Sport fishing in Saskatchewan is regulated by The Fisheries Regulations under The Fisheries (Saskatchewan) Act, 2020. Below is a summary of the major regulations, which apply to all provincial Crown waters in Saskatchewan, excluding federal waters (e.g. Prince Albert National Park), and must be complied with at all times. Complete copies of the Act and Regulations may be obtained from the Publications Centre or by calling 1-800-226-7302.
1. General Prohibitions
It is unlawful to:
- Angle without possessing a valid Saskatchewan angling licence, unless the angler is under 16 years of age, a Saskatchewan resident senior or an individual with a recognized Treaty or Aboriginal right to fish for food in Saskatchewan.
- Fail to produce a licence upon the request of an officer (digital or paper).
- Fish on the Saskatchewan portion of boundary waters without a valid Saskatchewan angling licence, unless otherwise specified.
- Fail to stop a vehicle or watercraft (boat, canoe, kayak, dinghy or any other water-based vessel) when requested by an officer.
- Fail to stop at an inspection station when transporting watercraft.
- Assist or fish with individuals who are fishing for food pursuant to their Treaty or Aboriginal rights. This does not apply if:
- The rights-bearing person(s) 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
- The accompanying person is a member of their immediate family (immediate family members include the individual's father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, brother, sister, child, spouse or common-law spouse).
- Possess fish taken for food by an individual under their Treaty or Aboriginal fishing rights, unless you are a member of their immediate family or have a Treaty or Aboriginal right to fish for food in Saskatchewan.
- Fish in closed waters or during a 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.
- Sell, waste or barter fish taken by angling.
- Fish with more than one line in open waters.
- Be more than 25 metres (27.3 yards) from your fishing line.
- Be in any place where your fishing line is not visible at all times.
- Use more than four hooks on one line ((a lure with a gang of hooks is considered one hook).
- Possess or use any spring-loaded gaff or spring-loaded hook.
- Use a dipnet to take fish, except to land fish taken by angling.
- Collect crayfish for any purpose, including consumption.
- Use lights, firearms, chemicals, electric shockers or explosives to catch or kill fish. Only a light that is part of a lure attached to a line used in angling may be used to attract 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.
- Tamper with or take fish from a net, trap or holding device without the owner's permission.
- Fish within 100 metres of any net, trap or fish-holding device.
- Fish within 23 metres (25 yards) downstream from any constructed dam or obstacle, except where there is a Ministry of Environment sign allowing fishing.
- Import into Saskatchewan or transport within Saskatchewan any live fish or live fish eggs.
- Transport watercraft on a highway if it has a blocked drainage hole in the lower hull or bilge.
2. Ice Fishing
- Two lines may be used when ice fishing, but they must be within sight and 25 metres (27.3 yards) of the person who 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. Use or possession of a spear on ice-covered waters is prohibited.
- 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 public land, or on private land without the landowner's consent, is prohibited.
- Ice fishing shelters left unattended on the ice 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.
- Use of ice fishing shelters for the purpose of outfitting, without a licence, is prohibited. For more information, please refer to Ice shack rentals and outfitting – what you need to know.
3. Bow Fishing
- Bow fishing season is open from April 20, 2023, to March 31, 2024.
- 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. The unauthorized disposal of fish taken by bow fishing is prohibited on public or private land.
- Fish arrows must be attached to the bow or archer with a line strong enough to retrieve impaled fish.
- 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).
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 five 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 are not permitted.
- All underwater spear fishers must display a scuba diver's flag while fishing.
- No underwater spear fishing is allowed within 100 metres (109 yards) of a buoyed swimming area.
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 the Turn in Poachers and Polluters (TIPP). 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.
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 require proof that the fish are certified-free of viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS).
- Live leeches may not be imported into Saskatchewan. Only leeches 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, salamanders and crayfish may not be used as bait.
- The non-edible parts of a 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 must be dead and included in your limit.
- A plant protection import permit from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is required to import night crawlers into Canada. For more information, email email@example.com.
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.