Over the weekend, a cottager came to the store with questions related to fishing licenses. While many of you have your licence already, many others don't.
When I was a child, I saw a fishing rod with an animated fish on the package in the store and had to have it. With no worms on hand, I chopped up some hot dogs and went down to the dock. The hot dogs worked great as bait and kept me busy for a long time. I didn't know what kind of fish I caught - and didn't care, they were never big enough to keep anyway. Gone are the days of an impulse trip to the dock to try the sport of fishing for the first time. It's not that simple.
Many of you may already know what you need to do to be able to be fish but some may not so this might be useful, I'll try to share important bits from my calls this morning --- NOTE -- we are not the authority on fishing licences and policies may change so please see our links page to get the official MNR detail...
This week, July 5-13 is family fishing week for Ontario Residents. Key point - an Ontario Resident is defined as someone who resides in Ontario for more than 6 months per year we were told by the Bancroft office of the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR). Other rules/limitations do still apply (See MNR website).
While no licence is required for family fishing week if you are an Ontario resident -- apparently cottagers who are not Ontario residents do require a licence for family fishing week or any other time for that matter -- something for our American Cottagers to be aware of.
Second important point -- to fish legally -- if you are an Ontario resident 18 or older, you need an "Outdoors Card" PLUS a "Fishing Licence". Note - you need nothing if you are an Ontario resident under 18. The Outdoors Card is your identifier from which MNR keeps all your personal info but alone isn't your fishing licence - this Outdoors Card costs $9.68 and expires after 3 yrs. A hunting licence can be added to the Outdoors Card as well as a fishing licence. Fishing licenses are available for either 1 or 3 yrs at a cost of $16.46/yr for Ontario residents or $50.52/yr for non Ontario residents irregardless of age (yup!). You must have an outdoors card first to buy a fishing licence. Single day licences are available without the requirement for an outdoors card.
MNR encourages you to remember to do this online and print off before you start vacation since technology tools are not as available in cottage country, alternatively you can go to a licencing office.
Scenario -- 14 yr old boy fishing by himself on his dock alone. While he is not required to have a licence - he must know and follow the regulations, i.e, what he is allowed to keep (yup -- he needs to know what he can/can't keep which means he needs to know the different breeds of fish). His neighbour is also 14 but is not an Ontario resident so he must have a licence (yes the fees of $50.52 + $9.68). MNR said that failure to have a licence could result in a fine as much as $200 - even for kids.
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