Recreational fishing season delayed until at least June 1
To support public health efforts to contain and mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the opening of the recreational fishing season on Prince Edward Island is being delayed until at least June 1, 2020.
“We understand how important the fishing season is to Islanders. This is not a decision we have taken lightly. As Dr. Morrison has said, we are in an important time. How well we do at social distancing in the next few weeks will have an impact on the health and the lives of Islanders in the months to come. That means staying apart and avoiding contact at places like gas stations, boat launches and popular fishing and recreation spots.”
- Environment, Water and Climate Change Minister Natalie Jameson
The delay applies to both inland and tidal water fisheries. It includes trout, Atlantic salmon, smelt, striped bass, mackerel, flounder, perch, scallop, softshell clam, bar clam, razor clam and mussels. It also closes all recreational shellfish until June 1, 2020.
“When making this decision, we considered the need to protect our front-line staff like Conservation Officers and first responders. They are already working incredibly hard during this time to keep us safe. We need to stay apart to support them,” said Jamie Fox, Minister of Fisheries and Communities. “I talk regularly with my Atlantic and federal colleagues about how we can best protect public health while preserving our fisheries. I know the fishing community will do its part as we go through these difficult times.”
Fisheries and Oceans Canada has made the necessary regulatory changes to support the delay. This decision is supported by the Departments of Fisheries and Communities, Environment, Water and Climate Change, Justice and Public Safety and the province’s Chief Public Health Office.
To view the variation orders, visit:
Department of Fisheries and Communities
Department of Environment, Water and Climate Change
COVID-19 has not changed enforcement activity by Conservation Officers. Fishing out of season is illegal.
ACTIVITIES NOT ALLOWED:
- Angling, for all species; including all trout species and striped bass;
- Angling for all species in both tidal and non-tidal waters; and,
- Angling in all waterbodies; including those accessed through private property, your own or someone else’s.
All Water Bodies: This delay is in place for all water bodies, regardless of whether or not a fishing licence is required; including tidal waters (saltwater).
Penalties: Anyone caught angling during this delay of season can be charged with fishing during a closed time, whether or not a fishing licence is required.
In Prince Edward Island, angling season opens each year in mid-April for Brook trout, Rainbow trout and Atlantic salmon. Under the Wildlife Conservation Act, the Minister is empowered to issue angling licenses and collect fees for freshwater fisheries. The Government of Canada determines season dates, bag limits, and all activities in tidal waters (such as fishing from wharves or beaches).