Winter News


As the snow piled up on boats and docks in the harbour on October 3, it was clear that fall was over and winter would arrive early. Due to the weather, the water in the harbour was shut down on October 11, and the few remaining hearty boaters were inspired to call it a season.

Fishers, on the other hand, were still busy pulling nets and cleaning catch in a run up to the end of the fall fishing season on October 31. It was a miserably cold and windy fishing season for them. We hope everyone got a good supply of pickerel in the freezer, thanks to our fishers.

The GHA Harbour Office officially closed October 15, although staff was busy finishing up tasks through November to tuck the harbour in for the winter. Garbage and recycling containers around the GHA property have been decommissioned for the season. If visiting the harbour area, please dispose of garbage and recyclables in the RM of Gimli receptacles adjacent to the harbour property. The Main Pier will be plowed to provide access to the Namao for the winter. Visitors are welcome to walk on the pier and around the Harbour property throughout the winter but do so at their own risk.


The Gimli Harbour Authority (GHA) will be offering craning services to boaters beginning in the spring of 2019. The craning service can be used to launch boats and hoist masts in the spring, and demast and lift boats in the fall. Boaters will be required to provide their own licenced trailer, and be present to assist with the boat. Outdoor storage for boats will be available in the South parking lot beginning the winter of 2019-2020. Also, we are working on re-establishing a dockside pump out service. Visit the Harbour Office when it reopens in April 2019 for more details.


Harbour Hill Path

Harbour Hill path will not be maintained during the winter. Without staff to maintain and monitor the condition of the path around Harbour Hill, it may become unsafe and dangerous to users over the winter. Therefore, the Harbour Authority is notifying users of the potential danger and that they use the path at their own risk.

No Vehicle Access Through the Harbour to the Lake

This year, the Gimli Harbour Authority will not be providing a vehicle access point to the lake through the harbour due to general safety concerns, use of the harbour for community events, and damage caused to docks in the past. Last year a new dock was significantly damaged by a vehicle and had to be replaced. Anyone with any knowledge of this accident should contact Gimli RCMP.

The RM of Gimli is constructing and maintaining a winter road off Goldfield Drive to provide vehicle access to the lake. A second access point may be provided in the south bay. Check the RM website at for more information.


Not surprisingly, interest in winter activities in Gimli has been growing over the past several years with events like the Mercedes AMG Winter Driving Academy, Gimli Ice Festival and the Gimli Community Development Corporation (CDC) Fishing Derby. The colourful shacks of recreational ice fishers form lively communities on the ice outside the harbour from freeze up to spring thaw.

The Gimli Harbour Authority is working in cooperation with the RM of Gimli, Gimli CDC and other community organizations to promote winter tourism in Gimli. Visitors are welcome to walk around the property and attend community events, but do so at their own risk. Licences and user agreements with these organizations are arranged with the Gimli Harbour Authority in advance of their events so everything is in place when it comes time for them to use the GHA facilities and property.


Summer Newsletter

Summer 2018 is now in full swing, with plenty of hot days, strong winds and low water.  The new ladder at the fuel and pump out dock is working well for getting people off their boats with the low water. So are the new 40 foot fuel hoses installed on the gas and diesel pumps.  Who would have believed a couple of years ago that the water could ever go this low.

Please be advised that the Main Pier and Centre Pier will be closed to vehicles (except for emergency and event vehicles) from 9:00am on Saturday, August 4th until 4:00pm on Monday, August 6th.

Construction on the Pan Am dock is moving along as scheduled.  The demolition and some of the noisiest work is now completed, and reconstruction has begun.  

Thanks to the general contractor, Redi-Form Construction, for taking time the day before the Canada Day long weekend to rearrange the fencing so the path could be open to pedestrian traffic for the weekend. 

Thanks also to everyone for their cooperation in keeping docks clear of personal items, limiting the attachment of items to docks and structures, and removing mats and carpets.  Safe access on docks is our primary concern, followed closely by promoting the longevity of the docks and good overall maintenance of the harbour facilities.

