No changes to fishing: Premier

by Editorial Staff | April 17, 2020
a fishing rod, reel, and net
Fishing gear. (Photo by Jason Bain)

Spring fishing will go ahead unchanged, the province clarified this week, but anglers are reminded to follow provincial health guidelines.

That includes social distancing, keeping at least six feet away from others, even as spring trout seasons open next week.

Be responsible

The government is pleading with anglers to be responsible so that seasons can remain open, Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) Manager of Fish and Wildlife services Matt DeMille said.

“We have been hearing from many members from northern and rural Ontario who are worried their fishing opportunities will be restricted with broad-brush closures in response to overcrowding in more populated areas of the province,” he stated.

“The OFAH has been doing everything we can to keep anglers informed with up-to-date information and advice for responsible angling to keep people both safe and fishing wherever it is possible to do so.”

Derbies discouraged

Earlier this week, Premier Doug Ford told a northern Ontario media outlet that fishing will remain open, but strongly discouraged fishing derbies.

Provincial emergency orders to date included closing parks and amenities including boat ramps, restricting land access, and banning camping on Crown land.

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  1. Pat Watson wrote: A breath of fresh air!! THANK_YOU
  2. Dave Ham wrote: Hello : As a boat builder , it is necessary to have our vessels certified by Transport Canada , this requires us to use the Municipal Launching Ramp in order to do the required Stability Engineering done by our Naval Architect / Engineer Is this allowable ??.
  3. Chuck wrote: It is nonsense that boat launches are closed. People are smart enough to stay back until it's your turn. Especially on to Lake Ontario. How are we to get to the trout if we can't get out where they are! What is going to happen is people are going to go out in small tin boats, canoes and kayaks in unsafe waters because they can toss it in with out a launch.
  4. Mike wrote: So we can fish, that's great when will boat ramps be opened, on a boat in a lake meets all current criteria less than 5 people 6feet from anyone else seems kind of odd that boat ramps are closed
  5. Mark wrote: Fishing will be allowed, but water access is not? So people with private land on the water can fish, but not the rest of us? Hmmm...
  6. Wayne wrote: I’ve fished every trout opener for the past 45 years, look forward to it all year. But really, does anybody actually think the few areas of southern Ontario Tributaries that are still open won’t be shoulder to shoulder and 2 or 3 people deep? You see it every year, I’ve seen times where you would land a fish and by the time you removed the hook 2 people were in your spot.
  7. Steve cylwa wrote: Friend of mine tried to get out on lake St Clair via the Thames river and was turned away by a Coast Gaurd boat. He was told he was not allowed on lake with a motorized boat.
  9. Carl W Lesser wrote: Were from Michigan and have purched our eight day licenses for opening week of walleye season obviously we wont be fishing at tht time will you let us re issue for a later date
    • Meghan Sutherland wrote: Hi Carl, we encourage you to call the MNRF directly to answer that question, at: Toll-free: 1-800-387-7011.
  10. Cat guy wrote: Then why has it been such a huge issue the last couple of weeks for boaters to go out? It's one of the most social distancing activities people do and the media drummed it up like it was a huge problem. Why?
  11. Burt C wrote: When trout opens west of Trenton and later when walleye opens on the bay of Q and launches are 'closed'. Anglers are going to launch wherever they can. Legal or Not, safe or not. They will. In all the years we've been fishing and launching at municipal, provincial and federal launches. No one ever comes close to you when launching. Everyone keeps to themselves. Wheres the problem ? No one is closer than 15 plus feet from eachother. The politicians should take another look at that. It will only cause more issues for bilaw and police if launches are kept closed.
  12. Adam wrote: How can they says fishing will continue when they have lol the launches closed?
  13. David Brandvold wrote: This is great, you just can't get a boat on the water
  14. bill wrote: where can we launch our boat/jet ski on lake simcoe
  15. Rick Shortt wrote: Can I travel to Dorset.for the 24th May weekend to my camp to fish for lake trout without getting a ticket for not staying at home?
    • Meghan Sutherland wrote: Hi Rick! Fishing is still open, provided you're maintaining social distancing. You'd have to check to ensure the boat ramp you may use is not closed. That being said, this information is subject to change. Here is a resource you may find helpful:
  16. Scott wrote: The use of a public boat launch should be permitted for the simple reason that you only going out with the same people you live with. I can drive in my car with the wife directly beside me and yet using a boat ramp for her and I to enjoy a day out should definitely be no different. If needed we can show cohabitation with proper identification and it can be enforced no problem until this Covid is secured or beaten. I drive for a living and constantly see numerous amounts of vehicles filled with more than one individual travelling down the road yet none which I've seen pulled over for doing so. I strongly disagree with the ramps to the public being closed. I understand the need to contain the spread of this virus however I dont see the authorities busting down my door considering shes sitting 2 feet away from me right now as Im typing this comment.
  17. Dale Hodgins wrote: Can I go fishing in my boat. Most ramps are closed.
  18. Werner wrote: It looks like the fishing season is open for those who have cottages since they don't have to use public boat launches to get their boats in the water so that they can go fishing. The rest of us have to fish from shore? If you're not keeping a safe 6' distance from other people at the boat launch then you don't know how to launch your boat. It's ridiculous that the public boat launches are closed, I want to go fishing.
  19. Claude G. wrote: Ok people you are all just not getting it. You can go fishing in a boat with anyone who lives in your household, as long as you are not more than 5 people. But, you cannot go fishing with anyone who does not live with you. That is where the physical distancing can't be observed. So, you can't go with your buddies or your brother in law or anybody who does not live in your household. At least not in the same boat. But, there is always going to be some yahoos who are going to do it anyway, and THAT is why the boat ramps are closed . And should remain closed. Don't get me wrong , I don't like it either. I am an avid fisherman too, but this covid19 thing is bigger than fishing . The faster we can get this under control, the faster we can get out there with no restrictions. It's not the end of the world people. There is always next year.
  20. Gerry Miller wrote: will the Canada US border be open by june 21
    • Meghan Sutherland wrote: Hi Gerry, there is no way to know at this time when the border will open.
  21. Alex Marsh wrote: Hi There: Can you tell me about fishing licenses? Are the ones from last year valid for this year? Thanks.
    • Meghan Sutherland wrote: Hi Alex, it depends on what one you have from last year. It should say on the back of your outdoors card. Here is a link where you can check the status of your account; any of the links on this page will take you to your log-in portal and should give you the answers you're looking for.
  22. pete curtiss wrote: tell me will fishing be open north of north bay by june
    • Meghan Sutherland wrote: Hi Pete, there's no way of knowing as yet when the closed boat ramps will reopen, and it's still recommended to avoid non-essential travel, but we'll be providing updates on the site as they become available.
  23. John Moreel wrote: Since fishing is not restricted nor is access to crown land, can one still canoe or use small watercraft without the use of public launches?
    • Meghan Sutherland wrote: Hi John, yes, canoes are still acceptable.
  24. Claude g wrote: Ok, I have a question that a lot of people are wondering about. Now that boat launches are open, and I know that we are still observing physical distancing, Can 2 people who live at different addresses fish in the same boat??
    • Meghan Sutherland wrote: Claude, it's still recommended that you maintain six feet (two metres) apart from anyone outside your household. If your boat cannot accommodate this distance, then you wouldn't be observing physical distancing parameters.
  25. Claude G wrote: Thank you, so my boat is 17 feet long. If I fish in the the back and someone else fishes from the front, that we would definitely be 6 feet apart. Would that work? Is there still a chance we could get a fine?
  26. Jeno Huber wrote: If 2 people are in a boat(which is 18 ft. long) and each stays away from each other ( 1 at back of boat and 1 at front) and when under power passenger stays up in the back fishing chair or sitting on back passenger side on step up and gets in the boat at the back and person driving boat gets in at the front.Are they allowed to fish together by maintaining 6 feet. Also during launching 1 backs up the vehicle and 1 drives the boat.Please send me an email response as I will print it to prove I requested proper permission....Thank you in advance. Also both will be wearing (face buffs)!! (JENO HUBER)
    • Meghan Sutherland wrote: Jeno, as long as you're maintaining physical distancing it shouldn't be an issue. We are a magazine (OOD) and not the ministry (MNRF), but please please see the recent update to camping on crown land: This would serve as better guidelines; notice groups no larger than five are a must and that it is important to maintain distance.
  27. Don Brenneman wrote: Closing boat ramps is nothing more than trying to control the public. Since the recent lock down the number of people who have tested is more than before. Trying to prevent people from outdoor activities like hunting and fishing is illegal on the governments part. Let them stat telling the truth and stop lying to the people.