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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Special rules for certain territories

In Québec, fishing occurs mainly on lands in the domain of the State. Special wildlife management provisions apply to certain portions of this territory. This section briefly indicates such sites and the special conditions.

Moreover, salmon is especially present in the river corridor, including the Saguenay, along the sea-coast and in the numerous salmon rivers that flow into the waters. Specific conditions apply in the salmon rivers including daily catch limits, daily catch-and-release limits, fishing periods and authorized fishing gear. The conditions may vary from one river to the next and occasionally from one sector to another on the same river.

Québec has 111 salmon rivers managed by different organizations. Several organizations may simultaneously manage a salmon river. Accordingly, certain sectors of the river may have the status of a controlled harvesting zone (ZEC), others the status of a wildlife reserve or a national park, and still others that status of an outfitting operation with exclusive rights. Certain sectors may also be privately owned. In addition to the conditions governing sportfishing mentioned earlier, fishermen must comply with requirements concerning the territory that they wish to visit. Accordingly, the number of anglers may be subject to a quota on a portion of the river that lies in a wildlife reserve, an outfitting operation, a national park or a controlled harvesting zone (ZEC). The public has free access to salmon rivers or sectors of salmon rivers that are neither managed by an organization nor located on private property.

To obtain additional information, please contact the regional office in question.

Communal wildlife areas

A communal wildlife area (CWA) is a public water body (lake or river) that is subject to a lease of exclusive fishing rights for purposes other than that of an outfitting operation. Such rights are granted to a non-profit organization that assumes responsibility for the development of fishing in the water bodies covered. This is true of the AFC du réservoir Baskatong (819 438-1177), the AFC du réservoir Gouin (819 523-5255), the AFC du lac Saint-Jean (1 888 866-2527) and the AFC du lac Saint-Pierre (450 836-2413).

To fish in a CWA, you must obtain an authorization from the organization. To obtain additional information, please contact the organization responsible for the CWA that you wish to visit or consult its website:

Fish ponds

A fish pond is a water body with an area of not more than 20 ha containing only farmed fish closed on all sides to keep the fish captive and used for fishing. Fishing is allowed there year-round, without a licence and with no catch limit. However, the owner of a fish pond who wishes to sell to an individual the fish that he has caught in the pond must possess a fish pond operating licence issued by the Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec.

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

Nord-du-Québec

To fish in zones 17 and 22 to 24, you must comply with the Act respecting hunting and fishing rights in the James Bay and New Québec territories (CQLR, chapterD-13.1). The territories are subdivided into three categories. To fish on Category I or II lands, you must obtain an authorization and abide by the conditions imposed by the Cree, Inuit or Naskapi authorities.

To fish for salmon in zones 23 and 24, any person must use the services of an active outfitter in that territory.

As elsewhere in Quebec, fishermen catching and keeping salmon in zones 23 and 24 must register their salmon in accordance with the requirements mentioned in the section on salmon registration.

The MFFP recommends that every person who fishes for Atlantic salmon in zones 23 and 24 should use the Angler's Logbook to register with an outfitter, register the salmon they keep and obtain instructions to take part in the collection of information that will be used to manage the species in those zones.

Every person who wishes to fish for lake trout in zone 23 between September 8 and September 30 must use the services of an outfitter that is active in that zone.

For people who fish for Atlantic salmon in zones 23 and 24, the MFFP recommends that they use the angler's logbook to register with an outfitter, register the salmon they keep and obtain instructions to take part in the collection of information that will be used to manage the species in those zones.

Anyone who wishes to fish for lake trout in zone 23 during the period between September 8 and 30 must use the services of an outfitter active in the territory.

In zones 17 and 22 to 24, only fishing with a line or a rod equipped with a line is permitted. Fishing with bows, crossbows or harpoons is prohibited in these zones. Moreover, in zones 22 to 24, certain fish species are reserved exclusively for the use of the Aboriginal peoples.

To obtain additional information, please contact the offices of the Department or the wildlife protection offices in the Nord-du-Québec region.

National parks and wildlife reserves

To fish in a national park or a wildlife reserve, it is usually necessary to make a reservation. You must also obtain a right of access or an authorization to fish, as the case may be, and abide by the dates, times and sites mentioned on it. Moreover, at the conclusion of the activity or stay, anglers must report on their fishing at the designated location and indicate their daily catches. To carry fishing tackle in these territories, you must possess a right of access or an authorization to fish. An angler must also submit whole the salmon caught for measuring and registration.

