Sport Fishing Regulations in British Columbia

Sport Fishing Regulations in British Columbia
Regulations are in place for sport fishing in British Columbia to protect populations of fish and their habitat. Obtain a copy of the province's Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Guide for complete information on fishing guidelines, possession limits, quotas and gear restrictions.


British of Columbia is divided into nine regions. Regional restrictions apply when fishing including possession limits of certain game fish. Regions include Vancouver Island, Lower Mainland, Thompson, Kootenay, Cariboo, Skeena, Omineca, Peace and Okanagan.


Quotas and Size Limits

All game fish have a quota or limit on the number of catch you may keep. Refer to the regional quotas for specific species and for regulations on individual waters. In Region 1, Vancouver Island, the limit for trout is four per day and you must release all Dolly Varden and wild steelhead.

Protected Species

You must not fish, catch or retain protected game fish, including cultus pygmy sculpin, shorthead sculpin, giant stickleback and many others. Refer to the British Columbia Fishing Regulations for a full list of protected species.


According to the British of Columbia Ministry of Environment, most waters are open for some game fish species all year 24 hours a day. Always check your regional regulations for site-specific rules that may apply.

Fishing License

All anglers age 16 and older must have a valid license to fish for any freshwater species in British of Columbia. Appropriate supplementary licenses and stamps are also required.


Article Written By Rona Aquino

Rona Aquino began writing professionally in 2008. As an avid marathon runner and outdoor enthusiast, she writes on topics of running, fitness and outdoor recreation for various publications. Aquino holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and English from the University of Maryland College Park.

Keep Me Informed

Weekly newsletters, announcements and offers from to your inbox.

Sign me up!

We HATE spam and promise to keep your email addresses safe and secure.