Indigenous peoples have been fishing the rivers and waterways of Canada for thousands of years, using a variety of fishing methods, such as hooks, lines, nets, traps and spears.
Plentiful fish stocks in Canada provided a dietary staple for local communities and contributed to European exploration and eventual settlement. Harvesting this natural resource evolved with time, running the gamut from subsistence to sport to commercial fishing. The French were one of the first colonial powers to establish seasonal fishing stations for cod in Canada. And later, when the British arrived, the number of stations increased steadily, along with the diversity of species that were sought.
Despite technological advances in commercial fishing, the pastime of solitary or small-group fishing continues to thrive, and is encouraged and supported in Canada to this day.