MFFP-Sport fishing in Québec including salmon fishing- Main rules
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Sport fishing in Québec including salmon fishing
Main rules - Season 2018-2020
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Fishing licence

Do I need a licence to fish?

Yes, a fishing licence is required in most instances. You must have in your possession the licence when you are fishing and promptly show it to a wildlife protection officer or a wildlife protection assistant who requests that you do so.

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Sport Fishing in Québec - 2018-2020 (including salmon fishing)

The categories of licences offered, as well as availability for residents and non-residents, are presented in the following table:

Licence categories
 
Resident*
Non-resident
Sport fishing (except for Atlantic salmon)
- annual, person under 65 of age
yes
yes
- annual, person of 65 and over, of age
yes
yes
- 7 consecutive days
no
yes
- 3 consecutive days
yes
yes
- 1 day
no
yes
- mandatory release
(only in outfitting establishment)
yes
yes
 
Fishing for burbot in lac Saint-Jean
- annual
yes
yes
 
Sport fishing for Atlantic salmon
- annual
yes
yes
- 1 day
yes
yes
- mandatory release
yes
yes
 
Replacement licence
yes
yes
     
* See definition of resident

To obtain the licence rates currently in effect, consult the Department website at this address (in French only): http://mffp.gouv.qc.ca/faune/chasse/tarif-permis.jsp.

Exceptionally, residents of Québec may fish without a sportfishing licence in zones 1 to 16, 18 to 21 and 25 to 29, between December 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018. If they do so, however, they must comply with all other applicable regulatory requirements.

What species of fish may I catch under my licence?

Generally speaking, the sportfishing licence for species other than Atlantic salmon authorizes fishing for most fish species of interest to sport fishermen in Québec, except salmon. It also allows for fishing for species other than salmon in certain salmon rivers in zones 1, 2, 3, 18 to 21, 23, 27 and 28, outside salmon fishing periods.

To fish for Atlantic salmon, you must possess an Atlantic salmon sportfishing licence. The licence is required to fish for salmon throughout Québec and to fish for any fish species during a salmon fishing period in a salmon river.

Other species of salmon can be fished in Quebec with the general sport fishing licence.

May I fish in a salmon river with my regular sportfishing licence?

During a salmon fishing period, an Atlantic salmon sport fishing licence is required to fish for any fish species in a salmon river. Under exceptional circumstances, fishing with a sportfishing licence is allowed during a salmon fishing period in the western portion of the Rivière aux Rochers downstream from the Boulevard des Îles bridge in Port-Cartier up to the mouth (Petit Quai sector, Part A of zone 19 South).

Must I release all fish that I catch with a mandatory catch-and-release Atlantic salmon fishing licence?

No. The licence holder may catch and keep species other than salmon during a salmon fishing period on a salmon river. Any salmon caught under the licence must necessarily be released.

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Sport Fishing in Québec - 2018-2020 (including salmon fishing)

What is the purpose of a burbot fishing licence?

This licence authorizes the holder and anyone able to fish with the licence, to fish for burbot on certain conditions specific to a portion of Lac Saint-Jean. For additional information, please see the section entitled "Burbot fishing with a burbot fishing licence in Lac Saint-Jean".

A sportfishing licence holder may also fish for burbot, with no catch limit, between December 20 and March 31. However, the licence holder comply with the number of lines authorized in the winter (five) in this zone and the maximum number of fish hooks authorized (three per line).

If I am 18 or over, who can fish under my licence?

If you own this type of licence:

Atlantic salmon sportfishing licence 

Sportfishing licence for species other than Atlantic salmon, or burbot fishing licence

May this person fish under my licence?

