • Hay Bay: 3

  • Huginnin Cove: 3

  • Intermediate Lake: 2

  • Island Mine: 3

  • Lake Ritchie, Canoe and Hike In: 2

  • Lake Whittlesey: 2

  • Lane Cove: 3

  • Little Todd: 2

  • Malone Bay: 3

  • McCargoe Cove: 3

  • Merritt Lane: 3

  • Moskey Basin: 3

  • Pickerel Cove: 2

  • Rock Harbor: 1 (June 1-Sept 15)

  • Rock Harbor Marina: 14

  • Siskiwit Bay: 3

  • Three Mile: 1

  • Tobin Harbor Dock: 5

  • Todd Harbor: 3

  • Tooker’s Island: 3

  • Washington Creek: 3

  • Windigo Dock: 5

  • Wood Lake: 2

(b)(3) Camping within 25 feet of a fire hydrant or main road, or within 100 feet of a flowing stream, river or body of water is authorized only at designated campsites.

(d) Conditions for the storage of food are in effect for the entire park with the following requirements:

Boaters

  • All food, lawfully taken fish, garbage, and scented items (such as toothpaste, sunscreen, lip balm, etc.) shall be kept secured in a boat, ice chest, camping structure, or other container constructed of a solid, non-pliable material, and with a secure lid.

Backpackers/Day Hikers

  • In the backcountry, all food, garbage, and scented items shall be sealed so as to prevent smells; and secured so as to prevent access by animals.


Determining Factor: The intent of these designations is to protect wildlife and park visitors by preventing squirrels, mice, foxes, birds, wolves, and other wildlife from obtaining and habituating to food and garbage and/or damaging visitors’ equipment and property.

36 CFR §2.13 – FIRES

(a)(1) The lighting or maintaining of fires is prohibited, except as provided for in the following designated areas and/or receptacles, and under the conditions noted:

Fires are authorized in designated Community Fire Rings in these locations:

  • Caribou Island

  • McCargoe Cove

  • Siskiwit Bay

  • Todd Harbor

Fires are authorized in park-provided fire rings or standing grills in these locations:

  • Belle Isle

  • Chippewa Harbor

  • Duncan Bay

  • Duncan Narrows

  • Island Mine

  • Little Todd

  • Malone Bay

  • Rock Harbor Marina

Determining Factors: The superintendent has established these restrictions for public health and safety and the protection of natural resources. In designated areas, an appropriate amount of fuel can support this traditional activity without detrimental effect to natural resources.

(a)(2) The following restrictions are in effect for the use of stoves or lanterns:

  • Lighting or maintaining a fuel-burning stove or lantern within 50 feet of a fuel-storage tank or dispensing facility is prohibited at all times.

  • Small self-contained personal backpacking fuel and twig wood-burning stoves are allowed. Self-contained twig wood-burning stoves hold the fire and ambers within a small fire box (approximately 7” or less) and leave little ash. The fire box prevents fire spread and the scorching of soil.

(b) Fires must be extinguished with water and stirred until cool to the touch, with no residual hot embers.

Determining Factors: These fire restrictions are necessary to protect natural resources and public safety.

36 CFR §2.14 – SANITATION and REFUSE

(a)(7) Conditions for the disposal of fish remains near docks or within developed areas have been designated as follows:

  • Cleaning of fish directly on docks or picnic tables is prohibited.

Developed Areas

  • Disposing of fish remains at Rock Harbor is prohibited except at the designated fish cleaning station.
  • Disposing of fish remains at Mott Island is prohibited except by puncturing the air bladder and disposing of them in Lake Superior water greater than 50 feet deep with flow-through circulation, or by double bagging and disposing of in a freezer to be dedicated for fish offal disposal.
  • Disposing of fish remains at Windigo is prohibited except by puncturing the air bladder and disposing of them in Lake Superior water greater than 50 feet deep with flow-through circulation, or for shore anglers without access to a boat may dispose of fish remains off the end of the main Windigo Dock.
  • Disposing of fish remains at Davidson Island is prohibited except by puncturing the air bladder and disposing of them in Lake Superior water greater than 50 feet deep with flow-through circulation.

