Celebrate Family Day Weekend in Ontario with Free Fishing

Ontario Offers Free Fishing February 18 to 20

February 16, 2023

Natural Resources and Forestry

Table of Contents

  1. Content
  2. Quick Facts
  3. Additional Resources
  4. Related Topics

TORONTO – This Family Day weekend, from February 18-20, Ontario families and friends can enjoy fishing anywhere in the province without having to purchase a licence or carry an Outdoors Card.

“Fishing is a time-honoured tradition and a terrific way for families and friends to enjoy the outdoors and spend time together,” said Graydon Smith, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. “Whether you are a seasoned angler or a first-time fisher, this is a great opportunity get outside and fish for free this Family Day Weekend.”

There are family fishing events planned across the province, or you can plan your own family event and get a free fishing package by visiting www.ontariofamilyfishing.com.

Ice fishing is a fun activity, but it’s important to make sure the ice is thick enough. Ice that looks safe may not be. Before you venture out, be sure to:

  • Check ice conditions with local ice hut operators or other anglers
  • Let others know where you’re planning to fish and when you plan to return
  • Wear appropriate clothing and equipment for safety and comfort

If you are fishing during free fishing periods, all conservation licence catch limits, size limits, sanctuaries and all other fishing regulations and rules still apply.

Quick Facts

  • This weekend is one of four times when Canadian residents can fish for free throughout the year which includes: Mother’s Day weekend (May 13 and 14), Father’s Day weekend (June 17 and 18) Family Fishing week (July 1-9).
  • Canadian residents participating in free fishing periods must carry identification issued by the provincial or federal government, showing your name and date of birth.
  • Outside of free fishing periods, anyone 18 and older, but under the age of 65 must have an Outdoors Card and a fishing licence.
  • All veterans and active Canadian Armed Forces members residing in Ontario can enjoy free recreational fishing in the province, whenever and wherever fishing is allowed.

Additional Resources

What You Need to Know about Free Family Fishing

Fishing in Ontario

Find a new fishing spot using Fish ON-Line

Guide to eating Ontario fish

Related Topics

Rural and North

Information about the province’s Far North and rural communities. Get connected to business improvement organizations and learn more about funding and programs that support rural, northern and Indigenous communities. Learn more