Laws & Regulations

As of July 1, 2015 the inspection, compliance and enforcement functions from several provincial government departments came together under Nova Scotia Environment.

For the laws and regulations concerning the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, see below.

Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act

This act is the primary piece of legislation for the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture. It gives authority for most of the Department’s functions and activities. These include: recreational fishing, sea plant harvesting, training and development, licensing of buyers and processors, aquaculture, the Fisheries and Aquaculture Loan Board, and enforcement.

To download the Act, click and coastal resources.pdf.

To download the Act's regulations, click

Fish Harvester Organizations Support Act

This new act and regulations, proclaimed on April 1, 2013, provide the tools for inshore fishers to strengthen their organizations. It enables accredited fisheries organizations to collect mandatory dues from license holders.

To download the Act, click

To download the Act's regulations, click .

To download the FHOSA FAQ, click here

NS Fish Harvester Organization Membership Application forms

Fish Buyers Licensing and Enforcement Regulations

These regulations outline the requirements for commercial fish buyers licences.

To download the regulations, click

Fish Inspection Regulations

These regulations provide the rules for fish processing facilities.

To download the regulations, click

Health Protection Act (Food Safety)

The act outlines food safety requirements for all establishments that handle food for public consumption.

To download the Act, click

To download the regulations, click

Maritime Provinces Fishery Regulations

These federal regulations govern recreational fish species. They outline how many fish can be caught, where fish can be caught, and at what time of year.

To download the federal regulations, click

Sportfishing Licencing Regulations

These provincial regulations outline the types, fees and terms of licences for sportfishing in Nova Scotia as well as provides information on licences for persons with disabilities, sportfishing weekends and more.

To download these regulations, click 

Anglers' Handbook and Summary of Regulations

This handbook provides all the rules and regulations regarding sport fishery in Nova Scotia.

Download the Nova Scotia Anglers' Handbook & Summary of Regulations:

Please note:

Special Bass Management Area (page 38)
Lake Aylesford including Loon Lake and Loon Lake Channel, Kings County
Apr 1 to Dec 31, bag limit three (3) bass, maximum length 35 cm (13.8 in) except from May 1 to Jun 15, no smallmouth bass may be retained, night fishing is permitted.

Winter Angling Opportunities (page 50)
Lake Egmont is no longer open to winter angling and closes on Sep 30.

Questions about this guide may be directed to:

Debbie White
Phone: 902-485-5056

Regulation Maps:

Fishing Licence vendors and report card can be found on the Licensing and Permits page.

Atlantic Salmon Regulations

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is responsible for the management of Atlantic salmon in Nova Scotia. The following federal regulations govern salmon. They outline how many fish can be caught, where fish can be caught, and at what time of year.The Province of Nova Scotia is responsible for issuing Atlantic salmon licences.

Download the 2020 Salmon Angling Information and licence fees here

For all NS government legislation, click

For all NS government regulation, click