Tidal and freshwater (Diadromous)

Atlantic salmon

Maritimes Region Salmon Fishing Areas (SFAs) 23 in New Brunswick and 19 to 22 in Nova Scotia

Salmon angling seasons in all SFAs in the Maritimes Region (SFA 19-23) are closed due to conservation concerns with the exception of three rivers (Middle, Baddeck and North rivers) in SFA 19 (Cape Breton East).

In the Middle, Baddeck and North rivers, salmon anglers may only catch and release using single hook barbless artificial flies.

Changes to recreational salmon seasons and daily limits may be found in the Maritimes Orders Registry.

Atlantic salmon
Photo Credit: Tom Moffatt, Atlantic Salmon Federation

Atlantic salmon
Photo Credit: Charles Cusson, Atlantic Salmon Federation

Atlantic sturgeon

Atlantic sturgeon

Season Dates

Closed June 1 to June 30 in inland and tidal waters.

Limits

  • The minimum Atlantic sturgeon size that may be retained is 130cm (measured from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail).
  • There is no daily Atlantic sturgeon limit by angling, but anglers are strongly encouraged to release all sturgeon due to conservation concerns.

Licensing

A provincial angling licence is required to angle for any species in inland waters.

Status

In 2011, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) assessed Atlantic sturgeon as threatened. To date, there has been no decision by Government to formally list Atlantic sturgeon under the Species at Risk Act.

Eel

Eel
Photo Credit: Susan Heaslip, DFO

Season Dates

Seasons vary by gear type and location.

  • Angling is open year-round in tidal waters.
  • In inland waters, angling for eels is open if there is an open fishery for salmon, trout, or smallmouth bass.
  • Fishing with spears is open from September 1 – November 15 in tidal waters in New Brunswick, and year-round in tidal waters in Nova Scotia, but closed year-round in all inland waters in the Maritimes Region.

Limits

  • The daily eel bag and possession limit is 10.
  • The minimum eel size that may be retained is 35cm.

Licensing

No licence is required for angling or spearing in tidal waters. A general provincial fishing licence is required to angle in the inland waters of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Status

In 2012 the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) assessed AMerican eel as threatened. To date there has been no decision by Government to list AMerican eel under the Species at Risk Act.

Gaspereau

Gaspereau
Photo Credit: Heather Bowlby, DFO

Season Dates

New Brunswick

Inland waters and tidal waters flowing into and bordering the Bay of Fundy

  • Angling: Open in inland waters provided a sport fish season is open in those waters
  • Dip nets: Open January 1 to June 30 in inland and tidal waters. Weekly close time for dip nets from 12:00 PM each Friday to 8:00 AM the following Sunday.