Please be sure to secure your boat in a manner that protects your boat from rubbing on the docks and protects the dock from rubbing by your boat.  Use spring lines to keep your boat a safe distance from principle docks and piles, and to ensure that your bow does not overhang the principle dock.

Also, please ensure your dock box is within the acceptable size allowance (50” long by 26” deep by 29” high).  Oversized dock boxes should be removed. Two boxes had to be retrieved from the harbour recently so identifying your box with a boat name or slip number would assist us in contacting owners, if necessary.  Your help is appreciated.


The GHA is looking into providing some new services to its customers and your feedback is required.  The GHA would like to know if its customers would be interested in having the Harbour offer launching, hauling, exterior boat cleaning, outdoor winter storage and pump out services. Boat trailers would need to be licenced and prices would be competitive.  Please contact the Harbour office at 204-642-7517 or email to get more information. Please let us know if you are interested in any of these services or have any suggestions for other services not mentioned.


Delegates from the Canadian Land Directors Association visit
Gimli Harbour     
Article and photo submitted by Roselle Miko, Lands Branch, Sustainable Development

On Wednesday, June 13, 2018, delegates from the Canadian Land Directors Association (CLDA) stopped at the Gimli Harbour as part of their tour.  The 58th Annual Canadian Land Directors Association (CLDA) was hosted by Sustainable Development and Manitoba Agriculture and hosted delegates from across Canada and New Zealand.

The CLDA is an association that provides a forum to share information and seek solutions to common and cross-jurisdictional Crown land administration and management issues.  The CLDA membership recognizes that Crown land management issues are not unique and the conference provides opportunities to collaborate and discuss key cross cutting issues.

With marine issues being a key component of Crown land management, the conference arranged for a tour of the Gimli Harbour area.  The Gimli Harbour Authority graciously showed the group the challenges and opportunities facing a working harbour and the relationship dynamics needed between federal, provincial and municipal jurisdictions to ensure the ongoing success of the harbour. 

Known as a “prairie province” due to its thriving agricultural sector, it is sometimes forgotten that this “land-locked” province has ocean access through Hudson’s Bay and boasts two of Canada's largest lakes, Lake Manitoba and Lake Winnipeg.  Delegates from Canada’s three coasts were impressed to learn that the Gimli Harbour is the largest harbour on Lake Winnipeg and the largest harbour between Ontario and the west coast of mainland British Columbia. 

The group learned about the day-to-day operations of the harbour from the Harbour Masters and were surprised to learn that the Gimli Harbour Authority is a not-for-profit, self-sustaining corporation. Further discussions about balancing the needs of the commercial fishing industry on Lake Winnipeg with access for pleasure craft was a keen area of discussion.  In addition, the group learned about some of the additional uses around the site, including the Viking Village, which gets set up each year on the Harbour Authority’s land as part of Gimli’s Icelandic Festival.

While on site, the group looked at the docks and berths to inform their discussion on berthing rates and fees as well as the ongoing maintenance needs of the harbour.  It was interesting to hear how the management of a harbour differs from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, while sharing some of the same challenges.

Thank you to the Harbour Masters, Cindy and Lori, for a wonderfully informative tour and discussion!

Congratulations to Robert T. Kristjanson on being invested into the Order of Manitoba!

Robert T. was chosen for his dedication to increasing awareness of the growing algae problem on Lake Winnipeg, his 35 years of service as an Auxiliary with the Canadian Coast Guard and his record of service to several volunteer and community organizations. The Order of Manitoba is Manitoba's highest honour and a way to recognize Manitobans who have demonstrated excellence and achievement.

Dr. Karen Scott

Karen Scott has a unique knowledge and perspective of Lake Winnipeg as the coordinator of Science and Education Programs with the Lake Winnipeg Research Consortium.  The LWRC is a registered charity dedicated to facilitating science on Lake Winnipeg. For more information, visit  Here are some of her thoughts on what we hear about the health of Lake Winnipeg:

Many of us have fallen victim to the old saying “Buy the rumour, sell the news”. For Lake Winnipeg, selling the news has translated into the prevailing misconceptions that it is “the most threatened lake in the world”, that it is “dying” and even “a lost cause”.

