Regulation - Minister

Ontario's Sustainable Bait Management Strategy

Regulation Number(s):
O.Reg. 664/98: Fish Licencing
Instrument Type:
Regulation - Minister
Bill or Act:
Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act
Summary of Decision:
In September 2019, MNDMNRF consulted on a draft proposal entitled 'Ontario's Sustainable Bait Management Strategy'. The draft strategy proposed a new approach to bait management in Ontario including restricting the movement of bait to four Bait Management Zones.

A decision notice was posted on the Environmental Registry of Ontario in July 2020, and MNDMNRF is now making regulatory amendments to move forward with implementation of the updated policy.

Regulatory Impact Analysis:

This Regulatory Impact Analysis is scoped to the establishment of four new Bait Management Zones (BMZ) only, and associated requirements for both anglers and commercial bait operators. This is the only regulatory amendment being made to provincial regulations and applies specifically to Ontario Regulation 664/98 (Fish Licensing) under Ontario's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1997.

Other changes proposed in Ontario's Sustainable Bait Management Strategy will be implemented through regulatory amendments to the Ontario Fishery Regulations (SOR/2007-237) under the federal Fisheries Act or to existing Operational Policies.

The changes are intended to balance resource protection, by reducing risks to Ontario's fisheries and the businesses and industries they support, while also minimizing impacts to commercial bait operators and anglers. The use of bait is a vector for the potential spread of invasive species and fish diseases, and may also result in incidental movement of native fish species to waters where they do not occur naturally. All of this can disrupt fish community dynamics and jeopardize Ontario's recreational fisheries and the industries that rely on them, which are valued at more than $1.75 billion annually.

The new regulations do not impose any new fees, upfront capital costs or additional operating costs; however, licensees may incur a minor administrative cost associated with learning about the new BMZs and understanding how it pertains to their business.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
Administrative costs to business are expected to be minimal
Further Information:
Proposal Number:
Posting Date:
September 30, 2019
Summary of Proposal:
The Ministry is proposing to modernize Ontario's bait management approach to protect Ontario's vibrant fisheries and the industries that rely on them while maintaining flexibility for industry and anglers.
Contact Address:
MNRF - Fish and Wildlife Policy Branch - Fisheries Section
300 Water Street
5th Floor, North tower
Peterborough, ON
K9J 3C7
Effective Date:
January 1, 2022