Report your effort and catch
As a B.C. tidal waters sport fishing licence holder, you belong to an accountable community that shares responsibility for B.C.’s sustainable recreational fishery. Your fishing information, combined with the reports of thousands of other recreational fishers, helps meet mandatory, domestic and international requirements to monitor the recreational fishery. When you report your effort and catch, you are helping to manage and protect the future health and vibrancy of Canada's natural resources.
How it works
We collect data both in-person and online to help monitor the impacts of the recreational fishery on Pacific fish and shellfish stocks. Participation in our recreational monitoring program is mandatory, and is a condition of your B.C. tidal waters sport fishing licence.
In addition to our mandatory reporting programs, many fishing guides, lodges and independent anglers keep logbooks and collect samples to help with the shared task of monitoring catches.
Internet Recreational Effort and Catch reporting program
The Internet Recreational Effort and Catch (iREC) reporting program is a mandatory reporting program in which all B.C. tidal water sport fishing licence holders must report their fishing effort and catch for specific months. Information gathered in this program helps inform fisheries management decisions that support the sustainable use of our resources.
Who must fill out the iREC reporting program
Almost everyone holding a tidal waters sport fishing licence must report their fishing effort and catch for an assigned reporting period through the online iREC reporting program. This includes:
- adult licence holders
- senior licence holders
- annual licence holders
- term licence holders
- resident and non-resident licence holders
Generally, only juvenile licence holders under the age of 16 do not participate in this program.
If you purchased more than 1 licence in the season, such as 2 one-day licences, you will be required to report your effort and catch for each fishing licence purchased.
When do I have to report my catch
Licence holders will be selected to report for only 1 of the months for which their licence is valid.
You need to report your fishing effort and catch for the month printed on your licence in the iREC reporting requirement box before the 19th day of the following month. We will send reminder emails to the email address we have on file for you, so please make sure that your contact information in the National Recreational Licensing System is current.
You can record information periodically (preferred if several fishing trips occur in the reporting period), or complete the report in a single visit to the website after the reporting period ends. If you don’t fish during the reporting period you must indicate this on the report.
What do I report
You must provide information about your fishing activity during your reporting period including:
- date(s) fished
- fishery management areas(s) fished in and fishing location within the area(s)
- 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
You must complete the iREC report even if you do not fish in your reporting period, or if you fish but do not catch and/or retain anything.
If you catch halibut, chinook salmon, and/or lingcod you must always record your catch on your fishing licence in ink or in the National Recreational Licencing System. This is different than reporting your effort and catch through the iREC program. If you caught these species in the month in which you are asked to submit your iREC report, you must both record it as above and report it through the online iREC reporting program.
Download a printable Track your catch form now to make it easy for you when it comes time to fill in your report.
In addition to the personal information collected when you purchased your tidal waters sport fishing licence, DFO requires additional information to determine recreational effort and catch statistics. This information will be collected via the Internet Recreational Effort and Catch (iREC) reporting program which is administered by an independent consulting company on DFO’s behalf. The consulting company will be provided with your name, iREC access ID and email address in order to conduct the program.
The information that you provide may be used to evaluate fish management and stock assessment programs. It may also be disclosed to DFO’s Conservation and Protection Program 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 reporting program would be a violation of the conditions of your fishing 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 reporting program is described in the Personal Information Banks entitled Nationally Regulated Recreational, Domestic, and Sport Fishing (DFO PPU 415). For more information visit Info Source.
How do I report my catch?
- Check your licence to find your access ID and the month you have been selected to report on
- Go to the iREC reporting program website before the 19th day of the following month
- Report your effort and kept and released catch of finfish and shellfish!
Watch the video below for step-by-step instructions on how to report your catch and effort through the online iREC reporting interface.
More information about reporting your catch through the online iREC program
Our fishery technicians conduct creel surveys, or in-person interviews, about recreational fishing effort and catch at marinas, boat ramps and on rivers. If you're selected to participate in a creel survey, the technicians will ask you details 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, like tissue for DNA stock identification analysis or scales for age analysis.
Even if you participate in a creel survey in the month that you're selected to report your catch through the online iREC report, you still need to complete the online report for that month. We will manage the results of both reporting programs.
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