Recreational Licensing

All anglers must have a licence to go fishing. Many fishing locations do not have an Independent Access Provider, making it best to acquire your licence online before you head out.

Always carry your licence with you.

2016-2017 British Columbia Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence Information

  • April 1, 2016: New Year 2016-2017 Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licences are required now FN0306
  • All licences will be delivered electronically through the National Recreational Licensing System (NRLS). Once you register, you will also be able to replace a lost licence or renew future licences through NRLS.
  • Licences can also be purchased through participating Independent Access Providers (IAP) [PDF]. It is recommended that you confirm purchasing your licence with a Provider prior to departure.
  • For non-residents who wish to fish for halibut in Areas 23, 121, or 123, a licence must be acquired from an Independent Access Provider in Canada.  
  • Refunds will not be issued for licences purchased online, so please ensure your licence selection (including the fishing year) is correct before you complete your transaction.   
  • For more information:
  • FAQs for General public/Licence holders
  • FAQs for Independent Access Providers

A Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence:

  • is required to fish for any species of finfish or shellfish.
  • is not transferable.
  • does not need to be signed by the licence holder.
  • can be obtained in person; a parent may obtain a licence for a child under age 16; and a licence can be obtained for a spouse.
  • must be produced on request by a fishery officer, conservation officer or fishery guardian, so ensure you have your licence with you while fishing or transporting your catch.
  • When you purchase your licence online, you must print it and carry it while fishing so that you can immediately record your chinook, lingcod or halibut catch on the licence in ink.
  • Children under 16 years old are required to obtain a licence, however there is no fee.
  • Annual licences are valid from date shown on the licence to the following March 31. Licences of a shorter duration expire at midnight on the final day of validity.
  • It is illegal to hold more than one licence.

Electronic Licence Restriction : Halibut

Only a Canadian resident may fish for halibut under an electronic licence in Areas 23, 121 and 123. Non–residents of Canada wishing to fish for and retain halibut in Management Areas 121, 23 and 123 must purchase an electronic licence through a Canadian Independent Access Provider.

Licence fees

A Canadian resident is an individual who normally resides in Canada. Proof of residency must be provided on request. A Non-Canadian resident is any individual who does not live in Canada. All fees are inclusive of appropriate taxes.

Licence Type & Duration Fee: Non-Resident Fee: Resident
Annual Licence, Adult (16-64 years of age) $106.05 $22.05
Annual Licence, Senior (65 years of age and over) $106.05 $11.55
Annual Licence, Juvenile (Under 16 years of age) Free Free
5-Day Licence $32.55 $16.80
3-Day Licence $19.95 $11.55
1-Day Licence $7.35 $5.51
Salmon Conservation Stamp $6.30 $6.30

DFO licensing contacts

For further licensing inquiries, please contact:

Phone (toll-free): 1-877-535-7307

Fax: 604-666-5855

Salmon stamps

A Salmon Conservation Stamp ($6.00 + tax) must be affixed to licences held by anglers, both adult and juvenile, wishing to retain any species of Pacific salmon. The Stamp is annual.

Replacement licences

If you lose or accidentally destroy your licence you may print a replacement licence free of cost online, or by visiting an Independent Public Access provider who can reprint your licence for you. The record of catch that was on the previous licence must be transferred to the replacement licence. It is illegal to hold more than one valid licence.

Licensing statistics

Statistics for Tidal Water Sport Fishing Licences - These figures represent reported sales to date indicated.

Non-tidal licences

Fishing rod in actionIndividuals may purchase and pay online for a Freshwater Fishing Licence for recreational purposes

For information on Non-tidal Angling Licence categories and current fees, please visit the BC Government's website.

Your Non-tidal Angling Licence must be validated with a provincial Salmon Conservation Stamp to keep a salmon from non-tidal waters. A stamp is not required if you intend to release all salmon caught, however a provincial Non-tidal Angling Licence is still required.