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Ontario Fishery Regulations, 2007 (SOR/2007-237)

Regulations are current to 2024-06-19 and last amended on 2024-01-01. Previous Versions

Ontario Fishery Regulations, 2007



Registration 2007-10-25

Ontario Fishery Regulations, 2007

P.C. 2007-1648 2007-10-25

Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, pursuant to section 43Footnote a of the Fisheries Act, hereby makes the annexed Ontario Fishery Regulations, 2007.


  •  (1) The following definitions apply in these Regulations.


    angling means fishing with a line that is held in the hand or attached to a rod that is held in the hand or closely attended. (à la ligne)

    artificial fly

    artificial fly means a hook dressed with silk, wool, fur, feathers or other similar organic or non-organic material that is used to catch fish when angling and includes wet flies, dry flies and streamer flies but does not include an artificial lure or organic bait. (mouche artificielle)

    artificial lure

    artificial lure means a spoon, plug, jig or other device that is designed to catch fish when angling. (leurre artificiel)


    baitfish means a fish of a species native to Ontario that is set out in Part 2 of Schedule 1. (poisson-appât)

    barbless hook

    barbless hook means a hook without barbs or a hook that has barbs that are compressed so as to be in complete contact with the shaft of the hook. (hameçon sans ardillon)

    border waters area

    border waters area[Repealed, SOR/2017-195, s. 1]

    fisheries management zone

    fisheries management zone or zone means a subdivision of the waters of Ontario as shown in the Regulation Plans of Fisheries Management Zones filed on December 5, 2013 in the Office of the Surveyor General of Ontario. (zone de gestion des pêches ou zone)


    hook means a single or multiple-pointed hook on a common shaft but does not include a snagger. (hameçon)

    invasive fish

    invasive fish[Repealed, SOR/2015-121, s. 37]

    invasive species

    invasive species means a species that is set out, in respect of Ontario, in Part 2 of the schedule to the Aquatic Invasive Species Regulations. (espèce envahissante)


    licence means

    • (a) a licence or permit issued under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1997, Statutes of Ontario 1997, c. 41 or a document or thing deemed to be a licence under that Act;

    • (b) a licence issued under the Aboriginal Communal Fishing Licences Regulations; or

    • (c) a licence issued under these Regulations. (permis)


    livewell means a compartment designed to keep fish alive that is attached to or forms part of a fishing vessel, has the capacity for water exchange and aeration and contains no less than 46 L of water. (vivier)

    plant-based bait

    plant-based bait means either

    • (a) bait that is made exclusively from plants; or

    • (b) bait that is made primarily from plants if the following conditions are met:

      • (i) it does not contain visible pieces of fish, animal parts or animal ingredients;

      • (ii) it does not have natural or artificial meat or fish flavouring; and

      • (iii) any poultry eggs that are incorporated are used as a binding agent. (appât d’origine végétale)

    pound net

    pound net means an impounding net whose top is not covered by netting. (parc en filet)

    provincial Minister

    provincial Minister means the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry for Ontario. (ministre provincial)


    resident means a person whose residence is in Canada and who has resided in Canada for a period of at least 6 months during the 12 months immediately before the day on which that residence becomes material for the purposes of these Regulations. (résident)

    seine net

    seine net means a net, the ends of which are brought together or hauled ashore, and includes a bar seine, beach seine, drag seine, purse seine or other similar type of net. (senne)


    snagger means an instrument that is designed for the purpose of hooking or piercing a fish in any part of the body other than the mouth. (croc)

    spear gun

    spear gun includes any device, other than a bow, that is capable of propelling a spear. (fusil à harpon)

    specially protected fish

    specially protected fish means a fish of a species set out in Part 4 of Schedule 1. (spécialement protégé)

    sport fishing

    sport fishing means the catching of fish for non-commercial purposes. (pêche sportive)

    spring gaff

    spring gaff means a spring-operated device for impaling or hooking a fish and includes spring-loaded hooks that are triggered when a fish bites the bait. (gaffe à ressort)


    stringer means a string or metal line on which fish are strung. (chaîne ou corde à poissons)


    trolling means angling by trailing lures or bait behind a fishing vessel that is in constant forward motion. (pêche à la traine)

  • (2) For the purposes of determining the size of a fish, a fish shall be measured from the tip of the head with the jaws closed to the tip of the tail with the lobes compressed so as to give the maximum possible measurement.

  • (3) A reference in these Regulations to a species or group of species of fish by its common name as set out in column 1 of Part 1, 2 or 4 of Schedule 1 is a reference to the species or group of species of fish whose scientific name is set out in column 2.


  •  (1) These Regulations apply in Ontario.

  • (2) These Regulations do not apply to

    • (a) waters to which the National Parks of Canada Fishing Regulations apply;

    • (b) activities carried out under an aquaculture licence;

    • (c) activities carried out, in the course of their duties, by employees of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and employees of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans; or

    • (d) artificially created waters into which only fish obtained from either the holder of an aquaculture licence or the holder of a commercial fishing licence have been released for non-commercial purposes if those waters

      • (i) are not on a regional flood plain,

      • (ii) lie wholly within the boundaries of privately owned land,

      • (iii) have no connection or outflow to natural waters, and

      • (iv) contain water from surface run-off, natural springs, ground water or water pumped from a stream or lake.

