Coast Guard Border Patrol at north end of Lake Champlain? (or, hello, Rouses Point!)

I have been armchair traveling in upstate New York lately, and I notice that at the U.S./Canada entry port of Rouses Point, New York, Lake Champlain sticks up into Canada a few miles. I’m aware that the U.S.-Canadian border is “the longest undefended border in the world”, but I found myself wondering whether you could row a boat into the U.S. or Canada without the Coast Guard noticing. The lake is only about a mile wide there–does the Coast Guard patrol back and forth, back and forth, along the imaginary boundary line, or do they have radar to spot any boaters crossing the line, or what? What do they do to you if you’re out for a Sunday sail and find yourself (oopsie!) over the line?

Also, do the Canadians have spotters on their side watching for American smugglers? Or are things considerably more relaxed than that?

Just wondering, not planning any trips or anything. :smiley:

(The U.S. Coast Guard patrols Lake Champlain because it’s a “federal waterway”.)

At the actual border the lake is fairly narrow. So while there’s a lot of boating activity, there’s little chance you could cross over unnoticed. And while border patrol is fairly relaxed, I’d assume attempting an unauthorized crossing would guarantee their full attention.

One interesting local landmark is Fort Blunder. Back when those sneaky Canadians were America’s number one threat, it was decided to build a fort on the northern edge of Lake Champlain in order to keep an eye on the beady eyed uncle fuckers. Unfortunately, geography wasn’t an exact science back in the early 19th century. The fort was over halfway completed before Canadian officials pointed out that the site chosen overlapped the border. Construction had to be stopped and the remains of the fort can still be seen today from the Rouses Point bridge.

Good question.

I worked for the Coast Guard as a contractor for about 4 years, dealing with Law Enforcement stuff. One of the few stations that I never got to visit was Station Burlington on Lake Champlaign.

Now, I don’t know the nuts and bolts of how they patrol the border up there, but you can be sure that they keep tabs on what comes and goes. They certainly track the area by Radar.

The Station Burlington Web Site has the following listed as their Law Enforcement Mission:

No mention of specific border patrol activities, though that certainly falls into the Coast Guard’s domain.

You may find it interesting to note that organizationally Station Burlington falls under the command of Activities New York, Staten Island, NY.