Where To Fish
Angling Opportunities in the Conservation Halton Watershed
The Conservation Halton watershed provides a wide range of angling opportunities. From Lake Ontario and watershed streams and rivers, to some of the established conservation areas that Conservation Halton manages, including streams, small ponds, and large reservoirs. Some watershed streams provide habitat for resident coldwater species such as brook trout and brown trout.The lower reaches of these watercourses provide habitat for coolwater species such as smallmouth bass as well as migratory corridors for Pacific salmon, rainbow trout, brown trout, and white sucker.
Here is a fish checklist that itemizes many of the fish species that can be found in the Conservation Halton watershed.
Let Us Know What You Catch!
Conservation Halton is looking for your fishing information. You can help us out by submitting information on your fish catches to us through our online Creel Survey. By filling out this survey you will help us understand what fish we have in our waters and how abundant they are. We are hoping that this survey will help us better understand our fisheries resources and how people are using them. We will keep all personal information confidential.
Ontario Fishing Regulations
Before you go fishing, you will need a permit. Recreational angling within the Conservation Halton watershed is managed by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR). Local seasonal fish sanctuaries, limits to catch size and number, as well as fishing seasons are all regulated, and anglers within the watershed must abide by the fishing regulations set forth by the ministry; be sure to know and address your responsibilities before you go fishing.
Where to Fish in the Conservation Halton Watershed
Lake Ontario provides both shore-based and open water fishing opportunities. Piers at the mouths of Bronte Creek, Sixteen Mile Creek and the Burlington Canal offer shore anglers an opportunity to experience exciting trout and salmon action during the spring and fall months. Boat launches along the lakeshore provide anglers with an opportunity to access the open water trout and salmon fishery during all but the coldest months of the year.
Sixteen Mile Creek
Excellent angling opportunities exist throughout the Sixteen Mile Creek watershed. The West branch provides excellent coldwater habitat for brook, brown and rainbow trout, and chinook salmon are also found there during their spawning runs. The Mill Pond, located within downtown Milton provides excellent angling opportunities for a number of panfish and carp. Fishing derbies for stocked trout have occurred at the Mill Pond, but the pond does not provide suitable habitat to sustain trout populations. Both the middle and east branches provide opportunities for smallmouth bass fishing and the lower reaches provide additional opportunities to catch smallmouth bass and provide a migratory corridor for Lake Ontario fish. Oakville Harbour provides angling opportunities for trout and salmon before they make their spawning runs and the rocky banks of the harbour provide excellent habitat for smallmouth bass.
The upstream reaches of Bronte Creek are relatively pristine and support resident brook trout. Brown trout were stocked in Bronte Creek upstream of Progreston in the 1950s and remnant populations of this species may still occur. Between Lowville and Progreston, the Middle Reach of Bronte Creek supports a resident brook trout and brown trout fishery. Brook trout are native to the watershed while brown trout were introduced in the 1950s. Flamborough Creek, Cedar Springs Creek and Kilbride Creek enter Bronte Creek within this reach and brook trout and brown trout are found in these tributaries. Upstream of the harbour, the lower reaches of Bronte Creek provide fishing opportunities for resident fish species such as smallmouth bass and migratory species such as rainbow trout, lake-run brown trout, Chinook salmon and white sucker. Smallmouth bass are present in the lower reaches upstream to Lowville and provide excellent angling opportunities during the summer and early fall. Bronte Harbour, at the mouth of Bronte Creek, offers pier angling opportunities for trout and salmon. In the late winter and early spring, staging rainbow trout are regularly caught as they prepare for their upstream spawning migration.
Grindstone Creek arises from the Hayesland Swamp and follows an S-shaped path to its confluence with Burlington Bay. The Niagara Escarpment at Waterdown effectively separates the fish communities within Grindstone Creek. Downstream of the Escarpment, the creek supports a number of resident and migratory fish species while the fish community upstream of the Escarpment is restricted to resident fish species. Unlike the other major watercourses within the Conservation Halton watershed, the mouth of Grindstone Creek has not been impacted by harbour development. As a result, its estuary provides significant wetland habitat for a number of fish species ands hosts the only significant spawning run of northern pike within the Conservation Halton watershed. The rivermouth also provides seasonal angling opportunities for other species such as black crappie, white bass, white perch, brown bullhead and smallmouth bass, some of which enter the rivermouth in late spring to spawn. Migratory species such as rainbow trout, chinook salmon and white sucker migrate up the creek to spawn but can reach as far upstream as the falls at Waterdown. Limited opportunities for angling exist upstream of the falls as the creek flows mainly through private properties.
