COVID-19 Boating FAQ

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Isle Royale Boating During COVID-19

Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Michigan Safe Start plan, and local public health authorities, Isle Royale is increasing recreational access to the park.

  • Beginning June 26, 2020, campgrounds, docks, and trails will be open
    • Exceptions: North Desor Campground and Minong Trail from Hatchet Lake Junction to East Huginnin Trail Junction. 
  • Boaters must obtain an overnight permit in advance from the Houghton Visitor Center at 906-482-0984 or ISRO_parkinfo@nps.gov.
  • Please pay entrance fees in advance at www.pay.gov.
  • When recreating, follow state and local area health orders, practice Leave No Trace principles, avoid crowding, and avoid high-risk outdoor activities. The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

 

Boating Emergencies

What if I have an emergency? Who should I contact?

Boaters within park waters do so at their own risk. If you have an emergency, contact the US Coast Guard on marine radio channel 16.

What if there is bad weather? Can I take refuge with my boat in a safe harbor or at a dock overnight?

Boaters do so at their own risk. In an emergency situation, a boat can take refuge in park waters and contact the US Coast Guard on marine radio channel 16.

 

Boating Related Recreational Activities

Can I go fishing in park waters? What license do I need?

Yes, following all State of Michigan fishing regulations.

Will I be able to buy a fishing license on the island?

No fishing licenses will be sold on the island. Purchase your fishing license in advance at a sales outlet or online at https://www.michigan.gov/dnr/

Will SCUBA diving be allowed?

Yes, scuba diving will be allowed after the park opens on June 26, 2020, Permitting for each diver is required.

Are dive bouys installed at shipwreck sites?

To be determined.

 

Docks & Campgrounds

Are docks and campgrounds open?

Docks and campgrounds open June 26, 2020, with some specific closures due to specific park needs.

Are any docks closed this summer?

Yes, some docks are closed.

  • Rock Harbor Marina docks are closed for overnight use. The Rock Harbor Marina docks are open for day use only from 8:00 am - 6:00 pm ET. No marina services are available other than on-call fuel sales.
  • Windigo Finger Docks are closed.
  • Siskiwit Bay Dock will be closed for repairs starting July 15.

Can we dock in the reserved ferry spaces since the ferries are not operating this summer?

Yes. As ferries are not operating this summer, the dock spaces are not reserved and can be used for overnight docking. As in previous years, no overnight docking is permitted at Raspberry Island, Edisen Fishery, Wright Island, and Hidden Lake.

 

Fuel & Services

Will fuel be available on the island?

Yes, but limited dates and times.
Rock Harbor: cash or credit.

  • July 1 - August 11, 2020, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm ET
  • August 12 - August 25, 2020, 8:00 - 10 am & 2:00 - 4:00 pm ET

Windigo: credit only.

  • July 1 - Sept 26, 2020, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm ET

See the fuel page for detailed information.

Will fuel be sold at Mott Island?

Fuel will not be provided at Mott Island at any time this season.

Will there be electrical service and or fresh water hook-ups at the Rock Harbor Marina?

No, electrical service or water hook-ups will not be available at the Rock Harbor Marina.

Can I dock at the Rock Harbor Marina overnight?

No, the Rock Harbor Marina docks are closed for overnight use. The Rock Harbor Marina docks are open for day use only from 8:00 am - 6:00 pm ET. No marina services are available other than on-call fuel sales.

Will there be pump out service available for boats at Rock Harbor or Windigo?

No, pump out services will not be available in the park this summer.

Are the north shore and south shore ranger stations open this summer?

No, the north and south shore ranger stations are not open this summer. Rangers will be making intermittent patrols to these areas throughout the summer.

 

Permits & Fees

Do I need a permit to anchor in the park? How do I get one?

Yes, if you are staying overnight you need an overnight boater permit. Contact the Houghton Visitor Center before your trip by phone at 906-482-0984 or email at isro_parkinfo@nps.gov to obtain your permit.

Do I need a permit to camp in the park? How do I get one?

Yes, if you are staying overnight you need an overnight boater permit. Contact the Houghton Visitor Center before your trip by phone at 906-482-0984 or email at isro_parkinfo@nps.gov to obtain your permit.

Do I have to pay entrance fees?

Yes, please pay your entrance fee or purchase a pass in advance of your trip at www.pay.gov, search Isle Royale.

 

Miscellaneous COVID-19 Boating Questions

Why is Isle Royale National Park following State of Michigan guidance?

Isle Royale National Park regularly works with local, regional, and state jurisdictions and governments. Where appropriate, the Park follows local, regional, and state regulations (for example, fishing regulations for Lake Superior waters). During this COVID-19 pandemic, Isle Royale National Park supports all local, regional, and state prevention methods in order to combat and slow the spread of COVID-19.

Will there be any National Park Service staff present on Isle Royale during the closure?

Only a minimum number of park personnel will be on Isle Royale during the closure. No services will be available while the park remains closed through June 25, 2020, such as fuel sales, marina services, food or supply sales, or mechanical support. The visitor centers will be closed. The park will be monitored for visitor compliance with the closure.

Last updated: August 7, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

800 East Lakeshore Drive
Houghton, MI 49931

Phone:

(906) 482-0984

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