Nova Scotia

Colchester and Cumberland Counties
  • Inland waters except the Shubenacadie River: Close time from 2:00 PM each Friday to 2:00 PM on the following Sunday
  • Shubenacadie River from the CN Railway Bridge in East Milford upstream to the mouth of Grand Lake: Closed from 8:00 AM each Friday to 8:00 AM on the following Sunday
Kings and Hants Counties
  • Tidal waters (except that portion of the Gaspereau River identified in the next bullet and that portion of Hants County west of the West Hants Municipal boundary): Closed from 8:00 AM each Saturday to 8:00 AM on the following Monday
  • Gaspereau River (tidal waters, inside of straight lines drawn from Soldiers Creek at grid reference 398902 4998269, thence to Boot Island at grid reference 400649 4999399, thence to Oak Island at grid reference 400397 4997235. Refer to map Wolfville 21/H1): Closed from 9:30 PM each Tuesday to 5:30 AM the following Thursday and from 8:00 AM each Saturday to 8:00 AM on the following Monday
  • Inland waters except the Gaspereau River and that portion of Hants County west of the West Hants municipal boundary: Closed from 9:30 PM each Friday to 5:30 AM on the following Monday
  • Gaspereau River, Kings County (inland waters): Close time from 9:30 PM each Friday to 5:30 AM on the following Monday and from 9:30 PM each Tuesday to 5:30 AM the following Thursday
Digby County
  • Inland and tidal waters: Closed from 8:00 AM each Friday to 8:00 AM on the following Sunday
Yarmouth County
  • Inland and tidal waters (exceptions below): Closed from 8:00 AM each Friday to 8:00 AM on the following Sunday
  • Tusket River inland waters: Closed from 8:00 AM each Tuesday to 8:00 AM each Wednesday and from 8:00 AM each Friday to 8:00 AM on the following Sunday
  • Tusket River tidal waters: Closed from 8:00 AM each Thursday to 8:00 AM on the following Sunday
  • Annis River, inland waters downstream from Salmon Lake: Closed from 8:00 AM each Thursday to 8:00 AM on the following Sunday
  • Annis River, inland waters upstream from Salmon Lake and including Salmon Lake: Closed from 8:00 AM each Sunday to 8:00 AM on the following Wednesday
  • Annis River, tidal waters: Closed from 8:00 AM each Thursday to 8:00 AM on the following Sunday
  • Belleville (Kiack) Brook, inland waters: Closed from 8:00 AM each Thursday to 8:00 AM on the following Sunday
  • Big Sluice Salt Bay, tidal waters inside of a straight line drawn from grid reference 264967 4855126 at the northern end of Roberts Island to grid reference 264495 4855284 at the southern end of Rocco Point and the tidal waters of Eel lake, Yarmouth County. Refer to map Tusket 20 P/13: Closed from 8:00 AM each Thursday to 8:00 AM on the following Sunday
  • Argyle River, inland waters: Closed from 8:00 AM each Friday to 8:00 AM on the following Monday
Shelburne County
  • Inland waters: Closed from 8:00 AM each Saturday to 8:00 AM on the following Monday, from 10:00 PM on Monday to 5:00 AM on Tuesday, from 10:00 PM on Tuesday to 5:00 AM on Thursday, from 10:00 PM on Thursday to 5:00 AM on Friday, and from 10:00 PM on Friday to 5:00 AM on Saturday
  • Tidal waters: Closed from 8:00 AM each Friday to 8:00 AM the following Monday
Queens and Lunenburg Counties
  • Tidal waters: Closed from 8:00 AM each Friday to 8:00 AM on the following Sunday
  • Inland waters of Queens County: Closed from 9:30 PM to 8:00 AM each day from Sunday to the following Thursday and from 9:30 PM each Thursday to 8:00 AM the following Sunday
  • Inland waters of Lunenburg County: Closed from 8:00 AM each Friday to 8:00 AM on the following Sunday
Cape Breton County
  • Inland and tidal waters of the Mira River: Close time from 8:00 AM each Monday to 8:00 AM the following Wednesday from March 15 to May 31 and closed from January 1 to March 14 and June 1 to December 31
Victoria County
  • Tidal waters inside a straight line drawn from grid reference 697606 5210079 then to grid reference 700140 5210163 then to grid reference 709656 5191949 then to grid reference 710369 5171578 and then to grid reference 701630 5165717. Refer to map Dingwall 11 K/16 and Ingonish 11 K/09: Closed from 8:00 AM each Friday to 8:00 AM on the following Sunday
Nova Scotia – general
  • Inland and tidal waters of Nova Scotia not referred to in above descriptions: Closed from 8:00 AM each Friday to 8:00 AM on the following Sunday

Gear Restrictions

Recreational fishing for gaspereau is permitted by angling and with dip nets.

Limits

The daily gaspereau bag and possession limit for angling and dip netting is 20.

Licensing

No licence is required for dip netting in inland waters (except in the inland waters of the Saint John River) or in tidal waters. A general provincial fishing licence is required to angle in the inland waters of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Smelt

Smelt
Photo Credit: D.M. Campbell, DFO

Recreational fishing for smelt is permitted by angling and with dip nets. Spear fishing is allowed in tidal waters only.

