Restricted fishing areas
Fishing in parks
If you are planning to fish in a Provincial Park or Recreational Area, be aware that the Park Act and its regulations apply, as well as tidal water or freshwater fishing regulations, as appropriate.
Gulf Islands National Park Reserve
Gulf Islands National Park Reserve (GINPR) is spread over many islands, islets, reefs and adjacent waters in the southern-most Gulf Islands. Always check the latest closures and restrictions for the area where you are fishing.
If you plan to fish in the southern Gulf Islands, be aware of the following:
- Freshwater fishing is not permitted in GINPR
- The GINPR Interim Park Zoning, which is expected to be approved in the near future, proposes some marine closure areas for conservation and wildlife related reasons
- It is your responsibility to be aware of and respect national park regulations (Parks Canada)
Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area Reserve
In addition to the rockfish conservation area restrictions, fishing is not permitted in the following portions of the Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area Reserve (full co-ordinates):
- Burnaby Narrows
- Louscoone, Flamingo and Gowgaia Estuaries
- Cape Saint James
- Sgang Gwaay (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve
Proposed Southern Strait of Georgia National Marine Conservation Area Reserve
Proposed Southern Strait of Georgia National Marine Conservation Area Reserve (NMCA) covers approximately 1,400 sq. km, stretching from Cordova Bay to southern Gabriola Island, including Saanich Inlet. Always check the latest closures and restrictions for the area where you are fishing.
To get involved or to learn more about the NMCA reserve proposal, visit Parks Canada's Feasibility Study for the Proposed Southern Strait of Georgia National Marine Conservation Area Reserve
Glass sponge reefs
Restrictions in glass sponge reefs
Do your part to protect sensitive sponge and coral habitat by not fishing trap gear for crab, octopus, prawn or shrimp in areas where such fishing is not allowed. Move to another location any time you recover your trap gear and find pieces of sponge or coral attached.
- In areas 14, 17, 18, 28 and 29, Strait of Georgia and Howe Sound, there are a number of isolated sponge reefs that are closed to all prawn, shrimp, crab and groundfish (including halibut) fishing.
- Sponge reefs are also found in the Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound Glass Sponge Reef Marine Protected Area in areas 105, 106, 107, and 110 in waters deeper than 100 m in depth. These areas are closed to all fishing.
Marine protected areas
Restrictions in marine protected areas (MPA)
DFO designates MPAs to protect important fish and marine mammal habitats and endangered marine species. In MPAs, it is generally prohibited to carry out any activity that disturbs, damages, destroys or removes any living marine organism or any part of its habitat or is likely to do so.
Learn about restrictions in:
- Endeavour Hydrothermal Vents MPA
- Bowie Seamount MPA
- Hecate Strait / Queen Charlotte Sound Glass Sponge Reefs MPA
Restrictions in areas of interest (AOI)
AOIs contain ecologically-sensitive land or species that need extra protection. The designation of an area of interest is the first step towards establishing a marine protected area.
Learn about restrictions in:
Rockfish conservation areas
Restrictions in rockfish conservation areas
Before you go fishing, find out where British Columbia’s RCAs are located. Certain coastal areas are designated rockfish conservation areas (RCAs).
Populations of British Columbia’s inshore rockfish, such as yelloweye, quillback, copper, china, and tiger rockfish, are at low levels, especially in the Strait of Georgia. DFO needs your help to keep the numbers from falling more.
Sport fishing is not allowed in RCAs, except for gathering the following:
- invertebrates by hand picking or diving
- crab by trap
- shrimp or prawn by trap
- smelt by gillnet
Help protect Rockfish
- Fish away from rocky reef areas
- Know the location of the Rockfish Conservation Areas
- Tell other anglers about the need to conserve rockfish
- Report fishery violations. The watchful eyes of everyone who fishes can deter possible violators
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