Recreational fishing (sport fishing)

Sport fishing occurs both in tidal and non-tidal (fresh) waters throughout the province of British Columbia.

Tidal fishing

Management of tidal recreational fishing

Approximately 300,000 licence holders participate in the tidal recreational fishing opportunities provided in British Columbia.  Fisheries and Oceans Canada is responsible for managing tidal recreational fishing.

British Columbia has a reputation for being one of the greatest saltwater fishing destinations in the world.  The most important recreational fishing species are Pacific salmon and halibut, but bottom fish and shellfish are also harvested.  There is also a growing interest in albacore tuna.  A variety of fishing opportunities are available, from shoreline fishing to staying at world class lodges.

The recreational fishery and its businesses are part of the broader outdoor recreational and tourism sectors. They are major contributors to local economies, benefiting those that provide direct fishing services and service providers such as transportation and accommodation providers.

Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats assessment

The following report summarizes the findings of a comprehensive study commissioned by the Province of British Columbia to assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (a “SWOT analysis”) of the B.C. seafood and tidal recreational fishing sectors. 

Non-tidal (freshwater) fishing

Management of non-tidal recreational fishing

Non-tidal (freshwater) recreational fishing is managed by the B.C. Government's Fish, Wildlife and Habitat Management Branch.  The Branch establishes legislation, policies and procedures for managing fishing and hunting activities, and for allocating fish and wildlife resources for recreational and commercial use.

Recreational shellfish harvesting

British Columbia provides policy advice on issues such as commercial and recreational allocation, catch monitoring and is responsible for recreational shellfish harvesting reserves

Clams, mussels and oysters can be harvested recreationally almost year-round on the B.C. coast.