Specific methods for certain species

Fishing for rainbow smelt

Special conditions apply to rainbow smelt fishing at certain sites. You may use a lift net and landing net in the following situations: 

In zone 21 (St. Lawrence River)

Residents with no licence and non-residents with a valid sport fishing licence may fish up to 120 rainbow smelt per day, using a lift net or landing net, from April 1st to May 31.

These methods are prohibited at the following locations:

  • In the waters of the îles de la Madeleine and in the rivière Ouelle, between the downstream side of the route 132 bridge and a straight line linking the point of rivière Ouelle and the mouth of ruisseau Gagnon;
  • In ruisseau de l’Église, in the municipality of Beaumont;
  • In the waters of zone 21 where the daily catch limit is 60 rainbow smelt and which are described among the exceptions for zone 21;
  • In rivière Saguenay, between a line perpendicular to the current running from the upstream side of the split (48°26’23’’ N., 70°54’08’’ W.) located near the municipality of SaintFulgence, and the downstream side of the Dubuc bridge in Saguenay.

In some bodies of water in zones 1, 4, 5, 6, 9 and 15

A sport fishing licence holder may use a lift net or landing net to catch up to 120 rainbow smelt per day:

  • from May 1st to May 31, in rivière Bonaventure, between the downstream side of the former route 132 bridges and the rapide Malin;
  • from April 1st to May 31, in zones 9 and 15, except for the waters of lac Archambault, including bays and tributaries, and lac Tire (zone 9);
  • from April 1st to May 15, in the waters of zones 4, 5 and 6. These methods are prohibited at the following sites: 
    • Zone 4 — rivière Ashberham (Noire), from Petit lac SaintFrançois to Grand lac SaintFrançois; rivière Coulombe, from the route 161 bridge to its mouth in lac Aylmer, including the small bay facing its mouth; rivière aux Bluets, rivière aux Indiens, rivière de l’Or and rivière aux Rats Musqués, from Grand lac SaintFrançois to the second bridge upstream from the lake; rivière SaintFrançois, from Grand lac SaintFrançois to lac Aylmer; rivière Victoria and its tributaries; lac Mégantic and lac Elgin and their tributaries;
    • Zone 5 — ruisseaux Castle and Perkins, from their source to lac Memphrémagog;
    • Zone 6 — rivière Magog, from the Dominion Textile dam in Magog to the highway 55 bridge; rivière Massawippi, the part between the dam located 1.6 km from lac Massawippi and the first curve downstream; rivière Niger, from its mouth to route 143; ruisseau Taylor (tributary of lac Memphrémagog); lac Memphrémagog, lac Massawippi and its tributaries; and ruisseau Castle.

In some bodies of water in zones 10, 11 and 28

A sport fishing licence holder may use a lift net or landing net to catch up to 500 rainbow smelt per day:

  • from May 1 to May 31, in lac des Écorces (zone 10) and lac Chaud (zone 11) and in their tributaries;
  • from April 15 to May 20, in rivière aux Rats, between lac aux Rats and a straight line passing through the point 49°30'00" N., 72°11'56" W. (zone 28).

In a salmon river

In a part of a salmon river where smelt fishing is permitted, this species can be fished at night:

  • From December 1, 2024 to April 24, 2025;

  • From December 1, 2025 to April 23, 2026;

  • From December 1, 2026 to April 22, 2027.

General notice

The possession limit for rainbow smelt may not be the same as the zone’s daily quota. Where this is the case, the relevant information will appear on the interactive map This hyperlink will open in a new window..

Fishing for whitefish

If you have a valid sport fishing licence, you may use a lift net or landing net to fish for whitefish in certain places and on certain conditions as indicated below:

Rivière Touladi (zone 2)

The sector located between the downstream side of ruisseau à Mac and lac Témiscouata.

Periods: October 15 to October 28

Quota: 50 whitefish per day

Rivière Saint-François (zone 4)

The sector located between lac Aylmer and the second bridge upstream.

Period: October 25 to November 7

Quotas: 10 whitefish per day

Fishing for burbot in Lac Saint-Jean

Specific conditions apply to burbot fishing in the waters of lac SaintJean encircled by routes 169, 170 and 373, excluding the portions of La Grande Décharge (downstream of the Maligne dam and the lac SaintJean water retention structures) and rivière Petite Décharge (the portion situated between its mouth in the Saguenay and the lac SaintJean water retention structures).

At this specific location, you may, if you have a burbot fishing licence, fish:

  • from December 20 to March 31, with no catch limit;  
  • using two night lines with no more than 10 fishhooks each, lying continuously on the bottom. In addition, each night line must be identified with one of the tags issued with your licence, affixed to the identification marker.

No other species can be retained with this burbot-specific fishing method.

Fishing for striped bass

In waters where permitted, anglers may fish for striped bass with a single hook only, without natural bait, for a maximum of 3 hooks on the line.

Fishing for American eel

The use of spears or harpoons while not swimming is permitted year-round to fish for American eel in the waters of the îles de la Madeleine.

Fishing for crustaceans

Fishing for freshwater crustaceans is permitted using a landing net, a baittrap, a lift net, with no catch limit, during the fishing periods stipulated for “Other Species” in the targeted fishing zone, except in zones 17 and 22 to 24, where only line fishing (angling) is permitted for all species.

Fishing for mollusks

Fishing for freshwater mollusks is prohibited.

Regulatory Information

Last update: March 14, 2024


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