Vancouver Island Region Fisheries

The Fisheries Management Section is responsible for Vancouver Island’s freshwater recreational fisheries resource: conservation of self- perpetuating populations of freshwater fish; management of sustainable sport fisheries; and building support for resource stewardship.

Several fundamental tasks are associated with these goals. The priority for management staff is to monitor populations of naturally reproducing sport fishes. In general, this involves determining how many fish are present in a population, if that population is stable, the level of harvest presently affecting the population, assessing impacts to the fish habitat, and developing habitat restoration prescriptions. On the stewardship side, staff provide technical direction to community stewardship groups working with urban salmon issues. We also develop stocking strategies on small lakes and streams where recreational use has increased to the point where restoration of wild stocks alone will not maintain the fishery. The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation provides funds for lake- and stream-specific projects and educational projects aimed at increasing public awareness of fish and fish habitat.

Licensed anglers on Vancouver Island fished a total of 670,000 days in 1995 and caught 1,021,000 freshwater sportfish from the regions’ lakes and streams. The catch breakdown consists of 38% cutthroat trout, 37% rainbow trout, 10% salmon, 7% steelhead trout, 3% smallmouth bass, 2% char, 2% kokanee and 1% other species.

A fishery of this magnitude and diversity dictates a conservative regulatory approach. Management staff opens, closes, or modifies recreational fisheries based on angler demand, habitat capability, and fish population status with the maintenance of wild fish a priority.

Vancouver Island Lakes Angling Questionnaire - 2011

The Regional Fisheries Branch is implementing a questionnaire program for fishing effort and catch on lakes in the Vancouver Island Region in 2011.  Anglers that receive either a mail-out or email questionnaire are encouraged to complete and return the survey.  Your answers are strictly confidential and will be used to help manage freshwater sportfishing resources in the Vancouver Island Region.  Please see the survey terms of use.  Should you require more information, please contact regional fisheries staff at (250) 751-3100.