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Bait, Bait Use and Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS)

Federal Requirements

Provincial Requirements


Federal Requirements

Live Bait Fish Import Requirements

Live bait fish may not be imported into Canada.

Invertebrate Bait Import Requirements

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has specific requirements for importing invertebrates (e.g., earthworms) into Canada. This includes personal use such as recreational angling. For more information, click here.

AIS Import Requirements

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)’s Import Prohibitions and Requirements for Commercial Importers of Aquatic Species and for Travellers Under the (Federal) Aquatic Invasive Species Regulations provides requirements for travellers, such as boaters and anglers, to prevent the importation of aquatic invasive species into Canada.

In summary, to enter Canada:

  • watercraft, water-related equipment and water-related aircraft must be:
    • clean, that is, free of aquatic plants, animals, mud and debris
    • drained of water
    • dry
  • you may not import or possess:

Asian carps pose a serious concern for Canada and Manitoba’s aquatic ecosystems and fisheries. Although common carp is native to Asia, the term Asian carps means silver, grass, black and bighead carps specifically. When small-sized, Asian carps can be easily mistaken for native minnow species. If introduced, Asian carps will outcompete native species for food and habitat.

For more information Asian carps, click here to be taken to Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Provincial AIS Bait Requirements

Aquatic Invasive Species Control Zones

When using bait in an AIS Control Zone, only bring the live bait you are going to use on that water body. Any bait you take with you to an AIS Control Zone MUST be discarded BEFORE you leave the shore if it:

  • is live
  • has been handled (i.e., hooked) or
  • has come into contact with surface water from the control zone

Anglers cannot kill live bait in an AIS Control Zone and then remove it for any future use.  

These live-bait disposal requirements applies even if you have a valid 3-day live bait fish-transfer-and-use receipt. Also, all water from the bait container must be drained before leaving the shore.

Only commercially-supplied dead bait used on an AIS Control Zone can be retained by anglers for future use IF it has NOT:

  • been handled (i.e., hooked) or
  • come into contact with surface water

Revised: February 6, 2020; January 19, 2021;


Possession of crayfish is prohibited in Manitoba. Crayfish, or what may commonly be referred to as "crawdads", "crawfish" or “little lobsters” cannot be used as bait.

The Manitoba Fishery Regulations, 1987 Section 14(1), under the Fisheries Act (Canada).

What can be used as bait in Manitoba?

Please refer to:

Bait Guidance:

It is NOT recommended to purchase frozen fish from a grocery store to use as bait. In some cases, harmful diseases that are not killed by the freezing process could spread to native fish.

Purchasing and using locally-sourced bait is preferred.

AIS Requirements for Bait Harvesters and Bait Dealers:

To protect against spreading hard-to-see and microscopic AIS, live bait harvested in Manitoba must be placed, transported, stored and sold in potable water or groundwater only.