By MAGGIE M, Editor, Wedgee-in-Chief, East Ontario Trekker
I tilted my head like when a dog looks at a fan, squinting my eyes, as I read the fishing regulations. It took the romance out of the spontaneous, “Hey, let’s go fishing!”
“Not so fast,” regulators say. Don’t catch the wrong fish at the wrong time. And don’t forget to get your permit. If you’re 18 or under or a senior you are absolved of this aggravation. Ain’t that a peach.
As of 2019, the fishing permits which are related to an “Outdoor Card” must be carried at all times to fish. (You don’t need the card for a one-day permit.) The fee for one day won’t break the bank (under $10), but it swells as you extend the term.
On the bright side, there are many spots to fish–not off-limits sanctuaries–places anglers haunt regularly. This a sign that catches are good. Just check the regulations about how many, what size, what specie and at what time you can fish in your region and location. (Don’t pull-out the slide rule. All the links and info are below.) Or just show-up and ask the anglers in place–that tends to be easier.
Here is a list to contemplate for fishing success (check against regs):
- Burritt’s Rapids (at the locks): great spot with lots of friendly anglers and a great bistro across the street
- Cornwall by the St. Lawrence Power Development Centre (a shared secret for plenty of fish)
- Carleton Place near the Mill along the Mississippi — wild, rushing waters, involves climbing. Not ideal for little ones.
- Arnprior beach (second beach at southern/east end, Robert Simpson Park–not for swimming)
- Kemptville Anniversary park–fish on its docks and picnic under its large cupola
- Narrow’s Lock (smallest and busiest in the lock system)
- Rideau Ferry Yatch Club Conservation Area (Village of Rideau Ferry)
- Portland Bay Conservation Area (on Big Rideau Lake right off 15)
- W.A. Taylor Conservation Area (near Osgoode)
- Chapman Mills Conservation Area (in Ottawa off Prince of Wales Dr.)
- Poonamallie Lock Station (southwest of Smiths Falls)
- Otter Lake (many locations, southwest of Smiths Falls) stocked with rainbow trout!
NOTE: Keep returning here, for more locations and fish details. This is a primer.
A good alternative to fishing from land is to rent a boat. Since the tariffs have hiked the price of boat sales, many are opting to rent boats this year; so, get your rentals booked now.
The month of May ushers in the fishing season. Walleye, pike, bass perch, crappies, sunfish and catfish fill our waterways.
There are fish sanctuaries throughout our regions–18, 15, 20, and 12. That means places you cannot fish year-round. For the most part fishing kicks off this May, a roll-out by specie. You can check the prohibited regions here:
Check your region on-line for regulations. We offer a direct link to all the info you need.
Most of East Ontario (Rideau, Grenville, Lanark…) Region 18:
Ottawa Valley (Pembroke to Arnprior) Region 15:
Along Ottawa River–Region 12:
Along the St.Lawrence River–Region 20:
There are a lot of popular spots to visit–with amenities, others in the wild and conservation areas. Start planning.
Permits / Seasons
- Pike season kicks–off the second Saturday in May
- Walleye starts the second Saturday of May right into the winter.
- Lake trout kicks off the fourth Saturday in May into September
- Bass opens the third Saturday of June into the winter
- Perch, crappie, sunfish and catfish are open year-round
- So many more species to catch. Check http://Ontario.ca/fishing for all the information you need
KEEP THIS STORY HANDY! It is a live story in that we will update with new hotspots and key info.