News release

Sportfishing Season Opens April 1

The 2021 sportfishing season opens April 1, and Nova Scotians are encouraged to enjoy sportfishing on one of the province’s many waterways.

“Sportfishing is very popular, can be enjoyed by all ages, and helps support jobs and economic activity in our rural communities,” said Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Keith Colwell. “By using proper catch and release techniques and limiting harvest, anglers can make sure this valuable sport is sustainable into the future.”

To help curb the spread of COVID-19, anglers need to adhere to current public health guidelines. They must limit contact with other people, remain two metres (six feet) away from others, adhere to current gathering limits, and practise good hand washing and other hygiene steps.

“While fishing, please remember to follow all public health measures as well as boating safety rules — use personal floatation devices and check conditions before venturing out on the water,” said Mr. Colwell.

Anglers should also check the latest public health restrictions before each sportfishing outing.

Licences can be purchased online via the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture website at or in person at Department of Lands and Forestry field offices and private vendors throughout the province.


Angling is a sport that benefits physical and mental health and supports our rural economy. We encourage our members and all licensed anglers to be safe around the water, follow public health guidelines and enjoy the great sportfishing opportunities Nova Scotia provides as the new season begins. Shannon Cunningham, interim president, Nova Scotia Federation of Anglers and Hunters

Quick Facts:

  • in 2020, over 76,000 sportfishing licences were sold; the highest participation since 1985
  • the rules for the 2021 season are outlined in the Anglers’ Handbook and Summary of Regulations, which is supplied to purchasers of fishing licences and is also available online
  • sportfishing generates more than $66 million annually for Nova Scotia’s economy

Additional Resources:

Anglers’ Handbook and Summary of Regulations:

Department of Lands and Forestry offices:

To get up-to-date public health information before a fishing outing, visit:

The Nova Scotia Federation of Anglers and Hunters: