COVID-19 — restrictions and closures that could impact fishing and hunting
Last modified on June 19th, 2020 at 10:52 am
Some restrictions have been lifted across the province, per the government announcement on May 14, and more will be lifted in the days to come. However, some municipalities and Conservation Authorities still have restricted access to their lands, and many retailers that usually offer fishing and hunting licences may not yet be open to the public.
Below we will continue to update the list of closures across the province in an attempt to keep you informed, while adding updates on the change in restrictions as we are made aware of them. This list will change daily, so please check back often.
This is not an exhaustive list at this time and details of this list are subject to change on a regular basis. If you know of any closures/restrictions and reopenings not included on this page, please email the details to email@example.com. If you represent a Conservation Authority, a municipality, etc. and would like to have your closures listed here, we encourage you also to please let us know by sending a note to the e-mail above. Thank you for your help!
Please send non-COVID inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org and your e-mail will be directed to the appropriate contact.
GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCEMENT (MAY 14, 2020) — The provincial government announced on May 14 that marinas, boat clubs and public boat launches may open for recreational use. Please note that boat launches and marinas will be permitted to open as of May 16, while many other things, including rod and gun clubs, may open as of May 19. Please see the province’s media release here for more details.
Crown land camping — UPDATE
The Ontario government has announced that Crown land camping will reopen on Monday, June 1. Read more: https://news.ontario.ca/ene/en/2020/05/backcountry-camping-available-at-ontario-parks-and-on-crown-lands-starting-june-1.html]
Ontario Provincial Parks — UPDATE
All Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves are now open to the public for limited day-use access, and more amenities are being reopened in a phased approach.
As of June 1, limited backcountry camping is available at Ontario Parks, including access points, paddle and portage routes and hiking trails. Those with reservations made for backcountry camping beginning June 1 and onward will be allowed to proceed.
As of June 12, beach access will begin to open at select Parks. Check on the Parks page at www.ontarioparks.com for details on what activities are available that the park you plan to visit.
As of June 15, Ontario Parks Seasonal Campsite Program will be open and those already enrolled will have access to their sites.
As of June 22, more campgrounds will begin to gradually open more facilities and services (such as washrooms, drinking water, and trailer sanitation stations). Additionally, all remaining backcountry camping will reopen at this time.
For full details go to www.ontarioparks.com
NOTE: While marinas are permitted to open as of May 16th, some businesses may still have closures or restrictions in place.
Boat Launches and public spaces
NOTE: While public boat launches are permitted to open as of May 16th, some municipalities may still have closures or restrictions in place. Updates will be added below as we receive them.
- Township of Alnwick/Haldimand: Boat launches have reopened
- Township of Archipelago: All municipal boat launches and the Pointe au Baril Wharf have reopened.
- Township of Asphodel-Norwood: All Trent River access points reopened as of May 16.
- Assiginack: Boat launches have reopened to the public.
- Barrie: Marina and boat launches have reopened to the public.
- Belle River: Marina and boat launches have reopened to the public.
- City of Belleville: All municipal boat launches in Belleville are now reopened to the public.
- Birch Island/Whitefish River First Nation: Horseshoe Bay Boat Launch, J&G Marina, Still Water Marina, and Birch Island Marina boat launches are all closed to the public
- City of Brockville: All municipal boat launches in Brockville, and the CRCA launch at Henry St have now reopened to the public.
- Municipality of Brighton: Ontario St and Bay St boat launches have reopened to the public.
- Carling Township: Municipal boat launches closed.
- Clarington: Newcastle and Bowmanville municipal boat launches are closed.
- Municipality of Chatham-Kent: Wheatley Harbour Authority boat ramp and Mitchel’s Bay Marina are closed to the public.
- Town of Colchester: Colchester Harbour has reopened to the public with new safety precautions in place.
- Cornwall: Boat launches and marina have reopened to the public.
- Township of Douro-Dummer: Municipal boat launches have reopened to the public.
- Fort Erie: Waterfront Park boat launch has reopened to the public and Bertie Boating Club boat launch is assessable to Club members only.
- Espanola: Boat launches have reopened to the public.
- Town of Georgina: Town boat launches have reopened.
- Township of Georgian Bay: All municipal boat launches are now reopened to the public.
- Town of Goderich: All municipal boat launches have reopened.
- Municipality of Havelock Belmont Methuen: Boat launches have reopened to the public.
- Greater Napanee: Municipal boat launches and the Hay Bay launch have reopened, with the exception of the Water St. launch.
