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Crossing the International Border
Sportsmen and sportswomen from around the world and especially, from the US, have been coming to Canada for decades and decades. Crossing the border into Canada is easy provided you are prepared and have the correct documents with you.
You may not bring minnows, leeches or worms into Canada. Besides, you won’t need them where you’re going anyway!
If you have any criminal convictions on your record, including a DWI, you will likely be denied entry into Canada. We strongly suggest you call the Canadian Border Services and speak to one of the officers directly. Most times these issues can be resolved in advance of your trip, but if you find out that there is a problem while sitting in your vehicle at the gate, (with your fishing buddies glaring at you) your trip may end up being shorter than you first planned. Sure, you can go to their website, but sometimes it’s easier to get information over the phone.
If you are driving up from the USA and traveling through northern Minnesota, call the border crossing at Pigeon River, Ontario. It’s just a half hour drive north of Grand Marais, MN. The phone number is 807-964-2095. The phone number for the border crossing at Fort Frances, Ontario (across from International Falls, MN) is 807-274-3655.
We are reluctant to include information regarding “how much of this or how much of that” you may bring into Canada because these laws change and there are variables that can affect this as well. We advise you to contact the Canada Customs agency directly a few weeks before your trip is planned. Things like alcohol and tobacco products are permitted, of course, but the amount permitted is something you could check into.
When being questioned at the border, answer the questions politely and don’t try to be cute or funny. If your vehicle does get flagged and searched, do yourself a favour and be polite. They won’t “tear your car apart.” That only happens in the movies. Don’t be surprised if they send you right on through after checking your identification. You’ll also probably hear, “Good luck fishing!”
The website address for Canadian Immigration and Customs is: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/index.asp
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