In the last 15 years, it appears that we have gone from no dialogue about this changing Great Lake to the extreme – sensational and fearmongering headlines that over time have become fact in the public psyche, despite not having any scientific basis. 

Is Lake Winnipeg dying? No. Lake Winnipeg is a shallow, well-mixed lake. This means that when it is windy, oxygen from the atmosphere can be introduced to the bottom of the lake through mixing. A few low oxygen events have been measured in Lake Winnipeg during extended periods of hot, calm weather but they are rare and short-lived – disappearing when the wind picks up. It may make a great headline, but Lake Winnipeg is not dying. If only it were that simple.

The science does reveal that the Lake Winnipeg ecosystem is changing, due largely to human activities. The response of the lake to multiple stressors – excess nutrients, the introduction of numerous exotic species, fishing pressure, intensive shoreline development, and climate change – is complex. It is the aim of research and monitoring programs to better understand this complexity in order to inform management decision-making. This includes understanding the response of the lake to remedial efforts taking place in the watershed - how will a significant reduction in nutrients impact the productivity of the fishery?

Lake Winnipeg is not dying or the most threatened lake in the world, and it is certainly not a lost cause. It is, however, experiencing unprecedented change. Although we cannot go back in time, we can shape the future through a shared collective vision of a healthy Lake Winnipeg: a vision that is realized through a long-term commitment to supporting management regimes that are adaptive and based on whole ecosystem science, as well as through the efforts of a well-informed and engaged public that recognizes and respects the intrinsic value of water as a life-sustaining force.

Have a fantastic Summer from all of us at the GHA!

1 Centre Street POB 2210
Gimli  MB  R0C 1B0
Office: 204-642-7517 | Cell: 204-642-2374


Spring Newsletter

OFFICE OPENS FRIDAY, APRIL 27 – 10:00am to 3:00pm

Gimli Harbour Authority 2018 Spring Newsletter

 The blue skies and warmer temperatures of April are a wonderful reminder that before long we will be back on the lake for another season.   Between now and then, two projects will be occurring around the harbour.

The Principal Float project is being completed. Principal docks have been reinstalled and finger docks will be reinstalled when the harbour is free of ice. Water and power lines will be reinstalled after that. Weather permitting, services on the docks affected by the Principal Float project should be up and running by the May long weekend.

In the interest of increasing the longevity of our new principal docks, protecting them from unnecessary wear and tear, and providing safe access to users, personal property must be stored on owners’ boats. Chairs, satellite dishes, jerry cans, hoses, bicycles, paddleboards, kayaks, etc. should be stowed away when not in use. Carpets should not be installed on any docks. The GHA will be reinstalling cleats, please return any GHA cleats removed in the fall.

The tender for the Pan Am Pier upgrade project has been posted and the project should begin in late May. Before the project begins, the Pan Am principal dock will be pushed away from the pier and a ramp will be constructed on the beach north of the pier to provide access to boaters during the construction. Jetski ports on the south side of the Pan Am Pier will be temporarily relocated to the South Dock.

The project staging area will be located between the dinghy beach and the south parking lot. For safety and security reasons during the project, the area between the Pan Am Pier and staging area must be kept clear and the walking path will be restricted to harbour users only. Flag persons will be onsite when large trucks are coming and going through the staging area and along the pier access to 1stAvenue. Please be extra cautious when walking in this area. The Pan Am project should be completed by the end of September, weather permitting.

The Harbour Office will open Friday, April 27 from 10:00am to 3:00pm and be open Fridays through Sundays, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. until summer hours take effect. Alternate arrangements can be made with a Harbour Master on Mondays or Thursdays by calling to make an appointment. The office will be closed on Tuesdays and Wednesday. Please remember that registration forms and slip fees for fishers and seasonal boaters are due by May 15th.

