May 24, 2024

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Ontario Fishing Licence Guide: Everything you need to know

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Ontario is a province known not just for its polite inhabitants and stunning landscapes. It’s also a paradise for anglers. With waters as diverse as the fish tales spun beside them, Ontario offers a chance to wrestle a hefty Musky or finesse delicate flies for Brook Trout. But before embarking on your angling adventure in the “Heartland province,” securing an Ontario fishing licence is absolutely essential.

This isn’t just another piece of bureaucracy, but a golden ticket to the most splendid fishing spots in the Great White North. The province’s lakes and rivers are teeming with an incredible diversity of fish species. Familiarising yourself with the requirements for an Ontario fishing licence is your first step towards an unforgettable adventure. Let’s do it right now!

Who needs a fishing licence in Ontario?

Ontario’s rules cast a wide net, covering Ontario residents, Canadians living outside the province, and non-Canadian residents alike.

For Ontario residents, the magic numbers are 18 to 65. If you find yourself within this age bracket, you’re in the game. As for non-residents, everyone aged 18 or older needs to have a permit.

Who doesn’t need a fishing licence in Ontario?

Aside from those who fall outside the groups mentioned above, there are a few other select groups that are exempt from having to grab an Ontario fishing licence. Here’s a list of those who can fish for free:

  • Veterans and active members of Canada’s armed forces
  • Members of indigenous communities
  • Persons with certain disabilities

There are also select days throughout the year when all are invited to cast a line into Ontario’s waters, licence-free. Come on any of the province’s “free family fishing days” to celebrate the joy of fishing that knows no bounds.

Types of Ontario Fishing Licences

An angler releases a small Rainbow Trout into the blue waters of a river lined with sedimentary rocks

In short, there are two types of license that allow you to get your fish on in Ontario, depending on how you want to practice the sport:

  • A Sport Fishing Licence – for those who are after bragging rights
  • A Conservation Fishing Licence – for souls that find joy in the catch and release

Each licence is a pledge to preserve and respect Ontario’s waters, no matter what experience you’re after.

Information for Ontario Residents

For residents of Ontario—those who’ve lived in the province for 6 months or more—your journey begins with an Outdoors Card. Pair this with a fishing licence that mirrors your intent (sport fishing or catch-and-release), and you’re already on your way. There are 1-year and 3-year options, covering both sport fishing and conservation permits.

For spontaneous anglers, a 1-day sport fishing licence offers a taste of Ontario’s fishing, no Outdoors Card needed. Valid from midnight, this licence invites you to a day of adventure, no strings attached.

Information for Residents of Other Canadian Provinces

Ontario extends a warm invitation to all other Canadian anglers, too. If your home is outside the province but within the grand expanse of Canada, you’re welcome to cast your line into Ontario’s rich waters just like a local. All of the same options as for Ontario residents apply—from 1-day sport fishing licenses up to 3-year permits. Just beware that you’ll be subject to higher fees.

Information for Non-Residents

Ontario’s fishing experiences know no borders, drawing anglers from around the globe. For those who come from beyond Canada’s confines, the province offers a similar host of licences.

Alongside the 1-day sport fishing licence, there’s also an 8-day permit, perfect for those coming to the province on vacation. However, it’s just the 24-hour licence that will let you fish without an Outdoors Card.

Then, there are the annual and 3-year options—both for sport fishing and catch-and-release.

What is an Outdoors Card?

A view across the water at sunset from a rocky shoreline towards Port Dalhousie lighthouse in St.Catharines, with clouds visible overhead

As we’ve already mentioned, to reel in the essence of Ontario’s fishing tradition, every angler requires a valid Outdoors Card alongside most fishing licences.

This wallet-sized plastic card serves as a pass to both hunting and fishing across the province. When you secure your fishing licence, it’s printed directly on your Outdoors Card, making it a crucial item to have on hand during your fishing expeditions.

In the event your card hasn’t yet arrived, the Licence Summary provided at purchase acts as a temporary pass, allowing immediate access to the lakes and rivers that make Ontario an angler’s paradise. This summary is your proof of purchase and must accompany you—whether in digital or paper form—as you await the arrival of your physical Outdoors Card.

Ontario Fishing License Costs

Now, let’s get a bit more detailed when it comes to the fees. Please note that the prices are Canadian dollars and all are subject to HST.

Type Ontario Residents Canada Residents Others
1-day Sport $12.21 $15.21 $24.86
8-day Sport N/A N/A $54.38
1-year Sport $26.57 $55.81 $83.19
3-year Sport $79.71 $167.43 $249.57
8-day Conservation N/A N/A $31.52
1-year Conservation $15.07 $33.43 $52.71
3-year Conservation $45.21 $100.29 $158.13
Outdoors Card $8.57 $8.57 $8.57

Where to Buy Your Ontario Fishing License & Outdoors Card

Can infographic featuring the Ontario flag above a text that says "Ontario fishing licence, where to buy" and with an illustration of a boat underneath

Getting your hands on the necessary Ontario permits is easier than reeling in a Salmon on a quiet lake morning. Hop online to the Fish and Wildlife Licencing Service website, stroll into a licence issuer, or visit a participating ServiceOntario location… Ontario fishing permits are easily accessible:

  • Online by using the Fish and Wildlife Licensing Service
  • At any licence issuer
  • At a participating ServiceOntario location

Three-year fishing licences can also be purchased when renewing your Outdoors Card through the automated telephone service at 1-800-288-1155.

What if I lose my licence?

Even the most seasoned anglers hit a snag from time to time, and a lost licence is one of them. But don’t let it keep you ashore. Ontario has you covered with a straightforward solution to get you back to what you love without missing a beat.

If your licence went overboard, you can get a new one for free online. Outdoors Card took a dive? You can replace it online, too, although there will be a small fee.

Anything else?

When you’re casting a line in Ontario’s waters, you’ll have to play by the different rules that abound across the province’s 20 Fisheries Management Zones. You’ve got to know your limits—catch and possession limits, to be precise. And it’s not just about how many fish you can haul in. It’s about where you can fish, what fish you can keep, and even the gear you can use. Consult the latest regulations to make sure you’re up to date.

We hope we’ve answered all your questions about Ontario fishing licences in this article. Read about the “Land of a Thousand Lakes” in more detail in our comprehensive Ontario Fishing guide. Or, grab your tackle, secure your permits, and book a trip near you to fish like a local!

The post Ontario Fishing Licence: The Complete Guide appeared first on FishingBooker Blog.

By: Lisa
Title: Ontario Fishing Licence: The Complete Guide
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Published Date: Wed, 13 Mar 2024 13:59:54 +0000

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