Lake Winnipeg-Border Crossing without issues

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  • Lake Winnipeg-Border Crossing without issues

    By Chad Maloy

One of the hottest fall and winter fishing destinations over the past few years has been Lake Winnipeg. Anglers travel to Southern Manitoba in search of a fish called the Greenback walleye.

You will need to make sure you have a current passport. There are two different passport options: a card and a traditional passport book. Both are acceptable for crossing the border by land. If traveling by air, you will need the passport book. Obtaining a passport (book or card) takes between 4-6 weeks. If you have had any convictions, you will also need to make special arrangements before entering Canada.

About 10 years ago, the need for a passport to cross borders was mandated. Passports need to be renewed every ten years. So, if yours is about to expire, make sure to get it renewed well before you leave for your trip.

If you are making the trip with a minor, we highly suggest that each minor have a note signed by both of their parents listing who their parents are, who the minor is traveling with, departure and return dates, reason for travel and their intended destination.  

Keep in mind most places do not accept US currency. This leaves you two options in which to pay for goods and services. The easiest method is to use a credit card. The credit card company will take care of making the conversions automatically on your statement. I do suggest that you contact your credit card company prior to the trip to inform them that you will be making a trip to Canada. The other option is to pay with cash. You will need to stop at a bank to exchange your currency. Some border crossing towns also have exchange services for your convenience.

Brewer Agre Outdoor

We usually make our crossing from Fargo, ND into Canada at the Emerson border crossing. Prior to entering the checkpoint, we suggest you fuel up before entering the border crossing. Making the crossing is not to be taken lightly. There are strict rules on the amount of some products you can bring with you when crossing the border. Be sure to recognize restrictions and regulations on alcohol and tobacco, along with other products you may be transporting across borders.

Make sure to have passports for each occupant ready when you arrive at the check point. Remove your sunglasses and hats. Turn off your radio and look the border guard straight in the eye. He will ask you a series of questions. Let the driver of the vehicle answer all questions unless other occupants are asked directly. Generally, border crossing guards do not have a sense of humor, which means in order to have a successful crossing, be serious during the entire process. 

Sometimes the border crossing guard will ask you to pull over and to come inside for some further checking. Typically, we have had to provide them our identification and wait as they did a more thorough search of records. After a few minutes, we were allowed to be on our way.

Once you have successfully crossed the border, make sure to secure your passports in a safe place for your return crossing back into the U.S. If you decide to bring fish back, make sure it is properly packaged. The border guard will need to be able to count your fish fillets if you are chosen to be searched. Make sure they are easily able to count how many fish you have to avoid any issues. 

Brewer Agre Outdoor

This article is meant to serve as a starting point for anglers considering a trip to Lake Winnipeg. We do suggest you conduct your own homework to research the details for your specific situation to ensure a successful trip.