COVID-19 Boating FAQ

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Isle Royale Boating During COVID-19

Boating Information Will Be Updated Winter/Spring 2022


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.

  • Boaters must obtain an overnight permit in advance from the Houghton Visitor Center at 906-482-0984.
  • 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?

Only 24-hour licenses are available on the island, and only when the Rock Harbor Trading Post and Windigo Store are open. 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 is allowed. Permitting for each diver is required.

Are dive buoys installed at shipwreck sites?

All buoys are planned to be installed by mid-June.

 

Docks & Campgrounds

Are docks and campgrounds open?

Yes, all docks are open. All campgrounds are open except North Lake Desor Campground and Little Todd Campground (paddlers only). These campgrounds will be closed through June 15, 2021.

Are any docks closed this summer?

All docks are open, except the finger docks in Windigo. The Windigo finger docks are being worked on this spring. Dock maintenance is expected to be completed by the summer boating season.

 

Fuel & Services

What dates will fuel be available on the island?

Rock Harbor: cash or credit.

  • May 28 - September 11

Windigo: cash or credit.

  • June 8 - September 11

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?

Yes, electrical service or water hook-ups will be available at the Rock Harbor Marina from May 28 - September 10.

Can I dock at the Rock Harbor Marina overnight?

Yes, the Rock Harbor Marina docks will be open for overnight use from May 28 - September 10.

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

Yes, pump out services will be available in the park this summer when the concession operation is open.

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

Amygdaloid Ranger Station will be staffed this summer. Malone Bay Ranger Station will not be staffed this summer. Rangers will be making intermittent patrols of the south shore 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.

Last updated: October 21, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

800 East Lakeshore Drive
Houghton, MI 49931

Phone:

(906) 482-0984

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