Subject - Licensing of Fee for Fishing Operations
Policy -FisPo.9.2.4
Compiled by – The Ministry of Natural Resources
Division - Policy
Date Issued - August 2004
Branch - Biodiversity
Section - Fisheries Policy
Replaces Directive Title - Licensing of Fishing Preserves
Number - FI 2.06.03
Dated - August 1995

1.0 Definitions

In this policy,

means the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act (FWCA)
artificial waters
are described in clause 3(2)(b) of the Ontario Fishery Regulations made under the Fisheries Act and may be referred to as artificial ponds in this policy. The water body (e.g. pond) must be artificial and meet the following additional criteria: It cannot be on a regional flood plain. It must be wholly within the boundaries of privately-owned land. It can contain water from surface run-off, natural springs, ground water or water pumped from a stream or lake; however, it cannot have a connection or outflow to natural waters. Use is restricted to non- commercial purposes and fish deposited into the water body must be obtained from either an aquaculture facility licensed under the provincial Act or a commercial fishing operation licensed under the provincial Act.
fishing preserve
refers to any water body which was licenced under Ontario Regulation 267/95 as a fishing preserve
regional flood plain
according to the Provincial Policy Statement (issued under authority of the Planning Act, Order in Council No. 764-96) means the area, usually lowlands adjoining a watercourse, which has been or may be subject to flooding hazards

2.0 Rationale

The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) has removed the former definition of “fishing preserve” (s. 34 of the Game and Fish Act) and as such has not implemented the requirement for a licence to own or operate a fishing preserve. Application of the old definition was inconsistent across the province and in some circumstances was viewed as overly restrictive. OMNR views the activities of fee for fishing operations as a component of aquaculture and as such these operations will now require an aquaculture licence which will be issued in accordance with the policies and procedures set out for issuance of aquaculture licences on private land (FisPp.9.2.1 - Issuance of Aquaculture Licence, Renewals, Transfer, Amendments, Refusals and Cancellations and FisPp.9.2.3 - Aquaculture on Private Land) in order to operate. This streamlines the process for many operations which have in the past held a culture and sell licence and a fishing preserve licence for the same waters.

3.0 Program direction

Fee for fishing operations, formerly licenced as fishing preserves, now require the aquaculture licence. Section 51 of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act sets out a requirement to have a licence in order to sell fish. In addition to the culture activities that may be occurring at these facilities, charging a fee for fish removed from these facilities necessitates a licence. An aquaculture licence is authority to buy or sell fish listed on the licence.

An application for an aquaculture licence allowing the culture, buying or selling of brook trout, rainbow trout, smallmouth bass or largemouth bass for waters previously licenced under a fishing preserve licence for those same species shall be approved automatically.

The normal policy and procedure for issuance of an aquaculture licence (FisPp.9.2.1 - Issuance of Aquaculture Licence, Renewals, Transfers, Amendments, Refusals and Cancellations) applies in all other circumstances.

Patrons of fee for fishing operations are advised to obtain documentation in the form of an invoice or record of sale as proof of purchase if the number of fish taken exceeds the possession limit or is during the closed season for that species or if the patron does not possess a valid angling licence.

4.0 References

4.1 Legislative references

  • Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act
    • Section 34 - fishing preserves
    • Subsection 36(5) - abandonment or spoilage of flesh
    • Section 37 - possession of nets
    • Section 47 - aquaculture
    • Section 51- buying or selling fish Subsection 57(1) - transport of containers Section 60 - issuance of licences
    • Section 62 - licence conditions
  • Fish Licencing Regulation
    • Section 19 - application for aquaculture licence
    • Section 20 - aquaculture licence authorizations and limitations
    • Section 21 - aquaculture licence conditions
    • Section 22 - aquaculture licence holder disease reporting requirements
    • Section 23 - transfer of an aquaculture licence
    • Section 24 - exemptions for aquariums and the aquarium trade
    • Schedule B - species eligible for culture in Ontario
    • Schedule C - fish disease agents
  • Fisheries Act
  • Ontario Fishery Regulations
    • Section 3 - application of the Ontario Fishery Regulations
    • Section 4 - Licence requirements

4.2 Directive cross references

  • Policy and procedures
    • FisPp.9.2.1 - Issuance of Aquaculture Licence, Renewals, Transfers, Amendments, Refusals and Cancellations
    • FisPp.9.2.3 - Aquaculture on Private Land FisPp.9.2.5 - Risk Analysis and Facility Security FisPp.9.3.1 - Licence to Stock in Ontario Waters
    • FisPo.9.4.1 - Artificial Waters and Application of the Ontario Fishery Regulations