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Put Safety First Around Lakes And Rivers

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Put Safety First Around Lakes And Rivers

McGuinty Government Promotes Fishing As Fun Family Day Activity

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

Safety on and around Ontario's lakes and rivers should be everyone's main priority when they're outdoors this Family Day Weekend.

To encourage people to get outside and try fishing, Ontario residents can fish without purchasing a licence in most public waters across the province from February 14 to 16. During this long weekend, anglers must follow the conservation licence limits set out in the 2008-2009 Ontario Recreational Fishing Regulations Summary.

Events offering free information on safety on ice and fishing will be held where conditions permit.

Recent mild weather has made ice on many bodies of water unsafe. All anglers should check with local ice hut operators before venturing out and make safety their first priority.

Quick Facts

  • Approximately 1.4 million anglers fish in Ontario each year and spend $2.3 billion dollars in the province annually.
  • Ontario manages 24 per cent of Canada’s freshwater, including 40 per cent of the Great Lakes and more than 250,000 lakes across the province.

Additional Resources


“The winter family fishing weekend is an opportunity to take part in an outdoor tradition that is popular across the province. With recent warm weather affecting ice conditions in parts of the province, it’s important to put safety first.”

Donna Cansfield

Minister of Natural Resources

“The OFAH conceived the idea of an Ontario Family Fishing Weekend sixteen years ago, and we have been pleased to work with the Ministry of Natural Resources and our other partners to expand this outstanding program to include a winter event. Winter fishing, whether on ice or from shore, gives people of all ages the chance to enjoy the outdoors and participate in a truly Canadian cultural heritage activity.”

Mike Reader

Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters Executive Director



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