2024 cover for the Ontario Fishing Regulation Rule summary

Fishing licenses are required for French River Zone 10, Georgian Bay Zone 14, & Pickerel River Zone 15. For the full Northern Ontario fishing regulations summary please click on the image or for Ontario Resident and non-resident outdoors cards, click on the example card image below (left). If you need a pleasure craft license or renewal, click on the example card image on the right.

French River Fishing Lodge, Bear’s Den Lodge is a renowned World Class fishing – hunting lodge in an Ontario Park. Our roofed accommodations are in the French River Delta of the French River Provincial Park. Access our lodge via Hartley Bay Marina parking to the remote, scenic unspoiled French River, Pickerel River, Wanapitei River, and Northeast Georgian Bay. Our All-Inclusive resort’s primary focus is fishing! We offer trophy walleye, northern pike, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappies, salmon, and muskies. Musky fishing is our specialty as Bear’s Den Lodge offers modern outstanding accommodations with American Plan meals and Housekeeping cottages, boat motor rentals and experienced guides. The French River Provincial Park offers excellent canoeing, paddling adventures, kayaking, bird watching, wildlife viewing, black bear hunting, nature, adventures and eco tours. Our area, French River Delta, provides one of the highest quality wilderness experiences in all of Ontario.

French River Fishing Tips and Regulations

Legal length of Muskie is 137 cm (54 in). Yet, Bear’s Den Lodge has been encouraging live release of all Muskies for years. For those wanting a mount, a replica can be made with measurements – length and girth – of the trophy fish and a quick photo. 

Anglers with a Sport Fishing License may possess only 1 fish over 137 cm (54 in) as per the Ministry of Natural Resource Fishing Regulations in Zones 10, 11, and 14 – French River Provincial Park & Georgian Bay areas.

Effective as of January 1, 2024 – Transportation of minnows and leeches from one Bait Management Zone (BMZ) to another is permissible if:

  • You go straight to another BMZ where you acquired the bait legally.
  • Dead baitfish and leeches can be transported in and out of a BMZ, if kept from decaying (e.g. salted or preservative agents).
    • Refrigeration or freezing by itself is not enough for legal transport.


We are located in the Northeastern Bait Management Zone. You must have receipt of the purchased bait (minnows and leeches) while fishing at all times. Visit Ontario.ca to read the bait regulations.

Resident & Non-Resident Outdoor Cards Northern Ontario Fishing Licenses

Sport Fishing License

An angler may keep in their possession a total of four fish of each species when fishing the French River.

Conservation License

Anglers with a Conservation License may only possess two fish of each species. Muskie fishing is NOT permitted with this license.

When a Fishing License is NOT Needed

Ontario Residents who are Under 18 or 65 and Older can catch and possess fish with limits of a Sport Fishing License per Ontario Fishing Regulations page 6 with proper Federal or Provincial Government ID indicating their name & birth.

Non-Residents who are Under 18 years old and are accompanied by a person with a valid Ontario Recreational Fishing License & share their limits.

Family Fishing Opportunities

Ontario & Canadian Residents have four opportunities throughout the fishing season to fish free without a license. During these dates, individuals must follow catch and possession limits for Conservation Fishing Licenses.
These dates are: