B.C. Salt Water Fishing Regulations

B.C. Salt Water Fishing Regulations
Fishing in the salt waters around B.C. (British Columbia) can be a thrilling experience. As with fishing in any area, though, there are rules and regulations to follow, and the regulations in B.C. are not much different than anywhere else. By following the basic rules, a person can be fishing in no time at all. Although it is always best to get a copy of the regulations when first starting out, so that they can be reviewed as needed.


You need a Tidal License to fish in salt water for any type of shellfish or finfish. The license must be signed. You can purchase a license for yourself, your spouse, significant other and child. The license must be shown to an officer if requested while fishing. A license expires on March 31 of each year no matter what the date of purchase, so it is best to buy as soon after March 31 as possible. They can be purchased at retailers all over British Columbia including marinas, resorts, sporting stores and even department stores.


To fish for salmon, a salmon conservation stamp must be obtained and placed on the license. The stamp, like the license, expires each year. Even children must have the stamp.


There is no foul hook of a fish except for northern anchovy, squid, herring and Pacific sand lance. Salmon, steel head and cutthroat trout cannot be caught with a barbed hook. Spears cannot be used on trout, char, shellfish, salmon and sturgeon. The only exception to shellfish is shrimp.

Hooks and Lines

A fishing line can never be left unattended. Explosives or other devises used to harm the fish are illegal. Gaff hooks are only to be used for helping to bring in a fish already caught on a regular line. Lights must only be used when attached to the line within 1 meter of a hook. Snares are not allowed. Fish caught during salt water fishing are not to be bought or sold.

Article Written By Tara Dooley

Tara Dooley has written for various websites since 2008. She has worked as an accountant, after-school director and retail manager in various locations. Dooley holds a Bachelor of Science in business management and finance.

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