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Article: Paddleboarding & Kayaking on the North Saskatchewan River

Paddleboarding & Kayaking on the North Saskatchewan River
North Sask River

Paddleboarding & Kayaking on the North Saskatchewan River

Now that Summertime has finally begun, having fun is just as important as ensuring your own safety and abiding by the law. For Edmontonians, The North Saskatchewan River is a trademark spot for engaging in water activities like kayaking, fishing, paddle boarding, etc.

North Saskatchewan River Safety

What most often forget is that this body of water has a current and can be dangerous under certain conditions.

Since anything that floats is considered a vessel, one must ensure that they follow specific safety guidelines to be proactive, avoid injury and prevent getting into trouble with the law. Examples of vessels include canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, air mattresses, inflatable tubes, etc.

When you are on the water, make sure you are carrying a:

  • Personal flotation device for each person on the vessel
  • Buoyant heaving line at least 15m long
  • Paddle or an anchor with 15m of cable, rope or chain
  • Bailer or manual pump
  • Sound-signaling device (like a whistle or air horn)
  • Flashlight if operating during periods of low daylight

River Safety Fines

A minimum fine of $250 will be handed to those who are not wearing a personal flotation device when their vessel-specific regulations suggest they must, and an additional charge of $250 will be given for each required safety gear item that is not present.

Note: wearing a PFD is not required on a paddle board, tube, water carpets, and similar other inflatables, if you are carrying the above listed safety items, but you must still have a PFD aboard regardless. If you choose to wear your PFD, you will only have to carry a sound signaling device and waterproof flashlight. 

However, there will be no leniency for canoes and kayaks: you must have all safety items listed above with you. 

Furthermore, when operating a vessel, be sure to refrain from consuming drugs or alcohol as you could be charged with impaired driving, public intoxication, etc. Failing to follow all these safety measures can result in up to $10,000 in fines, and a Mandatory Federal Court Appearance.

               The North Saskatchewan River can be unpredictable, therefore land & sea officers simply want to prevent Edmontonians from putting themselves in unsafe situations. Therefore, be sure to enter the water sober, with a PFD or life jacket on, and with the above safety items.

For further clarification on the minimum safety requirements that you must have on your water vessels, refer to the following link:

Don’t own these items quite yet? Shop the MMS store, so that your summer is safe and free of fines!



Paddle board, Kayak & Canoe Edmonton: North Saskatchewan River Access Points

Note: Before you head out onto the water, refer to the following link and review the river conditions as a safety precaution!

Alberta Environment and Parks

Located at the end of Rabbit hill Rd. 

Launch located under the bridge, at the west end of the park. The north side of parking lot does not have restrictions.

Located north of 10286 and 89th St., access below the washroom building on sandy hill. Park in the lot and hand launch.

Located at 9734 98th Ave. NW Edmonton; access can be difficult due to river boats, so please exercise caution when entering.

Directions to parking lot: 13221 Buena Vista Rd NW, Edmonton, AB

Parking is limited here!

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