Licence-free fishing weekend returns

by Editorial Staff | February 10, 2021
Children ice fishing with jigging sticks
Youth take part in the 2020 OFAH Family Ice Fishing Day on Chemong Lake just near Peterborough. (Photo by Jason Bain)

The first of four licence-free fishing opportunities returns this Family Day weekend as part of Ontario Family Fishing Weekend.

The annual event returns from Saturday, Feb. 13 through Monday, Feb. 15 with an aim of introducing more families to ice fishing. No licence is needed to wet a line, but conservation limits apply.

Other designated licence-free periods include Mother’s Day (May 8-9), Father’s Day (June 19-20), and Family Fishing Week, from July 3-11.  At all other times, Canadian residents ages 18 to 64 must purchase a valid fishing licence to legally fish in Ontario. Veterans and active members of the Canadian Armed Forces are exempt.

OFAH event goes virtual

The 12th annual Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) Family Ice Fishing Day that normally takes place on Chemong Lake just north of Peterborough is going virtual as a result of public gathering restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The OFAH is thrilled to continue the tradition of this showcase community event in a virtual format, which will provide a great outdoors experience for children and families to participate in,” OFAH Executive Director Angelo Lombardo stated in a release. “There is no better time to get outside and go ice fishing with your family than during the licence-free Family Day Weekend.”

How to take part

There are three ways to take part in the event. Register your family ice fishing plans at to get a free fishing package (while supplies last).

You can also visit to learn how to ice fish via new TackleShare YouTube Channel videos, and send photos of your family ice fishing to TackleShare social media accounts for a chance to win prizes.

Tackleshare, an OFAH effort supported by Ontario Power Generation, loans fishing equipment to the public at more than 140 loaner sites across Ontario. Follow TackleShare on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or visit for more information.

Other family fishing events have also gone to a virtual format this year as a result of the pandemic. Click here for details.

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For more ice fishing, click here

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