Water navigation restrictions lifted in Muskoka region
The water flows over rocks near Lake Muskoka. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Dave Chidley)
CTV Northern Ontario
Published Wednesday, May 1, 2019 1:58PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, May 15, 2019 10:28AM EDT
Transport Canada has lifted the order restricting navigation in the Muskoka Region.
Although the restriction to navigation has been rescinded, the Ontario Provincial Police say waterways affected by flood conditions continue to have hidden dangers. Fast moving water and unexpected debris floating on or just under the surface will continue to pose serious risk to boaters.
Police say to use extra caution and always wear a lifejacket.
(Muskoka Region, ON) - On April 30, 2019, Transport Canada issued an interim order prohibiting navigation on certain bodies of water within the Region of Muskoka. The intent of the order is to protect people, vessels and property and to allow first responders to do their jobs during flood conditions.
“’In light of the deteriorating situation, part of Muskoka region has been added to the interim order to better protect residents as well as to prevent damage. My department continues to closely monitor the situation across all flooded regions, and I will not hesitate to take any additional actions as required.” said Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport.
Navigation is currently prohibited as follows:
- Lake Muskoka
- North and South Branches of the Muskoka River
- Moon River
Individuals who can only access their property by boat are exempted from the interim order and other restrictions for the purpose of going to and from their property.This exemption is extended to property managers and contractors acting upon direction of those property owners. There are also exemptions in place for the municipality, police, fire, Canadian Forces and Canadian Coast Guard during emergency operations and for enforcement of this order.
Those who do fall under the exemption are urged to operate their vessels as slowly as possible to ensure safety and prevent further damage from wakes. The high water in these areas pose serious risk to boaters from fast moving water and rapids in areas where those conditions may not have traditionally been present. Dangerous conditions also exist from debris floating on top and just under the surface of the water.
In addition to marine patrols in these areas by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Bracebridge and Huntsville Detachments, members from the OPP Central Region SAVE (Snowmobile, ATV and Vessel Enforcement) Team will be assisting in monitoring the area. Failing to abide by this order could result in fines of up to $5000.