Ministry of Environment


Angling in Bear Country

Bears are found throughout B.C., frequently near streams. Black bears and grizzlies have a keen sense of smell, which may attract them to freshly-caught fish, fish guts, spawning grounds and bait such as fish eggs. Here are some simple precautions to help you avoid bear encounters and conflicts: Angling in Bear Country

  • Clean your fish a good distance away from camp.
  • Dispose of fish guts by puncturing the bladder and dropping in deep or rushing water, well away from heavily used shoreline areas. Avoid disposal in shallow water or where likely to wash up on the beach, bank or boat launch. Burial or burning is not recommended, and please, do not place in garbage receptacles!
  • Remember not to wipe your hands on your clothing after cleaning fish or handling fish or bait such as fish eggs.
  • Bears can be drawn to many types of food – not only fish and bait, but also groceries or garbage. Take precautions both while fishing and at your camp. Keep fish eggs in well sealed and secure containers.
  • Make your presence known by talking loudly or making noise, particularly along streams and in areas where there is bear sign such as droppings, tracks, or claw or bite marks on trees.
  • While fishing, if a bear approaches within 50 metres (or 100 m for a female with cubs), reel in your line or cut the line and leave the area immediately

Preparing Fish for the Table

Like any animal, many species of freshwater fish and salmon can be infected with parasites. Some of these parasites can infect people.
  • To protect yourself and others, kill the parasites by:
    • Freezing to -20°C for 7 days or -35°C for 15 hours; or
    • Cooking to an internal temperature of 70°C.
  • Infected raw fish is not safe for pets.
  • Remember to wash your hands after handling fish.

For more information, visit the B.C. Centre for Disease Control web site at and go to Food Protection under Prevention & Control.

Notice to Boaters

Please be aware that many large lakes in the province have boating safety restrictions in specific areas. These restrictions are identified by buoys and/or signs and typically mark swimming areas or speed restrictions. Your compliance with these safety restrictions is appreciated.

Fluctuating Lake and Reservoir Levels

Water levels in lakes and especially reservoirs can fluctuate over the year. These fluctuations result in a change in the location of stream mouths (please check the definitions of "streams" and "stream mouths" on page 8 of the Synopsis). Note that a stream flowing through the drawdown portion of a reservoir basin is not considered to be part of the reservoir. Anglers are reminded that because lake and stream regulations may differ, care must be taken to ensure that the proper regulations are followed.

Boating Safety

For important information on regulations related to boating safety, including:
  • Operator competency requirements;
  • Horsepower restrictions related to the age of operators;
  • Universal Shoreline Speed Restrictions; and
  • River Boating Etiquette Proper use of Personal Flotation Devices (including Inflatable PFDs),
Please contact Transport Canada Marine's Office of Boating Safety toll-free at 1 800 267-6687, or visit their web site at

Many B.C. waters have boating restrictions in place. Please refer to the Regional Water-Specific Tables in the Synopsis for boating restrictions on individual waters.