Opening dates for hunting, fishing and trapping activities in Québec remain the same.
Hunters, fishers and trappers must comply at all times with the instructions and directives related to the COVID-19 pandemic from the Direction générale de la santé publique.
To learn more about the protective measures put in place in your region, refer to the Map of COVID-19 alert levels and check the applicable measures. Instructions on interregional travel and indoor or outdoor gatherings are included.
To limit the risks of spreading COVID-19, the Gouvernement du Québec asks all citizens to:
- avoid travelling from one region to another or from one city to another as much as possible, unless necessary;
- avoid gatherings; and
- keep a two-metre distance from other people at all times.
Unless it is essential, people living in a red or orange zone should avoid travelling to a green, yellow or orange zone as well as outside of Québec.
Hunters who still decide to travel to other regions should limit their contacts and visits to local public spaces and businesses. Necessary supplies should be bought before leaving for the hunting trip.
Specific directives on gatherings in the context of the COVID-19 are also in effect.
ZECs, national parks and wildlife reserves
Since May 20, several Sépaq’s national parks and wildlife reserves, as well as the ZECs’ territory, are once again open to public.
The Government also announced the reopening of campings and rental accommodation as of June 1st.
Note that these reopenings must be done in compliance with the guidelines and directives related to the COVID-19 pandemic from the Direction générale de la santé publique.
Besides, rental of beds in dorms or of rooms with no private bathroom remain prohibited.
Regulations still in force
Laws and regulations regarding hunting, fishing and trapping activities are valid under any circumstances, and Québec’s wildlife protection services are maintained. This means:
- Periods and quotas are still applicable, and so are catch, possession and length limits. You can find them here:
- A hunter’s certificate is still mandatory to carry out hunting and trapping activities. However, the required courses to obtain the certificate have been suspended.
- Hunting, fishing and trapping licences are still mandatory (except for fishing zone 21, where fishing in the St. Lawrence River is allowed without a licence).
- Salmon and game registration is still mandatory.
Best Practices for Your Activities
At all times
In addition to complying with the current regulation at all times, following these best practices will allow you to enjoy your favourite wildlife-related activity while staying away from COVID-19:
- Do not go out hunting, fishing or trapping if you or someone close to you has COVID-19 symptoms;
- Follow physical distancing measures by keeping a two-metre distance with people who do not live at the same address as you;
- Favour practicing your activity close to your main residence or in your administrative region;
- Travel with people living at the same address as you. Otherwise, plan on using more than one vehicle (car, ATV, etc.);
- Use your own equipment and do not lend or borrow gear;
- If you must lend your equipment or use some that is not yours, plan to bring with you the necessary products to wash your hands and disinfect objects. Be careful not to release cleaning products or disinfectants into the environment and refer to the methods of the Institut national de santé publique du Québec to learn how to use those products;
- If you need to buy gear, baits or lures, consider using online services with home delivery or a safe pickup system;
- If you choose to use outfitter services (e.g., a guide), make sure to put an operating procedure in place so that everyone has their own tasks and will not need to share tools and equipment.
- Use blinds or cabins that allow you to follow physical distancing measures by keeping a two-metre distance with other hunters. If it is possible that other hunters have used these blinds or cabins before you, disinfect them. Use only your own decoys if you need to use them;
- When eviscerating your game, wear disposable gloves and wash your hands and tools with water and soap when finished. Make it a habit to include a container of at least four litres of soapy water with your equipment;
- If possible, when carrying big game out of the harvesting site, do so alone or with someone living at the same address as you. Plan on using appropriate tools such as a sled, stretcher, straps, winch, ATV, etc. When permitted by regulation (e.g., moose), consider cutting the game in pieces to facilitate its transportation. If you need the assistance of someone who does not live at the same address as you, follow the physical distancing guidelines at all times. If that is impossible, make sure to wear a mask or face covering.
- Practice the activity in places where it is possible to maintain a physical distance of two metres, whether it is wading or fishing on a boat;
- If you go fishing with someone who does not live at the same address as you, make sure to establish clear rules beforehand as to avoid situations where you cannot keep a two-metre physical distance or follow the best practices for handling fish;
- When catching and retrieving fish, consider using a landing net to keep a two-metre physical distance more easily;
- The best practices for releasing fish are still encouraged in the current context of physical distancing.
- If you need the help of a guide, make sure to put an operating procedure in place so that everyone has their own tasks and do not need to share tools and equipment during the installation. Wear gloves and wash your hands every time you install or remove a trap;
- If you must borrow traps, triggers, footsnares, attachment and anchoring systems, etc., you must disinfect them using the regular techniques (boiling what is made out of metal). For bear trapping, trap stands and triggers made out of plastic must be washed in soapy water (dish soap);
- Skinning: work alone and wear disposable gloves. Wash your hands and your tools in soapy water after each session. For heavier species (e.g., bear, wolf), use equipment that allows you to handle the animal alone, such as rope, a chain, a winch, etc.
Warning to fur-bearing animal trappers
There is a low risk of COVID-19 transmission between humans and mustelids (martens, fishers, weasels, minks, etc.), canids (coyotes, foxes, etc.) and felids (lynx, etc.). The ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs still recommends that people who come into contact with these species be careful when handling them, especially if the animal is alive and the contact is sustained (e.g., relocation operation for invasive species). Wear gloves and a face covering, and wash your hands regularly.
Hunting and trapping courses
In-class training courses for aspiring hunters and trappers that are provided by authorized agents of the ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs have been adapted to the current health standards. Fewer in-class courses are offered. Several courses will be available online starting in August.
For more information, please refer to the Fédération québécoise des chasseurs et pêcheurs [in French only] and the Fédération québécoise des trappeurs gestionnaires du Québec [in French only].
Licences are still mandatory. They are available for purchase at selling agents that provide essential services.
Before purchasing a licence or carrying out hunting, fishing and trapping activities, the Department recommends getting the right information on public health instructions and directives, since they may change according to the evolution of the situation. All hunters, anglers and trappers must comply with these instructions and directives.
Game registration remains mandatory, even in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hunters and trappers may register their game remotely through an online form available on the website of the Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs. People who have limited access to the Internet may instead call 1 877 346-6763 to proceed with the registration. This service is available from Monday to Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., and from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., except on Wednesday, when customer service is open from 10 a.m.
Some registration stations that are located in essential businesses remain open. You will find here the list of open stations (in French only).
You will also find here the frequently asked questions (FAQ) regarding game registration, especially regarding remote registration.
If you have to go to a registration station near you, remember that you should comply at all times with the instructions and directives related to the COVID-19 pandemic from the Direction générale de la santé publique.
Wildlife protection services are maintained in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Wildlife protection officers thus continue to ensure a presence across Québec’s territory to make sure that hunting and fishing activities are done in compliance with the laws and regulations in force.
Wildlife protection officers will, if necessary, inform anglers, hunters and trappers of the rules laid down by the Direction générale de la santé publique. If need be, the officers will be able to formulate a denunciation to the police if they note a case of non-compliance with the rules of social distancing, gathering or prohibited travelling.
Last update: October 15, 2020