- City of Kingston: All municipal boat launches are now reopened to the public, while marinas remain closed.
- City of Kawartha Lakes: All municipal boat launches have reopened to the public.
- Kincardine: Boat launches have reopened to the public, and Yacht Club marina is now reopened to KYC members.
- Town of LaSalle: LaSalle boat launch has reopened to the public — fishing from municipal property is permitted.
- Town of Leamington: Municipal boat launch and marina have reopened to the public.
- Township of Leeds and Grenville County: All municipal-owned boat ramps have been reopened. Public marinas remain closed at this time.
- Little Current: Boat launches run by the Espanola Game and Fish Protective Association are reopened to the public.
- Loyalist Township: Municipal boat launches have reopened to the public.
- Municipality of McDougall: Municipal boat launches have reopened to the pubic (with amended by-law restrictions), and the use of George Hunt Memorial Wharf is restricted to McDougall residents and ratepayers only.
- Township of McKellar: Municipal boat launches have reopened to the public.
- City of Mississauga: Marinas and boat launches have reopened, except the launch at Marina Park (which is closed due to high water).
- Kingsville: Cedar Island marina and boat launch has reopened to the public.
- Town of Midland: Pete Peterson Park boat launch has reopened to the public.
- Township of Georgian Bay: Municipal boat launches have reopened to the public.
- New Glasgow: Port Glasgow marina and launch ramps have reopened to the public.
- Muskoka Lakes: Muskoka Marinas is closed to the public. Municipal boat launches and marinas have reopened to the public.
- Niagara Falls: Chippawa Public boat launch has been reopened to the public. Marinas and boat launches operated by Niagara Parks have also reopened to the public.
- Northern Bruce Peninsula: Burma Road, Cameron Lake, Dyer’s Bay, Lion’s Head Harbour, Miller Lake, and Tobermory Harbour boat launches all closed to the public.
- North Bay: Marina and municipal boat launches have reopened to the public.
- Orillia: Couchiching Beach Park and Collins Drive boat launches have reopened to the public.
- Township of Otonabee-South Monaghan: Campbelltown Road, Keene/Indian River, Michael’s Crescent, Wood Duck Drive, Bolin Road and Birdsall Line boat launches are open.
- City of Ottawa: Boat launches have reopened to the public
- Owen Sound: Municipal boat launches are reopened to the public as of May 16.
- Town of Parry Sound: Boat launches have reopened to the public except for the Salt Dock boat launch which is undergoing repairs.
- Town of Penetanguishene: Boat launch has reopened to the public, but the wharf remains closed.
- City of Peterborough: Boat launches have reopened to the public
- Port Colborne: Public launches, including Sugarloaf marina, are closed.
- Port Dover: Port Dover marina has reopened to the public.
- Port Hope: Boat launches have reopened to the public
- Port Rowan: Marina closed to the public.
- Port Stanley: Public launch is closed off to the public.
- Prince Edward County: Municipal boat launches have reopened, with the exception of the Wellington boat launch. Marinas remain closed.
- Township of Rideau Lakes: Township owned boat launches have reopened to the public.
- City of Quinte West: All municipal boat launches are closed.
- Sarnia: Centennial Park boat launch is now reopened to the public.
- Municipality of Saugeen Shores: Boat launches and recreational fishing from municipal lands has reopened to the public.
- Township of Scugog: Boat launches and marinas have reopened to the public.
- Township of Selwyn: Boat launches have reopened to the public.
- Seguin Township: Boat launches have reopened to the public.
- Township of Severn: Boat launches have reopened to the public
- South Bruce Peninsula: Boat launches have reopened to the public, except for Bluewater Park which remains closed.
- City of Sudbury: All municipal boat launches are now reopened to the public.
- Township of Tay: Boat launch has reopened to the public.
- Municipality of Trent Hills: Public boat launches are now closed.
- Town of Victoria: Ogden Point Breakwater has reopened to the public
- West Grey County: Boat launches have reopened to the public
- City of Windsor: Public boat launches are now closed. Non-motorized boat launches at Stop 26 and Shanfield Shores have reopened. Lakeview Park Marina remains closed due to construction, and McKee boat launch remains closed due to high water levels.
Conservation Authority — UPDATES ON PREVIOUS CLOSURES
- Ausable Bayfield Conservation — ABCA trails and conservation lands are open for public use contingent on users following public health directions.
