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La Mauricie National Park

Two anglers in a canoe on a lake ringed by a forest.
Recreational fishing, an activity immersed in nature. © Parks Canada

Recreational Fishing

La Mauricie National Park offers a great recreational fishing experience. It’s the ideal way for visitors to come into contact with the environment, while, at the same time, fully respecting the need to protect our natural resources. Since line fishing is the only harvesting activity allowed inside our park’s boundaries, it is subject to various regulations designed to maintain the integrity of aquatic ecosystems. 

Fees and schedule
Obtaining a permit 
Catch and possession limits
Recreational fishing regulations
Recreational fishing management

Fees and schedule

Daily permit: $9.80
Annual permit: $34.30

Start of 2014 fishing season: 
From Saturday, May 31 to Monday, September 1, except for smallmouth bass, whose season starts on Tuesday, June 24 and runs to Monday, September 1.

Obtaining a permit 

In order to properly manage recreational fishing, La Mauricie National Park must limit the number of places for this activity. For this reason a draw is held in order to ensure that permits are distributed fairly and equitably. If any places remain following the draw, they may be distributed throughout the day at the following locations:

  • Saint-Mathieu Visitor Reception Centre 
  • Saint-Jean-des-Piles Visitor Reception and Interpretation Centre
  • Kiosk at the Rivière-à-la-Pêche campground
  • Kiosk at the Wapizagonke campground 

To fish in the Park, every angler must obtain a fishing permit from La Mauricie National Park. An ID must be presented.

Draws held on campgrounds are reserved exclusively for campers during the length of their stay in the park. In addition to an ID, campers must also present their valid camping permit showing the dates and times of arrival and departure.

Catch and possession limits

  • The daily catch limit is five fish, all species included, of which no more than two shall be grey (lake) trout and three northern pike. Possession limits are identical to catch limits.
  • It is forbidden to continue fishing after one of these limits has been reached. Catch limits are applicable to each angler holding a permit and not to the group as a whole.
  • All bass accidentally caught before the opening date (June 24) must be returned to the water while taking the appropriate precautions to ensure the survival of the fish.
  • Notice to all anglers: in La Mauricie National Park it is prohibited to catch and release the following species: brook trout (brook char) and lake trout.

Recreational fishing regulations

Permit:

  • The permit is only valid if signed by the permit holder.
  • The fishing permit must be kept on you at all times during your travels throughout the Park.
  • The permit specifies which lakes you are entitled to fish in. You are only entitled to fish in one lake per day.
  • Youths under the age of 16 may fish on the same permit as an adult on the condition that they are accompanied by that adult.

Counts:

  • Every person who has purchased a fishing permit must return it to one of the reception centres before 9 p.m. on the date of expiry of the permit, in order to record the number of fish captured and to determine the level of effort in doing so, whether or not the person fished and whether or not any fish were caught.

Equipment:

It is forbidden to:

  • Use a lead sinker or jigs weighing less than 50 g.
  • Propel a watercraft with the aid of an electric or gas motor and to use an apparatus that is able to detect fish (sonar).
  • Leave a fishing line unsupervised or use more than one fishing line.
  • Have in your possession or use live or dead bait fish, pieces of fish or fish eggs. 

Other regulations:

It is forbidden to:

  • Fish on a lake other than that specified on your fishing permit.
  • Having fishing equipment in La Mauricie National Park, unless having a valid La Mauricie National Park permit or keeping the fishing equipment inside a car.
  • Fish between one hour after sundown and one hour before sunrise.
  • Place dead fish or fish waste in the waters of the Park. 
  • Access to Lac Français and the portion of Lac Baie des Onze Îles commonly called Baie Verte (Green Bay) is forbidden.
  • To stop off on islands.

Recreational fishing management

Beneath the mirrored surface of a lake hides a world unknown to most of us. Parks Canada considers angling, although a harvesting activity, an acceptable way to access this invisible universe, inhabited for the most part by fish. The question still arises whether these organisms merit the same protection as others in our national parks.

Fishing activities in the park are managed so as to protect the very nature of the resources. In practice, this means maintaining the characteristics of the populations and the evolutionary potential of the indigenous species that are the result of 10,000 years of evolution. The primary objective of the management program is to allow fish populations to develop naturally in today's changing environmental conditions. To this end, no stocking or other form of wildlife management aimed at improving fishing is permitted in national parks.

The rules governing fishing in the park are defined by the number of people fishing in one place and at a given time, among other things. A quota of fishers per lake is set daily. Managing numbers in this way keeps fishing open to visitors for the whole season. Regulations are restrictive, which means that some lakes are not open for fishing, some lakes have lower catch and possession limits than others and, on certain lakes, catch and release of trout (brook and lake) is not permitted. The Park's focus is to promote quality outdoor experiences for the largest number of visitors possible rather than ensure a large catch for each angler.

Fish stocks are managed through a quota system as well: for each lake a maximum harvest by weight is set per species. The total harvest is monitored weekly, based on information obtained through the daily registration of anglers and their obligation to surrender their permits after their activity and have their catch recorded (including fish eaten or released). This system has provided good fishing for over 30 years. Your cooperation is vital!

Brook (speckled) trout is the main indigenous species in the park. It accounts for more than 80% of catches. Many other species can be caught in the 30 lakes where fishing is permitted, including lake trout, large-mouth bass and pike.