The story of British Columbia was founded on fishing - it’s part of our heritage and culture. And so it’s no surprise that over 50 percent of boaters spend at least a portion of their time on the water… in pursuit of the big one! And what better part of the world to fish than this province where we are fortunate to have some of the most diverse fresh and salt water fishing in the world. Regardless of where you live or where you plan to travel within BC, almost certainly, there is a fishing location close by. Most lakes, rivers or coastal shoreline are accessible for anyone with a boat. If you don’t have your own boat, not to worry – there are guided fishing trips or rentals in almost every corner of the province.
Of course, like all types of boating, there are safety issues, fishing license requirements, catch limits and safe food handling practices that you’ll need to be aware of. Before you head out, please read up on the Department of Fisheries and Oceans for all of the regulations and licensing requirements for tidal waters recreational fishing – and if clams, oysters, mussels and scallops are your goal, then be sure to check for ‘Red Tide’ or Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning closures in your area. It’s better to be safe than sorry! If you have unanswered questions, let us know and we’ll ask our team of experts.
SALT WATER FISHING
The coastline of BC is vast and varied and so are its fishery resources. All five species of Pacific salmon, ground fish including halibut, ling cod, rock fish and flounder, and shellfish (crab, oysters, clams, mussels, prawns and shrimp) are abundant at various times of year and locations along the coast. While ground fish are found in deeper waters, shellfish are discovered in the shallows – and both can be a great source of dinner! For detailed information on these species and where to find them, visit Anglr, the Sport Fishing Institute of BC, or Sport Fishing BC.
Download The Fishing BC App!
British Columbia's free tidal waters (saltwater) sport fishing app features:
- GPS locator plus a pinch-and-zoom Map to select a fishing area.
- Up-to-date official regulations including information about species, boundary maps, conservation areas, closures, contamination alerts, and more.
- Catch Log including size, date, and area caught. Plus the ability to take photos of your catch and share with your social network.
- Species ID Guide featuring salmon and other species found in BC's tidal waters.
- Display your BC Tidal Waters Sport Fishing License associated with your permanent catch log.
FRESH WATER FISHING
Fresh water pools and flows like the lifeline of this province. Lakes, large and small, are on and off the beaten path, crisscrossed by rivers that connect mountains and ocean; all providing a recreational playground for anglers. The types of fishing is diverse: trout, sturgeon, steelhead and char. Some of these species, like the white sturgeon, are protected and must be caught, tagged and released; others have catch limits and are seasonal. For details about fresh water fishing in BC, visit the Fresh Water Fisheries Society or the Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society.
If you still have questions, let us know, we’ll get the answer for you.