- Credit Valley Conservation — Visitors can now access trails within Island Lake, Upper Credit, Terra Cotta and Limehouse Conservation Areas, as well as Ken Whillans Resource Management Area, the Elora Cataract Trailway, and Silver Creek Conservation Area. Belfountain, Meadowvale and Rattray Marsh Conservation Areas, as well as the Cheltenham Badlands remain closed until further notice. Recreational activities are limited to walking, hiking, birdwatching, photography, cycling and shore fishing where permitted. Shore fishing is available in select locations within Island Lake Conservation Area and Ken Whillans Resource Management Area.
- Central Lake Ontario Conservation — All eight Conservation Areas are now open for trail use.
- Ganaraska Conservation Authority — GRCA’s Ganaraska Forest and conservation areas will open in phases. Staff are preparing to open all areas and the Ganaraska Forest to hiking on May 22, 2020; Phase 2 will allow non-motorized uses on May 29, followed by motorized and all uses by June 5; trails in the Millennium Conservation Area in Port Hope will become one way.
- Grand River Conservation Authority — Belwood Lake (Fergus), Conestogo Lake (Wallenstein), Guelph Lake (Guelph) and Rockwood (Rockwood) conservation areas will reopen for limited recreational activities. Laurel Creek (Waterloo) and Shade’s Mills (Cambridge) conservation areas are also open for limited day-use activities. Also, boat launches and docks have been reopened for visitors.
- Kawartha Conservation — Ken Reid Conservation Area, Windy Ridge Conservation Area, Pigeon River Headwaters and Durham East Cross Forest are now open. Fleetwood Creek remains closed.
- Halton Region Conservation — All of the Halton Regional Forest Tracts are open to the public. Crawford Lake, Hilton Falls, Rattlesnake Point, Mount Nemo and Kelso Summit (biking only) will be open to members and to the public, for paid access through a reservation system.
- Kettle Creek Conservation — Hiking trails at Dan Patterson Conservation Area, Kirk Cousins Conservation Area, and Union Pond Conservation Area will be open for hiking only. Fishing is permitted from shore from designated day-use areas. Lake Whittaker Conservation Area is not open for day-use at this time.
- Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority — Rogers Reservoir, Mabel Davis, Queen Street, Wesley Brooks, Bailey Ecological Park, Durham Regional Forest – Timbers Tract are open to visitors. Whitchurch, Pangman Springs, Tyrwhitt, Holland Landing, Durham Regional Forest (Brookdale, Norton, Roseville and the Main Tract), Beaver River Wetland, Thornton Bales, Scanlon Creek, and Sheppard’s Bush are open.
- Long Point Region Conservation Authority — Long Point Region Conservation Authority Conservation Areas and forest tracts without campgrounds will be open to the public for day-use activities.
- Maitland Conservation — Conservation Areas have reopened for limited day-use access.
- Mississippi Valley Conservation — All conservation areas that were previously closed are reopened.
- Niagara Peninsula Conservation — Many NPCA Conservation Areas are open for passive use, the list can be found at npca.ca/parks . The E.C. Brown Conservation Area boat launch is now open.
- Nottawasaga Bluffs Conservation Area — All conservation areas are now reopened to the public.
- Saugeen Valley Conservation — All day-use areas have reopened (for passive recreation only), as well as the campgrounds (for seasonal camping only – in particular for those with self-contained units as the facilities remain closed at this time).
Conservation Authorities — UPDATES ON RESTRICTED ACCESS
- Catfish Creek Conservation — Administration Centre closed, trails still open; the Springwater Conservation Area Day Use Area and Campground will not open as scheduled for trout fishing on April 25th. No fishing or boating is permitted until further notice; trout fishing will be allowed once the Conservation Area is able to open; the Annual Tim Horton’s Children Fishing Derby normally hosted on the Saturday of Mother’s Day Weekend has been postponed until 2021.
- Cataraqui Conservation — All conservation areas are reopened for passive use except the boardwalk at Marshlands Conservation Area, and the beaches at Gould Lake and Lyn Valley Conservation Areas. All Cataraqui Conservation boat ramps and water access points have reopened.
- Conservation Sudbury — Offices are closed while trials remain open for passive use.
- Crowe Valley Conservation — Office building closed to the public, conservation areas remain open.
- Essex Region Conservation — Hillman Marsh Conservation Area will be closed from May 1 – May 31 and Kopegaron Woods Conservation Area remains closed until May 31. Other conservation areas remain open for passive use.
