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New Lake Nipissing fishing regulations include updates to catch sizes, limits

'Catch and possession limits are set to protect fish populations against overfishing and to give all anglers a fair share of the fisheries resources'
2019 03 08-walleye-1-crop-(jeff hines)
New fishing regulations for Lake Nipissing come into effect in the new year.

Effective January 1, 2022, there will be new regulations in place for walleye, northern pike, muskellunge, and bass fishing in Lake Nipissing. 

According to the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry (MNDMNRF), Lake Nipissing is considered to be one of the most intensive inland fisheries in the province, with resources that support Nipissing First Nation and Dokis First Nation members; a popular ice fishery; 44 fish species; and, a sport fish community featuring bass, yellow perch, northern pike and walleye.

According to the Ministry, catch and possession limits are set to protect fish populations against overfishing and to give all anglers a fair share of the fisheries resources.

Find listed below the new regulations divided by species:


  • Harvestable slot size for walleye: must be 40-45 centimetres (none less than 40 cm and none greater than 45 cm)
  • Sport Licence limit: two
  • Conservation Licence limit: one

According to MNRF, the harvestable slot of 40–45 cm for walleye in Lake Nipissing will help to continue to build the biomass (the kilograms of fish in a lake) of walleye to a healthy level; continue to protect young fish so they can grow to maturity and reproduce; and, start protecting mature walleye to rebuild a healthy age structure.

Northern pike

  • Not more than one greater than 61 cm, none greater than 86 cm
  • Sport Licence limit: four 
  • Conservation Licence limit: two 

The Lake Nipissing northern pike fishing regulation was changed to reduce mortality rates to meet Fisheries Management Plan goals; protect the large mature northern pike in Lake Nipissing; and, provide angling opportunities while managing for a robust fishery.


A minimum size limit for muskellunge has been set on Lake Nipissing to protect large muskellunge and maximize the growth potential of muskellunge.

  • Sport Licence limit: one — must be greater than 137 cm (54 inches)
  • Conservation Licence: zero

Smallmouth and largemouth bass

The bass season will be open from:

  • January 1 to March 15
  • The third Saturday in May to November 30

The change in season for Lake Nipissing smallmouth and largemouth bass fishing regulations is designed to support a high-quality recreational and tourism fishery; diversify fishing opportunities on the lake; provide angling opportunities while maintaining sustainable populations; align the Lake Nipissing bass season-opening date with the rest of Fisheries Management Zone 11.

  • Sport Licence limit: six
  • Conservation Licence limit: two

The Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry oversees Ontario’s mineral sector, promotes economic development in Northern Ontario and the resource sector, protects biodiversity and supports outdoor recreation.

Lake Nipissing is managed through a separate planning process. The Lake Nipissing Advisory Council provides advice during the development of fisheries objectives and strategies.

Council members represent a broad range of views including:

  • angling groups
  • scientists and researchers
  • conservation groups
  • interested community members

The advisory council participates in fisheries management by:

  • sharing ideas and expertise with the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry
  • helping to develop and implement management strategies
  • communicating with the local and angling community