Commercial Use Authorization for Guided Non-Motorized Boating Operating Plan

General Provision

  1. The CUA for Non-Motorized Boats allows the CUA holder to conduct guided touring using dories, single or tandem kayaks, canoe, and other small non-motorized vessels in Yellowstone, Lewis and Shoshone Lakes.
  2. Overnight backcountry use is not an authorized use unless the CUA holder has a CUA for Overnight Backpacking Trips.
  3. Incidental fishing by clients is permitted provided clients have a Yellowstone National Park fishing permit and obey park fishing regulations. Fishing permits are required for anyone 16 years and older.
  4. There is a maximum limit of 15 boats per group excluding the guide, and are limited to three groups per day. Each group must have a qualified guide. Launch times must be scheduled 30 minutes apart. Group size may increase with written permission from the park.
  5. While on Yellowstone Lake, Lewis Lake, or Shoshone Lake, the CUA holder or guide shall remain with their clients for the duration of the trip.
  6. Every vessel must have a current Yellowstone National Park boat permit and a map of Yellowstone and/or Shoshone 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.
  7. To prevent Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS), the CUA holder must ensure gear, tackle, clothing, and equipment (especially wading boots) are cleaned and dried before entering or changing Yellowstone waters.
  8. All watercraft, trailers, towing vehicles and water recreational gear (including any inflatable or float tube and associated water recreational articles) 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.
  9. 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.)
  10. 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.
  11. All clients must wear Type I or Type III personal flotation devices (PFDs) that are properly sized, in serviceable condition, and Coast Guard approved.
  12. The CUA holder is responsible for ensuring that all clients are safely equipped and properly clothed prior to the trip. This includes but is not limited to the following: a bailing device is required for each boat and a bilge pump is required for each kayak, throwable rescue device required in guide boat ("throw-bag" recommended, not Type IV PFD), spare paddle is recommended for each guide., whistle for guide use during emergency, USCG approved visual distress signal for guide use during emergency, marine band radio or cellular phone is recommended, at least one woolen blanket or sleeping bag sealed in a watertight container, a working flashlight. 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.
  13. All FCC licensing requirements need to be followed.
For further backcountry guidelines and regulations, please refer to the information provided in Beyond Road's End available in any Backcountry Office.

Last updated: January 6, 2017

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Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168



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