Ontario Fishing Regulation Changes for 2021

Anglers need to stay on top of their local fishing regulations with every current and upcoming season. With the help of scientific research, the rules and regulations change on an annual basis.

Some of those changes are what we would refer to as a positive in that the MNRF is essentially giving anglers “more” to work with. An example would be an extended season, an additional number of fish that can be retained for eating purposes.

Other changes are what we call heads-up in where you better know the law because if you do not, and you are still going by what you “thought” was legal, you may indeed be breaking the current fishing laws.


“Before we talk this one,” says Pete Bowman “I have to apologize to our Fish’n Canada Live viewers and the MNRF, as well as I, stated some misinformation on our live broadcast on Dec 15. In there I was talking about the new Carp proposals and I said they were looking at being placed into zone 20 when in fact, it is written in the new regs for “certain Fisheries Management Zones”.

“I know this is not a big deal” continues Pete “but I do want to correct my wording”.

This proposed multi-rod rule is a huge change that both Ang and Pete in conjunction with a group of Carp fishing experts headed by Len Perdic, have been working on with the MNRF. Ontario is so far behind the rest of the world on this one as a multi-rod or line rule is pretty much standard around the globe.

The MNRF is working on a 2-rod rule in “certain Fisheries Management Zones” (right Pete???), to give Carp anglers a better shot at landing more fish and or bigger fish. That’s a win-win in our opinion.

As well, the MNRF is working on clarifying rules on baiting certain areas as this subject can sway into many grey areas. Safety for the fishing areas is paramount and baiting/chumming is a large part of it.

They are looking to have these new rules in place by the spring of 2021.

ZONES 7,8,10 & 11

There are some new rules in effect in these zones as well. They are mostly to do with seasons, bait restrictions, fish sanctuaries, and rules to the Aurora Trout. If you fish in any of these zones, please be aware of these new regulations.


This one pertains to Atlantic salmon, brown trout, Pacific salmon, and rainbow trout and the additional fishing opportunities.

As per our image below, you can see an extended fishing season until December 31. Those hard-core late-season anglers will appreciate this one. There is also a note on zone-wide limits.


As you may have already heard or even read on our site, this is about the 2021 changes in the Bass season in Zone 20. This is HUGE! And with this, takes on a “huge” responsibility from ALL Bass anglers who participate in this extended season. We all need to be stewards in showing the rest of the world (eyes are always glaring upon us from every direction) that we can and are responsible users of our natural resources and we abide by all rules and regulations to the “T”! No swaying here people. Let’s do this right.

Now for those who are just about to type in “I am against all fishing for any fish including Bass while they are spawning”, this new ruling came through extensive studies done by fisheries biologists. These professional people looked deep into the spawning activities of both Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass in Zone 20 and deemed the new “pre-spawn” season as a safe area. That means the fish will not be in the bedding process. They will be in a pre-bedding time frame. Look at it the same as let’s say fishing for Pike from December to the end of March in Zone 20. These Pike already have eggs inside their bodies, but it is well before the early spring spawn. They release exceptionally well.

The MNRF know exactly when to close seasons. They have done it responsibly for years and will continue to monitor these closures for years to come.


Essentially what we are trying to do with this web article is to make all anglers aware of their local fishing regulations. These regs are created by groups of professionals that have taken an extensive amount of time to research and then finalize the laws in which we all (anglers as well as hunters) must abide by.

Read them, learn them, copy and paste them into your phones.

It’s your responsibility as anglers to know the law.

For the new Ontario changes, check out the MNRF’s page with all the details.

As well here is a link to Ontario’s new 2021 Fishing Ontario Recreational Fishing Regulations Summary.

Best of luck in 2021!

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