Free fishing for veterans and armed forces

by Lezlie Goodwin | November 8, 2018

Canadian Armed Forces free recreational fishing The Government of Ontario is planning to amend provincial fishing regulations so veterans and active Canadian Armed Forces members can enjoy free recreational fishing by early 2019.

The new regulation will apply across the province for those who reside in Ontario. The change means those eligible men and women would not have to buy a fishing licence.

Currently Canadian residents between the ages of 18 and 64 years must purchase a licence to fish in Ontario. Those younger than 18 and 65 and older can use any form of Canadian identification in lieu of a fishing licence.

“We enjoy the rights and freedoms we have today because of the sacrifices of those brave women and men throughout history, and those actively serving to defend our rights and freedoms,” stated John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry in a government press release.

“The people of Ontario are grateful for the service of our veterans and active Canadian Armed Forces members who have, and continue to defend our freedom and values. These heroes deserve our gratitude and respect, and this is one small way we can show that.”

If you are a veteran or active Canadian Armed Forces member click here for more information.

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  1. Dave Lott wrote: Would this mean All Veterans who ever lived in Ontario while serving or only those living in Ontario now?
  2. Cindy Chamberlain wrote: Good day I am a retired veteran who is interested in getting free fishing licence.
    • Ontario OUT of DOORS wrote: Hi Cindy, You can find more information here: Just scroll down to the heading "If you are a veteran or active Canadian Armed Forces member" on the page. Hope that helps!
  3. Steven Baker wrote: Has a serving member of the Canadian Armed Forces I am very grateful for the free recreational fishing. Nowhere in the articles I have read does it mention anything about the outdoors card or which fishing license we are granted, Sport or Conservation. Are we still expected to purchase the outdoors card every 3 years and which license are we entitled to? I'd like to know how many fish I'm allowed to keep. Thank you.
    • Ontario OUT of DOORS wrote: Hi Steven, We just found more information about the details of this. You can find them here: Just scroll down to the heading "If you are a veteran or active Canadian Armed Forces member" on the page. Hope that helps!
  4. Marc wrote: The relevant page states that serving military/veteran must have one of the following pieces of identification ( Canadian Forces Identification Card (NDI 20), Record of Service Card (NDI 75), Canadian Armed Forces Veteran’s Service Card (NDI 75) but many veterans never received an NDI 75 when they left the services. Many, in fact, hold a CF1 card (issued by the Canadian Forces Morale & Welfare Services, and which clearly identifies them, when accompanied by photo ID, as a veteran) instead. Is the CF1 card an acceptable substitute for the NDI75?
    • Meghan Sutherland wrote: Marc, I'm fairly certain you'd need one of the three. However, you can contact the Natural Resources Information and Support Centre at 1-800-387-7011 to be certain, or otherwise find a way to replace one of the existing required cards. Thank-you.
    • Jason Bain wrote: From the MNRF: "Legally, no, it is not. The CF1 card is not issued by the federal government and could be issued to people who are not veterans of the armed forces."
  5. Paul Brousseau wrote: As a Veteran, can my wife fish with me under the same card or does she need to purchase a fishing licence here in Ontario?
    • Meghan Sutherland wrote: Paul, from: "The persons described below can carry a licence, permit, certificate or identification card issued by a federal, provincial or territorial government of Canada that indicates their name and date of birth and use it as a fishing licence. Ontario and Canadian residents who are under 18 or 65 years of age or older." If your wife is over 65 she does not need a fishing licence, but it is preferred she carry some government-issued ID to confirm her eligibility.