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Let's Fish Ontario!

In the Ontario Fishing Regulations Summary when reference is made to fish by a name such as trout or salmon, keep in mind that the `species' is further divided into families.

If you are just entering the whole fishing scene you'll be further challenged in your identifications when species are grouped into descriptive headings such as Coarsefish and Panfish! Then, you'll find some interesting common names, often used locally or regionally, and names like `brookies', used almost as a term of endearment!

The lists following will help to keep your classifications in some order. For a particularly good reference book check out Freshwater Fishes of Canada, W. B. Scott and E. J. Crossman, it's an older publication, so may be most easily found at your local library. See the fish biology fact sheets for detailed information on each species.


  • sunfish, blue gill, rock bass, pumpkinseed, yellow perch, crappie, bullheads


  • Atlantic salmon, Pacific salmon

Pacific Salmon

  • coho, chinook, kokanee, pink


  • the mudminnow family, the sucker family, the stickleback family, the lake herring of the whitefish family, the darter subfamily, the trout-perch family, the sculpin family, crayfish, the minnow family except carp and goldfish


  • aurora trout, brook trout, brown trout, lake trout, rainbow trout, splake and backcross (hybrids of lake and brook trout)

Coarse Fish

  • the gar family, bowfin, the catfish family, burbot, eel, Freshwater drum or sheepshead

Common Names

  • Pike : northern pike, great northern pike, northern grass pike or jackfish
  • Walleye : Pickerel, yellow pickerel, doré or pikeperch
  • Smallmouth & largemouth bass : black bass and green bass
  • Muskellunge : maskinonge or musky (includes hybrids with pike)
  • Brook trout : speckled trout, specks or brookies
  • Rainbow trout : steelhead or Kamloops trout
  • Lake trout : grey trout or salmon trout
  • Splake : hybrid of lake trout and brook trout (stocked in inland waters)
  • Pacific salmon (4 species) : coho, chinook or king, kokanee and pink salmon
  • Atlantic salmon : ouananiche or land locked salmon
  • Crappie : calico bass
  • Bullhead : mudpout, catfish, barbotte, brown bullhead or mud cat
  • Burbot : ling or lawyer
  • Freshwater Drum : sheepshead