 

Your spouse

NO

YES

Your children (as well as those of your spouse) who are under 18

YES

YES

Your children (as well as those of your spouse) who are between 18 and 24 and who have a valid student's card in their possession

YES, if they are in possession of your licence AND a valid student's card

YES, if they are in possession of your licence AND a valid student's card

Any person under 18

YES, if that person is fishing under the surveillance of the licence holder or his or her spouse

YES, if that person is fishing under the surveillance of the licence holder or his or her spouse

Any student from 18 to 24 who has his valid student's card in his possession

YES, if that person is fishing under the surveillance of the licence holder or his or her spouse

YES, if that person is fishing under the surveillance of the licence holder or his or her spouse

Note: The licence holder or the person who fishes under this licence must comply with the conditions applicable to the licence and abide by them.

How many fish may be caught and kept if several persons fish under the same licence?

In all cases, the total quantity of fish caught and kept per day must not exceed the quantity authorized for the licence-holder.

How much fishing gear may be used by the individuals who are fishing under my licence?

In the case of angling or fly fishing, each person who is fishing under another person’s licence is entitled to have his own line. In the case of winter fishing or fishing for bait fish, the quantity of gear authorized for the group must not exceed the number authorized for the holder of the licence under which you are fishing.

Do the preceding measures also to non-residents?

Yes. These measures apply both to residents and non-residents.

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Sport Fishing in Québec - 2018-2020 (including salmon fishing)

Is it possible to fish without a licence?

The following individuals may engage in sportfishing without a licence:

What happens if I lose my licence?

In the event of the loss or theft of a fishing licence or if the licence is rendered unusable, you must, if you wish to continue to fish, obtain a replacement licence at a nominal cost. Replacement licences are available from the licence sales agents of the Department .

Is the licence transferable?

No. A fishing licence is non-transferable.

Are there any conditions for the validity of the licence?

To be valid, the fishing licence must be signed by the person issuing it and by the holder. The older must also enter the required information in the space provided on the back of the licence.

Is a catch-and-release fishing licence valid everywhere?

No. The sportfishing licence with mandatory release, except for Atlantic salmon, is only valid if the holder is using the services of an outfitter.

Where can I obtain a licence?

Sportfishing licences and Atlantic salmon fishing licences are available from authorized sales agents, usually sporting goods stores, hardware stores or convenience stores. To find a sales agent, please contact an office of the Department or consult its website.

The burbot fishing licence in Lac Saint-Jean is available from all authorized sales agents in the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region.

To obtain information on current fishing licence fees, please consult the Department website (in French only) or contact customer service.

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Sport Fishing in Québec - 2018-2020 (including salmon fishing)

Do additional restrictions apply to atlantic salmon fishing licences?

Annual Atlantic salmon fishing licence

Three-day Atlantic salmon fishing licence 

An individual may not purchase or possess:

However, an individual may purchase a new three-day Atlantic salmon fishing licence:

A person who has purchased one or more three-day licences and has not yet kept four salmon may purchase an annual licence. However, the number of usable tags on the annual licence will be reduced by the number of Atlantic salmon already caught under the three-day licence(s). For example, a person who has already caught one salmon under a three-day licence can only use three of the four tags on the annual licence, in order to remain within the total number of four salmon kept during the season.

In other words, any combination of annual licences and three-day licences to fish and keep Atlantic salmon can never entitle the holder to catch more than four Atlantic salmon in any given year.

Atlantic salmon fishing licence with mandatory catch-and release

The salmon fishing licence with mandatory catch-and-release conditions may be purchased at any time, even if the individual already holds an annual licence or a three-day licence. Moreover, the holder of a licence with mandatory catch-and-release conditions may purchase the annual Atlantic salmon sportfishing licence. The salmon fishing licence with mandatory catch-and-release conditions is valid throughout Québec to fish for salmon and to fish for and keep any other authorized species, in salmon rivers only. The salmon fishing licence with mandatory catch-and-release conditions does not allow a person to fish, on that day, in a body of water for which he or she has already reached the daily release limit.

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Sport Fishing in Québec - 2018-2020 (including salmon fishing)

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