Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Test your knowledge on Ontario fish regulations

Is this 27.5-inch pike legal to keep?
1. The northern pike above held by my nephew, Mac Baughman, is 27.5 inches as shown. Fish regs in Northwestern Ontario state there is a no-keep slot size of 27.5-35.4 inches. So is this fish the "perfect" pike, just under the slot size?
A. Absolutely!
B. No, because the tail is not being pinched which will make the fish longer and into the slot size.
C. No, because if it measures 27.5 inches, it is actually already in the slot size, albeit at the beginning.
D. Both B and C.
2. If you have a Conservation Fishing Licence (it comes free with your fishing package at Bow Narrows Camp) which has a daily and possession limit of two pike and two walleye, are you allowed to take fish home with you and if so, how many?
A.  No. You are not allowed to keep any fish.
B. Yes, you can take home two pike and two walleye.
C. Yes, you can keep one pike and one walleye to take home and one pike and one walleye to eat while you are at camp.
D. No. You can only keep fish to eat while at camp: two pike and two walleye.
3. If you have a Sportsman's Licence, which has a daily and possession limit of four northern pike and four walleye, is it OK to put your limit in the freezer to take home the first day you go fishing and then keep other fish later on to eat at camp?
A. No, because you would be over your possession limit.
B. No, because you would be over your daily limit.
C. Yes, because you would have your possession limit in the freezer and then could use your daily limit for eating at camp.
D. Yes, because you would then be assured of having your possession limit to take home and could keep other fish on the Camp Limit.
4. If you catch your daily limit of, say, two walleye on the Conservation Licence, in the morning and eat them for lunch. Could you then catch two walleye in the afternoon and put them in the freezer to take home?
A. Sure, once you eat the fish they are gone and you can start catching your limit all over again.
B. No, you would then exceed your daily limit of two fish.
C. No, you would then exceed your possession limit of two fish.
D. Yes because no one will ever know the difference.
5. How many rods can a fisherman use at one time in inland (non-Great Lakes) waters in Ontario?
A. One, during the summer
B. Two, during the winter
C. Four
D. Both A and B
6. For really big fish, such as very large northern pike and musky, is it OK to use a spring gaff instead of a landing net?
A. No because spring gaffs are illegal
B. No because these fish are more likely to get off the spring gaff than out of a landing net
C. Yes
D. Yes, provided the fish are at least 40 inches in length
7. Is it legal to throw out a minnow and bobber at the dock, tie your rod to a tree, and watch the bobber from the cabin porch while drinking a beer?
A. No because it is illegal to drink beer on your porch in Ontario
B. No because it is illegal to fish with a minnow
C. No because it is illegal to leave a rod tied to a tree
D. No because by the time you can run from the porch to the dock, the fish will be gone
8. You catch a small perch while fishing and think it would make good bait for big northern pike. Is this allowed?
A. Yes, it is how the biggest pike are taken.
B. No, perch are a gamefish and cannot be used for bait.
C. No, not if the perch was alive, but if it was dead it would be OK
D. Yes, as long as you use a circle hook and not a treble hook
9. You accidentally kill a northern pike in the slot size (27.5-35.4 inches). You didn't mean to do it; it was just an accident. Can you keep it?
A. Yes, but only to eat at camp, not to take home
B. Yes, it is an offence to throw away and therefore waste any gamefish
C. Yes, if it was an accident, you can keep it either to eat or to take home
D. No
10. Is it legal to drink beer in a boat?
A. Yes, but it must be from a Canadian brewery.
B. No
C. Not if you are the driver but it's OK for passengers
D. Yes, just don't throw the empties overboard

1. D
2. B
3. A
4. B
5. D
6. A
7. C
8. B
9. D
10. B

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Anonymous said...


In addition to being a great host, and writing an excellent and informative blog, if you ever move to the States you could have a new career writing exam questions and answers for National Conference of Bar Examiners. Another fun blog post. Thanks for helping make the winter pass more quickly.

Joe Overman said...

Got all of them right! I have a good teacher!

Dan Baughman said...

Question 6 originally asked if gaffs were legal. I got an e-mail from a person who pointed this out in the regulations: (It is illegal to:)
Possess a spring gaff, snagger or spear gun within 30 m (98 ft.)of any waters.
A spring gaff includes any device which uses a mechanical spring, other than the fishing rod under tension, to set the hook for an angler.
No person shall take fish with a gaff, snare, snagger or spear gun. A gaff, other than a spring gaff, may be used to assist in landing fish caught by lawful means.

I have since amended the question to "spring gaff."

Greg David said...

In regards to question #1, the Ontario regulation states the slot size for northern pike is 70-90 centimeters, when converted to English units is 27.6 to 35.4 inches. The 2015 regulations also state this. So legally speaking, when the tail is pinched and the fish is properly measured, a 27.5 inch northern pike is a legal fish.
I have fished the Red lake chain for 30 years. I find your blogs to be the absolute best on the internet. They are both entertaining and informative. Thank you!

Dan Baughman said...

You may be right, technically, but 1/10 of an inch is all that stands between you and a big fine. Fish change sizes when they die, getting longer, probably a lot more than 1/10 of an inch. I recall a Conservation Officer telling about coming across two anglers that had two fish, each right at each end of the scale. The fishermen said the one at the lower end had been precisely 27.5 inches when they boated it. It then must have stretched. The CO noted that the other fish was just a hair longer than the maximum end of the scale. By the same reasoning then, said the CO, that fish must have been inside the slot when they boated it. He charged them for having a fish in the slot size. He said they could choose which one of them paid the fine.
The point is, the slot size is not the time to split hairs. Keep well away from it.

Anonymous said...

In the nearly 55 plus years that I have been fishing, this is the first time that I ever heard that a fish gets longer when it dies. If anything, with dehydration, you would expect they would get shorter. You can bet that I will be testing this theory this spring. With a fish well away from the slot size of course.
Indiana Dave