Fishing licence (Canadian residents)
How to get an Ontario fishing licence if you live in Canada.
On this page Skip this page navigation
An Ontario resident is a person whose primary residence is in Ontario and who has lived in the province for at least six consecutive months during the 12 months immediately before applying for a licence.
A Canadian resident is a person whose primary residence is in any part of Canada other than Ontario and has lived in Canada for at least six consecutive months during the 12 months immediately before applying for a licence.
Before you start
If you are 18 and over or under 65 years old
Before you can start fishing, you will need a valid:
- Outdoors Card (a plastic identification card, valid for three calendar years), and
- a fishing licence (valid for either one or three calendar years)
A fishing licence can be for either:
- conservation (reduced catch limits)
- sport (normal catch limits)
If you are under 18 years old or 65 and older
You do not need to purchase an Outdoors Card or licence to fish. You will need to carry your government-issued identification with you, that includes your name and date of birth, at all times while fishing. Your identification acts as your licence to fish, if you belong to one of these age ranges.
If you are a veteran or active Canadian Armed Forces member
Starting January 1, 2019, veterans and active members of the Canadian Armed Forces who reside in Ontario are able to enjoy free fishing across the province as a token of recognition for their service. In place of an Outdoors Card and recreational fishing licence, veterans and active members will be required to possess and carry one of the following pieces of identification to legally fish in Ontario:
- Canadian Forces Identification Card (NDI 20);
- Record of Service Card (NDI 75); or
- Canadian Armed Forces Veteran’s Service Card (NDI 75).
In accordance with other deemed licences, veterans and active members of the Canadian Armed Forces will need to follow the seasons, quotas and limits associated with a sport fishing licence.
For more information on this initiative, please contact the Natural Resources Information and Support Centre at
Fishing for one day only
If you plan to fish for a single day only, you do not need an Outdoors Card—but you will need a one-day sport fishing licence.
Fishing rules and limits
- when and where you can fish
- the species, size and number of fish you can keep
- what you can use for bait and tackle
- what you can and cannot do in specific locations (Ontario is divided into 20 Fisheries Management Zones)
While fishing, you must carry your valid Outdoors Card and Licence Summary listing your valid fishing licence, unless your licence is printed on the back of your Outdoors Card.
Only one type of Outdoors Card is now issued for fishing and hunting.
Where to buy
When you buy or renew your Outdoors Card, you will get a plastic card mailed to you. This will have your fishing licence printed on the back.
Until you receive your plastic card in the mail, you can use the Licence Summary given to you at the time of purchase to immediately go fishing.
What you’ll need
- first and last name
- date of birth
- mailing and residential address (including postal code)
- height and eye colour
To buy online, you will need to:
- pay with Visa or Mastercard
- save your Licence Summary in a digital format (for example, on your smartphone) or print it at home
To buy in person:
To pay by phone:
Generally, if you belong to an Indigenous community with established Aboriginal or treaty fishing rights in Ontario, you can fish without a licence when:
- fishing within your traditional or treaty area
- taking fish for food, social or ceremonial purposes
If you are exercising fishing rights, you should be prepared to provide community identification.
If you fish outside your traditional or treaty area, you will need to have an Outdoors Card and fishing licence or permission from a First Nation to fish in their traditional territory.
If you have a disability
A person who has been issued an accessible parking permit under the Highway Traffic Act or a national identity card by the Canadian National Institute for the Blind may fish without an Outdoors Card or recreational fishing licence if they carry the permit or national identity card with them while they are fishing. If a black and white photocopy or printed version of the accessible parking permit is carried while fishing, the person is also required to carry a Government-issued licence, permit, certificate or identification card that indicates their name and date of birth.
A person who requires the direct assistance of another person to fish and to follow applicable laws due to a disability defined in the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act may fish without an Outdoors Card or recreational fishing licence if they carry a Government-issued licence, permit, certificate or identification card that indicates their name and date of birth. The accompanying person does not require a fishing licence if they are only assisting but must have a licence if they wish to engage in fishing.
The seasons and catch and possession limits for a Sport Fishing Licence apply to all situations above.