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Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

Angling Licences and Fees

All annual licences are valid for the current licence year, April 1 – March 31, commencing on date purchased.  

Basic Licences

prices subject to change, tax not included
Licence Type Resident
Non-Resident
Non-Resident Alien
Basic Licences
Annual Angling Licence $36 $55 $80
One Day Angling Licence* $10 $20 $20
Eight Day Angling Licence* $20 $36 $50
Annual Licence for Disabled $1 •• ••
Annual Licence for Age 65 Plus $5 •• ••
* You may buy as many One Day and Eight Day Licences as you need, but only one Annual Licence.
•• Fee reduction not available.

All licence fees except Annual Licence for the Disabled include a surcharge for the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation.

Conservation Surcharges

Prices subject to change, tax not included
Licence Type Resident
Non-Resident
Non-Resident Alien
Conservation Surcharges
Steelhead $25 $60 $60
Salmon $15 $30 $30
Shuswap L. Rainbow Trout $10 $20 $20
Kootenay L. Rainbow Trout $10 $20 $20
Shuswap Lake Char $10 $20 $20
Your basic licence can be validated with up to five annual Conservation Surcharge Stamps, plus a White Sturgeon Conservation Licence. If your basic licence is reprinted, all your retention records must be transferred to the new copy.

For further information, and to learn when conservation surcharge stamps and White Sturgeon licences are required, refer to the Freshwater Fishing Regulations Synopsis

White Sturgeon Conservation Licence

Licence Type Resident
Non-Resident
Non-Resident Alien
White Sturgeon Conservation Licence
One day $8 $15 $15
Eight day $15 $30 $30
Annual $25 $60 $60

Since September 12, 2008, sport anglers taking part in the white sturgeon fishery in the lower and middle freshwater portions of the Fraser River watershed are required to carry a new White Sturgeon Conservation Licence (WSCL) in addition to a basic provincial angling licence.

The lower and middle portions of the Fraser River watershed (which includes the Fraser River tributaries), from the Mission Bridge to and including Williams Lake River in the Cariboo Region, are the only fresh waters in B.C. where it is legal to fish for white sturgeon in a unique catch-and-release fishery. All other fresh waters in B.C. are closed to sturgeon fishing.

All revenue generated from the sales of the WSCL will be directed to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation for use in sturgeon stock management activities.

Classified Waters Licences

Licence Type Resident
Non-Resident
Non-Resident Alien
Basic Licences
Classified Waters Licence $15 (annual) •• ••
Class I Waters Licence N/A $40/day $40/day
Class II Waters Licence N/A $20/day $20/day
•• Annual Classified Waters Licence not available.
  • All annual licences are valid for the licencing year, April 1 – March 31, commencing on date purchased.
  • Prices are subject to change. H.S.T. is not included.
  • Basic and supplementary licences and stamps are not valid in National Parks (except for Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. See Freshwater Fishing Regulations Synopsis, Provincial Regulations, Fishing in National Parks).

If you are a B.C. resident:

Your Classified Waters Licence may be purchased on-line at www.fishing.gov.bc.ca, or from a Service BC Centre or any licence vendor who may offer this service. For a listing of Service BC Centres and licence vendors, go to http://a100.gov.bc.ca/pub/lvs/. In exceptional cases, “old-style” paper licences may be issued by guides and some licence vendors. The Classified Waters Licence is an annual licence. This means you can fish on any Class I or Class II water in the province during the year the licence is valid.

If you are a non-guided "non-resident" or non-guided "non-resident alien" angler:

Your Classified Waters Licence for Class I or Class II waters may be purchased on-line at www.fishing.gov.bc.ca, or from a Service BC Centre or any licence vendor who may offer this service. For a listing of Service BC Centres and licence vendors, go to http://a100.gov.bc.ca/pub/lvs/. Class I and Class II classified waters licences are sold on a per diem basis and are date and water specific. Although anglers may purchase as many classified waters licences as they wish, each licence must not exceed 8 consecutive days.

EXCEPTION: Non-Resident Aliens may only purchase one classified waters licence for the Dean River. Non-guided "Non-Resident Aliens" wishing to fish the classified section of the Dean River from Crag Creek to signs 500m above the canyon must enter the Dean River Draw.

If you are a guided "non-resident" or a guided "non-resident alien" angler:

Your Classified Waters Licence for Class I or Class II waters may be purchased on-line at www.fishing.gov.bc.ca, or from a Service BC Centre or any licence vendor who may offer this service. For a listing of Service BC Centres and licence vendors, go to http://a100.gov.bc.ca/pub/lvs/. In exceptional cases, "old-style" paper licences may be issued by guides and some licence vendors. Class I and Class II classified waters licences are sold on a per diem basis and are date and water specific. Although anglers may purchase as many classified waters licences as they wish, each licence must not exceed 8 consecutive days.

EXCEPTION: Non-Resident Aliens may only purchase one classified waters licence for the Dean River.

The classified waters of B.C. are fifty-two (52) highly productive trout streams. These streams are classified as either Class I or Class II and are listed in the Water Specific Tables for each Region or a listing is provided in the Wildlife Act under the Angling and Scientific Collection Regulation [PDF 43KB]. The Classified Waters Licensing System was created to preserve the unique fishing opportunities provided by these waters, which contribute significantly to the province's reputation as a world class fishing destination.

All anglers required to buy a basic Angling Licence must also purchase a Classified Waters Licence before fishing on a stream during the period when it is classified:

Lower Dean River - Vance Hanna

This licence is required in addition to the basic angling licence and any other stamps required by regulation.

Also note that a steelhead surcharge stamp is required at all times when fishing for steelhead, or when fishing classified waters during the period when steelhead are known to be present. The specific times when a steelhead licence is mandatory are listed in the Water Specific Tables for each Region.

The Quality Waters Strategy (QWS)

The province is implementing new regulations to preserve the quality of angling experience associated with the Skeena steelhead fishery.
Through the Skeena Quality Waters Strategy process, a number of new regulations have been developed to ensure the region’s steelhead fishery continues to provide economic and recreational benefits to northwest British Columbia in the years to come.  On April 1, 2012 the following regulation changes will take effect:

  • Changes to the classification of some rivers from Class II to Class I;
  • Extensions to the time period when a ‘Classified Waters Licence’ and a ‘Steelhead Conservation Stamp’ are required;
  • New measures for the management of angling guides; and
  • New times and zones for angling by Canadians only, where non-Canadian anglers (i.e. non-resident aliens) will be restricted from fishing.

To learn more about hese changes, and how they may impact you, see Steelhead Angling Regulation Changes in the Skeena Watershed Brochure [PDF 1.18MB]

These changes represent the final Working Group recommendations that were endorsed by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (formerly Ministry of Environment). To learn more about why these changes were developed, read the “Ministry Response to Final Working Group Recommendations” [PDF 403KB]

Dean River Draw

All anglers are required to buy a Classified Waters Licence to fish the classified portions of the Dean River (see Region 5 table [PDF 2.11MB] for specific areas and dates). There are no limits on the number of days which a Canadian resident may fish the classified portions of the Dean River. A Non-Resident Alien (someone who is not a resident of Canada) is allowed only one Classified Waters Licence for the Dean River, and may only fish one classified portion (Class I or Class II) of the Dean River for a maximum of 8 consecutive days per year regardless of whether guided or unguided.

A non-guided Non-Resident Alien wishing to fish the Dean River from Crag Creek to signs 500m above the canyon must enter an annual limited entry draw held in March.
(Please note that the Dean River below signs in the lower canyon is a Class I Water and classified from June 1 to September 30. This section is NOT included in the annual Dean River Draw.)

Applications for the draw can be obtained by writing to the address below. You can also download the form below:
For more information about the draw, please contact:
Dean River Draw
Fish, Wildlife and Habitat Management Branch
Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
PO Box 9363, STN PROV GOVT
Victoria B.C.  V8W 9M2
Phone: 250 387-9589

If you are 16 years of age or older

  • You must have a valid basic licence to sport fish for any species of fish in non-tidal waters (including salmon).
  • You must purchase appropriate supplementary licences and stamps.
  • You must carry your licence while sport fishing and, if asked, produce it for inspection by a Conservation Officer, Fishery Officer, RCMP constable, Park Ranger in a park, or an Officer under the Wildlife Act .