  • (3) These Regulations, other than subsections 1(1) and (3), paragraphs 3(1)(b) and (c), subsection 4(3) to (6) and sections 13 and 44, do not apply to fishing and related activities carried out under a licence issued under the Aboriginal Communal Fishing Licences Regulations.

PART 1General


  •  (1) No person shall, except as authorized under a licence,

    • (a) fish;

    • (b) ship or transport or attempt to ship or transport live fish other than baitfish; or

    • (c) deposit or attempt to deposit live fish into any body of water other than the body of water from which they were caught.

  • (2) [Repealed, SOR/2023-245, s. 7]

Terms and Conditions of Licences

  • SOR/2011-154, s. 1(E)
  •  (1) The provincial Minister may, for the proper management and control of fisheries and the conservation and protection of fish, specify in a licence any term or condition that is not inconsistent with these Regulations respecting one or more of the following matters:

    • (a) the species, quantity, size, weight, age, sex or stage of development of fish that may be caught, retained, possessed, held, loaded, landed, transported, transferred or released;

    • (b) the waters or locations where fishing is permitted or from which fish may be caught;

    • (c) the persons who may carry out activities under the licence;

    • (d) the waters or locations where fish may be held, loaded, landed, transferred or released;

    • (e) the period during which fishing is permitted or fish may be transferred or released;

    • (f) the type, size, quantity or marking of fishing gear or equipment;

    • (g) the locations or manner in which fishing gear or equipment may be used;

    • (h) the fishing vessel that may be used and the persons who may operate it;

    • (i) the weighing, marking, tagging, loading, landing, handling, separation or transportation of fish;

    • (j) the type and marking of containers used to hold or transport fish;

    • (k) the information that shall be recorded, kept or reported and the manner and form in which and the period for which the information shall be recorded, kept or reported;

    • (l) the disposing of water, containers or anything used to hold or transport fish;

    • (m) the monitoring of fishing activities, verification or examination of fishing gear, equipment, fish or records relating to fishing activities and the taking of fish samples;

    • (n) the health of fish including the monitoring and reporting of water quality, diseases, pathogens or fish escapes;

    • (o) the possession, destruction or prevention of the spread of a fish or other aquatic organism that is or may be harmful to fish;

    • (p) the method of movement, transfer, release, disposal or preservation of fish to ensure their protection; or

    • (q) the information that the master of a fishing vessel shall report from the water, including the method by which, the period in which and the person to whom the report is to be made.

  • (2) Every person shall comply with the terms and conditions specified in their licence.

  • (3) The provincial Minister may amend the terms and conditions of a licence for the purposes of the conservation and protection of fish.

  • (4) A notice of an amendment made under subsection (3) shall be sent to the licence holder. The notice is deemed to be received by a licence holder

    • (a) if the licence holder consents to receiving it by electronic means, on the day recorded by the server of the provincial Minister as the time of sending it;

    • (b) if the licence holder consents to receiving it by fax, on the day recorded by a fax machine of the provincial Minister as the time of sending it;

    • (c) if it is sent to the licence holder by mail, on the fifth day after the postmark date on the notice; or

    • (d) if it is delivered personally, on the day on which the notice is received by the licence holder.

  • (5) The amended licence terms take effect on the day on which the notice is received by the licence holder.

  • (6) The licence holder shall, on receipt of the notice, attach the notice to the licence.

  • SOR/2018-216, s. 5

Prohibition on Bringing Bait Into Ontario

 No person shall bring into Ontario, for use as bait,

  • (a) crayfish or salamanders; or

  • (b) live fish or leeches.

Invasive Species

  •  (1) No person shall possess, transport or release members of an invasive species except in accordance with the Aquatic Invasive Species Regulations or as authorized under a licence issued under subsection (2).

  • (2) The provincial Minister may issue a licence to a person to possess, transport or release invasive species in specified quantities if

    • (a) they are an employee or a person referred to in subsection 13(1) of the Aquatic Invasive Species Regulations;

    • (b) they use the equipment and controls necessary to protect against any unauthorized release of invasive species into Ontario waters; and

    • (c) the possession is for scientific, educational or aquatic invasive species control purposes.

  • SOR/2015-121, s. 38
  • SOR/2018-216, s. 6

Specially Protected Fish

  •  (1) No person shall fish for or possess a specially protected fish except as authorized under a licence issued under subsection (2).

  • (2) The provincial Minister may issue a licence to a person to fish for or possess specially protected fish if

    • (a) they are a qualified fisheries researcher working in a recognized research facility; and

    • (b) the purpose of their fishing or possession is the conservation or protection of the species.

  • (3) Despite subsection (1), a person may possess an American eel if the person has documentary evidence to show that the eel was lawfully obtained outside of Ontario.

  • SOR/2018-216, s. 7

Close Times Applicable to Fish Sanctuaries

  •  (1) No person shall fish in the waters set out in column I of an item of Schedule V to the Ontario Fishery Regulations, 1989, during the close time set out in column II of that item.

  • (2) [Repealed, SOR/2009-328, s. 2]

  • SOR/2009-328, s. 2

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