Kelso Conservation Area
The Kelso reservoir was constructed in 1962 to provide flood control and low flow augmentation. Today, Kelso Lake supports a diverse sports fish community consisting of rainbow trout, brown trout, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, black crappie, yellow perch and pumpkinseed. Historically, rainbow trout and brook trout were stocked in the reservoir (until approximately 1995) with associated opening day and mid-May fishing derbies.
Anglers may fish from shore or by boat (outboard motors prohibited). Paddleboats and canoes rentals are available near the dam. Downstream of the dam, adult rainbow trout (steelhead) can be caught through late spring with resident brown trout providing angling opportunities throughout the summer months. In the early 1980s, a voluntary “catch-and-release” program was instituted by Conservation Halton, in conjunction with the Izaak Walton Fly Fishing Club, to protect the brown trout fishery downstream of the reservoir. Also see the Kelso page.
Robert Edmondson Conservation Area
Formerly stocked with rainbow trout for annual fishing derbies, Burns provides an excellent venue for family fishing. A boardwalk at the south end of the pond provides angling access for physically challenged persons and picnic areas are available. Largemouth bass, black crappie and pumpkinseed provide consistent action during the summer months. Although most largemouth bass are small (less than a pound), bass up to three pounds have been caught at Burns. Also see the Parks and Rec page.
Campbellville Conservation Area
The Campbellville Conservation Area is located within the village of Campbellville in the headwaters of the Sixteen Mile Creek, to the southwest of the Campbellville Road/Guelph Line intersection. This small pond provides suitable habitat for centrarchids (largemouth bass, pumpkinseed) as well as creek chub and white sucker. Brook trout, present in the tributary upstream of the pond, may also inhabit in the pond during the spring and fall but likely avoid the pond during the hot summer months. Formerly stocked with trout for annual fishing derbies, angling opportunities in this small pond appear to be restricted to largemouth bass, pumpkinseed, creek chub and white sucker. Access to the pond from parking sites in Campbellville is excellent.Also see the Parks and Rec page.
Mountsberg Conservation Area
The Mountsberg Reservoir is a largemouth bass angler’s Mecca! Fish hitting the scales at more than five pounds are annually angled from its shallow, well-vegetated waters. Northern pike, black crappie, pumpkinseed and brown bullhead are also present in the reservoir. Anglers may fish from shore or by boat (outboard motors prohibited). . Voluntary limits on harvest are suggested on signage at the dam (primary angling access point). Overharvest of fish, particularly by family groups adjacent to the dam, has been a concern in the past. Seasonal limitations to fishing are enforced to protect spawning fish and nesting waterfowl. Also see the Mountsberg page.
Hilton Falls Conservation Area
The Hilton Falls Reservoir provides shore-based angling for largemouth bass, which may reach weights of more than five pounds. No boating is allowed on the reservoir. Intrepid brook trout anglers may wish to try their luck in the tributaries of the Sixteen Mile Creek which flow through the property. Also see the Hilton Falls page.
Carlisle Conservation Area
The Carlisle Conservation Area is located within the village of Carlisle along Bronte Creek, east and west of Centre Road. Trout were stocked in this reach of the creek in the 1970s. Existing fishing opportunities are generally restricted to pumpkinseed, creek chub and white sucker; however, largemouth bass, northern pike and brown trout may also be angled in the slow-moving waters. A parking lot to the north of Bronte Creek off Centre Road provides excellent access to this area.Also see the Parks and Rec page.
Sixteen Valley Conservation Area
This small park is located on the Middle Branch of the Sixteen Mile Creek within the Sixteen Mile Creek Valley Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA). This reach of the Sixteen Mile Creek provides habitat for resident smallmouth bass and a number of forage fish species including a nationally and provincially rare species. Angling opportunities for resident smallmouth bass and limited seasonal angling opportunities for rainbow trout (spring) and chinook salmon (fall) do exist. Most rainbow trout and chinook salmon appear to prefer the West Branch of the Sixteen Mile Creek as a migratory route to upstream spawning areas.Also see the Parks and Rec page.