The coming new year signals a new Ontario Recreational Fishing Regulations Summary as anglers head out on the frozen water for another ice-fishing season.
Starting Jan. 1, 2020, the following changes have been applied to the Ontario fishing regulations:
Changes in FMZ 11
Changes to seasons and size limits for lake trout in FMZ 11 stemming from the FMZ planning process, include:
- Changing the zone-wide closing date to Labour Day (was previously Sept. 30) to address vulnerability of adult female fish
- Implementing a one over 40 cm size limit for the FMZ to manage “small-bodied” lake trout to help meet planned objectives and increase lake trout abundance
- Creating a one over 50 cm size limit for large-bodied lake trout (Lake Temagami, Cross, Kokoko, Diamond, and Makobe Lakes)
- Implementing a catch and release only season on Lake Temagami from the day after Labour Day to Sept. 30
The regulations will also show adjustments to sanctuary dates on Ferrim Creek and Lake Temagami to allow for fishing during the March Break and additional sanctuary date changes to Cut and McConnel Lakes (FMZ 11), the removal of size limits on 43 stocked brook trout lakes in FMZ 11, and the extension of largemouth and smallmouth bass seasons in FMZ 11 to align with walleye and pike seasons (Jan. 1 to the 3rd Sunday in March and the 3rd Saturday in May to Dec. 31).
Additionally, anglers will see the removal of bass and pike exception regulations in Lake Obabika in FMZ 11 (zone-wide regulations will apply), an open season for lake trout from Feb. 15 to the 3rd Saturday in March, and the 3rd Saturday in May to Labour Day (i.e. zone-wide season) with a catch and possession limit of S-1 and C-0.
Changes in FMZ 10
Increasing the minimum size limit from 36 inches to 48 inches (122 cm) for muskellunge in FMZ 10, along with the removal of the exception regulation for the muskellunge opening season on the French River in FMZs 10 and 11.
The season will no longer open on the first Saturday in June, but will open on the 3rd Saturday in June to keep it consistent with the zone-wide season. There will also be the establishment of an open all year season for brown trout.
Changes in FMZ 16
Clarification of regulations that referenced Highway 2 in FMZ 16 to include the proper road names.
Changes in FMZ 17
Clarification of regulations in FMZ 17 that referenced the Otonabee River to refer to the proper waterbody name (e.g. Fenelon River, Rosedale River)