Tidal Waters Licensing FAQs for general public / Licence holders

Who needs a B.C. Tidal Waters Sport Fishing licence?

All recreational fishers, including juveniles (individuals under 16 years of age), are required to hold a Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence if fishing in tidal waters.

Is there a difference between a Non-tidal Angling Licence and a Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence in British Columbia?

Yes. Non-tidal Angling Licences are issued by the Province of British Columbia for activities in non-tidal waters (freshwater) and can be obtained at http://www.fishing.gov.bc.ca/. Any questions related to non-tidal angling licences should be directed to the Province.

Tidal Waters Sport Fishing licences (saltwater) are issued by the Government of Canada and can be obtained at http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/licence-permis/index-eng.html.

Do I need a Salmon Conservation Stamp?

A Salmon Conservation Stamp must be affixed to the B.C. Tidal Waters Sport Fishing licence of any individual (whether adult, senior or juvenile) who wishes to catch and retain any species of salmon. The stamp is valid from April 1- March 31st of each fishing season.

A stamp can be purchased online or through an Independent Access Provider.

How do I add a Salmon Conservation Stamp to my B.C. Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence?

The Salmon Conservation Stamp is an option you select when the licence type is being entered in National Recreational Licensing System.

If you want to add a stamp after you have purchased a licence, log into your saved profile, and select “Obtain a Stamp”. This will add the current year stamp image to your licence. The licence will need to be re-printed. Independent Access Providers can also add a Salmon Conservation Stamp to a new or existing licence.

Why can I not add a Salmon Conservation Stamp to my new B.C. Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence?

The salmon conservation stamp is valid for one year from April 1 to the following March 31.

You can see your valid licences and stamp in your profile. If a conservation stamp has been already affixed to a 1, 3 or 5-day licence, do not purchase another one. When you purchase additional licences through the online system, the stamp will automatically be transferred to the new licence.

What is the cost of purchasing a B.C. Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence and/or Salmon Conservation Stamp?

Licence cost varies based on the age and residency of the fisher, as well as the term of the licence, which may range from one day to one year.

2016/2017 Tidal Waters Sport Fishing licence fees (PRICE INCLUDES 5 % GST)
Category Resident Non - Resident
Adult annual (16-64 years of age) $22.05 $106.05
Senior (65+) $11.55 $106.05
5 day $16.80 $32.55
3 day $11.55 $19.95
1 day $5.51 $7.35
Salmon Conservation Stamp $6.30 $6.30
Juvenile (Under 16 years of age) FREE FREE

What different B.C. Tidal Waters Sport Fishing licence categories are offered?

Tidal Waters Sport Fishing licences are available as 1 day, 3 day, 5 day or annual licences depending on the age group and residency.

  • Adult licences can be purchased for those individuals who are between the ages (16-64).
  • Senior licences can be purchased for those individual who are 65 and over.
  • Juvenile licences are free of charge for children under 16 years of age.

What is the difference between a Canadian resident versus a Canadian non-resident?

A resident is a person who normally resides in a place (e.g. Canada, British Columbia). A Canadian resident is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who normally resides in Canada.

A non-resident is a person who normally resides outside a place (e.g. Canada, British Columbia). A Canadian non-resident is a person who is not a Canadian resident or a permanent resident of Canada

Is there a concession fee for persons with disabilities or First Nations people?

No, there is no licence category or concession fee for persons with disabilities nor First Nations people fishing in tidal waters.

Will there be a fee to use the National Recreational Licensing System portal?

There is no additional fee involved with purchasing a B.C. Tidal Waters Sport Fishing licence via the National Recreational Licensing System. Licence holders may buy a licence, print a licence or reprint a lost licence from home without a fee.

However, there may be a usage fee if you purchase a B.C. Tidal Waters Sport Fishing licence through an Independent Access Provider who may charge a fee to assist with computer maintenance, printing and Internet costs. A usage fee is at the discretion of the Independent Access Provider.

Can I go fishing as soon as I’ve printed my licence?

Once you have a printed copy of your B.C. Tidal Waters Sport Fishing licence, you can go fishing. Recreational fishers must carry a printed copy of the licence with them when they are fishing, and they must record their catch of chinook salmon, halibut and lingcod, in ink on the printed licence as required by the BC Sports Fishing Regulations and the conditions of licence.

Can individuals buy a B.C. Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence by telephone?

No. Telephone sales are not available.

How can I get a copy of the salmon stamp for my stamp collection?

Stamp collectors may purchase a copy of the salmon stamp from the Pacific Salmon Foundation or Tel: 604-664-7664.

Do I need a licence during British Columbia’s Family Fishing Weekend - on Father’s Day Weekend in June?

During BC’s Family Fishing Weekend licences must be obtained and are free if you are fishing for halibut, lingcod and salmon – a salmon conservation stamp must still be purchased to retain salmon catch. For other species, a Tidal Water Sports Fishing Licence is not required to fish tidal waters during this 3-day event. All tidal area closures and recreational fishing limits and restrictions still apply.

Can I carry my e-licence on my cell phone or do I need to have a printed copy with me?

You can carry your licence in electronic form (for example on a cellphone) as long as it can be immediately displayed and read on a screen. However, if you catch and retain any of the species that you are required to mark on your licence (for example: chinook, lingcod or halibut) you will need a paper copy of your licence in order to record your catch. Failing to immediately record your catch is a violation, as is failing to show your licence to a Fishery Officer when requested.