- Grey Sauble Conservation Authority — Some properties are now open to the public, this list of open properties can be found at https://www.greysauble.on.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Open_Properties.pdf .
- Hamilton Conservation — Christie Lake, Dundas Valley, Eramosa Karst, Fifty Point, Fletcher Creek, Valens Lake, and Westfield Heritage Village have reopened for passive use.
- Otonabee Conservation — The Caves and the Caves Trail are closed at Warsaw Caves CA, several trails at Harold Town Ca are closed due to wet conditions, parking areas at Warsaw Caves and Selwyn Beach will remain closed. Squirrel Creek CA and Beavermead Campground are closed.
- Lakehead Region Conservation — Conservation areas open to the public but not being maintained.
- Lower Thames Conservation — Facilities are closed while all trails remain open.
- Lower Trent Conservation — All Conservation Areas and trails are open.
- Mattagami Region Conservation — Buildings and amenities all closed while trails remain open for passive use.
- North-Bay Mattawa Conservation — All but Mattawa Island an Elks Beach Conservation Areas are open. Beaches at Elks Beach, Eva Wardlaw and Mattawa Island are closed.
- Quinte Conservation (Beaver Meadow Wildlife Area, Deerock Lake CA, Depot Lakes, Flinton, Harry Smith, H.J. McFarland, H.R. Frink, Kingsford, Little Bluff, Macaulay Mountain, Massassauga Point, O’Hara Homestead and Conservation Area, Portland CA, Potter’s Creek, Price, Rutherford Stevens Lookout, Sheffield, Sidney, Vanderwater). Note: Buildings are closed while most trails remain open for passive use. Paid Parking has been removed until April 30, 2020. McFarland CA (Napanee) and Massassauga Point (Brockville) boat launches are closed to the public. Hunting and fishing allowances appear otherwise unaffected at this time. Depot Lake’s trails are open for passive recreational hiking.
- Raisin Region Conservation (Gray’s Creek Conservation Area, Cooper Marsh Conservation Area, Charlottenburgh Park). Note: Administration offices are closed while all trails remain open to the public; Gray’s Creek marina, docks and boat launch are closed. UPDATE: Gray’s Creek Marina has reopened.
- Rideau Valley Conservation (Baxter CA, Chapman Mills, Foley Mountain, Meisel Woods, Mill Pond, Motts Mills, Perth Wildlife Reserve, POrtland Bay, Richmond, Rideau Ferry, W.A. Taylor). Note: All buildings, washrooms, picnic tables, picnic areas, shelters, beaches benches and lookouts are closed; events such as the F3T Fly Fishing Film tour are cancelled; Baxter Conservation area gates will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m, and locked outside of these hours; Chapman Mills Conservation Area is closed to the public; all other conservation area trails remain open for passive use. UPDATE: Trails and boat launches are open at all RVCA Conservation Areas.
- Sault-Ste. Marie Region Conservation (Hiawatha Highlands CA, Mark’s Bay, Shore Ridges, Gros Cap). Note: Administrative offices are closed while all trials remain open for passive use; parking spaces at Mark’s Bay and Fort Creek Conservation Areas are also closed. All other conservation areas are open, while all trials remain open for walk-through use.
- St.Clair Conservation ( A.W. Campbell CA, Bridgeview, C. J. McEwen, Centennial, Park, Clark Wright, Coldstream, Crothers, Denning’s Memorial Grove, Esli Dodge, Highland Glen, Keith McLean, Lambton County Heritage Forest, Lorne C. Henderson, Marthaville Habitat Management Area, McKeough, Moore Habitat Management Area, Peers Wetland, Perch Creek Habitat Management Area, SCRCA Office, Shetland, St. Clair Region CA, Strathroy, Sydenham River Canoe Race Start, Warwick, Wawanosh). Note: All buildings and gates are closed, while trails remain open to the public; hunting and fishing allowances appear unaffected at this time; Highland Glen boat launch is now closed; camping at A.W. Campbell, Lorne C. Henderson and Warwick Conservation Areas is not permitted until further notice. UPDATE: Seasonal campers can begin enjoying overnight stays at the A.W. Campbell, Lorne C. Henderson and Warwick Conservation Areas on Friday, June 5th.
