Report your catch
To monitor the sport fishery, DFO conducts various surveys in person and online. In-person surveys are conducted at certain marinas, boat ramps and rivers by fishery technicians, who will collect information from you about your fishing trip, including:
- times and places fished
- number of fish kept and number released
- size of fish
- catches of hatchery-marked salmon
They may also ask to collect biological samples from your catch (e.g. tissue for DNA stock identification analysis, scales for age analysis).
Online surveys include the iREC and iARC surveys which are conducted for DFO by an independent company and described below. If you are selected for either of these surveys, survey selection and access information will be provided in two ways:
- This information will be printed near the bottom of your licence.
- You will receive reminder email messages near the beginning of your survey period. These email messages will be sent to the address included in your DFO licensing system account so please ensure that account has your current email address.
In addition to these surveys, many fishing guides, lodges and independent anglers keep logbooks and collect samples to help with the shared task of monitoring catches.
Participation is mandatory
As of April 2013, a condition of licence on Tidal Waters Sport Fishing licences requires that licence holders provide information on their recreational fishing activity and catch to DFO representatives when requested (see section 61 of the Fisheries Act). Responding to surveys is a condition of your fishing licence.
Internet Recreational Effort and Catch (iREC) survey
The iREC survey is an ongoing monthly survey which collects information on fishing effort and catch. Randomly selected participants provide information about fishing activity including kept and released catch of over 80 species of finfish and shellfish, as well as effort information by date, area and fishing method.
Internet Annual Recreational Catch (iARC) survey
The iARC survey is an annual survey which collects catch records written on the sport fishing licences of randomly selected fishers. The department uses responses to the survey to estimate recreational catches of Halibut, Lingcod and Chinook Salmon, and average weights of Halibut, by month and management area. Comparisons of these catch estimates with those from the iREC and creel surveys allow the development of improved finalized catch estimates.
Privacy notice to holders of a Pacific Region tidal waters sport fishing licence
In addition to the personal information collected when you purchased your Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence, DFO requires additional information to determine recreational catch and effort statistics. This additional information includes the following elements: date(s) fished, management unit(s) fished in, method(s) of fishing used, number of juvenile licence holders fishing with you (if any), days originated from a sport fishing lodge (if any), days fished with a paid fishing guide (if any), the number, by species, of finfish and shellfish kept and released, and length of halibut kept.
This information will be collected via the internet Recreational Effort and Catch Survey or the internet Annual Recreational Catch survey, which are administered by an independent consulting company on DFO’s behalf. The consulting company will be provided with your name, licence number and email address in order to conduct the survey.
The information that you provide may be used to evaluate fish management and stock assessment programs. It may also be disclosed to DFO’s Compliance and Enforcement Division in the event of a suspected violation. In some cases, information may be disclosed without consent for purposes authorized under subsection 8(2) of the Privacy Act.
Personal information is collected pursuant to section 7 of the Fisheries Act, and section 17 of the British Columbia Sport Fishing Regulations, 1996. Not providing the information requested in the survey would be a violation of the conditions of your licence.
You have the right to the correction of, access to and protection of your personal information under the Privacy Act. If you have concerns regarding the handling of your personal information, you have the right to file a complaint with the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.
Personal information collected through the survey is described in the Personal Information Banks entitled Nationally Regulated Recreational, Domestic, and Sport Fishing (DFO PPU 415). Learn more
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