To obtain additional information on the national parks and wildlife reserves that the SÉPAQ manages, please contact the organization at 418 890-6527 or 1 800 665-6527, or consult its website (www.sepaq.com). You can obtain information on the Réserve faunique Duchénier at 418 735-5222.

Please note that the Lacs-Albanel-Mistassini-et-Waconichi wildlife sanctuary is now operated by the Nibiischii Corporation, constituted by the Cree Nation of Mistissini. You may obtain information about this wildlife sanctuary by calling 1-844-522-2777.

Note: This section does not apply to national parks managed by Parks Canada.

Outifitting operations

Fitting operations are businesses that offer anglers accommodation and various services or equipment. Certain outfitting operations have exclusive fishing rights in specified territories. In a number of outfitting operations in certain zones, the fishing period and the catch limit on salmonids may differ from those in the zone.

What is more, the length limits for lake trout and walleye may not apply in all water bodies in the territories. Certain outfitters may also have exclusive rights over small lakes of less than 20 ha in order to develop fishing there for their clienteles. In certain outfitting operations, it is also possible to fish for brook trout or rainbow trout year-round.

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To obtain additional information, please contact the outfitting operation that you wish to visit or visit the website of the Fédération des pourvoiries du Québec (www.fpq.com).

Note: In the Nord-du-Québec region (zones 17 and 22 to 24), a specific regime applies. To fish for salmon in zones 23 and 24, any person must use the services of an active outfitter in that territory. To obtain additional information, please consult a wildlife protection office in the region.

Wildlife sanctuaries

The conditions governing the use of resources in a wildlife sanctuary are established with a view to preserving wildlife habitat or the habitat of a wildlife species. Fishing may be subject to certain conditions respecting access and travel in the territory. In the Refuge faunique Pierre-Étienne-Fortin, all fishing is prohibited between June 20 and July 20 in sectors B and C of the sanctuary (zone 8).

To obtain additional information, please contact the offices of the Department or your local wildlife protection office.

Ecological reserves

Ecological reserves are protected areas devoted to conservation, education and research. Fishing is prohibited there and access to the reserves is usually very limited.

To obtain additional information, please consult the web site of the Ministère du Développement durable, de l'Environnement et de la Lutte aux changements climatiques at the following address: http://www.mddelcc.gouv.qc.ca/biodiversite/inter_en.htm.

Tshitassinu–La Romaine Sector

To fish in the Tshitassinu–La Romaine sector, you must hold a fishing licence and:

If no-one is on duty at the information office, you must return the forms to the registration booth identified for this purpose. For additional information, contact the Société Tshitassinu at 418 553-0721 or 418 538-7676, ext. 6311 (field).

Private lands

Before you access private property, you must obtain the owner’s permission and consider yourself as his guest. Fishing rules apply on private lands. Certain landowners in the Bas-Saint-Laurent, Estrie, Chaudière Appalaches, Centre-du-Québec, Montérégie and Capitale-Nationale regions have concluded an agreement with officials in the Department concerning the management of wildlife and access by anglers. On such lands, the Department brings proceedings against individuals who fish without the landowner’s authorization. The same is true of fishing on land covered by an agreement concluded between a landowner and an association or a body whose object is to facilitate the access of fishermen to private lands and that is recognized to that effect by the Department, for the purposes of wildlife accessibility.

To obtain additional information, please contact the offices of the Department or your local wildlife protection office.

Zecs

A controlled harvesting zone (ZEC) is a hunting and fishing ground whose management is delegated to a non-profit organization that individuals can join. To fish there, you must register and abide by the dates, times and sites indicated in the registration document. You must carry with you the registration document and present it, upon request, to a wildlife protection officer, a wildlife protection assistant or an area warden. The document may also be placed in view on the vehicle dashboard but then need to be readable from outside of the vehicule. Lastly, you must return the document when you leave the territory and declare all of the fish caught.

To obtain additional information, please contact that organization that manages the controlled harvesting zone (ZEC) that you wish to visit or visit the Zecs Québec website at the following address: www.fqgz.com.

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