Please call the office at 204-642-7517 to talk to one of the Harbour Masters, if you are unsure of your balance owing or have any questions. Payments can be made by cheque, cash, Debit, MasterCard or VISA. Please plan ahead – credit card payments made over the phone are subject to a 2.5% convenience fee.

The Gimli Harbour Authority, in cooperation with Small Craft Harbours, is working to improve and upgrade the harbour operations and facilities. Harbour staff will make every effort to help harbour users through the inconveniences of ongoing projects and to understand some of the changes being implemented to improve the operation of the harbour. Please bring any questions, comments or concerns to the Harbour Office.

Thank you,

Cindy Blicq and Lori Hiscock
Harbour Masters
Gimli Harbour Authority

Notice of Proposed Work – Pan Am Pier and Wharf 405

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is proposing to undertake work on the Pan Am Pier and Wharf 405 in Gimli Harbour during the summer/fall of 2018, pending a successful tender process.

The construction is planned to occur from May 22 to September 30, 2018. The timelines are subject to water level uctuations and the results of the tender process.

The Pan Am Pier project includes constructing a reinforced concrete deck, and installing new wheel guards, a new lighting system, and a new steel sheet piling wall on the northwest corner of this site.

During construction, the Pier will be closed to the general public. Relocation of vessels during this time will be managed by the Gimli Harbour Authority. Temporary oats will be installed to allow continued access for boaters. Water service to boaters will not be available along the Pan Am Pier for portions of the project.

Wharf 405 is the steel sheet piling located at the end of the Main Wharf in Gimli Harbour and the project at this site includes installing new wheel guards. Access to Wharf 405 will be limited for a portion of the project; however, the rest of the Main Wharf will remain accessible.

For inquiries, please contact:
Small Craft Harbours Fisheries and Oceans Canada


Avis des travaux proposés
Le quai Pan Am et le quai longitudinal no 405 du port de Gimli

Pêches et Océans Canada projette d’entreprendre des travaux sur le quai Pan Am et le quai longitudinal no 405 du port de Gimli au cours de l’été et de l’automne 2018, si le Ministère est retenu dans le cadre du processus d’appel d’offres.

Les travaux de construction devraient s’échelonner du 22 mai au 30 septembre 2018. Le calendrier des travaux est soumis aux uctuations du niveau de l’eau et du résultat du processus d’appel d’offres.

Le projet du quai Pan Am comprend la construction d’un tablier en béton armé, ainsi que l’installation de nouveaux garde-roues, d’un nouveau système d’éclairage et d’un nouveau mur de palplanches d’acier à l’extrémité nord-ouest de cet endroit.

Pendant les travaux, le quai Pan Am sera fermé au grand public. L’administration portuaire de Gimli gérera le déplacement des navires durant cette période. Des otteurs temporaires seront installés pour assurer un accès sans interruption aux plaisanciers. Les services d’alimentation en eau ne seront pas disponibles aux plaisanciers le long du quai Pan Am par intermittence au cours du projet.

Le quai longitudinal no 405 correspond au mur de palplanches d’acier au bout du quai principal du port de Gimli et le projet comprend à cet endroit l’installation de nouveaux garde-roues. L’accès au quai longitudinal no 405 sera restreint pour une partie du projet; toutefois, le reste du quai principal demeurera accessible.

Pour toute demande de renseignements, veuillez communiquer avec :

Ports pour petits bateaux Pêches et Océans Canada

2017 Fall Notice to Commercial Fishers

As the busy summer and fall come to a close, the Gimli Harbour Authority would like to thank the commercial fishers in the Gimli Harbour for their support this past season.  You helped facilitate the Canada Summer Games by moving your skiffs to A dock, provided skiffs for the Games and volunteered your time.  We also appreciate the support you gave the new harbour staff. 

