It’s About the Fish

Explore the abundant aquatic life of the 1000 islands!

The 1000 islands, joined by Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, is a world class fishery. Smallmouth bass, northern pike, and walleye attract anglers from all over the world, to name just a few of the trophy fish found in the region’s streams, rivers and lakes. 1000 Islands is a thriving ecosystem that sets the scene for many outdoor adventures and offers some of the best freshwater fishing in the world!

River History

The 775 mile long St. Lawrence River connects the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. This great waterway was vital to the exploration and development of Canada. During the early 16th century, Europeans first traveled the river in search of whales, creating settlements all along their route. The St. Lawrence River offered explorers and traders the only viable passage into the heart of the North American continent, and was the main route that pioneers used to explore Canada and set up a colonial empire that would pave the way for the great modern nation.

Man holding a Carp

Fishing

Fishing is among the most popular attractions in the 1000 Islands, thanks to the abundance of aquatic life. Different species of salmon, pike, trout, carp, perch, muskie and bass all swim through these waters. Fishing can be a wonderful way to unwind and observe nature, while learning about aquatic environments. A time-honoured local tradition, you can expect to find fishermen and women practicing the sport even during the colder months. A little ice won’t get in the way of enjoying one of their favourite recreational activities.

Fishing charters and guides can be found almost anytime of the year, except for several winter months when the fish are left to spawn and grow. The summer months are the most popular time for fishing, making it an ideal activity to enjoy the outdoors. Most charters operate between April and November on the St. Lawrence River. For the experienced fishermen looking for a particular catch, there are specialized charters for different species of fish according to the season during which the fish can be found.

Little girl having fun ice fishing

Ice Fishing

Whether you’re a first timer or an old pro, the waters of the 1000 Islands are waiting for you. If you’re interested in ice fishing, but aren’t ready to go it on your own, professional guides can help you through the basics and prepare you to make your own catch. Don’t let the colder temperatures keep you away. From fishing lodges to cabins and cottages, there are plenty of places to warm up on shore, which makes a fishing trip one of the perfect Ontario getaways. For those who prefer to stay a bit closer to the action, you can have your own private fishing hut right on the ice!

Each year, there are a number of ice fishing derbies held around the 1000 Islands, attracting people of all ages who are hoping to catch the big one.

Observing

To get a fish’s perspective on the underwater world, check out the Aquatarium. You can walk through an underwater tunnel where you’ll be surrounded by many species of fish, observe aquarium tanks, learn about the diverse environment of the St. Lawrence River, and even explore an old shipwreck! The Aquatarium offers many activities for kids, including hands on learning and discovery. This discovery centre offers interactive exhibits for kids of all ages to learn about the 1000 Islands region.

Some people take chartered fishing trips in pursuit of the big catch, others go for the experience, while others just enjoy watching and observing. Beginners and experts alike can enjoy the water’s tranquility, endless shorelines and rich history of the 1000 Islands.

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