Fishing is a popular pastime in Ontario, offering a wealth of opportunities for anglers of all skill levels. The province’s diverse waterways teem with various species of fish, providing a rewarding and enjoyable experience for those who take part. However, to fish in Ontario, you need a valid fishing license. This guide will walk you through the process of obtaining your Ontario fishing license online, ensuring you’re ready to cast your line legally and responsibly.
Understanding the Ontario Outdoors Card
Before you can obtain a fishing license, you’ll need an Ontario Outdoors Card. This plastic, wallet-sized identification card is issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and is required for anyone who wishes to hunt or fish in Ontario. This includes Ontario residents, Canadian residents living outside of Ontario, and non-residents of Canada.
The Outdoors Card is valid for three calendar years, and you can purchase or renew it online, by phone, or at a license issuer or participating ServiceOntario location. If you purchase a 1-year or 3-year fishing and/or small game license at the same time as your Outdoors Card, these licenses will be printed on the back of the card.
Types of Fishing Licenses in Ontario
There are different types of fishing licenses available in Ontario, depending on your residency status and the duration of your fishing activities. The two main types of licenses are the conservation license, which has reduced catch limits, and the sport fishing license, which allows for normal catch limits.
There are also special licenses for non-residents of Canada. If you’re visiting Ontario and plan to fish, you’ll need a valid license, which includes an Outdoors Card and a fishing license valid for either one or three calendar years. If you’re only planning to fish for a single day, you can purchase a one-day sport fishing license without an Outdoors Card.
How to Obtain an Ontario Fishing License Online
Obtaining an Ontario fishing license online is a straightforward process. You’ll need to provide your legal first, middle, and last name, date of birth, mailing and/or residential address, height, and eye color. Parental consent is required for resident hunters aged 12 to 15 years old.
Once you’ve provided the necessary information and paid the fee, your Outdoors Card will be sent to you by mail. It may take up to 20 days to receive your card, but in the meantime, you can carry your license summary as temporary proof of purchase. This allows you to start fishing immediately, even before your card arrives.
Rules and Regulations for Fishing in Ontario
Fishing in Ontario is governed by a set of rules and regulations to ensure the sustainability of the province’s fish populations. These rules cover when and where you can fish, the species, size, and number of fish you can keep, what you can use for bait and tackle, and what you can and cannot do in specific locations.
It’s important to carry your valid Outdoors Card and License Summary while fishing. If your license is not listed on the back of your Outdoors Card, you must carry your license summary. You can carry your license summary in paper or digital format, such as on a smartphone.
Who Needs a Fishing License in Ontario?
In Ontario, anyone aged 18 to 64 must have a valid fishing license to fish. However, there are some exceptions:
- Children under 18 can fish without a license as long as they follow the fishing regulations.
- Ontario residents aged 65 and above can fish without a license, but they must carry government-issued identification to prove their age.
- Canadian Armed Forces veterans and active members who are Ontario residents can fish without a license.
- Non-residents can purchase a temporary fishing license that’s valid for up to 16 days.
How to Get Your Fishing License in Ontario
Ontario offers an online system where you can purchase your fishing license. Here’s how:
- Go to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry website.
- Click on “Fishing” and then “Buy or Renew a Fishing Licence.”
- Choose the type of license you need (e.g. resident, non-resident, conservation).
- Select the duration of your license (e.g. one year, three years).
- Enter your personal information, including your name, address, and date of birth.
- Provide payment information and submit your application.
You’ll receive a confirmation email with your license information, including your license number, which you must carry with you while fishing.
Special Fishing Events and Exemptions
Ontario offers several special fishing events where you can fish without a license. For example:
- Family Fishing Week: A week-long event in July where Canadian residents can fish without a license.
- Ontario Family Fishing Events: A series of free fishing events throughout the year where people can fish without a license or equipment.
- National Fishing Week: An annual event in July where people can fish without a license in most Canadian provinces.
Additionally, some Ontario parks offer exemptions to fishing license requirements for visitors who are camping in the park. However, make sure to check the regulations for each park before you go fishing.
Understanding the process of obtaining an Ontario fishing license online is crucial for anyone planning to fish in the province. With this guide, you should now have all the information you need to Get your license and start enjoying the fantastic fishing opportunities Ontario has to offer.
Q: I’m an Ontario resident. How do I purchase an Ontario fishing license online?
A: To purchase an Ontario fishing license online, go to the Government of Ontario’s online licensing system, Fish and Wildlife Licensing Service (FWLS). You will need to create an account, which requires your personal information, such as your name, address, and date of birth. Once you have created an account, you can purchase your fishing license, print it off, and head out to your favourite fishing spot!
Q: I’m a non-resident of Ontario. Can I purchase an Ontario fishing license online?
A: Yes, non-residents of Ontario can purchase an Ontario fishing license online through the Fish and Wildlife Licensing Service (FWLS). You will need to provide your personal information, including your name, address, and date of birth, as well as your citizenship status. Non-resident fishing licenses typically cost more than resident licenses, but they grant the same fishing rights and privileges.
Q: How long does it take to receive my Ontario fishing license after purchasing it online?
A: Once you have purchased your Ontario fishing license online, you can print it off immediately. You will also receive an email confirmation of your purchase. However, if you have applied for a non-resident fishing license, it may take up to 14 days to process your application. If you have any questions or concerns about your fishing license purchase, you can contact the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s Fish and Wildlife Licensing Service Support Centre at 1-800-387-7011.