News and updates

The ministry is seeking input on how to develop a plan to sustainably manage the diverse fisheries found in southwestern Ontario. We are asking the public to comment on the planning approach for Fisheries Management Zone (FMZ) 16 in Spring 2021. We want to ensure fisheries management in this area reflects the many different interests across the large geographic area covered by FMZ 16.

To do that we have implemented an enhanced engagement approach to the planning process. For the first phase of this approach we hosted listening sessions in the fall of 2017. These listening sessions provided Indigenous communities, Conservation Authorities, stakeholders and members of the public a chance to share their thoughts on what a fisheries management planning process in FMZ 16 should include and consider.

We have developed a discussion paper that:

  • provides general information on fisheries management in Ontario
  • describes some of the unique characteristics associated with FMZ 16, including Lake Simcoe
  • describes the approach taken for planning within FMZ 16 to date
  • summarizes what we heard at the listening sessions
  • asks questions to get more feedback on your interests, concerns and opportunities in FMZ 16

You can comment on the discussion paper through the Environmental Registry of Ontario posting from April 29 until June 28, 2021.

Fishing rules

You can:

About this zone

FMZ 16 is the most southerly inland fisheries management zone in the province. This zone has:

  • important recreational and tourism-based fisheries
  • large river systems
  • Lake Simcoe and Lake Couchiching, large popular lakes
  • large urban populations and high fishing effort

FMZ 16 is one of 20 fisheries management zones in the province.


Zone 16 is located in southern Ontario and consists mostly of rivers in urban areas such as Windsor, Niagara and Toronto.
View Fisheries Management Zone 16 map using Fish on-Line or a PDF.

FMZ 16:

  • includes all of southwestern Ontario
  • is predominantly made up of large river systems
  • includes Lakes Simcoe and Couchiching
  • has the largest urban population of any fisheries management zone
  • includes the large cities of Toronto, Mississauga, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo and London

Legal boundary map and detail maps

Legal boundary map for FMZ 16 and detail maps 1 - 46 (PDF)

Tributary mouth regulation maps

About Lake Simcoe

Lake Simcoe is intensively managed through a separate planning process. It is the most intensively fished inland lake in the province, with:

  • a popular ice fishery that accounts for more than half of all fishing on the lake
  • a valuable sport fish community, dominated by lake trout, lake whitefish, perch and smallmouth bass, that supports local economies

The Lake Simcoe Protection Act was passed in 2008 to protect and restore the health of Lake Simcoe and its watersheds. This ground-breaking watershed-based law gave rise to the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan, published in June 2009. The plan identifies a number of actions the government and its partners are committed to take to improve the health of the lake and its watershed.

In 2011, the ministry, in collaboration with First Nations, public bodies, the Lake Simcoe Fisheries Stakeholder Committee, key stakeholders, and the general public, developed Fish Community Objectivities (FCO) for Lake Simcoe.

The FCOs:

  • Provide a common goal and comprehensive set of objectives to enhance and guide efforts to manage the fish community and fisheries resources of Lake Simcoe and its watershed
  • Strategically guide ministry 's fisheries management decision making
  • Direct fisheries related stewardship activities
  • Inform decisions about planning, permitting, and implementation of development activities within the Lake Simcoe watershed

For more information on fisheries management and fishing regulations for Lake Simcoe, please contact:
Aurora district ministry office
Phone: 905-713-7400

Monitoring reports and management plans

The Lake Simcoe Fisheries Stakeholder Committee

The Lake Simcoe Fisheries Stakeholder Committee (LSFSC):

  • is an external committee of stakeholder representatives
  • members range from individual ice hut operators to local environmental organizations
  • actively involves anglers and the general public

The LSFSC advises fisheries managers on the social, cultural, environmental and economic values of the fishery resources of Lake Simcoe, Lake Couchiching and their watersheds. It has initiated an angler diary program to:

  • engage anglers
  • obtain information about angler success
  • measure fish community changes

General fishing rules