- South Nation Conservation (Buildings are closed. Two Creek Forest, Oschmann Forest, Robert Graham, Warwick Forest, J. Henry Tweed, W. E. Burton, Russell Recreational Trail, and Nokomis Park, Reveler Conservation areas remain open, while Cass Bridge, High Falls, Jessup’s Falls, St. Albert, McIntosh Park, Camp Sheldrick are still closed). UPDATE: Conservation Areas and boat launching sites are open to the public except for Camp Sheldrick CA and Oak Valley Pioneer Park CA.
- Toronto and Region Conservation (Albion Hills, Bathurst Glen Golf Course, Black Creek Pioneer Village, Heart Lake, Petticoat Creek). Note: All buildings, campgrounds, parks and parking lots closed; trails still open to the public; cycling in Albion Hills Conservation Park is not permitted; fishing is not permitted at this time.
- Upper Thames River Conservation (Fanshawe CA, Pittock, Wildwood). Note: All buildings are closed while trails remain open to the public. Fanshawe Conservation Area – please park in the parking lot in front of the Watershed Conservation Centre • Pittock Conservation Area (Woodstock) – visitors can walk in from the adjacent neighbourhood • Wildwood Conservation Area (St Marys) – please park in the parking lot next to the Visitors Centre. Note: Hunting and fishing allowances appear unaffected at this time.
National Wildlife Areas — COMPLETE CLOSURES
Canada’s national wildlife areas and migratory bird sanctuaries are closed to the public until further notice to reduce the spread of COVID19.
For updated information on national wildlife areas and migratory bird sanctuaries closures, visit https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/national-wildlife-areas/locations/covid-19-update-closure-effective-march-25-2020/questions-answers.html.
Nature Conservancy of Canada
UPDATE: The majority of properties in Ontario are now open to public access. Some properties remain closed, as they contain hazards. All properties on the Saugeen Bruce Peninsula are currently closed, and are tentatively scheduled to open June 1. We ask that you respect property closure signs until all properties can be safely reopened. Please practice safe physical distancing when on our properties and trails.
Visit: http://natureconservancy.ca for updates.
National Parks and National Historic Sites — CLOSED
Camping, group activities and events at all national parks, national historic sites, heritage canals and national marine conservation areas are suspended until at least May 31, 2020. For more information on these closures, click here and here. UPDATE: On May 14, the federal government announced that some national parks will resume limited operations in June. Source: 680 NEWS
Regional and County Forests — UPDATE
Dufferin County Forest and Trails — reopened
Halton Regional Forest — reopened
Limerick Community Forest — reopened to both non-motorized and motorized users
Northumberland County Forest — reopened
Norfolk County Forest — reopened
Regional and County Forests — RESTRICTED ACCESS
City of Ottawa Community Forests (Marlborough, Monaghan, Torbolton, South March Highlands, Carp Hills, and Cumberland): Closed except for passive use of trails. Individual hunting in the Marlborough remains open at this time. All users must observe physical distancing and other recommendations from Ottawa Public Health (https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/public-health-topics/social-distancing.aspx).
2020 Pelee Island Pheasant Hunt (Cancelled — Read story here from Ontario OUT of DOORS Magazine.)
Township of Billings (Banned smelt harvest on the Kagawong river, Manitoulin.)
Town of Blue Mountain: All municipal-owned property bordering the Beaver River is closed to the public. UPDATE: Blue Mountain closures can be found at https://www.thebluemountains.ca/covid-19-open-and-closed.cfm
Bruce Trail (All trail systems owned by Bruce County are closed to the public, including Carrick Tract Trails, Lindsay Tract Trails, Culross Tract Trails, Kinloss Tract Trails, Brant Tract Trails, Amabel Tract Trails, MTB Adventure Park, and the Bruce County Rail Trail). UPDATE: Some areas of the Bruce Trail are currently open for hiking (https://brucetrail.org/trail_changes/361). All other areas of the Bruce Trail remain closed.
Eels Creek (Rest area, between Woodview and Apsley, is closed to the public.)
Ganaraska River: UPDATE: Now open to the public
Hullett Provincial Wildlife Area: reopened
St. William Conservation Reserve: reopened
Whitefish River First Nation (COVID-19 Virus By-Law: The walleye spawning site at Whitefish Falls is fully closed. No one is permitted access to this site; the Swift Current fishing site is closed to the general public. Only members of Whitefish River First Nation my access this site for fishing, ensuring that they maintain physical distancing.)
Ramara: Fishing in the Lagoon City canal is prohibited from within a boat and from public property. UPDATE: Lagoon City Canals and beach, as well as boat launches are now open.
Millbrook: The Millbrook Trout Ponds are closed to the public.
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