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Glossary of sport fishing terms

Here are definitions of some of the technical terms found in the sport fishing regulations.

Adipose fin
The fleshy appendage found on salmon and trout, located between the dorsal fin and the tail.
The combined total number.
Annual limit
The total amount of fish of a certain species that may be caught and retained during the course of a fishing year which commences on April 1 and ends the following March 31.
A statistical area as defined by the Pacific Fishery Management Area Regulations 2007.
Barbless hook
A hook from which all barbs have been removed—either filed off or pinched flat against the shaft. The shaft of a hook is the straight part between the eye and the bend.
Bar rig
A line or leader with a weight no greater than 1 kg attached at the end, and from which no more than two lines are attached by means of one or more swivels, spreader bars or other means. Each of these two lines may have only one hook attached.
Bivalve shellfish
Shellfish with two shells, including clams, cockles, mussels, oysters and scallops.
The protective bony shell covering the inner organs of any member of the crab or shrimp family. On a crab it is the top outer shell and must remain attached to prove that a crab in your possession is of legal size.
Catch and release
A conservation measure that requires that if a fish is caught, it must be returned to the water. Similar terms include “closed to retention,” “non-retention” and “daily limit is 0.”
Circle hook
A hook in which the shank, bend and point form an almost enclosed circle, with the tip pointing towards the shaft at roughly 90 degrees. Circle hooks may not be offset more than 10 degrees. The shape of the circle hook makes it difficult for the hook to set except in the fish’s jaw. Should a hook be ingested, it may be drawn back out of the fish’s gut without engaging.
Coded wire tag
Microscopic stainless steel tag inserted into the nose cartilage of a salmon before ocean migration. The salmon’s adipose fin is removed so that the tagged adult can e recognized.
Daily limit
The maximum number of a given fish species that a person is allowed to keep in one day.
Daylight hours
The hours that start one hour before sunrise and end one hour after sunset. Sunrise and sunset refer to the times for those events calculated by the National Research Council of Canada.
A device consisting of a winch (electric or hand-powered) that lowers a wire line with a heavy weight attached. In use, a fishing line from a separate rod and reel is attached to the downrigger by a release clip, which can be lowered to a chosen depth. When a fish is hooked, the fishing line is released from the downrigger line and the fish can be played without resistance on the rod and reel.
Includes all fish other than crustaceans, echinoderms (sea urchins, sand dollars, etc.), molluscs, shellfish and marine mammals.
Includes finfish, shellfish, crustaceans and molluscs in any stage of life, including eggs. Also includes any parts of a fish.
Fishing boundary sign
A sign that may be posted to identify a closed area, the boundary of a management area or subarea, or the division between tidal and non-tidal waters. The sign may be either a white triangle or a white square.
Foul hooking (snagging)
The hooking of a fish, accidentally or intentionally, in any part of its body other than the mouth.
Hatchery-marked fish
A fish usually marked by the absence of the adipose fin, or sometimes the pelvic fin or the pectoral fin, and having a healed scar in place of the absent fin.
Incidental catch
Any fish that a person is not allowed to take at a given time and in a given area. Also, any fish that a person is allowed to keep but chooses not to.
Shoreward from a point or a boundary line towards the shoreline.
Length of a fish
The distance measured from the tip of the nose to the fork of the tail; where there is no fork, to the tip of the tail.
Licensed fish processor
A person or business licensed by the British Columbia government and registered with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to process sport-caught fish.
Management Area
Same meaning as “area.”
Natural bait
Foodstuff or other natural substance (other than wood, cotton, wool, hair, fur or feathers) that is used as bait. Does not include finfish, other than roe.
A person who normally resides outside a place (e.g., Canada, British Columbia). A non-resident is a person who is not a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada.
A conservation measure that requires that if a fish is caught, it must be returned to the water. Similar terms include “catch and release,” “closed to retention” and “daily limit is 0.”
Ordinary residence
A residential dwelling where a person normally lives - a motor home at a campsite or a vessel at a marina is not considered to be an ordinary residence.
Seaward from a point or a boundary line towards the open ocean.
Possession limit
The maximum number of fish you can have in your possession at any given time, except for what is at your ordinary residence.
Processed fish
Any fish intended for consumption that has been prepared or processed, e.g.: cooked, canned, brined, smoked, etc.
A fish and wildlife management region of the province as determined by the British Columbia government.
Release clip
A device that allows a fishing line to be detached from a downrigger line when a fish takes the lure or when a person sets the hook, allowing the fish to be retrieved by rod and reel or a separate handline.
A person who normally resides in a place (e.g., Canada, British Columbia). A Canadian resident is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident who normally resides in Canada.
Species belonging to the family Salmonidae, including Atlantic, chinook, chum, coho, pink and sockeye.
Set line
A line with one or more hooks left unattended in the water.
The waters inside and shoreward of the 2 m depth contour measures below the chart datum (0 tide).
Single barbless hook
A barbless hook with only one point. A treble hook (with three points) is not considered to be a single hook.
A looping mechanism of wire or cord that creates a noose-type form that can be drawn closed to capture prey.
Spear fishing
Fishing by means of a spear propelled by a spring, an elastic band, compressed air, a bow or by hand.
Sport fishing
Fishing by any means for personal use of the fish or for recreation. This includes angling, helping to land a fish, harvesting shellfish and spear fishing. Sport fishing does not include fishing for commercial purposes or fishing carried out under the authority of licence issued under the Aboriginal Communal Fishing Licences Regulations.
Tagged fish
Some finfish are marked with a variety of tags (plastic, metal, etc.) to show that they are part of research programs that gather information on the species.
Tidal water boundary
Unless otherwise specified, the tidal boundary is a straight line drawn between the two most seaward points of land located on either side of the mouth of a river or stream. A tidal boundary may also be designated by a fishery officer by placing a triangular sign near the mouth of a river or stream. Maps and descriptions of other specified tidal boundaries are at the back of this guide.
Treble hook
A hook with three separate points radiating out from one common shank.
Whale depredation
The removal of fish from fishing gear by whales. Depredation is a learned behaviour that spreads throughout whale social groups. Once established, it is impossible to eliminate.
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