Sport Fishing for Profit in Ontario

The Unlawful Sale of Angler-Caught Fish

  • Involves all species of fish
  • Involves all communities in Ontario
  • Has the potential to affect every Ontario resident in the areas of human health risks and economics
  • The practice
  • Holds significant risks for Public Safety
  • Has a serious impact on Local Businesses
  • Endangers local Fishery Resources

Public Safety
Since sport-caught fish are not subject to food safety & quality inspections, there is legislation which protects the health & safety of Ontario residents by safeguarding you, your family & your friends from eating fish from contaminated waters or fish that have not been handled in a clean & sanitary way.

Fishing is an important economic activity in Ontario
The Ontario Commercial Fisheries industry employs approximately 3500 individuals in the Province either in the fishing vessels or in the processing & packing facilities. Collectively, it generates approximately $113.6 million annually in tax revenue alone……..BUT
Anglers should know that it is illegal to sell or buy fish or fish parts caught for sport.

An Ontario Sport Fishing License is not a license to sell what you catch.

Included are:

  • dip-netted fish such as smelt, whitefish, herring & bait fish
  • fish harvested by non-angling (spearing or bow fishing) such as carp, bowfin & sucker
  • fish caught by angling such as bass, perch, walleye, pike, muskie,suckers, carp, trout, crappie, sturgeon, salmon & catfish
  • parts of fish such as roe (eggs), fins & heads
  • Buying or selling includes
  • Bartering or trading
  • Offering to buy, sell, barter or trade
  • Possessing for the purpose of buying, selling, bartering or trading
  • Buying or selling fish caught by sport-fishing is prohibited under Ontario’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act.

The maximum penalty for illegal sale or purchase of sport-caught fish is a fine of up to $100,000, two years imprisonment or a combination of both.

Crime Stoppers and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources have a long history of working together to reduce natural resources violations across our province. The dedication of local individuals has kept this partnership strong since 1992.

Crime Stoppers is a community organization that provides the public with an opportunity to provide information and intelligence which assists in investigative activities.

If you wish to report the illegal sale of sport-caught fish or any other abuse of our natural resources, you can

  • call the MNR tips line at 1 877-847-7667 or
  • to report but remain anonymous call 1-800-222-TIPS or submit a tip online.