Reporting to U.S. Customs After Fishing Canadian Waters — You MUST HAVE a Nexus or I-68

Attention! You MUST have a Nexus or I-68 to fish Canadian waters regardless of what the Port Angeles office of U.S. Custom’s and Border Patrol says. They will soon be required to follow the law and be consistent with all of the other ports. Currently P.A. also controls Port Townsend, which will also be in line with other ports.

I just got off the phone with Officer Petkus, U.S. Custom’s & Border Patrol in Bellingham. Here’s what she had to say.

“We are the ones who are dealing with the small boating system. Don’t do anything with SVRS, it’s a managed out of Miami and does not work well here. Additionally, it requires boaters to file a “float plan,” you don’t want to do that because it slows the clearing process.

She says everyone MUST have either a Nexus card or I-68, in any combo. In other words, if one angler has a Nexus and two others have and I-68 you are good to go.

“Using a Nexus or I-68 goes quicker when clearing U.S. Customs,” explains Petkus.

When calling the 1-800 number to clear back into the United States, you must give them your Canadian clearance number as well as everyone’s Nexus or I-68 number. A clearance number will then be issued over the phone.

I also spoke with U.S. Custom’s and Border Patrol Port Director, Anthony Zumpano who said, “All of the ports need to be on the same page.”

Obviously they are not all on the same page, but will be soon.

In short, YOU MUST have an I-68 or Nexus to fish Canadian waters even if you don’t touch land or anchor. Period, end of story.

According to local Port Angeles U.S. Custom’s and Border Patrol station, boaters/anglers  do not have to call U.S. Custom’s to return home. This is not true. You still could face warnings, penalties or fines if you do not have the proper documents and do not call upon returning to U.S. waters.

Be safe and be legal.

About John L. Beath

John Beath is a writer, photographer, videographer, blogger, tackle manufacturer & Captain at Whaler's Cove Lodge in Southeast Alaska. He is also owner of and host at Lets Talk Outdoors @
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