Fishing zones and fishing periods

Fishing is generally allowed throughout Québec, almost year-round.

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.

Interactive map

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 This hyperlink will open in a new window..

Particular rules for each zone

In addition to the information on the interactive map This hyperlink will open in a new window. (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.

See the particular rules for my zone

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 This hyperlink will open in a new window..

Outfitting operations

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 This hyperlink will open in a new window..

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 This hyperlink will open in a new window. website or the websites of the following wildlife reserves: Duchénier This hyperlink will open in a new window., Dunière  This hyperlink will open in a new window.and Lacs-Albanel-Mistassini-et-Waconichi This hyperlink will open in a new window..

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:

Wildlife sanctuaries

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 PierreÉtienneFortin 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 This hyperlink will open in a new window..

Ecological reserves

Ecological reserves are protected areas devoted to conservation, education and research. Fishing is prohibited in all ecological reserves. Discover Québec’s ecological reserves This hyperlink will open in a new window..

Fish ponds

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. This hyperlink will open in a new window.

Salmon rivers

Québec has 111 salmon rivers that are managed by a variety of different organizations. Special conditions apply to them, including daily quotas (catch or catchandrelease), 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.

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, chapter D13.1).

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 NordduQuébec, 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 TshitassinuLa 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 noone 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 This hyperlink will open in a new window..