Fishing zones and fishing periods
Map of fishing zones and fishing periods
The rules in force may vary for a number of reasons, including the species of interest, the period of the year and the location. Because Québec is divided into 29 fishing zones, each with its own legal requirements, you must identify your fishing zone in order to learn about the rules applicable to it.
To facilitate your search, the information you need to fish legally has been gathered in a single location.
Use our interactive map to learn about:
- your fishing zone, by locating it directly on the map or searching for a specific body of water by name (or by address);
- the fishing rules for a specific zone or body of water;
- the opening dates for fishing, for each species;
- the quotas applicable to each species;
- length limits by species and by body of water where applicable;
- the locations of ZECs, parks, reserves and municipalities, salmon rivers and lands in the domain of the State.
Already know your fishing zone? Go directly to the grid of fishing periods, limits and exceptions .
Particular rules for each zone
In addition to the information on the interactive map (fishing periods and quotas), special rules may apply to your fishing zone. For example:
- the number of lines authorized in winter;
- fishing periods and quotas;
- length limits by zone and by species;
- authorized dead bait fish.
Access to bodies of water
Most bodies of water in Québec are public, regardless of whether they are in towns, semi-urban areas or rural areas. However, the land bordering the bodies of water may be privately owned. Make sure you have the landowner’s permission if you must cross privately-owned land to access the site at which you would like to fish.
Land that is not privately-owned belongs to the domain of the State. You may access it freely, except for certain places where access fees and special rules may apply.
Special rules for certain areas
Special rules may apply, or the general zone rules may differ in certain fishing areas. When you visit one of these areas, it is up to you to obtain the necessary information from the staff at the information office.
Controlled harvesting zones (ZECs)
To fish in one of these areas, which are managed by non-profit organizations, you must:
- register at the information office;
- pay the access and fishing fees and abide by the dates, times and sites indicated;
- register your catch when you leave.
You must carry the registration document with you or place it in view on your vehicle dashboard, so that it is readable from outside. A wildlife protection officer may ask to see it.
To find a ZEC, click on Network of ZECs .
Outfitting operations are businesses that offer accommodation and a variety of services and equipment for anglers. Some outfitting operations have exclusive fishing rights in specific areas, and in this case they may be subject to different rules than the rest of the zone (e.g. fishing periods, catch limits for salmonids, length limits). Particular rules also apply to outfitting operations in Northern Québec. Regardless of the area in which your chosen outfitter is located, the applicable rules will be explained to you at the beginning of your stay.
To find an outfitter, visit the website of the Fédération des pourvoiries du Québec .
Québec provincial parks and wildlife reserves
To fish in one of these areas, which are for the majority managed by the Société des établissements de plein air du Québec (SEPAQ), you must:
- make a reservation (recommended);
- pay the access fees and abide by the dates, times and sites indicated;
- report your daily catches at the end of your stay (any salmon you catch must be presented whole, so that they can be measured and recorded).
Please note that the rules for these areas may differ from those applicable to the zone. For information on the rules, or to identify a park or reserve, visit the SEPAQ website or the websites of the following wildlife reserves: Duchénier , Dunière and Lacs-Albanel-Mistassini-et-Waconichi .
Communal wildlife areas (CWAs)
A communal wildlife area (CWA) is a public body of water (river or lake) on which a non-profit organization is responsible for developing fishing. To fish there, you must obtain both a provincial licence AND a permission from the organization responsible for the CWA you wish to visit:
The purpose of a wildlife sanctuary is to preserve wildlife habitats, and special conditions respecting access to and travel within the sanctuary may apply. Contact the local or regional wildlife protection office of the sanctuary you wish to visit, to make sure you understand and comply with the rules.
In the Pierre‑Étienne‑Fortin wildlife sanctuary, fishing is prohibited between June 20 and July 20 in sectors B and C of the sanctuary (zone 8).
Learn more about Québec’s nine wildlife sanctuaries .
Ecological reserves are protected areas devoted to conservation, education and research. Fishing is prohibited in all ecological reserves. Discover Québec’s ecological reserves .
A fish pond is a body of water covering an area of no more than 20 ha, containing only farmed fish. Fishing is allowed year-round, with no catch limit and without the need to obtain a licence. However, the owner of the fish pond must have a fish pond operating licence in order to sell you the fish you catch. To check whether or not the sale of fish is authorized, contact the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec.
Québec has 111 salmon rivers that are managed by a variety of different organizations. Special conditions apply to them, including daily quotas (catch or catch‑and‑release), fishing periods and authorized gear. These conditions may vary from one river to the next, and sometimes between sectors of the same river. For detailed information, please see the page on Salmon Fishing.
Sites reserved for fly fishing
On some salmon rivers or bodies of water, usually located in ZECS, only fly fishing is allowed. These areas are identified by signs posted at the information office or near the fishing site. In these locations, special rules apply to this particular type of fishing.
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, chapter D‑13.1).
Land in this vast territory is subdivided into three categories, and the rules may vary according to the site or species fished. Category III lands are public areas located north of the 55th parallel. To fish on category I or category II lands, you must first obtain authorization from the Cree, Inuit or Naskapi authorities concerned, and must abide by their conditions.
In all the zones in Nord‑du‑Québec, you may only fish with a line or a rod equipped with a line. Fishing with bows, crossbows or harpoons is prohibited.
You must use the services of an active outfitter to fish for:
- lake trout in zone 23, from September 8 to September 30;
- salmon in zones 23 and 24. We recommend that you use the Angler’s Logbook to register with an outfitter.
Please note that some fish species are reserved for exclusive use of the Aboriginal people in zones 22 to 24.
For additional information on this area, please contact the local or regional Nord‑du‑Québec wildlife protection office.
Tshitassinu-La Romaine Sector
To fish in the Tshitassinu‑La Romaine sector, you must hold a valid fishing licence and
- obtain a right of access and a catch register (free of charge from information offices);
- abide by the dates, times and locations indicated on your right of access;
- hand in a fishing report at the end of your day or stay.
If no‑one is on duty at the information office, you must complete the forms and leave them at the registration booth identified for this purpose. For additional information, contact the Société Tshitassinu .
Last update: July 17, 2019
The information published on this website has been simplified and provides a summary of the main regulatory provisions. It does not replace the official texts of the laws and regulations. For more detailed information on a specific rule, please refer to the Québec Fishery Regulations or the Regulation respecting fishing licences on LégisQuébec.