A Sport Fishing Licence is required by anyone intending to sport fish in Nunavut other than a beneficiary of the Nunavut Agreement.
Licences are available from the Department of Environment, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, most sport fishing lodges, and some retail stores.
Non-resident anglers must obey the import laws of their country when returning home. Check with customs officials in your home country about regulations governing the importation and transportation of fish.
Nunavut Resident: A Canadian citizen or permanent resident who has resided continuously in Nunavut for a period of three months immediately preceding the day they begin to fish.
Canadian Resident: A Canadian citizen or permanent resident who normally resides in any part of Canada other than Nunavut immediately preceding the day they begin to fish.
Non-resident: A person other than a Nunavut Resident or a Canadian Resident.
Licence Fees (2021-2022)
Note: in 2017 the Government of Canada passed the Service Fees Act (Canada) which requires that authorizations issued under federal legislation to be increased annually. As Nunavut sport fishing licences are issued pursuant to the Fisheries Act (Canada), the fees for these licences have been increased to comply with the Service Fees Act.
*A 3-day licence is valid for three consecutive days commencing on the date stated on the licence.
The federal Goods and Services Tax (5%) must be added to all fees.
Note: in 2017, the Government of Canada passed the Service Fees Act (Canada), which requires that fees for authorizations issued under federal legislation increase annually. As Nunavut sport fishing licences are issued pursuant to the Fisheries Act (Canada), the fees for these licences have been increased to comply with the Service Fees Act.
Unless otherwise noted, Sport Fishing Licences are not required by;
- Nunavut Residents and Canadian Residents under 16 years of age or over 65
- Non-residents under the age of 16 who are accompanied by a person who holds a Sport Fishing Licence
Nunavut Settlement Area (NSA)
Sport fishing in the NSA may be subject to terms and conditions in accordance with the Nunavut Agreement. For further information, contact the local Hunters and Trappers Organization or the local Conservation Officer.
A Nunavut Sport Fishing Licence is not valid in a national park. A separate national parks fishing licence is required and may be obtained from a Parks Canada office.
Fishing is permitted in Auyuittuq National Park. Fishing is not currently permitted in Quttinirpaaq, Sirmilik, Ukkusiksalik, Qausuittuq National Parks or in the Wrecks of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror National Historic Site.
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Before You Go Fishing
- Ensure that you have a valid Sport Fishing Licence with validations where required.
- Ensure that your licence has not expired. Expiry dates are indicated on the licences.
- Sign your licence.
- Read this guide thoroughly each year. Regulations and sport fishing limits may have changed.
- Take your licence and this guide with you while fishing.
- Keep your licence in a sealed plastic bag in your tackle box and you’ll never forget it!
The regulations state that:
- You must carry your Sport Fishing Licence and produce it at the request of an officer.
- Live fish cannot be used for bait. Live fish or live fish eggs cannot be put into Nunavut waters.
- During the open water season, you may fish with only a single line or rod. No more than two hooks can be attached to the line.
- While fishing through the ice, you may fish with no more than two lines, or two rods and lines. No more than two hooks can be attached to any line. You must remain within 50 metres (60 yards) of your line or lines.
- You may use a hand net for landing fish caught by angling.
- You may not use or possess a gaff while sport fishing.
- Dip nets may be used for ciscoes and suckers. The diameter of the dip net hoop cannot exceed one metre, and all other species of fish caught must immediately be returned to the water.
- Snagging of fish is prohibited.
- There are special regulations if you intend to spear fish. No person shall engage in spear fishing except while swimming. The use of a kakivak or fish leisters is restricted to Nunavut beneficiaries and their assignees. For more information contact the local Conservation Officer or Fishery Officer.
- It is an offence to waste any game fish that is suitable for food.
- It is an offence to fish within 25 yards downstream from the lower entrance to any fish-way, canal, obstacle or leap.
- It is an offence to sell any fish caught by sport fishing.
- You must not leave fish, fish remains or refuse from fishing in the water or on the ice.
- Except when preparing your fish for immediate consumption, you must leave the skin on the fish to help in determining the species. Fillets must be separated before freezing them. Two fillets are regarded as one fish.
- When fish are stored other than at your permanent residence, the fish must be identified by name and Sport Fishing Licence number of the person who caught them. The name and licence number must also be marked on the outside of the package if you are transporting it.
Should you be convicted for a first offence of the Fisheries Act, you may be liable to a fine of up to $100,000. If you are uncertain about any point, contact a Fishery Officer or Conservation Officer before fishing.
This is not a legal document. The information is for guidance purposes only. Amendments sometimes occur after the printing of the guide. For more detailed information, consult a Fishery Officer or a Conservation Officer.