The GHA Board is implementing some changes to the commercial fisher fees and registration process.  One change you’ll notice is that the commercial fisher fee for a skiff is now an annual fee of $100.  So, whether using the harbour for one or both open water seasons, commercial fishers will pay the same rate to use the harbour for commercial fishing.   Please note that the credit for removing boats over the summer is no longer being applied because it was difficult to manage slip use and get owner information.  Although it is not compulsory, fishers are encouraged to remove skiffs for the summer off season. Please assist harbour staff by letting them know when your boat is pulled in July and relaunched in August.  The GHA is able to rent the empty commercial fisher slips in the summer to temporary harbour users.  The temporary user fees paid by summer visitors help to supplement the fees paid by commercial fishers.

The registration form has also changed.  Registering your boat each year with the Harbour office is important for several reasons.  First, it gives office staff important up-to-date contact information so that in an emergency or critical situation, boat owners can be contacted quickly.   Secondly, it helps to identify which slips are in use and which are available for temporary use.  Thirdly, the receipt provides the paperwork needed to claim the expense on income tax returns.  Lastly, all registered commercial fishers working out of the Gimli Harbour are members of the Gimli Harbour Authority and have a vote at the Annual General Meeting. 

You’ll also notice on the registration form a reminder to boat owners that Gimli Harbour is a zero discharge harbour, in compliance with federal and provincial regulations.  This means that no sewage is to be discharged into harbour waters.  Please ensure that toilets are connected to a holding tank or disabled when in the harbour.  The GHA pump out station is free of charge and open 24/7 from May 15th to Oct 15th (weather permitting).

Registration forms and payment are due by May 15, 2018. All boat owners using the Gimli Harbour are required to register and pay slip fees before launching.

Thank you,
Baldi Johannesson
Gimli Harbour Authority

2017 Fall Notice to Boaters

Dear Gimli Harbour Boaters,

It has been a busy summer around the Gimli Harbour with week after week of fabulous weather, ideal for boating and celebrations like the Gimli Canada 150 Celebration, Canada Summer Games and Icelandic Festival.  For the first time this year, the Harbour participated in the Gimli Canada Day events, hosted a fundraising fish fry and facilitated Zumba fundraisers for the Lake Winnipeg Foundation.  Thank you for helping to make the Gimli Harbour a welcoming place. 

Also, thank you for limiting parking times on the piers to loading and unloading only.  Keeping the piers and harbour area clear and safe for pedestrian traffic and emergency vehicles ensures safe access for everyone throughout the Harbour.  Thank you also for helping to keep the Harbour community clean by using the dumpsters at the end of the piers for your household (boathold?) refuse.  We appreciate the efforts you make to assist us with this.  Keeping the Harbour clean makes it more enjoyable for everyone.

Improvements to the Gimli Harbour this fall and winter

Several improvement and maintenance projects are taking place this fall and winter.  On August 30, the South parking lot paving project started.  An update from Small Craft Harbours at the GHA AGM on August 30th indicated that if things go as scheduled, the lot will be able to be opened to cars sometime mid to late September.  A couple of weeks later it can be open to heavier vehicles such as boats for winter storage.  For updates on this, please contact the Harbour Office.

Also, this fall, the red navigation light at the end of the Main Pier is being replaced with a new LED light, bringing it up to Department of Fisheries and Oceans standards. This should be taking place between September 18th and 29th.  A helicopter is being used to remove the old light and install the new one.  The southern end of the Main Pier will have to be closed for 3 days during this time. 

Lastly, starting October 15th, a large project to repair principal docks on C,D,E, and F-J will begin. Nineteen new principal docks will replace decommissioned docks.  Others will be repaired or reused.  The finger docks will have to be removed, stockpiled and fenced on Bill’s Hill for the duration. Please remove all personal belongings from the principal and finger docks by October 15th.  Finger docks will not necessarily be placed back in the same locations and anything left on the principal docks becomes salvage for the contractor.  You will notice some changes in the location of some finger docks in the spring. Thank you and sorry for the inconvenience.

Fee changes and slip renewal for 2018

In general, fees have gone up across the board to reflect the increasing costs incurred by the Harbour Authority related to the growing demand for power, security, internet service, parking, and space for larger boats.  The cost of maintaining and improving the existing infrastructure and facilities also continues to increase.  