Season Dates

New Brunswick

Inland waters
  • Angling: Open from April 1 to September 30 provided a sport fish season is open in those waters
  • Dip nets: Open from April 1 to May 31
  • Spears: Closed all year
Tidal waters
  • Angling: Open from August 1 to May 31
  • Dip nets: Open from April 1 to May 31
  • Spears: Open all year
Exceptions
  • Fishing for smelt by angling and with dip nets in the inland waters of Lake Utopia, Charlotte County is prohibited all year
  • Fishing for smelt with dip nets in the inland waters flowing into East Grand Lake, York County is prohibited all year.

Nova Scotia

Inland waters
  • Angling: Open from April 1 to September 30 provided a sport fish season is open in those waters
  • Dip nets: Open April 1 to June 15
  • Spears: Closed all year
Tidal waters
  • Angling: Open August 1 to May 31
  • Dip nets: Open April 1 to June 15
  • Spears: Open all year
Exceptions
  • In the inland waters and tidal waters of the Kennetcook River, Meander River, Herbert River, St. Croix River, Gaspereau River and Avon River where fishing for smelt with dip nets is closed on Thursday, Friday and Saturday each week (12:00 midnight each Wednesday until 12:00 midnight the following Saturday).
  • Fishing for smelt with dip nets is closed on Friday, Saturday and Sunday each week (12:00 midnight each Thursday until 12:00 midnight the following Sunday) in all other inland waters and tidal waters of NS.
  • Fishing for smelt with dip nets or spears is prohibited all year in the inland and tidal waters flowing into Jeddore Harbour and Musquodoboit Harbour, Halifax County and all inland and tidal waters flowing into Lingan Bay, Cape Breton County.
  • Angling for smelt by jigging is prohibited from April 1 to June 15 in the tidal waters of the Kennetcook River, Meander River, Herbert River, St. Croix River and Avon River.

Limits

New Brunswick

The daily smelt bag and possession limit for angling, dip netting and spearing is 60.

Exceptions

The daily smelt bag and possession limit for angling from January 1 to March 31 in boundary waters between New Brunswick and the State of Maine is 200.

Nova Scotia

  • The daily smelt bag and possession limit for dip netting is 30.
  • The daily smelt bag and possession limit for angling and spearing is 60, except 24 when angling in Grand Lake, Halifax and Hants County from January 1 to September 30.

Licensing

  • No licence is required when fishing in tidal waters.
  • A provincial licence is required when angling in inland waters.

Striped bass

Striped bass
Photo Credit: Meghan Wilson, DFO

The following rules apply when fishing the inland and tidal (coastal) waters of Nova Scotia from Cape North in Cape Breton along the Atlantic Coast and the waters of the Bay to the border between New Brunswick and the State of Maine.

Season Dates

Inland waters

Open season corresponds to the longest open season for sport fish (salmon, trout, landlocked salmon, and smallmouth bass).

Tidal waters

Open year-round.

Exceptions

Closed from April 1 to June 30 (inclusive) on the Annapolis River, NS from Hebbs Landing near Ray Brook upstream to the highway bridge at Lawrencetown.

Gear Restrictions

Angling only

Exceptions

From May 10 to June 20 (inclusive), only artificial fly and unbaited lures with a single hook may be used when angling in the waters of the Shubenacadie River downstream from the CN Railway Bridge at East Milford to its confluence with the Stewiacke River and in the waters of the Stewiacke River downstream from the highway bridge (Pollack Bridge) in Stewiacke East to its confluence with the Shubenacadie River.

Limits

The daily Striped bass bag and possession limit is one which must be 68 cm in length or longer (measured from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail).

Exceptions

Catch and release only from May 10 to June 20 (inclusive) in the waters of Grand Lake and the Shubenacadie River downstream to its confluence with the Stewiacke River and in the waters of the Stewiacke River downstream from the highway bridge (Pollack Bridge) in Stewiacke East to its confluence with the Shubenacadie River.

Licensing

  • No licence required when fishing in tidal waters.
  • A licence from the respective province is required when angling in inland waters.
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