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Go Ice Fishing For Free This Family Day Weekend

Archived News Release

Go Ice Fishing For Free This Family Day Weekend

Ontario Encourages Families to Enjoy the Outdoors

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

Ontarians can fish without buying a licence this Family Day weekend, February 13-15, as part of Family Fishing Weekend.

Ice fishing events taking place throughout the province include:

  • Family Fun Day on Feb. 15, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Island Lake Conservation Area, Orangeville
  • Dryden Winter Festival Family Fishing Derby on Feb. 15, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Van Horne Landing, Dryden

Anglers are encouraged to stay safe on the ice when venturing out:

  • Check ice conditions with local ice hut operators or other anglers. At least 10 centimetres (four inches) of clear blue ice is required to walk on, 20 centimetres (eight inches) for snowmobiles and 30 centimetres (12 inches) or more is needed for most light vehicles. This thickness should be doubled if the ice is white or opaque.
  • Let others know where you're planning to fish and when you plan to return.
  • Appropriate clothing and equipment are critical to safety and comfort. Many anglers wear floatation suits and carry a set of ice picks.

So get outside and enjoy some fresh air this weekend in communities across the province.

Quick Facts

  • In 2014, anglers bought approximately 1.1 million fishing licences in Ontario, generating about $36.6 million in revenue.
  • This year, Canadian residents can fish without a licence in Ontario from Feb. 13-15 and from July 2-10.
  • Anglers are reminded to follow rules, including conservation licence limits, in the 2016 Fishing Regulations Summary.
  • All revenue from the sale of hunting and fishing licences in Ontario is used for wildlife and fisheries management.

Additional Resources


“Fishing is a great outdoor activity that can be enjoyed with family and friends. I encourage you to get out and try some fishing this Family Day weekend. Safety is always important so before you head out check ice conditions with local ice hut operators or other anglers.”

Bill Mauro

Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry

“Ontario Family Fishing Weekend is a fantastic opportunity to get out and enjoy the great outdoors and create long-lasting memories alongside friends and family. At the OFAH we strive to create opportunities for all to experience what the outdoors has to offer and this weekend is another example of just that.”

Angelo Lombardo

Executive Director, Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters

“As a proud member of the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, I look forward to attending the annual Family Fishing day with my family again this year. I encourage everyone to give fishing a try and to experience the great outdoor opportunities and abundance of native fish Ontario has to offer.”

Jeff Leal

MPP for Peterborough

Media Contacts

  • Media calls only: Emily Kirk

    Minister’s Office


  • Media calls only: Media Desk

    Communications Services Branch




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