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Ontario casts out free fishing for Father's Day weekend

“It’s a free fishing weekend in Ontario – one of four that we do throughout the year," Graydon Smith said.
Graydon Smith

There will be free access to Ontario’s lakes and rivers for fishing on June 15 and 16. People fishing for free must have provincial or federal government-issued identification, showing their name and date of birth.

Graydon Smith, Minister of Natural Resources, said it’s being offered due to Father’s Day weekend.

“It’s a free fishing weekend in Ontario – one of four that we do throughout the year. 

“We had one on Mother’s Day, so we have to keep it even between mothers and fathers, and do it again for Father’s Day,” Smith said.

Smith said family fishing week, from June 29 to July 7, will be another opportunity for free fishing.

“Our government doubled the opportunities for free fishing in Ontario back in 2019.

“It’s an opportunity to get out and enjoy the great outdoors first and foremost,” he said.

Smith said fishing is a relatively inexpensive hobby.

“People need a rod, reel, hook, worm, and to find a water body – then they’re good to go,” he said

“Hopefully you will get to experience the opportunity with family. But even if it’s with friends, or by yourself – because you want some peace and quiet.

"All good reasons to go,” he said

Smith has not been down to the Northwest for fishing, however he said “the invitations have been plentiful.”

“I have to find a way to make the schedule work, to make it happen. Whether it's Lake of the Woods or Red Lake, other places as well.”

Smith wants to take advantage of the offers because they are “way too good to pass up.”

Events like this offer people who don't normally fish a chance to try it.

“People are signing up and having a great time,” he said.

“When you look at it from strictly a business side and the tourism side, it is incredibly important.

“We’ve got hundreds of thousands of anglers here in the province of Ontario. We’re so blessed with the number of lakes and rivers that we have,” Smith said

Smith reminded all anglers who will take advantage of free fishing to follow the regulations.

“Go online to and make sure you are operating according to the regulations in the zone you are in.

Smith reminded people to "fish responsibly and enjoy nature responsibly," to help ensure future generations can do the same.

Olivia Browning

About the Author: Olivia Browning

Olivia’s major life passion would have to be a tie between reading and writing.
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