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Electronic licence and catch reporting

We are aware of some technical issues related to the initial phase of the electronic licence and catch reporting function found in the FishingBC app. It is recommended that all recreational fishers continue to carry a paper licence with them and use it to record their catch as a backup.

More information

You must always have a valid B.C. tidal waters sport fishing licence in your possession while fishing or transporting your recreational catch. You must also have purchased a salmon conservation stamp if you plan to retain salmon. Your licence must be immediately produced for inspection on request by a fishery officer, fishery guardian, conservation officer, or other enforcement authority along with all mandatory catch records.

This is now easier than ever. You can access and download an electronic copy of your tidal waters sport fishing licence from your National Recreational Licensing System (NRLS) account, by linking from the Sport Fishing Institute of British Columbia’s (SFI) mobile FishingBC application to your NRLS account. Linking from the app to NRLS is voluntary and you may cancel at any time.

You can also use the NRLS catch log or the FishingBC app catch log to record your tidal waters recreational catch of retained Cchinook salmon or halibut, and lingcod caught in Areas 12 to 19 and Subareas 20-5 to 20-7 and 29-5, like you do on your paper licence. When you link your app account to NRLS, your catch records will automatically be shared and synchronized between the two systems.

The electronic version of your licence and mandatory catch records may be presented for inspection upon request, instead of the traditional paper licence.

National Recreational Licensing System

You can download a .pdf version of your licence when you are logged into your account in NRLS from the ‘My Profile’ page by clicking the link Reprint a Licence or Catch Card or going the Reprint a Licence or Catch Card page on the left hand side. This electronic .pdf copy of your licence may be presented for inspection upon request.

You can also record your tidal waters recreational catch of retained Chinook salmon halibut and lingcod in areas required by regulation when logged in to your account in NRLS on the page ‘Record or View Your Catch’. Your catch must be recorded immediately, so if you are outside of cell range, you must instead record it on your paper licence.

If you purchase a Salmon Conservation Stamp after you have downloaded a .pdf copy of your licence, you will need to re-download the file so that you have a licence copy where the stamp is shown.

FishingBC application

The FishingBC was created by the Sport Fishing Institute of BC in partnership with Fisheries and Oceans Canada and is supported by the Pacific Salmon Foundation. It offers tidal water recreational fishing regulations, a catch log, a species identification guide and the ability to display your BC Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence, along with updated catch records. The app is available for download on Apple (IOS) or Android mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets. The use of the FishingBC application is completely voluntary, and is consent-based.

The FishingBC app is a tool that works with your NRLS account, but it does not replace it. You must still purchase a Tidal Water Sport Fishing Licence from NRLS that covers the period when you will be fishing, as well as a Salmon Conservation Stamp if you plan on retaining any Pacific salmon you may be fishing for.

Electronic licence

Once you have a valid tidal water sport fishing licence in NRLS you may choose to link your NRLS account to your FishingBC account. This will allow you to show a fishery officer, fishery guardian, conservation officer, or other enforcement authority an electronic copy of your licence upon request.

If you unlink your app account from your NRLS account, you will need to update your catch records to a paper licence (if being used) or to your NRLS catch log, and to be able to present your licence with complete catch records for inspection.

Recording your catch

You can record your tidal waters recreational catch of retained Chinook salmon, halibut, and lingcod in areas required by regulation through the FishingBC app, and it will be uploaded, along with the date and time of your catch, to your NRLS account as soon as you are in wifi, cell, or network range. Catch shown in the app on the licence .pdf, may be presented to a fishery officer, fishery guardian, conservation officer, or other enforcement authority just like your paper licence.

The FishingBC app catch log also offers you the ability to record other catch for your own use. Catch records marked as ‘Released’ in the app catch log, or catch records for other species, or outside of recording areas (for lingcod) will not be sent to your NRLS account.

The app is designed to work with NRLS – for linked accounts, catch recorded in the app will be uploaded to NRLS and catch recorded in NRLS will be uploaded to the app. Catch records, once saved to the app or NRLS, by regulation, can only be edited or deleted by DFO’s licensing team.

Learn more about the FishingBC app and how it works with your NRLS account

Related links

Contact us

Telephone: 1-877-535-7307

Email: fishing-peche@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

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