Recreational licensing information


Apply for a Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence

  • 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). 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 purchased licences, so ensure your licence selection (including the fishing year) is correct before you complete your transaction.

Recreational Licensing Statistics


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
  • All chinook, lingcod, and halibut catch must be recorded on your 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.
Halibut Licence Restriction

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 (IAP).

Salmon Conservation Stamp

An annually-purchased 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.

Each year, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) works with the Pacific Salmon Foundation to produce the Salmon Conservation Stamp. An angler wishing to retain any species of salmon must purchase and attach a conservation stamp to their licence. DFO provides all of the funds generated from stamp sales to the Pacific Salmon Foundation to support salmon restoration, stewardship and enhancement projects in British Columbia.The Pacific Salmon Foundation is the largest non-profit, charitable organization dedicated to conserving and rebuilding Pacific salmon populations. The Foundation works in partnership with volunteer streamkeepers and community organizations to leverage the benefits of every dollar generated through the Salmon Conservation Stamp.

Salmon Conservation Stamp image is also used as an additional fundraising source by producing Limited Edition art prints. Prints are sold through the Foundation and can be viewed on their website. Donations in support of Pacific Salmon Foundation's work can also be made by contacting the Foundation.

For more information call 604-664-7664 or visit

Replacement Licences

If you lose or accidentally destroy your licence you may print a replacement licence for free 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.

Independent Access Providers

Information: Are you an Independent Access Provider or a licence information provider?

Download these useful NRLS public information materials (all in PDF format):

Licensing contacts
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