You’re fishing from the dock of your bay. Or a rock out back of your home on Sturgeon Lake. Do you really need an Ontario fishing licence? Even if it’s your own property?
The clear answer, says Ontario Natural Resources, is yes. That is, if you’re between the ages of 18 and 65.
Contrary to what seems to be a widely held belief, you do not have the right to fish from your own property without a licence, unless you’re casting that line into a private pond that sits entirely on your property and flows neither onto, nor off, someone else’s land.
If the body of water is connected to private property held by someone else, or public Crown space, “the laws requiring a licence and the various fishing seasons apply,” an official with the Ministry of Natural Resources told MyNewWaterfrontHome.com.
So even if your land has a spring-fed pond on it, and if your pond drains into a nearby river, you’ll need to get a licence.
Are you the right age?
There are exceptions. If you’re an Ontario resident under the age of 18, or 65-plus, your birth certificate, or some other official government proof of age, becomes what MNR calls a “deemed recreational fishing licence.” Others not required to obtain a special fishing licence are disabled Canadian residents in possession of a CNIB identity card or an Ontario Accessible Parking Permit.
But as in the case of the young and seniors, anyone wanting to take advantage of that regulation must bring that card or permit along to the ole’ fishin’ hole with them.
So, can a couple of 15-year-olds go fishing by themselves, or do they need to be accompanied by an adult? Provided they have that proof of age and are residents of Ontario, they’re OK. Non-residents will either need their own licence, or be accompanied by a licensed adult, in which case their catch will be applied against the adult’s catch limit.
By the way, make sure whatever documentation you have with you is in a secure, waterproof carrying pouch — just in case you decide to go swimming with the fishes.
MyNewWaterfrontHome.com — June 2010