Commercial Use Authorization for Guided Motorized Boating Operating Plan

General Provisions

  1. The CUA for Motorized Boating allows the CUA holder to conduct guided touring or fishing trips in larger motorized boats on Yellowstone Lake and/or Lewis Lake. Portions of Yellowstone Lake, and all of Shoshone Lake are restricted to non-motorized boats.
  2. Shuttle service for canoers/kayakers or backpackers is not permitted.
  3. Overnight backcountry use is not authorized by this permit.
  4. This permit includes guided fishing from the boat. All clients who are fishing must have a Yellowstone National Park (YNP) fishing permit and must obey park fishing regulations. Fishing permits are required for anyone 16 years and older. Guides must also have a YNP fishing permit.
  5. There is a maximum limit of 5 boats per day.
  6. Guides may not meet clients on park concessioner’s land assignment or at NPS Visitor Centers.
  7. One guide on each trip must have previous, relevant outdoor experience including previous experience on the lakes they are guiding.
  8. While on Yellowstone Lake or Lewis Lake, the CUA holder or guide shall remain with their clients for the duration of the trip.
  9. Every vessel must have a current Yellowstone National Park boat permit and a map of Yellowstone and/or Lewis Lakes when operating there. Operators are required to be familiar with and follow the rules and regulations found in the “Yellowstone National Park Boating Regulations” publication.
  10. "Class I (16'to 26') and Class II (26'< 40') motorized boats shall proceed no closer than 1/4 mile from the shoreline of the South and Southeast arms of Yellowstone Lake except to debark or embark passengers, or while moored while passengers are ashore." 36 CFR 7.13(9)(i).
  11. Commercial motorized boat operators must follow National Park Service (NPS) regulations (Intermountain Region Task Directives 1990). Safety equipment must be approved by the United States Coast Guard (USCG). All FCC licensing requirements need to be followed.
  12. To prevent Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS), the CUA holder must ensure gear and tackle are cleaned and dried before entering or changing Yellowstone waters.
  13. All watercraft, trailers, towing vehicles and water recreational gear must undergo an Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) inspection prior to entering any water within Yellowstone National Park. AIS inspections must be done at the same time a boat permit is issued and conducted only by authorized NPS AIS staff.
  14. Any watercraft, trailer, tow vehicle, or other article immersed in park waters known to contain Aquatic Invasive Species, shall be thoroughly inspected and cleaned prior to entering any other waters within the park. (Waters contaminated by Aquatic Invasive Species include: Yellowstone Lake, Yellowstone river (Yellowstone Lake to the park north boundary), Pelican Creek, Gardiner River (Mammoth Hot Springs to the park north boundary), Lewis River (south of Lewis Falls), Madison River, Gibbon River (Madison to Norris), Firehole River (Madison to Old Faithful), and Nez Perce Creek.)
  15. Boats are limited to drift within 25 feet (~7.5 meters) of shoreline thermal features, and are not allowed to land within 32 feet (~10 meters) of thermal features.
  16. The CUA holder is responsible for ensuring that all clients are safely equipped and properly clothed prior to the trip. Each boat should have, at a minimum, the following: at least one woolen blanket sealed in a watertight compartment, an emergency paddle, a manual bailing device, waste receptacle, whistle, USGC visual distress signal, marine band radio or cellular phone is recommended. Guides intending to operate a marine band radio must apply for and have available a marine band radio FCC license. Call (800) 418-3676 for forms or (202) 418-0220 for assistance. Currently, the National Park Service does not monitor marine band traffic 24 hours a day. During the summer marine band is monitored during the day. Cellular phone coverage does not cover all locations on the lakes.
  17. All clients must wear Type I USCG approved personal flotation devices (PFDs) that are properly sized, in serviceable condition.

Last updated: January 6, 2017

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Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168



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