Skeena Quality Waters Strategy

New Angling Regulations for Steelhead Fishing in the Skeena Region

In 2012, the province implemented new regulations to preserve the quality of angling experience associated with the Skeena steelhead fishery.

Through the Skeena Quality Waters Strategy process (QWS), a number of measures were developed to ensure the region’s steelhead fishery will continue to provide economic and recreational benefits to northwest British Columbia in the years to come. On April 1, 2012 the following regulation changes took effect:

  • Changes to the classification of some rivers from Class 2 to Class 1;
  • Extensions to the time period when a ‘Classified Waters Licence’ and a ‘Steelhead Conservation Stamp’ are required;
  • Increases and decreases to the number of days angling guides may operate on some rivers;
  • Restrictions to angling guides to distribute effort over the Classified Waters period; and
  • New times and zones for angling by Canadians only, where foreign anglers will be restricted from fishing.

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 these changes, read the “Ministry Response to Final Working Group Recommendations[PDF 403KB] and visit the BC Government Online News Source.

These regulation changes were developed in consultation with resident anglers, guides, tourism operators, business community members, non-Canadian anglers and First Nations to resolve issues of overcrowding in the fishery.

What’s Been Done

Regulation changes developed through the Skeena QWS process were implemented on April 1, 2012. Since that time, the following work has been completed:

Following the 2015/2016 licence year, the ministry will be reviewing input from anglers and data collected through the River Guardian project to assess whether the regulatory changes are working as intended.