BC Fishing Regulations

Fishing License Requirements

If you are 16 years of age or older:

  • You must have a valid basic licence to sport fish for any species of fish in non-tidal waters (including salmon).
  • You must purchase appropriate supplementary licences and stamps.
  • You must carry your license while sport fishing and , if asked, produce it for inspection by a Conservation Officer, Fishery Officer, RCMP Constable, Park Ranger in a park, or an Officer under the Wildlife Act.
  • Basic and supplementary licenses and stamps are not valid in National Parks.

If you are under 16 and a non-resident of BC:

  • You do not require any licence or stamp to sport fish, but you must be accompanied by a person (residential or non-residential) who has the appropriate licences and stamps.
  • Any fish you keep must be counted as part of the catch and possession of your accompanying licence holder.
  • If you want to catch and keep your own quota of fish, you may buy a licence and any necessary supplementary licences and stamps.

If you are a resident of BC and disabled, you may qualify for a reduced fee licence.

  • To get an application form, contact any of the 59 Government Agent Offices and Access Centres throughout the province. Check the blue pages of your phone directory or search online.
  • You can download an application form from the Government of BC website.

Mailing address:

F & W Recreation and Allocation Branch
Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection
PO Box 9363 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria BC V8W 9M2
Call 250.387.9589 or 250.356.7048

If you are an Indian as defined under the Indian Act (Canada) and a resident of BC:

  • You are not required to obtain any type of fishing licence or stamp to sport fish in non-tidal waters.

What to do if you lose your licence:

  • Do not attempt to buy a new license. You are only allowed one annual angling license per year.
  • Go into any provincial Government Agent office (see blue pages of your local telephone directory for the office nearest you) and request a Declaration for Lost Licence.
  • Complete the Declaration ($10) and pay the fee for a duplicate licence ($4 for a basic annual license, classified waters licence or conservation surcharge stamp for steeled or non-tidal salmon, $1 for a basic annual licence for a senior citizen or person with a disability). There is no Habitat Conservation Fund surcharge on a duplicate licenses.
  • Note that duplicate licenses are not available for the one or eight day licences, or conservation surcharge stamps for Kootenay Lake Rainbow trout, Shuswap Lake Rainbow trout, or Shuswap Lake Char.

Classified Waters:

A number of highly productive yet heavily fished rivers and streams, are currently being monitored, requiring all anglers to have a special licence to fish in these areas. The Classified Waters Licence is a supplementary licence, purchased in addition to a basic angling licence and species-specific conservation surcharge.

  • Anglers planning guided trips can simply purchase their licences through their guides.
  • For anglers planning a non-guided trip, a Classified Waters Licence may be purchased at sporting goods stores, through Government Agents and from local resort operators or guides.
For more information, contact:
F & W Recreation and Allocation Branch
Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection
PO Box 9363 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria BC V8W 9M2
Call 250.387.9589 or 250.356.7048