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Renseignements en Français

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Regulations

Sport fishing in Saskatchewan is regulated by The Fisheries Regulations under The Fisheries Act (Saskatchewan), 1992. Below is a summary of the major regulations anglers should be aware of.
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1. General Prohibitions

It is unlawful to:
  • Sport fish without possessing a valid Saskatchewan angling licence unless the angler is under 16 years of age or a Saskatchewan resident senior;
  • Fail to provide a licence upon request of a conservation or RCMP officer;
  • Assist or fish with individuals who are fishing for food pursuant to their Treaty or Aboriginal rights, unless the rights-bearing person(s) who when angling does not exceed the maximum number or size of fish permitted by angling under these regulations; or the accompanying person has a recognized Treaty or Aboriginal right to fish for food in Saskatchewan; or is a member of their immediate family (immediate family member includes father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, brother, sister, child, spouse or common-law spouse);
  • Possess fish taken for food by an individual under Treaty or Aboriginal fishing rights, unless you are a member of immediate family or have a Treaty or Aboriginal right to fish for food in Saskatchewan;
  • Fish in closed waters or during closed season;
  • Take more fish than the limit specifies (limit includes fish stored or eaten for shore lunch);
  • Take more than the Saskatchewan limit of fish on boundary waters with Alberta, Manitoba, the Northwest Territories and Prince Albert National Park, unless otherwise specified;
  • Transport fish taken by angling that are skinless, cut or packaged so that the species, number and length cannot be determined;
  • Fish with more than one line during open water season;
  • Use more than four hooks on one line (a lure with a gang of hooks is considered one hook);
  • Be more than 25 metres (27.3 yards) from your fishing line;
  • Be in any place where your fishing line(s) are not visible at all times;
  • Possess or use any spring-loaded gaff or spring-loaded hook;
  • Use a dipnet except to land fish taken by angling;
  • Use lights, firearms, chemicals, electric shockers or explosives to catch or kill fish;
  • Take fish by snaring or snagging;
  • Grapple or use only your hands to take or attempt to take fish;
  • Use fish traps or nets to take fish, unless specifically licensed to do so;
  • Fish within 23 metres (25 yards) downstream from any constructed dam or obstacle except where there is a ministry sign allowing fishing;
  • Fish within 100 metres of any nest, trap or fish holding devise;
  • Angle on the Saskatchewan portion of boundary waters without a valid Saskatchewan angling licence, unless otherwise specified;
  • Sell, waste or barter fish taken by angling;
  • Fail to stop a vehicle or boat when requested by an officer;
  • Transport watercraft on a highway if the watercraft has a drainage hole in the lower hull or bilge that is blocked;
  • Tamper with or take fish from a net, trap or holding device without the owner’s permission; and
  • Important into Saskatchewan or transport within Saskatchewan any live fish or live fish eggs.
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2. Ice Fishing

  • Two lines may be used when ice fishing, but they must remain within 25 metres (27.3 yards) and in sight of the person who has set or is using them;
  • Only gaffs with a J-hook end may be used to land fish while ice fishing, but they cannot be more than 1.5 metres (1.6 yards) long;
  • Ice fishing shelters south of Highway 16 must be removed from the ice no later than March 15. Ice fishing shelters north of Highway 16 must be removed no later than March 31;
  • Storing or leaving ice fishing shelters on Crown land or private land without the landowner's consent is not permitted; and
  • Ice fishing shacks must have the owner's full name, address and phone number in legible letters at least 2.5 centimetres (1 inch) high on the outside of the shack.
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3. Bow Fishing

  • Bow fishing season is open from April 20 to March 31;
  • A valid Saskatchewan angling licence is required
  • Bow fishing is permitted for carp and suckers only – the taking of game fish and bigmouth buffalo by bow and arrow is prohibited;
  • No fish taken by bow fishing may be released or wasted, or abandoned on Crown or private land without the landowner’s consent;
  • Fish arrows must be attached to the bow or archer with a line strong enough to retrieve impaled fish; and
  • A bow and arrow is defined as a firearm and cannot be used or possessed in:
    • Provincial and regional parks or provincial recreation sites; or
    • A federal migratory bird sanctuary. (Call Environment and Climate Change Canada at 306-836-2022 for further information.)
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4. Underwater Spear Fishing

  • Anyone possessing a valid Saskatchewan angling licence may spear fish in Saskatchewan waters;
  • Species limits are the same as those for hook and line angling;
  • No fish taken by spear fishing may be released;
  • Pneumatic guns may be used for spear fishing in Saskatchewan;
  • No fish may be taken by underwater spear fishing unless the diver is submerged or swimming in the water;
  • Spears shall be secured to the gun or the diver by a line not exceeding 5 metres (5.5 yards) and of sufficient strength to withstand the operating tension of the spear gun;
  • The use of explosive charges or any gas other than air as a spear gun propellant is not permitted;
  • All underwater spear fishers must display a scuba diver’s flag while fishing; and
  • No underwater spear fishing is allowed within 100 metres (109 yards) of a buoyed swimming area.
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5. Don't Transfer Live Fish

  • Newly introduced fish species can harm the ecological balance of established fish communities. Anglers can help safeguard provincial fisheries by reporting anyone relocating fish or using live fish for bait. To prevent the spread of undesired species and fish disease:
    • Do not move live fish or their eggs;
    • Do not use live fish as bait; and
    • Do not import live fish.
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6. Fishing with Bait

  • Live fish may not be used as bait. Only baitfish that are dead and have been commercially frozen or preserved may be used;
  • All frozen fish to be used as bait in Saskatchewan (including smelt) that originate from Ontario, Quebec, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania or Wisconsin (jurisdictions known to harbor viral hemorrhagic septicemia - VHS) require proof that the fish are certified free of VHS;
  • Live leeches or crayfish may not be imported into Saskatchewan. Only leeches and crayfish originating within Saskatchewan may be used as live bait. Canadian and non-resident anglers must provide proof (upon request) that their live bait was purchased in Saskatchewan;
  • Frogs and salamanders may not be used as bait;
  • The non-edible parts of fish legally taken by angling, such as the eye, belly skin or internal organs, can be used as bait and the fish from which the parts were taken from must be dead and included in your limit; and
  • Earthworms or nightcrawlers may be imported and used as live bait. However, they must be shipped in a soil-free medium such as peat moss or shredded paper.
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7. Angling Infractions

Penalties under The Fisheries Act are fines to a maximum of $100,000, imprisonment up to 12 months or both. For certain offences, violators may be issued a summary offence ticket with a voluntary payment option, while other more serious offences may require a court appearance. Automatic licence suspensions of one to five years have been implemented for serious offences, along with increased fines.

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