Undeveloped Areas, On Lake Superior Waters

  • Disposing of fish remains in undeveloped areas (other than Mott, Windigo, Rock Harbor, and Davidson Island) on Lake Superior waters is prohibited except by puncturing the air bladder and disposing of them in Lake Superior water greater than 50 feet deep with flow-through circulation, or for shore anglers without access to a boat may dispose of fish remains by cutting them into pieces 4 inches or less, puncturing the air bladder, moving at least 200 feet along the shoreline away from the campground, and throwing remains as far as possible into deep water.

Undeveloped Areas, On Inland Lake Waters

  • Disposing of fish remains on inland waters is prohibited except by cutting the remains into pieces 4 inches or less, puncturing the air bladder, and disposing of them into deepwater via canoe/kayak, or by cutting the remains into pieces 4 inches or less, puncturing the air bladder, moving at least 200 feet along the shoreline away from the campground, and throwing remains as far as possible into deep water.

Determining Factor: The intent of these designations is to prevent wildlife from obtaining and habituating to fish remains provided by visitors and for reasons of public health and safety in developed areas.

(a)(9), (b) Conditions for the disposal, containerization, or carryout of human body waste have been established as follows:

  • Disposing of human waste in established backcountry campgrounds other than in designated privies is prohibited.

  • In backcountry areas where privies are not available, disposing of human waste is prohibited except by removal from the island with appropriately bagged waste or by burial in a hole 6 inches deep, covered with soil, out of site from a trail, and least 100 feet from any water source, high water mark of any body of water, or campsite.

  • All toilet paper shall be packed out, except toilet paper disposed of in a designated privy or toilet.

Determining Factor: These requirements are intended to ensure that proper disposal of human waste occurs in the backcountry to protect water quality, visitor safety, and natural resources.

36 CFR §2.15 – PETS

(a)(1) The park is closed to dogs, cats, and other mammals. This does not include service dogs.

  • See 36 CFR §1.5(a)(2) and 36 CFR §7.38(c).

(e) Some pets may be kept by park residents under the following conditions:

  • Park residents may keep pets other than mammals in their residence consistent with the Isle Royale National Park Housing Management Plan and with the approval of the park Superintendent. Species of concern include, but are not limited to goldfish, amphibians, turtles, and some bird species.
  • See 36 CFR §1.5(a)(2) and 36 CFR §7.38(c).

Determining Factors: This restriction serves to protect park wildlife and the unique and isolated island archipelago ecosystem.

36 CFR §2.17 – AIRCRAFT and AIR DELIVERY

(a)(1) Areas designated for operating or using aircraft are provided for in 36 CFR §7.38.

(a)(2) Boat docks or piers designated as open for the use of seaplanes. All docks and piers are closed to non-administrative seaplane use except the following, subject to other park rules and regulations:

  • Windigo concession boat dock.

  • Windigo seaplane dock, open for fifteen-minute loading and unloading only from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EDT daily. Open for overnight use at other times.

  • Tobin Harbor, eastern most NPS dock.

  • Tobin Harbor seaplane dock, open for fifteen-minute loading and unloading only from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EDT daily. Open for overnight use at other times.

  • Mott Island seaplane dock, open from 6:00am to 10:00pm only, with a two-hour maximum stay. Contact the Houghton Visitor Center to ensure the dock is clear prior to traveling to the island.

Determining Factors: Seaplane dock access is designated in specific areas and times to ensure safe and unrestricted access for concession aircraft that provide scheduled visitor transportation services and NPS aircraft used in research and emergency services.

(c)(1) The removal of a downed aircraft, components, or parts thereof are subject to procedures established by the Superintendent through written authorization.

