Mississauga is home to one of the best salmon & trout fisheries in North America!
Discover one of the finest fishing destinations in the world. Salmon and Trout enthusiasts travel here from afar in search of world records and fishing fame.
Book a charter from Port Credit onto Lake Ontario, cast from the shore or wade into the stream and fish for Rainbow trout, Brown trout, Lake trout and Chinook salmon and Coho salmon. Atlantic salmon will be returning to the Credit River to spawn this year for the first time in over 100 years.
And after a rewarding day on the water, experience Mississauga’s incredible dining selection, lively entertainment options and unparalleled shopping.
Plan a memorable fishing trip in Mississauga and book your hotel today — the salmon are here, you should be too!
FISHING, CONSERVATION & THE DERBY(Reprinted from the 2012-2013 Mississauga Visitor Guide, page 56 - Read the full Visitor Guide here)
“People are often shocked to learn that some of the best salmon fishing in North America takes place in Lake Ontario. Each year, thousands of sport fishing enthusiasts ply Lake Ontario’s waters from Whitby to Niagara Falls in search of Chinook and coho salmon. Efforts are underway to reintroduce native Atlantic salmon and there are well-established populations of rainbow trout, brown trout and lake trout. Charters that supply all the equipment you need are easy to book and they provide a great way to see our city by the lake.” – Brian Lambie, Co-Founder PCSTA
“Atlantic salmon are an important part of the natural and cultural heritage of the Lake Ontario basin. Their ancestors migrated from saltwater in the post-glacial period and adapted to freshwater inland. They require cool fast waters and clean habitat; as an indicator species, their survival is solid evidence that an aquatic ecosystem is healthy.”
– Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
Geographical features and natural attributes define a real sense of place and history for a city. For Mississauga, the Credit River and Lake Ontario are two of those majestic, defining features.
Fed by two main sources — one from Orangeville north of Mississauga, the other from Erin to the west, the Credit River forms at the Forks of the Credit Provincial Park near Caledon, Ontario after separately flowing over the escarpment with two beautiful falls and then meandering south and through Mississauga, emptying into Lake Ontario at Port Credit.
Native people had been attracted to the Credit River Valley over thousands of years. In the 1720s, the French established many trading posts around Lake Ontario, one located near the mouth of the Credit River, so named after the custom of trading with the Mississaugas Native peoples on credit. The rich, fertile soil surrounding the Credit River Valley then attracted settlers to the area which was to eventually become Mississauga.
“Atlantic salmon once thrived in Lake Ontario and were an abundant natural resource for Aboriginal communities and early settlers…Prior to European settlement, it is estimated 25,000 to 70,000 tonnes of adult Atlantic salmon returned to spawn annually in North America…As the area was developed, farming, logging, and the construction of dams contributed to the reduction and degradation of critical habitat, and overfishing took its toll. By the late 1800s, Atlantic salmon had disappeared from Lake Ontario and its tributaries…In 2006, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters joined with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources to launch the first phase of Bring Back the Salmon, also known as the Lake Ontario Atlantic Salmon Restoration Program, with the help of major sponsor Australia’s Banrock Station Wines, the LCBO, the Canadian Sportfishing Industry Association and Fleming College. In May, 2011, Bring Back the Salmon launched Phase II with support from new title sponsor, Ontario Power Generation, and more than 40 partners who have contributed to the success of this historic effort to restore self-sustaining populations of Atlantic Salmon to Lake Ontario and its tributaries.”
– The Lake Ontario Atlantic Salmon Restoration Program BringBackTheSalmon.ca.
To further encourage salmon and other coldwater fish species to spawn in the Credit River, and to establish strong populations of these fish in Lake Ontario, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and partners have undertaken a number of initiatives such as:
- Planting trees along river banks to prevent eroded soil sediments, farm nutrients and other pollutants from entering the water. The additional shade also lowers water temperatures.
- Improved fencing to prevent livestock from entering streams.
- Making it easy for fish to swim around culverts, dams and other barriers to migration.
- Altering dams so that water downstream is cooler.
– Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
Another important partner in this process is the Credit River Angler’s Association (CRAA ). The CRAA is a watershed group working on the entire watershed and all species within. The CRAA ’s main focus is on sport fish, (trout, Atlantic and Pacific salmon and bass), but the work they do benefits everyone and everything in the Credit River valley — from birds to animals to other valley users through carefully planned conservation work. CRAA’s foremost objectives are a pristine river, with stable flows, reduced silt and flooding, a healthy valley with dense forest cover and improved groundwater.
The CRAA has completed over $500,000 in stream rehabilitation over the past 13 years with 117,000 native trees planted, stocking of over 1.5 million steelhead, brown trout and Atlantic salmon, countless stream rehabilitation works and over 25,000 volunteer hours logged. Funding from the MNR’s CFWIP, MNR’s Fish and Wildlife Budget, the Toronto Sportsmen’s Club — Great Ontario Salmon Derby, Environment Canada’s Eco-Action 2000, Ontario’s Trillium Fund, the City of Mississauga, Mayor Hazel McCallion Golf Tournament, CRAA ’s fundraising, Port Credit and Promenade Launch Program, Shell Canada, local corporations and donations from the Credit Valley Conservation, MNR and Home Depot continue to help the CRAA reach their goals. CRAA.on.ca
In 2010, The Port Credit Salmon and Trout Association, (PCSTA ) was created to further nurture and promote the historic migratory salmon fishery on Lake Ontario. In March, 2012, the PCSTA released 10,000 young Chinook salmon into a special pen in Port Credit Harbour. Kept in their pens for approximately three weeks, the salmon were then released into Lake Ontario.
Thanks to all of these efforts the Credit River today boasts huge runs of Chinook salmon and steelhead as well as some coho, pink and Atlantic salmon. The steelhead run is estimated to be over 10,000 fish every year. The steelhead first enter the river in late August with fresh fish still available in mid-May. The Credit’s steelhead are currently 90% wild fish and that number has been steadily increasing due to the work of the Credit River Anglers Association (CRAA ).
PCSTA Co-founder Wayne Andrew of Andrew’s Charters adds:
“Lake Ontario is a major destination for sport fishing with the area around Mississauga and Toronto particularly good for salmon fishing. Port Credit/Bronte ranked third and Toronto ranked seventh amongst the top twenty Pacific Salmon Fishing destinations published by Outdoor Canada. The Chinook salmon industry (around 25,000 adults every year) on Lake Ontario is estimated to contribute about $180 million annually to the province’s economy. Port Credit is home to a large fleet of salmon fishing boats and charter operations, as well as the Great Ontario Salmon Derby, the largest inland water sport fishing competition in North America. Although conditions may vary from year to year, trophy salmon for the Great Ontario Salmon Derby typically weigh in at about 30-32 lbs. for the weekly prize and approach 40 lbs for the grand prize. The official World Records are 79.2 pounds for an Atlantic Salmon caught in 1928, 33.4 pounds for a Coho Salmon caught on Sept 27, 1989 and 97.4 pounds for a Chinook salmon caught on May 17,1985. The largest caught in Lake Ontario was 46.4 lbs.”
Several parks and conservation areas along the Credit River offer angling opportunities during the open season for trout and salmon. Erindale Park, situated in the middle of Mississauga, is open to salmon and trout fishing all year and produces a lot of fish. It is not uncommon to see 250 anglers at this part of the river when a big run is on, but there is plenty of room for all.
Thanks to the work of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, the Credit River Anglers Association, the Port Credit Salmon and Trout Association and the Lake Ontario Atlantic Salmon Restoration Program, as well of many other organizations and volunteers, the Credit River is now a well-protected and thriving natural resource.
Environmental laws have ensured that the entire river valley is free from development and is left in a natural state to be enjoyed by all. Deer, coyotes, fox and other wildlife live in the valley. You would not even know you were in a city at all when you are by the river.
For more information about fishing in the Credit River visit the Credit River Anglers Association (CRAA) web site www.craa.on.ca.
For more information about the Ontario Great Salmon Derby, please visit www.greatontariosalmonderby.ca