Ontario Fishing Regulations
The New 2010 Ontario Fishing Regulations
Brought to you by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resouces (MNR).
Take the time to read these new regulations as there are many
new dates, limits and season changes. Much easier to read the
2010 regulations are designed to ensure the longevity of
Ontario's sustainable fishery and we encourage every angler who
resides in Ontario to read them as well as anglers who visit from
out of province.
Click here for the MNR 2010 Regulations. (49mb PDF)
Catch and Release Checklist
With more and more anglers learning about the importance of conservation and preserving future
fishing grounds catch and release has been a welcome practise to sport fishing in Ontario. With
many fishing lodges enforcing catch and release policies it is important to familiarize yourself
with this technique to ensure the safe return of your prize catch to its natural habitat safely.
A successful release needs the proper tools and preparation.
* Long nose or needle nose pliers (the longer the better) are required for almost all Ontario fish
species especially toothy critters such as pike and muskellunge.
* A good pair of hook cutters is recommended to cut hooks that are deeply embedded in a fish and is
at risk of mortality if removing the hook fully will cause to much damage.
* Jaw spreaders can be helpful at times but are not always advised as they can producs undue stress
on the fish.
* New nets which are knotless are great at decreasing the time it takes to get your catch out of the
net and are less prone to lure and hook snags.
If you have caught your prize winning fish or personal best decide first while the fish is in the
water in the net if a picture will be taken. If a picture is to be taken make sure either you or
a partner are ready in advance while you are still unhooking the fish. This will minimize the
amount of time that the fish is out of the water.
One quick photo is all it takes to capture that memory. Think about just how long you can hold your
breath. This basically applies to the length of time that a fish should be out of the water.
Properly holding your catch is important as it will reduce the amount of stress on the fish. For gill
holding a large fish slide you fingers behind its gill plate with a steady amount of pressure until
they come to a stop. On toothy fish like pike and muskie care must be taken not to cut your fingers
on the back teeth as your hand may slip forward enough to enter the mouth area. While holding the
fish in the gill use your other hand to support the body of the fish in the belly area. Supporting
the fish horizontally is important. Stay away from vertical gill holds and hoisting the fish as this
causes undue stress to the spine.
Once your picture is taken it is important to quickly return the fish to the water. Water travels
through the gills from the front to the back. When placing the fish back in the water support it
upright to help it maintain its balance and to let it breath on its own. A constant forward movement
will move water throught its gills but normally leaving it in a steady place will work. Do not rock
the fish forwards and backwards. If you are in a moving current you can also face the fish into the
current to allow water to naturally flow the gills.
Using these techniques will ensure a safe and healthy release and help to develop and maintain a
strong fish population in the province of Ontario.