Detroit River Special Regulations

Thanks in part to recent events, we should start off with a mention of what you'll need to do if you plan on fishing both the US and Canadian sides of the river. If you plan on docking in Canada after being on US soil, you'll need a Passport and 2 additional pieces of ID.

For docking in the US after being on Candian soil, you'll need to comply with one of the following two programs below. Keep in mind that although the rules state to be checked you must dock in the Untied States after being on shore in Canada, this is a very grey area. You may find that just crossing the international line may get you checked by the Coast Guard, and as soon as you land you can be checked by the INS. These rules apply to both US and Candian citizens.
The Outlying Area Reporting Station (OARS), and the Canadian Border Boat Landing Program, or I-68, as it's commonly known, are two programs put forth by US Immigrations that every boater should know about.

The I-68 Program
The I-68 program allows certain persons who enter the United States by small boat to be inspected once per year, and thereafter enter from time to time for recreational purposes without further inspection. Boaters who choose not to obtain Form I-68 must report in person for inspection at a Port-of-Entry (POE) upon each entry to the United States.

Under the I-68 program, applicants for admission into the United States by small pleasure boats are inspected and issued a single boating permit for the entire boating season. This permit enables them to enter the United States from Canada for recreational purposes without the need to report to the INS for further inspection. United States citizens or lawful permanent residents and Canadian citizens or landed immigrants of Canada are eligible to apply for Form I-68. For those who are not United States Citizens (USCs) or lawful permanent residents of the United States, Form I-68 authorizes admission within the immediate shore area of the United States for no more than 72 hours at a time.

Boaters not in possession of a valid Form I-68 must either report in person for inspection at a port-of-entry, or utilize one of the 33 OARS videophone stations each time they apply for admission to the United States.

Further I-68 information

The OARS Program
The OARS program uses videophones, typically located at public marinas (on the Canadian side), which boaters may use to report to INS. OARS is not a replacement for traditional physical inspections. Coupled with random compliance checks and used in appropriate low-risk locations, it is an effective means of enforcing immigration laws while providing convenience to the traveler.

The system is comprised of an AutoDial telephone, a video transceiver, a monitor, a facial camera and a document camera. To operate the system, the traveler either picks up the handset or pushes the inspector call button. This system allows both the traveler and the inspector to view one another as the inspection is taking place.

Fishing Rules

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the governing body over fish and game regs for the state of Michigan. In thier quest for a higher quality fishery, they have imposed a few special regulatios on the Detroit River pertaining to limits and season dates. Please refer to the current Fishing Guide for the latest changes, updates and information.

The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) is the governing body over fish and game regs for the provence of Ontario. Please refer to the current Fishing Regulations Summary for the latest changes, updates and information.

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