In an effort to standardize fees for berthage and services, you’ll notice that now all docks with the same services are the same price, no matter where they are located in the Harbour.  Fees for docks with power include the use of one 30 amp service.  If a second plug is required, a fee of $100 is applied.  All electric cables must be marine grade.  Extension cords with 30 amp plugs or adaptors are not suitable or safe in a marine application and will be removed.     

Also, the cost per foot now applies to the overall length of the vessel including accessories such as swim platforms and davits.  As the demand for berthage for larger boats continues to grow, it is critically important for the Harbour Masters to know the actual space a boat requires to prevent pulpits and anchors from hanging over docks, and davits with attached zodiaks from extending into navigable channels.  Therefore, “overall length” as opposed to “boat length” will be used for planning, berthing assignments and berthage fees.

Secondary vessels are also subject to a fee. Slip users with non-motorized vessels such as kayaks, paddleboards and inflatables are expected to store them on their boat.  Motorized Inflatables under 9’ in length can be stored in your slip for $90. Motorized vessels such as jet skis and inflatables that are 9 feet in length or longer must be registered for a communal slip or jet ski port.

It is hoped that the new fee structure better reflects a fair, standardized approach to berthage and the additional services and space required by individual boaters.

Slip Renewal and Payment Options

A deposit of $200 is required to reserve a slip for 2018. Please complete the slip renewal form and return it with the deposit to the Harbour Office by September 30, 2017.   Fall office hours are Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, 10:00am to 4:00pm, and Friday and Saturday, 9:00am to 5:00pm. 

Two payment options are now available:

  1.  The balance can be paid in full by May 15, 2018 or
  2.  Four posted dated cheques (dated Feb 1, March 1, April 1 and May 1) can be submitted with the $200 deposit in September.

Payment can be made by cash, cheque, debit, VISA or Mastercard. A 2.5% convenience fee will only be applied to credit card payments made over the phone, not in person payments at the office.

Please contact the Harbour Office if you have any questions or require assistance completing your renewal form. 

Thank you, 
Gimli Harbour Authority

Gimli search and rescue not on the chopping block, minister tells Parliament

The future of the Canadian Coast Guard's search-and-rescue operation in Gimli, Man., seems safe for now.

On June 1, the union representing coast guard employees announced the end of services on Lake Winnipeg, the Red River and Lake of the Woods in Ontario, sparking concerns about the future of navigation and search-and-rescue services in the areas.

Earlier this week, Dominic LeBlanc, Canada's minister of fisheries and oceans, told Parliament that in-land bases where there are coast guard search-and-rescue programs will not be cut.

"I can tell the House that on in-land waterways where we're currently providing a search-and-rescue service, there will be no cuts," LeBlanc said Tuesday.

"In fact, there will be increases in the capacity of the Canadian Coast Guard to provide these search-and-rescue services."

Smooth sailing: 2 Manitoba women will share job as Gimli's new harbour masters

It sounds like a relaxing retirement plan: you polish off a happy, fulfilling career in Winnipeg and decide to live year-round in Manitoba's cottage country. So you pack your things and move to the lake.

That's real life for sailing friends Cindy Blicq and Lori Hiscock, but they're not exactly kicking back and taking it easy. They'll have a unique view of the lake as the newly appointed harbour masters for the Gimli Harbour Authority in the Interlake community of Gimli, Man.

"Lori and I decided to apply for the position on my 60th birthday," says Blicq. "I came out of retirement to take this job."

The job of harbour master is typically filled by one person — Blicq and Hiscock, who started a few weeks ago, are taking over from Gordon Gowie, who announced his retirement late last year after 15 years in the job.

ut the two women decided to apply as a team. They combined their resumes, which boast a wealth of experience in public administration, faculty management, human resources, tourism and education, and said they would only accept the position as a job share.

"We felt that our combined skills, training and work experiences would bring more to the job than what one person alone could provide," says Blicq.

"We bring different, but complementary, skills to the position."

They also both know their way around boats, and the harbour. Blicq and Hiscock have been friends for years through the Gimli Yacht Club and are active users of the harbour as avid sailboat racers.