Canoe Borchers Ausalbe River Grayling MI
The AuSable River First Class Outfitter

River Rules, Etiquette, and Safety

2 children canoeing Ausable River

Borchers AuSable Canoe & Kayak cares deeply about the river resource. It is our hope that we always convey that concern to you, the river user, and you in turn do your part. Under the Michigan Natural Rivers Act, river rules have been established in an effort to preserve and protect the AuSable River for future generations. With that in mind, please make all members of your group aware of these rules prior to your arrival.

Thank You,

Mark, Cheri, & Borchers Canoe Crew


River Rules & Etiquette

  1. For environmental reasons, glass bottles, Styrofoam coolers and water balloons are not allowed on the river.
  2. Do your part by keeping the river clean. Littering is punishable by a fine of up to $400. Use heavy-duty coolers and water proof bags or containers and tie them to canoes.
  3. Alcohol Limit: Borchers AuSable Canoe & Kayak discourages the consumption of any alcoholic beverages while on the river, and we do not allow more than six 12-0z. cans of beer per watercraft on the river. It is unlawful to operate a watercraft while intoxicated. If you or any member of your group plan to get intoxicated, do not contact Borchers.
    -Hard liquor, kegs, and jello shots are prohibited.
    -Maintain your partying within reasonable limits.
  4. Coolers should be kept small enough to carry with one hand and keep on your lap on the van ride from the river.
    We reserve the right to check coolers.
    We reserve the right to refuse service.
  5. Michigan law requires that any person 6 years of age or under wear a life vest while canoeing. We provide life vests for all persons wishing to wear them.
  6. The river is a quiet place: leave i phone speakers behind. Respect the rights of private property owners, and other river users. Stay off private property, be quiet when approaching anglers, and keep horseplay confined to your group.
  7. Towing an innertube or tying watercraft together is not allowed.
  8. Please leave the river as it was when you arrived. Do not take driftwood, vegetation, or creatures. Take only pictures and leave only paddle tracks.
  9. Bring old shoes for wading or swimming
    -Remember sunglasses, sunscreen, and insect repellent.
    -Dress in layers, mornings are often cool.
    -Leave valuables and non-waterproof cameras in the car.
    -Secure keys in bags or pockets.
  10. Cooperate with the Marine Deputies. Their job is to assist canoeists and other river users. They enforce regulations regarding litter, trespassing and improper river use, making river travel safer and more enjoyable.

funny dog with paddle and life vest

Individuals failing to abide by these rules can expect to receive appropriate fines by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Crawford County Sheriff Department


All persons using a boat, canoe or kayak from this livery are advised that, pursuant to Public Act 183 of 2006, an owner of a non-motorized livery boat is not liable for an injury to, or the death of, a user of the non-motorized livery boat resulting from a risk inherent in the use or operation of a non-motorized boat.

Risks inherent in the use or operation are:

  • Wave or other water motion
  • Weather conditions
  • Contact or maneuvers necessary to avoid contact with another vessel, a man-made object, rock, sand,vegetation or other objects in or near the water
  • Malfunction of equipment
  • Failure to use or wear a personal flotation device
  • Action of boat operator
  • Number of persons in the boat in excess of maximum number approved for the livery boat


Currently at Borchers