The Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources, and Forestry (MNDMNRF) has released the 2022 Ontario Fishing Recreational Fishing Regulations Summary.
Changes for 2022 include much-anticipated information on Baitfish Management Zones, increased winter angling opportunities in FMZ 6, as well as changes for Lake Nipissing.
The following changes will be applied to the Ontario fishing regulations as of Jan. 1, 2022:
Moving baitfish and leeches
Ontario is divided into four BMZs. Baitfish or leeches may not be transported into or out of a BMZ, regardless of whether they’re alive or dead.
Anglers must be able to produce a receipt of their bait, proving its purchase in the same zone as used.
Anglers are also only able to harvest bait for personal use in the same BMZ as their primary residence. The regulations remind anglers that some waterbodies do not allow fishing with baitfish at all.
- Southern BMZ consists of FMZs 16, 17, 18, and the part of 20 that is within the County of Prince Edward.
- Central BMZ consists of FMZ 15.
- Northeastern BMZ – consists of FMZs 3, 8, 10, and 11 except the part of FMZ 10 that is within Cockburn Island, Michipicoten Island, St. Joseph Island, and Manitoulin Island. Manitoulin Island is defined as all islands that can be accessed by land south of the causeway connecting Great LaCloche Island and Whitefish River First Nation (known as Swift Current Bridge), including Manitoulin Island, Great LaCloche Island, Little LaCloche Island, and Barrie Island.
- Northwestern BMZ – consists of FMZ 2 south of the 11th baseline at latitude 51°48’11”N. and east of longitude 89°00’00”W., and FMZs 4, 5, 6, and 7 except the part of FMZ 6 that consists of St. Ignace Island and Simpson Island.
Lake trout changes in FMZ 6
Lake trout’s season has been extended, now from January 1 to September 30 (from two windows February 1 to March 31, fourth Sat in May to September 30 in 2021). Slot sizes remain the same.
Lake Nipissing in FMZ 11
Lake Nipissing will be closed to all species from March 16 to Friday before the third Saturday in May and December 1 to December 31.
This includes the waters of the French River from the Chaudière and the Little Chaudière dams to Lake Nipissing; the west bay of Lake Nipissing in Haddo Township; the northwest bay of Lake Nipissing to the falls of MacPherson Creek; the Sturgeon River from Lake Nipissing to the dam at Sturgeon Falls; the Veuve River from Lake Nipissing to the chutes located in Lot 5 in Conc. 1 in Caldwell Township; the Lavase River from Lake Nipissing to the Champlain Park Boat Ramp in the city of North Bay, the South River from Lake Nipissing to Highway 654; and the entire West Arm of Lake Nipissing, including Cross Lake.
Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass are open from January 1 to March 15 and third Saturday in May to November 30.
Muskellunge is open from third Saturday in June to November 30; S-1 and C-0; must be greater than 137 cm.
Northern Pike slot sizes include S-4 and C-2; not more than 1 greater than 61 cm, none greater than 86 cm.
Walleye and Yellow Perch are open from January 1 to March 15 and third Saturday in May to October 15; S-2 and C-1; must be between 40-45 cm.
“My ministry is deeply grateful for all the recreational anglers that fish Ontario’s waters; you support our province’s recreational fisheries and contribute to a sustainable industry worth approximately $1.75 billion per year,” MNDMNRF Minister Greg Rickford stated.