Restricted fishing areas

Fishing in parks

Fishing in parks and marine conservation areas

Canada’s national parks and marine conservation areas help protect marine species and their habitat from the threat of human activities. In British Columbia, DFO cooperates with Parks Canada and others to manage sport fishing in these areas.

Gulf Islands National Park Reserve

Gulf Islands National Park Reserve (GINPR) is spread over many islands, islets, reefs and adjacent waters in the southern-most Gulf Islands. Always check the latest closures and restrictions for the area where you are fishing.

If you plan to fish in the southern Gulf Islands, be aware of the following:

  • Freshwater fishing is not permitted in GINPR
  • The GINPR Interim Park Zoning, which is expected to be approved in the near future, proposes some marine closure areas for conservation and wildlife related reasons
  • It is your responsibility to be aware of and respect national park regulations (Parks Canada)

Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and Haida Heritage Site

As of May 1, 2019, commercial and recreational fishing is prohibited in the strict protection zones of the Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and Haida Heritage Site. (full co-ordinates):

  • 1. Kun Skuujii sda GawGaay.ya (Kwoon Cove to Gowgaia Bay)
  • 2. SGang Gwaay (Wailing Island)
  • 3. Gangxid Tllgaay (South Kunghit Island)
  • 4. Gangxid Xyuu Kun sda Kan ’Láas Kun (Lyman Point to Receiver Point)
  • 5. Kayjuu Kun (Benjamin Point)
  • 6a. St’aa K’ii GawGa (Flamingo Inlet)
  • 6b. GawGajaang (Louscoone Inlet)
  • 6c. K’insiGid (Rose Inlet)
  • 6d. GawGan (Huston Inlet)
  • 7. Suu Kaahlii sda SGwaay Kun Gwaay.yaay (Skincuttle Inlet to Burnaby Island)
  • 8. Kuuniisii Xaw GawGa sda Gaaduu Gwaay (Matheson Inlet to Huxley Island)
  • 9. Gandaawuu.ngaay Xyangs sda Tllga Kun Gwaay.yaay (Juan Perez Sound to Lyell Island)
  • 10. Didxwahxyangs (Darwin Sound)
  • 11. T’aanuu K’aadxwah Xyangs sda Gwaay Xaa’ans (Klue Passage to Lost Islands)

Please see the Gwaii Haanas Gina ’Waadluxan KilGuhlGa Land-Sea-People Management Plan 2018 for full details of these zones and restrictions.

It is your responsibility to be aware of and respect national park regulations (Parks Canada)

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Freshwater fishing is not permitted in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

Proposed Southern Strait of Georgia National Marine Conservation Area Reserve

Proposed Southern Strait of Georgia National Marine Conservation Area Reserve (NMCA) covers approximately 1,400 sq. km, stretching from Cordova Bay to southern Gabriola Island, including Saanich Inlet. Always check the latest closures and restrictions for the area where you are fishing.

To get involved or to learn more about the NMCA reserve proposal, visit Parks Canada's Feasibility Study for the Proposed Southern Strait of Georgia National Marine Conservation Area Reserve

Glass sponge reefs

Restrictions in glass sponge reefs

Do your part to protect sensitive sponge and coral habitat by not fishing trap gear for crab, octopus, prawn or shrimp in areas where such fishing is not allowed. Move to another location any time you recover your trap gear and find pieces of sponge or coral attached.

Marine protected areas

Restrictions in marine protected areas (MPA)

DFO designates MPAs to protect important fish and marine mammal habitats and endangered marine species. In MPAs, it is generally prohibited to carry out any activity that disturbs, damages, destroys or removes any living marine organism or any part of its habitat or is likely to do so.

Learn about restrictions in:

Restrictions in areas of interest (AOI)

AOIs contain ecologically-sensitive land or species that need extra protection. The designation of an area of interest is the first step towards establishing a marine protected area.

Learn about restrictions in:

Rockfish conservation areas

Restrictions in rockfish conservation areas

Yelloweye rockfish

Yelloweye rockfish

Before you go fishing, find out where British Columbia’s RCAs are located. Certain coastal areas are designated rockfish conservation areas (RCAs).

Populations of British Columbia’s inshore rockfish, such as yelloweye, quillback, copper, china, and tiger rockfish, are at low levels, especially in the Strait of Georgia. DFO needs your help to keep the numbers from falling more.

Sport fishing is not allowed in RCAs, except for gathering the following:

  • invertebrates by hand picking or diving
  • crab by trap
  • shrimp or prawn by trap
  • smelt by gillnet

Help protect Rockfish