Ministry of Environment

Fisheries InventoryFisheries Inventory

Historical Fish Distribution Map Files

The FISS Historical Fish Distribution Maps show the locations of fish species, including Salmon, Sport and Non-Sport Fish , in streams throughout British Columbia. This spatial data set is based on data from the Fisheries Information Summary System (FISS) database that were collected prior to the year 2000. These fish species locations are georeferenced to the 1:50,000 BC Watershed Atlas map base and are mapped as either points or zones, or if site specific data is not available, a marker symbol located at a stream mouth is used to indicate that the species of fish is present within the stream. These mapped locations identify where fish species have been observed, the extent of their upstream migration and where activities such as spawning, rearing and holding are known to occur. This data set is available for downloading as zipped files that can be displayed in ARC/INFO, ArcView or ArcExplorer when unzipped. They are intended to be displayed together with the corresponding 1:50,000 BC Watershed Atlas Map base. Read the Watershed Atlas Documentation for a full explanation:1:50,000 BC Watershed Atlas Information Site

Note: This historical spatial data set is the only provincial fisheries data currently available where fish species distributions are represented by a combination of points and zones depicted on a map such that each point and zone has its location identified as a distance from the stream mouth. In addition the zone features in this spatial data set represent the upstream migration distances of Salmon Species and the linear extent of spawning and rearing habitats within streams and every zone has a known length attributed to it.

More recent fish species distribution information is now available through the Land and Resource Data Warehouse (LRDW) Delivery Service but only in the form of fish species locations mapped as points on streams, associated stream distance measures have not been calculated and zone features have not been created.

Historical Fish Distribution in Streams:

 Please note that three historical fish distribution files must be downloaded and unzipped to display the entire data set for streams in the province. These files are available as ArcInfo coverages and shapefiles.

The FISS Historical Fish Distribution Map Files for streams can be downloaded from:

The file contains point locations in streams where fish species have been observed. The file file contains point markers at stream mouths representing fish species presence within these streams. The file contains all zone information including Salmon species distribution and Sport fish spawning zones.

Historical Fish Distribution in Lakes:

The ArcInfo table contains fish species data for lakes from the Fisheries Information Summary System (FISS) database that were collected prior to the year 2000. The same data set is also available in the database file The fish species attributes in this table can be linked directly to the lake polygons of the 1:50K BC Watershed Atlas lakes layer – lwslbcgz using the unique waterbody identifier as the relate item.

The FISS Historical Fish Distribution Map Files for lakes can be downloaded from:

1:50,000 Scale BC Watershed Atlas Map Base:

The minimum BC Watershed Atlas Map layers that must be downloaded to display a complete map of Historical Fish Distribution are (Stream Centreline Network), (Lakes) and (BC Boundaries and Coastline).

The BC Watershed Atlas Map layers can be downloaded as either ArcInfo coverages or shapefiles from :