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Frequently Asked Questions: General licence holders

General information

Who needs a B.C. Tidal Waters Sport Fishing licence?

All recreational fishers, including juveniles (individuals under 16 years of age), are required to hold a Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence if fishing in tidal waters.

Can I go fishing as soon as I’ve printed my licence?

Once you have a printed copy or saved a copy to your electronic device of your B.C. Tidal Waters Sport Fishing licence, you can go fishing. Recreational fishers must carry a printed copy or an electronic copy of the licence with them when they are fishing (a signature is not required). Failing to immediately to show your licence to a fishery officer when requested is a violation.

Recreational Fishers are required to record immediately and permanently on their printed licence all retained Chinook and halibut caught in any Management Area and lingcod caught in Areas 12 to 19 (excluding Subarea 12-14), Subareas 20-5 to 20-7 and 29-5. If mobile internet access is immediately available, they may alternatively record catch immediately in your National Recreational Licensing System (NRLS) account but all catch records must be available for immediate inspection upon request of a fishery officer or fisheries guardian.

Can I carry my e-licence on my cell phone or do I need to have a printed copy with me?

You can carry your licence in electronic form (for example on a cellphone) as long as it can be immediately displayed and read on a screen. However, if you catch and retain any of the species that you are required to mark on your licence (for example: chinook, lingcod or halibut) you will need a paper copy of your licence in order to record your catch. If mobile internet access is immediately available, you may instead record catch immediately in your National Recreational Licensing System (NRLS) account but all catch records must be available for immediate inspection upon request of a fishery officer or fisheries guardian. Failing to immediately record your catch is a violation, as is failing to show your licence to a fishery officer when requested.

Do I need to print all of the pages of my licence?

The Tidal Waters Sport Fishing licence is multiple pages. All pages of the licence must be attached for a valid licence - all pages contain required information either to inform the fisher of, or to fulfill legal requirements per their fishing activities and catch recording. You may either print double sided or print separate pages and attach the pages together.

If you carry your licence in electronic form (for example on a cellphone) all pages must be able to be immediately displayed and read on a screen.

Salmon Conservation Stamps

Do I need a Salmon Conservation Stamp?

A Salmon Conservation Stamp must be affixed to the B.C. Tidal Waters Sport Fishing licence of any individual (whether adult, senior or juvenile) who wishes to catch and retain any species of salmon. The stamp is valid from April 1- March 31st of each fishing season; one stamp is applicable to multiple copies of any combination of 1 day, 3 day and 5 day licences. Please retain all copies.

A stamp can be purchased online or through an Independent Access Provider.

How do I add a Salmon Conservation Stamp to my B.C. Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence?

The Salmon Conservation Stamp is an option you select when the licence type is being entered in National Recreational Licensing System.

If you want to add a stamp after you have purchased a licence, log into your saved profile, and select “Get a Stamp”. This will add the current year stamp image to your licence. The licence will need to be re-printed. Independent Access Providers can also add a Salmon Conservation Stamp to a new or existing licence.

Why can't I add a Salmon Conservation Stamp to my new B.C. Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence?

The salmon conservation stamp is valid for one year from April 1 to the following March 31.

You can see your valid licences and stamp in your profile. If a conservation stamp has been already affixed to a 1, 3 or 5-day licence, do not purchase another one. When you purchase additional licences through the online system, the stamp will automatically be transferred to the new licence.

Purchase process

Is there a difference between a Non-tidal Angling Licence and a Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence in British Columbia?

Yes. Non-tidal Angling Licences are issued by the Province of British Columbia for activities in non-tidal waters (freshwater) and can be obtained here. Any questions related to non-tidal angling licences should be directed to the Province.

What different B.C. Tidal Waters Sport Fishing licence categories are offered?

Tidal Waters Sport Fishing licences are available as 1 day, 3 day, 5 day or annual licences depending on the age group and residency.

What is the difference between a Canadian resident versus a Canadian non-resident?

A resident is a person who normally resides in a place (e.g. Canada, British Columbia). A Canadian resident is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who normally resides in Canada.

A non-resident is a person who normally resides outside a place (e.g. Canada, British Columbia). A Canadian non-resident is a person who is not a Canadian resident or a permanent resident of Canada

What is the cost of purchasing a B.C. Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence and/or Salmon Conservation Stamp?

Licence cost varies based on the age and residency of the fisher, as well as the term of the licence, which may range from one day to one year. A full list of tidal water licence fees can be found here.

Is there a concession fee for persons with disabilities or First Nations people?

No, there is no licence category or concession fee for persons with disabilities nor Indigenous people fishing in tidal waters. Fees are set in regulations and these categories are not included.

Is there be a fee to use the National Recreational Licensing System portal?

There is no additional fee involved with purchasing a B.C. Tidal Waters Sport Fishing licence via the National Recreational Licensing System. Licence holders may buy a licence, print a licence or reprint a lost licence from home without a fee.

However, there may be a usage fee if you purchase a B.C. Tidal Waters Sport Fishing licence through an Independent Access Provider who may charge a fee to assist with computer maintenance, printing and Internet costs. A usage fee is at the discretion of the Independent Access Provider.

Can I buy a B.C. Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence by telephone?

No. Telephone sales are not available.

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