Overview for anglers

B.C. Residents and Non-Residents can buy Freshwater Fishing Licences for recreational purposes in accordance with regulations.


The Freshwater Fishing Licence does not include fishing in British Columbia‚Äôs tidal waters.  Tidal fishing regulations and licences are under the jurisdiction of the Canadian federal government.

Types of fishing licences

An angler will need to buy a Basic Licence which allows him or her to fish during a given time period.  For example, the angler can buy an annual licence, an 8-day licence or a 1-day licence.


Anglers who wish to fish for steelhead or keep special species or sizes of fish (Steelhead, Non-Tidal Salmon, Kootenay Lake Rainbow Trout, Shuswap Lake Rainbow Trout, or Shuswap Lake Char) may be required to buy a Conservation Surcharge (also called a Conservation Species Licence) for each species in addition to the Basic Licence.  


Anglers who wish to participate in the catch and release White Sturgeon fishery in the lower and middle freshwater portions of the Fraser River watershed must buy a White Sturgeon Conservation Licence in addition to the Basic Licence. Anglers can buy a 1-day, 8-day or annual White Sturgeon Conservation Licence.


Anglers who wish to fish in one of BC's specially designated trout streams must buy a Classified Waters Licence in addition to the Basic Licence.  This is an annual licence for BC Residents to fish on any Classified Water in the province during the year the licence is valid (April 1 to March 31).  For non-residents of BC, this licence is sold on a per diem basis and is date and water specific.   


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