Daily Limits Vs Possession: A Reminder To Those Who May Not Know

The days of a daily fish limit vs a possession limit “always” being different are pretty much over. Yes, there are some exceptions but for the most part, anglers NEED to understand the rules.

To quickly explain before we get to this news, a daily limit is the number of fish (designated by species) in which an angler may keep in a day. A possession limit is the total number of fish, from every day that an angler has fished, and that they have in their possession. This means “anywhere & everywhere”, be that on their boat, at home in a fridge or freezer etc. The number is additive, and they all count toward your possession. Hopefully, we explained that well enough.

We bring this up because a story was posted on our Fish’n Canada Facebook Fan Page by Allen Hadley (thanks Allen) where a Gordon G. Butson of Newmarket Ontario was fined for keeping more than the legal possession limit of Walleye. He was fishing on Mesomikenda Lake near the town of Gogama. Everything seemed on the up-and-up by Butson having 4 Walleye on his boat counting towards his personal limit. However, after a Conservation officer’s investigation, they found 4 more Walleye at Butson’s house (caught the previous day), thus making his possession of Walleye 8 fish: 4 over his limit for that area.

As stated in the 2021 Ontario fishing regs:

Possession limits are the same as one day’s catch limit except where otherwise specified. If you catch a fish after reaching the daily catch or possession limit for that species, the fish must be released immediately.

Experienced anglers usually know this reg and with any luck adhere to it. Inexperienced anglers need to know this reg and most definitely adhere to it… it’s the LAW!

An example of different catch vs. possession limits is:

Manitoulin Island – inland waters including Cockburn Island (check exceptions to Zone 10 regulations for lake specific restrictions)

Yellow perch – S-25; possession limit of 50, and C-12; possession limit of 25

The S stands for Sport license and the C is for Conservation license. The S-25 & C-12 represent daily limits while the possession limits are easy to understand. You need to look carefully throughout the regulations for the area you are fishing in.

Oh, and if you are wondering, Butson pleaded guilty and was fined $4,000 for possessing an over-limit of walleye and was issued an order prohibiting him from obtaining a fishing licence or engaging in any fishing activities in Ontario for two years.

Here is the MNRF post.

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