Fishing License Information
Both Minnesota and Canadian fishing licenses are available to you on line, and we strongly advise you to buy them before you arrive. If you forget to do this, we will make every effort to do this on line here, but we are on dial up, which is slow at best, and sometimes our connections crash.
Some of the details of your choices
Non-resident Minnesota guests can obtain a 1, 3 or 7 day license or a 14 day married couple license. Any person 16 years or older needs their own license to fish. A trout stamp is required if you fish or possess trout taken while fishing in a Minnesota lake.
Canadian license options include an 8 day or seasonal length, plus a conservation license with lower possession limits.
Minnesota Fishing License
Fishing in the BWCA can be fun and exciting. Just being out in the canoe floating on the lake is relaxing and if your outing produces a catch of fish, that is a bonus. Minnesota requires all anglers age 16 and older, Resident and Non-Resident, to possess a license if they are fishing while in the canoe or standing on shore (this includes holding a rod rigged with live bait or artificial tackle because it looks like you are fishing).
Listed below is the link to the Minnesota DNR website where you can research fishing license fees, regulations and what types of fish you could catch while on your trip. Predominant species are Walleye, Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike and Lake Trout. Other species could be Brook Trout, Rainbow Trout, Splake, Perch or Bluegill, but these are less prevalent.
Canadian Fishing License
BEFORE purchasing a Canadian Fishing license you MUST apply for and receive your RABC (remote area border crossing) permit. This permit is required to enter Canada from a remote location (this means you will NOT be driving into Canada and clearing customs at a customs station). If you are denied the RABC then then there is no need to purchase the Canadian fishing license since you will not be going to Canada.
Here is the link for the RABC application:
You will need to buy your Canadian Outdoors card (good for 3 years, so always keep it with your fishing licenses) and your Canadian fishing license on-line. There is no place in the United States to purchase this license. If your trip is taking you to Quetico you can purchase your license from the Ranger when you check in for your Quetico trip.
Here is the link for the Canadian Outdoors Card and Fishing License applications:
Be sure to read and follow the instructions carefully and be hooked up to a printer at the time you are filling out the application. The Outdoors Card will be mailed to you but you will need to print out the receipt of that and the fishing license because a fishing license will NOT be mailed to you.
Take a look at our Fishing page to get an idea of tackle for each species of fish. The difference between a full license and a conservation license is the number of fish you can have in your possession at any one time. You may find the conservation license is all you need since that will allow you enough fish for your dinner.
Predominant species of fish: Walleye, Lake Trout, Northern Pike and Smallmouth Bass.
(if you bring your own canoe from another state)
All canoes used on Minnesota waters must have a license attached to the hull. Minnesota recognizes licenses from all other states, but if your state does not require canoe licenses you will have to stop and buy one in Minnesota.