36 CFR §2.20 – SKATING, SKATEBOARDS and SIMILAR DEVICES

Similar to limited allowances for the use of bicycles, the use of roller skates, skateboards, roller skis, coasting vehicles, or similar wheeled devices are allowed only in the following areas:

  • Using roller skates, skateboards, roller skis, coasting vehicles, or similar wheeled devices is prohibited except for park residents in the developed and paved areas of Mott Island and Rock Harbor during non-business hours. This use must not interfere with visitor activities such as a safe walking path, must not interfere with any park operations, and must not occur during quiet hours (10 p.m. to 6 a.m.).

Determining Factor: The paved areas of Mott Island and Rock Harbor are working docks and areas where motor vehicles operate. Limited after business hours access allows residents living on the island an opportunity to use these devices as a limited exercise and recreational opportunity without interfering with park operations. Other developed areas do not have pavement for these devices to operate.

36 CFR §2.21 – SMOKING

(a) The following portions of the park, or all or portions of buildings, structures, or facilities are closed to smoking as noted:

  • All public buildings, including concession buildings, are closed to smoking.

  • Smoking is prohibited in all government-owned and operated facilities, vessels, and vehicles except certain marked designated smoking areas on the M.V. Ranger III, the M.V. Angelique and the Tug Shelter Bay.

  • Smoking is prohibited within 100 feet of fuel and propane tanks.

  • Park residents must follow the Housing Management Plan smoking policies.

Determining Factor: These restrictions are intended to protect public health and public safety from fire or explosion around fuel storage facilities. Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigs, are included in the above restrictions. Temporary closures for high wildfire danger or other health and safety reasons will be posted around the park and on the park website: https://www.nps.gov/isro/planyourvisit/conditions/htm.

36 CFR §2.22 – PROPERTY

(a)(2) Property may be left unattended for periods longer than 24 hours in the following areas and under the following conditions:

  • Leaving property unattended more than 24 hours, without written permission of the Superintendent, is prohibited except at long-term parking areas in Houghton, MI.

  • Leaving vessels unattended at concession facilities, more than 24 hours, without making appropriate arrangements with the concessioner, is prohibited.

Determining Factor: The superintendent has established the allowance for parked vehicles in designated long-term parking areas so that these approved vehicles are not considered abandoned property or impounded.

36 CFR §2.23 – RECREATION FEES

(b) Recreation fees, and/or a permit, in accordance with 36 CFR part 71, are established for the following entrance fee areas, and/or for the use of the following specialized sites, facilities, equipment or services, or for participation in the following group activity, recreation events or specialized recreation uses:

Daily Entrance Fee Areas:


Daily Entrance Fee

  • 7.00 per person per day

  • Children 15 and under are exempt from the fee

Isle Royale Season Pass (optional) $60.00

  • This pass is valid from April 16 through October 31 of the year indicated. The pass covers the Entrance Fee for the person whose signature appears on the pass plus three accompanying adults.

36 CFR §2.35 – ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES and CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES

(a)(3)(i) The following public use areas, portions of public use areas, and/or public facilities within the park are closed to consumption of alcoholic beverages, and/or to the possession of a bottle, can or other receptacle containing an alcoholic beverage that is open, or has been opened, or whose seal has been broken or the contents of which have been partially removed:

  • Within visitor centers, historic structures, and on board the park vessel Ranger III, except for off-duty employees authorized to utilize such structures or vessel as quarters.

Determining Factor: The superintendent has determined that these prohibitions and restrictions are necessary for public safety and resource protection.

36 CFR §2.38 – EXPLOSIVES

(b) Fireworks and firecrackers may be possessed and/or used in the following areas, under the conditions noted:

  • Using or possessing fireworks and firecrackers (including sparklers) is prohibited in all land and water areas of the park.

Determining Factor: The superintendent has determined that these prohibitions and restrictions are necessary for public safety and resource protection, including protection of wildlife.

36 CFR §2.51 – PUBLIC ASSEMBLIES, MEETINGS

(e) The Superintendent shall designate on a map, which shall be available in the office of the Superintendent, the locations available for public assemblies:

  • Public assemblies or meetings are permitted only in the areas designated at Houghton, Rock Harbor, and Windigo. See the First Amendment Area Maps on the park website. Copies are also available in park visitor centers.
  • Grounds of historic structures, visitor centers, designated wilderness areas, or any park area during scheduled interpretive programs are closed to public assemblies without permission from the Superintendent.
  • Demonstrations must not block ingress or egress to buildings, docks, or roadways.
  • Demonstrations involving 26 or more individuals must have a permit issued by the Superintendent.

Determining Factor: The superintendent has established locations for the public to safely gather while exercising their first amendment rights, reduce conflicts between groups, ensure park operations can safely continue, and ensure park visitors are free from harassment.

36 CFR §2.52 – SALE or DISTRIBUTION of PRINTED MATTER

(e) The following areas are closed to the distribution of printed matter:

  • Sale or distribution of printed matter is permitted only in the areas designated at Houghton, Rock Harbor, and Windigo. See the First Amendment Area Maps on the park website. Copies are also available in park visitor centers.

  • Grounds of historic structures, visitor centers, designated wilderness areas, or any park area during scheduled interpretive programs are closed to sale or distribution of printed matter without permission from the Superintendent.

  • Activities must not block ingress or egress to buildings, docks, or roadways.

  • Sale or distribution activity involving 26 or more individuals must have a permit issued by the Superintendent.

Determining Factor: The superintendent has established locations for the public to safely gather while exercising their first amendment rights, reduce conflicts between groups, ensure park operations can safely continue, and ensure park visitors are free from harassment.

36 CFR §2.62 – MEMORIALIZATION

(b) The scattering of ashes from cremated human remains.

  • A permit is required to scatter cremated human remains. Contact the park for more information.

Determining Factor: The superintendent has determined that these prohibitions and restrictions are necessary for public safety and resource protection, including protection of culturally sensitive locations.

36 CFR §3.8 – BOATING OPERATIONS

(b)(3) Operating a vessel in excess of flat wake speed in the following areas is prohibited:

  • In all water areas surrounding any beached boat or canoe within 300 feet.

Determining Factor: In the interest of public safety, areas may be designated for flat wake speed. In the occasional circumstance that a vessel is beached restricting vessels in waters within 300’ will help to minimize damage to the beached vessel and be less likely to upset the balance of a person boarding or exiting a beached vessel.

36 CFR §3.12 – WATER SKIING and TOWING of AIRBORNE DEVICES

(a) The towing of persons using water skis, or similar devices, is prohibited within the waters of Isle Royale National Park.

(b) The towing of a person using a parasail, hang-glider or other airborne device is prohibited within the waters of Isle Royale National Park.

Determining Factor: The superintendent has determined that these prohibitions and restrictions are necessary for public safety, resource protection, and for consistency with the Wilderness Act. These restrictions are necessary to eliminate large wakes that may damage or capsize non-motorized vessels, reduce risk of impact of motorized vessels with other vessels or marine hazards such as reefs, and eliminate collision risk with aircraft operating around the park and landing in park waters.

36 CFR §4.30 – BICYCLES

(a)The following routes, in developed areas or special use zones, have been designated for bicycle use:

  • Tricycles, bicycles, and similar devices may be used on authorized roads at Rock Harbor, Mott Island, and Windigo. However, these devices may not be used during peak visitation times such as: when visitors are waiting for or disembarking from ferries, equipment or vehicles are under operation, rangers are leading activities, or when any other work or event creates congestion and/or hazards between people, equipment, and bicycles.

Determining Factor: The superintendent has determined that these restrictions are necessary for public safety and to provide a safe working environment for employees.

Last updated: September 16, 2021

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Mailing Address:

800 East Lakeshore Drive
Houghton , MI 49931

Phone:

906 482-0984

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