Rules for fishing
Posted by: Fisheries
and Ocean Canada
It is illegal
* sport fish for finfish and/or shellfish without a licence.
* fish for salmon, including cutthroat trout and steelhead,
with a barbed hook.
* fail to record immediately, on your licence, in ink, any chinook
* fail to record immediately, on your licence, in ink, any lingcod
retained, where required.
* catch and retain salmon if your licence does not have a valid
salmon conservation stamp attached to it.
* fish with a fixed weight (sinker) greater than one kg except
on a downrigger line, in which case the fishing line must be
attached to the downrigger by means of an automatic release
clip. The clip must free the fishing line from the downrigger
line when the fish takes the lure, allowing the fish to be retrieved
by rod and reel or separate handline.
* wilfully foul hook or attempt to foul hook any fish other
than herring, northern anchovy, Pacific sand lance and squid.
To avoid foul hooking (snagging) fish, anglers should aim to
induce the fish to take the hook in its mouth.
* use a set line — a fishing line left unattended in the water.
* use, on a line, gear designed to catch more than one fish
at a time (except when fishing for herring, northern anchovy
or Pacific sardine, or in the tidal portion of the Fraser River).
* possess, except at place of ordinary residence, any fish caught
while sport fishing that is dressed or packed so that the fish
cannot be easily identified, counted or measured — see packaging
* engage in field canning of any species.
* buy, sell, barter or attempt to buy, sell or barter any fish
caught by sport fishing.
* use stones, clubs, firearms, explosives or chemicals to molest,
injure or kill fish.
* trap or pen fish on their spawning ground, or in rivers or
streams leading to spawning grounds.
* use a net of any kind while fishing for finfish, except: a)
a dip net may be used when fishing for herring, eulachon, northern
anchovy, Pacific sand lance, smelt or sardines; b) a dip net
may be used when landing a fish caught by angling; c) one gillnet
or set net may be used when fishing for eulachon or smelts,
provided the mesh size is greater than 25 mm but less than 50
mm, and the length is less than 7.5 m; a floating buoy clearly
marked with the name of the owner must be attached to each end
of the net; d) a cast net is permitted when fishing for herring,
northern anchovy or Pacific sand lance.
* use gaff hooks in angling except as an aid to landing a fish
caught on a legal line or rod and reel.
* use torches or artificial lights while sport fishing, except
when they are submerged and attached to a fishing line, within
one metre of the fishing hook.
* use spears to fish for salmon, trout, char, sturgeon and shellfish,
* sportfish for salmon and trout, except by angling.
* tend another recreational fisher’s gear without possessing
a licence yourself.
* dig, catch and retain or possess clams or oysters from a contaminated
area. Check closures section under the area in which you are
* use any mechanical apparatus or dredge for harvesting clams.
Penalties for contravention
of the British Columbia Sport Fishing Regulations include voluntary
ticket payments up to $1,000 and possible seizure and forfeiture
of fishing gear and catch, or court-imposed fines up to $100,000
on first offence and possible court-imposed forfeiture of fishing
gear, catch, vessel or other equipment used in the commission
of an offence. Licences may also be suspended or cancelled.
These rules are posted here for information only - please be
sure to check at the official Fisheries
& Ocean Canada page for more details.