If you are less than 16 years of age

Youth Exemption

If you are under 16 and a resident of B.C.:

  • you may sport fish without any licence or stamp;
  • you do not need to be accompanied by a licence holder;
  • you are entitled to your own quota of fish.

If you are under 16 and a non-resident of B.C.:

  • you do not require any licence or stamp to sport fish, but you must be accompanied by a person (resident or non-resident) who has the appropriate licences and stamps;
  • any fish you keep must be counted as part of the catch and possession of your accompanying licence holder;
  • if you want to catch and keep your own quota of fish, you may buy a licence and any necessary supplementary licences and stamps.

Definition of B.C. Resident, Non-Resident, and Non-Resident Alien

B.C. Resident means:

your primary residence is in British Columbia, AND

(a) you are a Canadian citizen or a landed immigrant, AND
have been physically present in B.C. for the greater portion of each of 6 calendar months out of the immediately preceding 12 calendar months,

OR

(b) you are NOT a Canadian citizen or a landed immigrant, but have been physically present in British Columbia for the greater portion of each of the immediately preceding 12 calendar months.

Non-Resident means:

you are not a “resident,” but (a) you are a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant, OR (b) your primary residence is in Canada, AND you have resided in Canada for the immediately preceding 12 months.

Non-Resident Alien means:

you are neither a “resident” nor a “non-resident.”

Where and How to Purchase a Licence

Non-Tidal Licences are now available on-line. The new Non-Tidal (Freshwater) Fishing E-Licensing system allows anglers to register to obtain an Angler Number and purchase their basic No-Tidal Angling Licence, Classified Waters Licences, White Sturgeon Conservation Licences and Conservation Surcharge Stamps, at any time.

To purchase your angling licence on-line or for further information, please go to www.fishing.gov.bc.ca.

Anglers may also obtain electronic licences from their local Service BC Centre or any licence vendor who may offer this service. For a listing of Service BC Centres and licence vendors, go to http://a100.gov.bc.ca/pub/lvs/.

Angling Licence Fee Reduction Program for Disabled Residents of B.C.

In this program, any British Columbia Resident who is severely and permanently disabled may apply for a Non-Tidal Angling Licence at the reduced fee of $1.12.

Note: Licences are not required for anglers under 16 years of age.

The fee reduction is for the annual Non-Tidal Angling Licence ONLY. It does not entitle the applicant to a reduction on Conservation Surcharge Stamps, the White Sturgeon Conservation Licence or the Classified Waters Licence.

Application Form

An application form is available for download [PDF 126KB], or forms may be obtained from Service BC Centres throughout the province, or from the Fish, Wildlife and Habitat Management Branch in Victoria.

Fish, Wildlife and Habitat Management Branch
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
PO Box 9363, STN PROV GOVT
Victoria, B.C.  V8W 9M2

To qualify, an applicant must submit documentation confirming that he/she is in receipt of one of the benefits listed in Part B of the application. If this documentation cannot be provided, then Part C must be completed by a practicing registered B.C. physician or nurse.

Individuals may purchase future licences by presenting an expired licence purchased at the reduced fee or a Certificate of Eligibility to any licence vendor. If a licence becomes lost, stolen or destroyed, eligibility can be confirmed by contacting any Service BC Centre or the Fish, Wildlife and Habitat Management in Victoria.

Further information is available from any of the Service BC Centres or by calling the Fish, Wildlife and Habitat Management, Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, in Victoria at 250 356-9295 or 250 387-9589.

Note: no refunds will be made on licences purchased at the full price.

Lost Licences

What to do if you lose your licence:

  • You must be in possession of a valid licence prior to resuming fishing.
  • Do not buy a new licence. You are only permitted one annual angling licence per year.
  • If you lose the licence that you purchased on-line, you can:
    • Reprint it from the Internet yourself for free   
    • Get a Service BC Centre or a Licence Vendor to reprint a copy for you (there may be a fee), or
    • Get a licence vendor to reprint a copy (there may be a fee)
  • Your retention record must be transferred to the new copy.