All boaters should be familiar with boating safety and regulations before heading out on to the lakes.
Transport Canada provides a full on-line version of The Safe Boating Guide.
This guide lists:
Transport Canada also provides a complete list of acts and regulations.
Many Area Municipalities in Muskoka have passed noise bylaws that require boat owners to use a muffling device on boat exhaust systems. These bylaws are the result of an amendment to the Canada Shipping Act - Small Vessel Regulations section. The Regulations amend the Small Vessel Regulations and includes a definition of "muffler" and specific exceptions to the regulation. Contact your local Area Municipality for more information on any local bylaw.
There are new requirements under the Small Vessel Regulations of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001, that state that all power driven boats are to be equipped with a working muffler that is in good condition. Visit http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/debs-obs-environment-noise-menu-305.htm for more information about these changes.
ALL operators of powered watercraft, regardless of boater's age or length of boat, require a Pleasure Craft Operator Card.
You can obtain your Pleasure Craft Operator Card from any accredited course provider.
You may also obtain the card online by completing a Canadian Coast Guard Accredited Exam through the BoaterExam website.
This BoaterExam website provides a free on-line study guide that covers 100% of the exam material. Registration and writing the final exam requires a registration fee.
Transport Canada has made some essential changes to the Canadian boating exam process which went into effect on April 15, 2011. These new boating license laws are meant to further improve Canadian boater safety and will have implications for both experienced and new boating enthusiasts. Learn more at http://www.boaterexam.com/blog/2011/03/changes-to-boating-license-laws-in-canada.aspx.
One of Environment Canada's Pollution Prevention projects includes the Clean Marine Program. Their goal is to achieve environmental stewardship through the many partners associated with the Clean Marine Program. This partnership works towards preventing and reducing water, air and land pollution from recreational boating activities in Ontario and across Canada through voluntary environmental stewardship and pollution prevention initiatives. The Ontario Marine Operators Association (Boating Ontario) is the lead organization for the Clean Marine Program. Support the Clean Marine Program by choosing an Eco-Rated Marina as your home port.
|Major accomplishments of the Clean Marine Program|
|The distribution of educational pamphlets and handbooks|
|The development and implementation of the Eco-Rating Program to encourage stakeholders to adopt the measures contained in the Clean Marine Project Handbook into their business practice|
|The certification of over 250 marinas in Ontario|
To learn more about this Pollution Prevention Project, visit the Clean Marine Program website and their affiliated partners who make this program work on a day-to-day basis.
The Clean Boater Program is an environmental initiative aimed at educating the boating public in "Environmental Best Management Practices". Joining the Clean Boater Program entitles you to:
Join the Clean Boater Program and lead the way in the preserving Muskoka's lakes and rivers for future generations.
As a consumer of marine-related products, you should be aware that the choices you make at the store have a large impact on the overall health of your watershed. As a consumer and boating enthusiast, you should always make an effort to protect the boating environment by purchasing only products certified with the EcoLogo.
Terra Choice Environmental Services operates the EcoLogo program for Environment Canada. The EcoLogo Program is Environment Canada's ecolabelling program that displays the designated EcoLogo when the product meets a set of environmental criteria.
By using products that display the EcoLogo, boaters can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, wastes and other environmental impacts associated with recreational boating.
Invasive species are one of the greatest threats to biodiversity of Ontario's waters. More than 160 non-indigenous species have become established in the Great Lakes Basin. Invasive species found in Muskoka include Zebra mussels, Spiny water flea, and Purple loosetrife. Discover more about aquatic invasive species.
The Trent-Severn Waterway is a 386 kilometre waterway located in central Ontario that forms the southern boundary of the District of Muskoka. It has a rich cultural history and is managed by Parks Canada. It has:
Many of Muskoka's lakes can be accessed through public boat launches and docks. Download a list of public access points here.