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Ontario Fishing Licenses & Regulations

Licenses & Outdoors Cards

Most Canadian residents need a licence to fish in Ontario. Fishing licences are sold by more than 2,000 licence issuers, with all sales revenue used to manage the resource. An Outdoors Card is a plastic, wallet-sized, identification card to which your Ontario fishing licence tag is affixed. It acts as a durable carrier for your licence tag for three calendar years.

You need an Ontario-issued Outdoors Card and a fishing licence tag
to fish in Ontario if:

  • you are a resident of Canada;
  • you are at least 18 years old but have not reached your 65th birthday.
    Certain exemptions apply if you are a resident of Canada and are disabled

    People who are exempt from obtaining an Outdoors Card and fishing
    licence tag have the same rights and responsibilities as those who have
    purchased a fishing licence and must abide by all regulations including
    catch and possession limits.

Licence Tags

There are four licence tags offered to Ontario residents and
Canadian residents, for the back of the Outdoors Card:
1. Three-year Resident Sport Fishing Licence Tag
2. Three-year Resident Conservation Fishing Licence Tag
3. One-year Resident Sport Fishing Licence Tag
4. One-year Resident Conservation Fishing Licence Tag


Anyone who lives outside of Canada is considered a non-resident for the purposes of fishing licence regulations. Most non-residents need a fishing licence to fish in Ontario. Specifically:
" Non-residents 18 years of age and over must purchase a fishing licence.
" Non-residents under 18 years of age may fish without a licence if accompanied by a adult who has a sport fishing licence. Any fish caught are part of the catch and possession limit of the adult
who holds the licence. As another option, non-residents under 18 years may purchase a licence and any fish caught apply to the catch and possession limits of that licence.
Non-residents 65 years of age or older are not exempt
from licencing.


Non-resident anglers may purchase a fishing licence that is effective immediately at more than 2,000 locations throughout the province. Licences are often available from tourist outfitters camps and lodges, summer camps, and sporting goods stores or bait dealers. In smaller communities, they may be available at general stores or other retail establishments.

You may reach the Outdoors Card Centre without charge from any-where
in Canada by phoning: 1-800-387-7011.

Visit the online MNR Store for outdoors card purchasing information.

Catch and Possession Limits

Fishery laws limit the number of fish you may catch or possess. The number depends on the type of licence you hold, the species, where they are caught and, in some cases, their size. Note that for some species there are no limits.

The catch limit is the number of fish you are allowed to catch and keep in one day. The possession limit is the number you are allowed to have in your possession on hand, in cold storage, in transit, etc. Possession limits are the same as one days catch limit except where otherwise specified .

If you catch a fish after reaching the daily catch and possession limit for that species, the fish must be released immediately back to the water.

It is illegal to destroy, or to allow to spoil, fish which have been lawfully caught and which are suitable for food.

Size Limits

A variety of size restrictions apply to some species and waterbodies. Unless otherwise stated, size limits refer to total length, which is a measure from the tip of the mouth with the jaws closed to the tip of the tail, with the tail fin lobes compressed to give the maximum possible length.

Visit the Ontario MNR Fishing Website for all info on licenses and regulations

Note:This is for information purposes only. It is neccessary for all anglers to review the provincial angling regulations for more detailed info on limits and regulations.

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