Ask a CO: Can perch pieces be used as bait?

by Editorial Staff | April 23, 2015

Q: I know it is illegal to use live yellow perch as bait in Ontario, but can perch pieces like tails, eyeballs, and fillets be used?

-Bob Ekholm, Thunder Bay

A: You’re right, the Ontario fishing regulations restrict the use of live fish as bait to only listed baitfish species. That does not include live perch.

As for using perch pieces, yes you can, with some exceptions. The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act prohibits the wastage of fish flesh which is suitable for human consumption (by the person who has taken the fish). So, in general terms, a person may use the “parts” of fish (tails, fins, skin, eyes, etc.) as bait, but anglers should not use entire fish they have harvested, other than baitfish, as bait.

One alternative to using angler-caught fish is to buy fish from a commercial fisher or someone else who can legally sell yellow perch; the “flesh wastage” provision does not apply to fish that have been purchased.

Please also be aware that there are areas, like Fisheries Management Zones 2, 4, and 5, where the use of dead smelt is prohibited and there are also specific waters where only artificial lures can be used, and others where only artificial flies can be used. Anglers should always consult the Recreational Fishing Regulations Summary for zone and lake-specific rules before they go fishing.

Mark Robbins (Provincial Enforcement Specialist, MNRF)

This is archived content. Ask a CO is a regular feature in the print edition of Ontario OUT of DOORS.

Please check the most recent Ontario hunting and fishing regulations summaries, as rules and regulations can change.

Comments

  1. Russell Miller wrote: There is no provision in the regulations summary to support this answer. if your response is the legitimate regulation, than clarity needs to brought to the book. i would have no legal standing under current definitions, as they stand, to defend myself in court against the issuance of a ticket against me. as defined by the summary -Baitfish - Some species of fish may be used as BAIT in some areas (see Bait, page 10). *of course, yellow perch is not listed -Bait - "...Bait includes live or dead animals, plants or parts." If yellow perch are NOT a species of fish allowed to be used as BAIT in some areas, and bait is defined as any animal dead or alive. then a dead fish cannot be bait unless it qualifies as a baitfish, which yellow perch does not. nothing i have seen in the summary allows for differentiation between "parts" or "entire fish." hence the regulation summary clearly states that you can not legally and defensibly use dead perch parts as bait. unless i am missing something? if you have knowledge i do not of the definitions, then i do not see how your statement has any legal standing?
    • Curioprop wrote: Please note that a number of changes have been made to bait regulations to protect rare and endangered species, conserve biodiversity and prevent the spread of invasive species. Anglers may not use live yellow perch and alewife as bait anywhere in Ontario. Baitfish Anglers are responsible to ensure that any baitfish in their possession are permitted baitfish. Only the fish species listed below may be used as live bait: Apprears Bait includes live and dead but page 10 specifically states LIVE Bait
  2. Russell Miller wrote: Therebis ZERO legal reasoning here. Show me a law! There is none. Prove me wrong. You need to be fired. You can't readunderstand the laws. How are you publishing this? It clearly violates our laws! This is an expert?????
    • Ontario OUT OF DOORS wrote: Please see the fishing regulations summary definitions. On page10 of the 2015 regulations, it specifically refers to “LIVE” perch.
  3. Curioprop wrote: From the 2015 fishing regs: "Please note that a number of changes have been made to bait regulations to protect rare and endangered species, conserve biodiversity and prevent the spread of invasive species. Anglers may not use live yellow perch and alewife as bait anywhere in Ontario. Baitfish Anglers are responsible to ensure that any baitfish in their possession are permitted baitfish. Only the fish species listed below may be used as live bait" Your anaysis left the word LIVE out which changes the intent of the regs. While bait includes living and dead, this particular restriction specifically states "live bait"
  4. Peter Molson wrote: Cleaned & cut perch at home with parts frozen for future use was done by me over 50 years !