Fishing License Ontario: Everything You Need to Know for a Successful Fishing Experience

fishing license ontario

Are you planning on going fishing in Ontario? You will need an Ontario fishing licence before you can cast your line. Fishing is one of the most popular recreational activities in Ontario, attracting thousands of visitors every year. It has led to the creation of strict regulations in order to protect the fish population as well as their habitats. Obtaining a fishing license in Ontario is simple, but you should be aware of the requirements, regulations and types available. This comprehensive guide will walk you through all the information you need to obtain and use a fishing licence in Ontario.

What is an Ontario fishing license?

A fishing license in Ontario is a legal document which allows you to fish in Ontario waters. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, which is responsible for conserving and preserving Ontario’s natural resources, issues the license.

Why do you need an Ontario fishing license?

The MNRF regulates fishing practices and reduces overfishing with the help of a fishing license. A fishing licence helps the MNRF regulate and reduce overfishing. In addition, Ontario fishing permits generate revenue which is used to fund conservation initiatives and research. This ensures that future generations will be able to enjoy the same fishing experience as we do.

Who needs an Ontario fishing license?

Anyone who intends to fish in Ontario must have a fishing license regardless of their age or residence. This applies to both Canadians and non-Canadians. However, there are some exceptions. If you are under 18 years old and you are accompanied by an adult who is licensed, you don’t need a license.

Types of Ontario Fishing Licenses

The MNRF offers different types of fishing permits to meet the needs of different anglers. These licenses include

  • Resident Fishing License
  • Non-Resident fishing license
  • Conservation Fishing License
  • One-Day Fishing License
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Resident Fishing License

Residents of Ontario who are at least 18 years old can apply for this type of license. A resident is someone who has lived in Ontario at least six months consecutively during the 12-month period before applying for a license.

Non-Resident fishing license

Non-resident fishing permits are required if you are not a resident of Ontario but want to fish within the province. This type of fishing license can be purchased for a single day, a full week or even a whole year depending on your stay.

Conservation Fishing License

You can buy a conservation fishing licence if you are a conservation-minded fisherman. A conservation fishing licence is cheaper than other licenses. The money raised by the sale of these fishing licenses is used for conservation and research projects.

One-Day Fishing License

If you plan to fish only for one day, a one-day license is available. This license is valid for only one calendar day. It is available to both residents and nonresidents.

How to purchase an Ontario fishing license

Online fishing licenses for Ontario can be purchased through the Fish and Wildlife Licensing Service, or from a local authorized issuer. When purchasing a fishing licence, you will need to provide personal information as well as the type of license that you prefer. A fishing license may be purchased for one day, a week or a month. The price depends on the type of license and its duration.

How much does an Ontario fishing license cost?

The cost of a fishing license in Ontario depends on a number of factors, including your residency status, your age, and the duration of the license. Here is a breakdown on the price of different types fishing licenses in Ontario.

Resident Fishing License

  • One-Year Sportfishing License: $33.72
  • Three-Year Sportfishing License: $91.47
  • Five-Year Sport Fishing Licence: $149.11
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Non-Resident fishing license

  • One-Day Sport Fishing License : $23.53
  • Three-Day Sport Fishing License : $47.80
  • Seven-day Sport Fishing License : $56.35
  • Seasonal Sport Fishing Licence: $120.16

Conservation Fishing License

  • One-Year Conservation License: $10.53
  • Three-Year Conservation fishing license: $28.47
  • Five-Year Conservation fishing license: $45.95

One-Day Fishing License

  • One-Day Sport Fishing License : $12.21

Ontario Fishing Regulations

The MNRF has established several fishing regulations to ensure sustainable fishing practices, and protect fish populations. It is your responsibility as a licensed angler to follow these regulations in order to avoid penalties.

Fishing Season

The fishing season in Ontario runs between the last Saturday of April and September 30th. There are some exceptions, however, for certain fish species or specific lakes and rivers. The MNRF publishes the official fishing regulations every year, which detail when and where you are allowed to fish.

Size and Catch Limits

Ontario fishing regulations outline the minimum sizes and catch limits for different fish species. These regulations ensure fish have enough time for reproduction and to maintain their population levels. For example, the regulation restricts the number of walleyes caught and kept each day to two. Anglers are required to release salmon and trout larger than a specified size. It is your responsibility to return a fish you catch that does not meet the regulation.

Restrictions on Bait and Tackle

Ontario fishing regulations restrict the type of baits and tackles that can be used. In order to prevent the spread invasive species, some water bodies prohibit the use of live bait. Anglers are also required by law to use barbless hooks while fishing for certain species of fish. This reduces the risk of harming fish during the catch and release process.

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Fishing in Conservation Zones

In Ontario, certain lakes and rivers are designated as conservation zones where fishing is prohibited. These zones were created to protect sensitive habitats and breeding grounds for fish. To avoid penalties, it’s important to check if you are in a conservation area before casting your line.

FAQs about Ontario Fishing Licenses

What is the validity of a fishing license in Ontario?

The fishing licenses in Ontario are valid for one year from the date they were issued, regardless of when they were purchased.

Can I fish if I am under 18 years old?

If accompanied by an adult, anyone under the age of 18 can fish in Ontario without a license.

Can I fish from a canoe, kayak or other boat in Ontario?

If you follow the fishing regulations in Ontario and have the necessary safety equipment, you can use a kayak or canoe to fish.

Can I fish without a fishing license in a park?

In Ontario’s Provincial Parks, fishing is not permitted. If you want to fish in any other body of water in Ontario, you need a fishing license.

What are the penalties for fishing without a fishing license in Ontario?

If you are caught fishing without a fishing license in Ontario, you could face fines or even imprisonment. The severity of the punishment depends on the crime.


Anyone planning to fish in Ontario must have an Ontario fishing license. This guide will help you understand the different types of fishing licenses, fishing regulations and how to buy a license. Fishing regulations change from year to year so you should stay informed. To stay informed about any changes to fishing regulations that could affect your experience, check the MNRF website or local fishing shops. Happy fishing!

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