Complete 2023 Guide: How to Get Your Ontario Fishing License Online

Complete 2024 Guide: How to Get Your Ontario Fishing License Online

Are you eager to cast your line into the pristine waters of Ontario but unsure about the process of obtaining a fishing license? Look no further! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the simple steps to get your Ontario fishing license online quickly and easily. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a first-time fisher, having a valid license is crucial to ensure you’re fishing legally and responsibly. So, let’s dive in and explore how you can secure your Ontario fishing license online for the 2024 season.

Why You Need an Ontario Fishing License

Before we delve into the process of obtaining your license, it’s essential to understand why having one is so important. Ontario’s fishing regulations are in place to ensure the sustainability of our fisheries for generations to come. By purchasing a fishing license, you’re not only complying with the law but also contributing to the conservation and management of our valuable aquatic resources.

Your fishing license fees support various initiatives, including:

  • Fish stocking programs
  • Habitat restoration projects
  • Research and monitoring of fish populations
  • Enforcement of fishing regulations
  • Access to fishing opportunities and infrastructure

In short, your fishing license is more than just a legal requirement; it’s an investment in the future of Ontario’s fisheries.

Who Needs an Ontario Fishing License?

In Ontario, most anglers require a valid fishing license to fish legally. However, there are a few exceptions:

  • Residents under 18 or 65 and older: If you are an Ontario resident under 18 years old or 65 and older, you can fish without a license. However, you must carry government-issued identification that includes your name and date of birth while fishing.
  • Indigenous peoples: Indigenous peoples who are fishing for food, social, or ceremonial purposes within their traditional or treaty territory are generally exempt from requiring a fishing license. However, it’s essential to check with local authorities for specific regulations.

For all other anglers, including Canadian residents from outside Ontario and non-Canadian visitors, a valid Ontario fishing license is mandatory.

Types of Ontario Fishing Licenses

Ontario offers two main types of fishing licenses: Sport Fishing License and Conservation Fishing License. The primary difference between the two is the catch and possession limits.

  1. Sport Fishing License: This license allows anglers to catch and keep the maximum number of fish permitted under the Ontario Fishing Regulations. It’s the most popular choice among anglers and is required for most fishing tournaments.
  2. Conservation Fishing License: With this license, anglers have reduced catch and possession limits, typically half of those allowed under the Sport Fishing License. This option is ideal for anglers who prefer to practice catch-and-release or those who don’t need to keep as many fish.

Both types of licenses can be purchased as either a 1-year or 3-year license, with the latter offering a discount for multi-year purchases.

How to Get Your Ontario Fishing License Online

Now that you understand the importance of having a fishing license and the different types available let’s walk through the steps to get your license online.

Step 1: Visit the Official Website

To begin, visit the Ontario Fish and Wildlife Licensing Service website. This is the official platform for purchasing fishing and hunting licenses in Ontario.

Step 2: Create or Log In to Your Account

If you’re a first-time user, click on the “Create an Account” button and follow the prompts to set up your profile. You’ll need to provide personal information such as your name, address, date of birth, and contact details.

If you already have an account, simply log in using your existing credentials.

Step 3: Purchase an Outdoors Card

Before you can buy a fishing license, you’ll need to purchase an Outdoors Card. This plastic, wallet-sized card is valid for three calendar years and serves as your identification for fishing and hunting licenses.

If you don’t have a valid Outdoors Card, add one to your cart before proceeding to buy your fishing license.

Step 4: Select Your Fishing License

Once you have an Outdoors Card, choose the type of fishing license you want to purchase (Sport or Conservation) and the duration (1-year or 3-year). Add the appropriate license to your cart.

Step 5: Check Out and Pay

Review your cart to ensure you have the correct items, then proceed to the checkout process. You’ll be asked to confirm your personal information and provide payment details. Ontario accepts major credit cards and Visa debit cards for online license purchases.

Step 6: Print or Save Your License

After completing your purchase, you’ll have the option to print your Licence Summary or save it as a digital file on your smartphone or tablet. Your Licence Summary is a document that lists all your valid fishing and hunting licenses.

Remember to carry your Outdoors Card and Licence Summary with you whenever you’re fishing, as conservation officers may ask to see them.

Ontario Fishing Regulations and Zones

In addition to securing your fishing license, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with Ontario’s fishing regulations and zones. The province is divided into 20 Fisheries Management Zones (FMZs), each with its own set of regulations governing catch limits, size restrictions, and open seasons for various fish species.

Before heading out on your fishing adventure, consult the Ontario Fishing Regulations Summary for the current rules in your target FMZ. This comprehensive guide is updated annually and is available online or in print at license issuers and ServiceOntario locations.

Some key regulations to be aware of include:

  • Catch and possession limits: Each FMZ has specific limits on the number and size of fish you can catch and keep. These limits vary by species and may change from year to year based on the health of fish populations.
  • Seasons: Fishing seasons for different species can vary by FMZ. Some fish, such as bass, have closed seasons during spawning to protect the population. Always check the open seasons for your target species before fishing.
  • Gear restrictions: Certain FMZs may have restrictions on the type of fishing gear allowed, such as the number of lines per angler or the use of live bait. Familiarize yourself with these regulations to ensure you’re fishing legally.

By understanding and following the fishing regulations in your FMZ, you’ll help support the long-term sustainability of Ontario’s fisheries while avoiding potential fines and penalties.


Obtaining your Ontario fishing license online is a simple and convenient process that ensures you’re fishing legally and responsibly. By purchasing a license, you’re not only gaining access to some of the best freshwater fishing in the world but also contributing to the conservation and management of Ontario’s valuable fisheries.

Remember to always carry your Outdoors Card and Licence Summary while fishing, and take the time to familiarize yourself with the regulations in your target Fisheries Management Zone. By following these guidelines and practicing responsible angling, you’ll help ensure that Ontario’s fish populations remain healthy and abundant for generations to come.

So, what are you waiting for? Get your Ontario fishing license online today, grab your gear, and head out to explore the province’s incredible fishing opportunities. Tight lines and happy fishing!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I buy an Ontario fishing license for someone else?

Yes, you can purchase a fishing license as a gift for another person. However, you’ll need their personal information, including their Outdoors Card number, to complete the transaction.

2. Do I need a separate fishing license for each Fisheries Management Zone?

No, your Ontario fishing license is valid across all FMZs in the province. However, you must adhere to the specific regulations for each zone you fish in.

3. What happens if I lose my fishing license?

If you lose your Outdoors Card or Licence Summary, you can reprint the documents from your online account or visit a license issuer to obtain a replacement for a small fee.

4. Are there any discounts available for Ontario fishing licenses?

Yes, anglers who purchase a 3-year Sport or Conservation Fishing License receive a discount compared to buying annual licenses for three consecutive years. Additionally, some organizations, such as the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, offer member discounts on licenses.

5. Can I fish in Ontario with a fishing license from another province or country?

No, you must have a valid Ontario fishing license to fish legally in the province. Licenses from other jurisdictions are not valid in Ontario.

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