So today I wanted to make sure that my children still don’t need a fishing licence in Ontario. Well, after 30 minutes of research I’m still not positive if they do or not.
The following is an excerpt directly from the 2011 Ontario Fishing Regulations. There is no other mention of Ontario or Canadian resident children’s licence requirements in the entire book.
First it says that a valid licence consists of an Outdoors Card plus a fishing licence tag. Then it says that a person is deemed to be the holder of a recreational fishing licence if they are under 18 years of age and in possession of any licence, permit, certificate, etc. issued by the government.
Hmmm… so they automagically receive some sort of recreational fishing licence? If they are under 18 and already have some sort of other government licence or permit or certificate. How do I get such permit or certificate in order to get the fishing licence?
At this point it looks to me like my kids may actually need a fishing licence.
Of course this doesn’t make sense, but then again the MNR doesn’t do very many things that make sense. So I decided to dig up an older version of the fishing regulations.
Fortunately I had a couple of older versions of the regulations in the basement. Unfortunately, the 2010 Ontario Fishing Regulations were written just as poorly and didn’t help at all.
But below is an excerpt from the 2008 Ontario Fishing Regulations.
Well that’s pretty clear. In bold, near the middle it says “Anglers do not need a fishing licence if …” But a lot of the language is the same as 2011 so I’m still a little worried that I may not be interpreting this correctly.
Should I call my lawyer and get his interpretation in writing? Or should I risk losing my automobile, boat, and kids’ fishing rods and tackle because I can’t read an overly complicated 100 page booklet, and some conservation officer decides to be an @$%@$# when we’re out having a nice family day fishing?
Let’s go back down to the basement and take another look for some older regulations. Ah hah! I didn’t even know I had this, but lying in the bottom of an old fishing pack was a copy of the 2005 Ontario Fishing Regulations. Here’s an excerpt from 2005.
Crystal clear – at least in 2005.
Let’s assume the intent of the 2011 regulations is still the same and the MNR hasn’t changed the rules (big assumption). In that case my conclusion is that children under the age of 18 who are residents of Ontario do NOT need a 2011 fishing licence.
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Thank you…..I want to take my kids fishing today, but wasn’t sure about a license either and couldn’t find anything definitive.
Great job researching!!
Good work, so I guess that you would have to bring a copy or original birthcertificate with you to prove the child’s age. More documentation more Liberal crap
I’ve been looking for information on wether or not I need a fishing license if it is just my kids fishing and I’m with them. This is something that is even harder to try and find. Thinking I may have to actually call the MNR to find out. Guess though I will just go ahead and get it to be safe.
Answer: No license for children.
Would you mind pointing out exactly where it explains the relevant information? Unfortunately, I don’t have time to read another 40 pages of MNR literature.
The latest revision reads you ARE deemed to have a recreational license if you are younger than 18 or older than 65 and are in possession of any government issued I.d. I think they were trying to get away from limiting your identification to be ONLY a birth certificate. I think the mnr was actually trying to make it easier for people. I agree most mnr dealings are convuluted and confusing but this one is okay. As long as you have government I.d. You have a license and may keep the limits of that license
Hi. I know I need a licence to fish. If I take my 8 and 5 year old daughters fishing am I allowed to show them how to fish and let them catch fish w/o a licence? Thank you.
Good question. I’ve wondered that myself. Even if it’s technically allowed by law (which I don’t know), I can almost guarantee if you run into an MNR Enforcement j*rk (oops, I mean Officer) they will dream up a reason to fine you.
Under 18 and over 65 DO NOT NEED a fishing licence (in Ontario). Keep in mind though, if you are inbetween 18 – 65, then you NEED a fishing licence if you want to fish. Even if you want to show your kids how to cast, the second you touch the fishing pole in any manner that makes it look like you are fishing, you best have a licence on you, or you WILL BE FINED. I have a 12 and 9 year old. I don’t fish, but I have a conservation licence to cover myself in case this situation ever comes up. I am always helping them get their line out of the reeds or helping them cast. Better be safe than sorry….caught without a valid licence and you’re up the creek without a paddle.
” Well, after 30 minutes of research I’m still not positive if they do or not.”
It’s not really rocket science is it!!?!?! Why do people find the need to read more into something thinking there must be a catch? The regs as written seem pretty clear to me.
If children are allowed to fish with a licenced adult, what is their limit?