Freshwater Fishing e-Licence News

Dear Angler:

Don’t miss a single day of the NEW angling season!

Your 2014/2015 angling licence expires on March 31st.

2015/2016 licences are available March 1, 2015!

It’s fast and easy to buy your licence online or from your favourite fishing licence vendor or at any Service BC Centre.

2014/2015 current season licences will still be available for purchase during the month of March.  Be sure to select the 2015/2016 following season for each of your new Basic Licence, Conservation Surcharge Stamps and Classified Waters Licence products valid for the April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016 licence year.  All licence sales are final so please double check that you have the correct year prior to completing your purchase.  

Note:  The Freshwater Fishing Licence does not include fishing in British Columbia’s coastal tidal waters (salt water).  You will need to go to the website for the National Recreational Licensing System to renew your Tidal ‘Salt Water’ Fishing Licence.

Regulations

The 2015/2017 Freshwater Fishing Regulations Synopsis is expected to be available online http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/fw/fish/regulations/ and distributed in hard copy to licence vendors and Service BC Centres by late March 2015.  Supplies are limited and anglers are requested to care for and retain their copy of the synopsis for the 2015/2016 and 2016/2017 licence years.

The eligibility criteria for angling on Age Restricted Waters have been amended.  Previously, anyone under the age of 16, 65 years of age or older, or disabled were the only individuals eligible to angle on these waters.  This new classification of waters is termed Youth/Disabled Accompanied Waters.  The list of these waters has been amended and the regulation now re-defines an eligible angler as anyone under the age of 16 or anyone in possession of a BC Disabled Basic angling licence, with an allowance of up to two accompanying anglers per eligible anglers.  Now parents or friends can enjoy the better than average angling opportunities on these waters while fishing alongside their youth or disabled companions.

The Ministry holds a photo contest for the cover of the Freshwater Fishing Regulations Synopsis.  Learn how to submit photos of your fishing adventures for the next synopsis printing.   Even if your photo doesn’t make it on the cover, it may still find a place within the publication.

Protect our lakes and streams. New regulatory measures for high-risk aquatic invasive species are in place.  Learn more about the regulations, and view the full list of species.

Angling, Hunting and Trapping Public Engagement Website:  Members of the public are invited to review and provide feedback on proposed Angling, Hunting, and Trapping regulatory or policy proposals through the Fish & Wildlife Branch’s Angling, Hunting and Trapping Public Engagement Website  Proposed regulation changes for the 2015/2017 angling seasons were posted in the fall/winter of 2014 for a one month period;  the deadline for comments or public feedback has now passed.  It is anticipated that regulation proposals related to hunting and trapping will be posted on the website in the fall of 2015 with a one month window for public review, comment or feedback.

In Season Regulation Changes

Anglers must be aware that in-season regulation changes occur in order for fisheries managers to respond to new information, and amend regulations accordingly.  The online synopsis website is the best source for anglers to ensure they are informed of any in-season regulation changes.

Kootenay Region Classified Waters:  Anglers should be aware that Classified Waters in the Kootenay Region are under review and in-season regulation changes for these waters are being considered for the spring/summer of 2015.

You can subscribe to receive in-season regulation updates.  If you would like more information using the ministry’s RSS feed, follow these instructions.

B.C.’s Family Fishing Weekend is on Father’s Day Weekend June 19th, 20th, and 21st, 2015

Canadian families can go fishing and enjoy B.C.’s great outdoors compliments of the provincial government.   Check the Family Fishing Society of BC’s website at www.bcfamilyfishing.com for complete details on fishing regulations, suggested places to fish and locations of special community events.

Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation

Sustainable management and conservation of B.C.’s fisheries resources is delivered through the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF).  HCTF provides grants for fish conservation projects using surcharge revenue from angling licence sales.  To find out how your licence purchase is benefitting BC’s freshwater fish and habitats, or to sign up for the HCTF’s quarterly newsletter visit HCTF’s website at www.hctf.ca.

Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC

In the 2013/2014 season over 330,000 anglers purchased freshwater fishing licences.  Every licence purchase supports the stocking of more than 800 lakes a year by the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC, and helps to fund their research, conservation services, and educational programs.  To sign up for their newsletter,  learn more on seasonal fishing opportunities and get the latest stocking reports visit www.gofishbc.com.

We want your feedback!

Surveys are an important part of fisheries management.  They help us understand angler preferences, as well as the state of the fishery.

Every year, anglers who purchase certain special licences, are asked to participate in a survey.  Information gained from these surveys is key to the successful management of angling opportunities.
Annual survey questionnaires include those for steelhead and white sturgeon, as well as for Kootenay Lake rainbow trout.  You may receive one soon, either by mail or by email.  If you receive one, please complete it and return it as instructed.  Thank you! We encourage all anglers to participate!

Thank you!

We look forward to hearing your thoughts and working together to ensure that British Columbia continues to provide world-class fishing opportunities.

If you have questions, please see our Frequently Asked Questions or our How-To Guide for the British Columbia Angling, Hunting, and Trapping Website.

Please feel free to forward this email to anglers you know who may not have received it.

Director, Fish and Wildlife Branch
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations