“Every hour you spend fishing adds a day to your life.” ~ Anonymous
Traditionally, June 1st is the day that marks open season for many species of fish in Ontario. However, there are different opening dates and regulations depending on the species you’re fishing for and the fishing zone your favourite lake is in. The 2017 Ontario Fishing Regulations is a 112 page guide to help you make sense of it all. You need both a Fishing Tag and an Outdoors Card to legally fish in Ontario. A handy interactive website and map is available here: ontario.ca/fishonline
Fishing Tags Required:
Most people will need one of the following:
A Sport Fishing Licence Tag: For anglers who want full catch and possession fishing privileges. In this summary, S – refers to limits under a Sport Fishing Licence (e.g., S – 4 = catch and possession limit of 4).
A Conservation Fishing Licence Tag: A reduced catch and possession limit licence tag that is ideal for anglers who want to live-release the majority of fish caught. Under this licence tag, anglers must immediately release Muskellunge, Atlantic Salmon and Aurora Trout. In this summary, C – refers to limits under a Conservation Fishing Licence (e.g., C – 2 = catch and possession limit of 2).
Refer to the Zone tables and the Exceptions for catch and possession limits.
Ontario Outdoors Card Required:
For Ontario and Canadian Residents, a complete and valid licence to fish consists of an Outdoors Card or a Temporary Outdoors Card accompanied by a valid fishing licence tag.
The Outdoors Card is a plastic, wallet-sized card valid for three calendar years and used for identification and administration purposes. The licence tag is carried either as a document separate from the Outdoors Card or printed on the back of the card when the licence and Outdoors Card are purchased or renewed at the same time. Note: Outdoors Cards are not required with 1-day licences.
Ontario Resident Outdoors Cards and fishing licence tags are available through licence issuers across Ontario, at ontario.ca/outdoorscard or the automated telephone licensing line at 1-800-288-1155 (for licence with Outdoors Card renewals only).
Crayfish must be used in the same waterbody in which they were caught and cannot be transported overland. Northern leopard frogs are the only species of frog that may be used as bait. Not all small fish or minnows are legal ‘baitfish.’ Learn about the 48 species that can be used as live as bait in Ontario at ontario.ca/baitfish.
It’s up to all of us to protect our waters – learn more about how you can prevent the spread of invasive species here: ontario.ca/invasionON
You can download the entire 2017 Ontario Fishing Regulations Guide here: