Ask a CO: Do I need a licence to fish a stocked pond?

by Editorial Staff | June 10, 2021
Top view of several large rainbow trout.

Q: If I fish a stocked private pond that is not connected to other bodies of water, and I have paid to fish it, do I need an Outdoors Card and Fishing licence, and do I need to comply with fish possession limits?
Helen, Millbrook

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No licence needed

A: The Ontario Fishery Regulations, 2007 set out the requirements to have a licence to fish and the seasons, quotas, and size limits associated with fish species across and in specific areas of the province. These regulations do not apply to activities carried out under an aquaculture licence. Fee-for-fishing operations (e.g. stocked ponds that you pay to fish in) are required to have an aquaculture licence in Ontario. Therefore, when you go to fish at one of these establishments, you do not need a fishing licence (or an Outdoors Card) and you do not need to follow the limits set for the fishery management zone that you are in. In case you are stopped by a conservation officer, it would be helpful to carry a receipt from the proprietor that lists pertinent information such as the name and location of the establishment, the type and number of fish you caught and purchased, the date, etc.

– Brenda Koenig, Provincial Enforcement Specialist, MNRF

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Originally published in the July 2020 issue of Ontario OUT of DOORS magazine. Ask a CO is also a regular feature in the print edition.

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

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