Learn about and apply for a recreational fishing licence
All recreational fishers must have a licence to harvest fish and shellfish in tidal (salt) waters in British Columbia. If possible, purchase your licence online before you head out as not all fishing locations have an Independent Access Provider that sells licences.
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What licence do you need
|Where are you fishing||What are you fishing for or harvesting||Age of fisher or harvester||Licence needed|
|Tidal (salt) waters in B.C.||Any species of finfish or shellfish||All ages||A valid B.C. Tidal Waters Sport Fishing licence|
|Tidal (salt) waters in B.C.||Salmon||All ages||
A salmon conservation stamp if salmon are retained
|Non-tidal (fresh) waters in B.C.||Salmon||16 years old and older||
A valid provincial freshwater fishing licence with a salmon conservation stamp if salmon are retained
Note that you need separate salmon conservation stamps for tidal and non-tidal recreational fishing licences; stamps are not interchangeable and provincial fees may differ from those listed here
|Non-tidal (fresh) waters in B.C.||Salmon||Under 16 years old||
Licensing requirements vary; see the B.C. Recreational Freshwater Fishing Licence page for more information
|Tidal (salt) waters in B.C.||Halibut||All ages||
For technical issues such as printing your licence, please contact us.
Tidal Waters Sport Fishing licence fees
Annual licences are valid from April 1 to March 31. Prices do not include GST.
|Licence type and duration||Age of fisher or harvester||Resident fee||Non-resident fee|
|Annual||Adult (16-64 years)||$22.59||$108.64|
|Annual||Senior (65 years old and older)||$11.83||$108.64|
|Annual||Juvenille (under 16 years old)||Free||Free|
|5 day licence||16 years old and older||$17.21||$32.35|
|3 day licence||16 years old and older||$11.83||$20.44|
|1 day licence||16 years old and older||$5.66||$7.53|
|Salmon conservation stamp (annual)||All ages if salmon is retained||$6.46||$6.46|
A Canadian resident is an individual who normally lives in Canada. A non-resident is anyone who does not live in Canada. Proof of residency may be requested.
How to purchase a licence
You can purchase a B.C. Tidal Waters Sport Fishing licence through:
Non-residents fishing for halibut in Areas 121, 23 and 123 may only purchase their licence from an Independent Access Provider in Canada.
As refunds will not be issued for purchased licences, make sure your licence selection (including the fishing year) is correct before completing your transaction.
How to replace a lost, damaged or stolen licence
If your licence is lost, accidentally destroyed or stolen you may:
- print a replacement licence for free online using the National Recreational Licensing System (NRLS)
- visit an Independent Access Provider who can reprint your licence for you
The catch records on the previous licence must be transferred to the replacement licence. It is illegal to hold more than one valid licence.
A valid B.C. Tidal Waters Sport Fishing licence:
- is required to fish for any species of finfish or to harvest shellfish
- must be in your possession while fishing or transporting catch
- must be immediately produced for inspection on request by a fishery officer, conservation officer or fishery guardian along with all catch records
- is not transferable
- does not need to be signed by the licence holder
- is valid:
- from the date shown until the following March 31 (for annual licences)
- until midnight on the final valid day (for short-term licences)
You must immediately and permanently record 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 in the catch records table on your licence. If mobile internet access is available, you may immediately record your retained catch in your National Recreational Licensing System (NRLS) account instead.
Note that it is illegal to hold more than one licence.
- Information to know when sport fishing in B.C.
- Recreational licence statistics
- Frequently Asked Questions for general licence holders
- Frequently Asked Questions for Independent Access Providers
- Apply for a provincial freshwater fishing licence
- Date modified: