TORONTO -- The Ontario Government is making it easier for families to get out into nature over the Father’s Day weekend by offering license-free fishing and free day-use.

The initiative, announced on Wednesday, will run on June 19 and June 20, allowing Ontario families to fish without purchasing a license beforehand or go to a provincial park without carrying an Outdoors Card.

“Whether you’re new to fishing or it’s something you already do as a family, free fishing on Father’s Day weekend provides a fun and safe way to bond with your family,” John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, said. “This is a great way for families to enjoy one of Ontario’s greatest natural resources – our beautiful and abundant lakes, rivers and streams.”

While families are enjoying their weekend, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry wants to remind them to follow conservation license catch limits, obey size limits and sanctuaries, and follow all other fishing regulations.

You don’t have to go fishing, however — Seventeen select provincial parks will be part of the program, allowing visitors without day-use passes to roam throughout the parks.

“Ontario Parks offer so many opportunities for families to be together, get active and take in the fresh air, and we are happy to provide another affordable way to do that with free day-use this Father’s Day,” Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, Jeff Yurek said.

 “I encourage all families to take advantage of the great weather and celebrate the day, while also being responsible and continuing to follow all public health advice, including physical distancing,” he continued.

Families participating in this program have been reminded by the Ontario government that, as part of the provincial reopening plan, Step 1 only allows for gatherings of up to ten people outdoors.