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When exactly is fishing season in Quebec? The answer to this simple question isn’t all that straightforward! In Quebec, as well as in the province’s outfitting camps, it is possible to fish year-round. But first you need to decide where you want to fish and what species. Read on to learn all about Quebec’s fishing season and plan your next trip like a pro.

Fishing zones

Quebec is divided into 29 fishing zones, each with its own particularities, regulations and exceptions. On the map, the zone divisions stretch from the Gaspé Peninsula (Zone 1) to the Outaouais region, then move north and back south to the St. Lawrence River.

Some zones on the map do not have clearly defined borders. Zone 21This link will open in a new window, for instance, has boundaries along the St. Lawrence River and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. It also includes the Magdalen Islands (but not Anticosti Island) and numerous bodies of water and rivers in several tourist regions. Zone 25This link will open in a new window may also give you some difficulty, as it includes parts of the Ottawa River and Lake Témiscamingue, but within a certain perimeter.

For a clearer understanding of the zone divisions, take a look at the interactive sport fishing mapThis link will open in a new window on the website of the Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs (MELCCFP). Simply click a zone to access specific details about that zone, including catch length limits (per species), baits, number of lines allowed, and any new or recently modified regulations. You can also view news about the zone, additional links and the date of the last update to ensure you have the right information. Each outfitter has its own information sheet on the website. That means you can determine what zone you’re in by pinpointing your outfitter’s location on the map.

You can also find fishing zone details in the Guide du pêcheurThis link will open in a new window* (angler’s guide), a must-read to stay well informed. The maps provide a wealth of information on wildlife reserves, outfitters with exclusive rightsThis link will open in a new window, controlled harvesting zones (ZECs), national parks and much more!

Once you’ve located your zone, you can continue planning your trip by checking the fishing season and what fish species are found there.

Species and quotas

Fishing seasons vary from place to place—and so do species. On the MELCCFPThis link will open in a new window websiteThis link will open in a new window, each zone has its own page. You’ll find detailed information about everything you need to know, including any regulatory exceptions you need to be aware of. Be sure to check, as there can be many!

Let’s look at Zone 1This link will open in a new window in the Gaspé Peninsula as an example. In 2023, from April 28 to September 10, you could fish for rainbow smelt, char, landlocked Atlantic salmon, yellow perch, lake trout and splake trout. Each of these species has its own catch limit. Landlocked salmon, lake trout and splake trout can only be caught by rod and line. Striped bass has been added to that list as of May 15, 2024. In summer, it’s salmon. Regulatory changes are made during the season, year-round!

Bodies of water also have exceptions, and some outfitters may be located on their outer edges. Outfitters will ensure that fishing quotas are respected at all times. They’ll guide you through their territory where you can make some satisfying catches while abiding by the rules. If you’re new to fishing, outfitters are an ideal place to get started. Our experts offer guide services as well as valuable tips and advice, so you’ll be learning from the best.

A quick overview 

Want to know quickly which month a particular species is caught? Check out our summary table below! 

The four seasons of fishing

Technically, the fishing season in Quebec runs from April 1 to March 31 the following year. However, most areas permit fishing from spring to fall (roughly from April to October). Then the fall and winter seasons run until March.

Fishing in the fall

Fishing is possible in the fall in certain lakes, especially those that are regularly stocked, as is the case at some outfitters. It’s a different experience—the fish are abundant, and the scenery is colourful. At the outfitters, you can fish for brook trout, pike and smallmouth bass. However, there are specific periods for each body of water. Your outfitter is an expert at this and will inform you of any catch-and-release conditions.

Winter fishing

In winter, it’s all about ice fishing. Some say it’s the best way to introduce youngsters to fishing, and we couldn’t agree more—it’s the ultimate family winter activity! The start of ice fishing season varies depending on how cold the start of winter has been. The season usually gets underway at the end of December, but anglers know that Mother Nature can be unpredictable! Of course, it’s very important to make sure the ice is thick and safe enough before venturing out on it. Your outfitter can guide you around the frozen bodies of water, provide you with the necessary equipment and drill the holes so you can fish in the perfect spot. A fishing permit is also required to cast your line in winter!

Where to fish in winterThis link will open in a new window

So, fishing is almost a year-round sport in Quebec! Check out our various packages and outfitter availabilities at our website. Find all the answers you need using our comprehensive search engine.

No matter when or where you want to fish, there are plenty of outfitting camps to choose from. Our outfitters know all there is to know about the different fishing seasons and they’re experts on the details of their territory. They can advise you and tell you what species can be found in their lakes and rivers. Plus, they’re friendly! Don’t hesitate to contact them and to consult the Guide du Pêcheur for more information.

*The “Guide du pêcheur” brochure is available in French only. 

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