Fishing and hunting COVID-19 updates
In response to COVID-19, the province is providing guidance specific to hunting and fishing. Check this page for updates before going fishing or hunting.
Last updated: November 20, 2020
On this page:
- Travel guidance
- First Nations communities
- Hunting and fishing guidance
- Limited entry hunting
- Compulsory inspections
- Education programs
As directed by the Provincial Health Officer (PHO), from November 19, 2020 at midnight to December 7, 2020 at midnight, non-essential travel should be avoided.
- If you are feeling sick, stay home
- If you do get sick, self-quarantine immediately and head home and contact 8-1-1 for further guidance
- Only hunt or fish with those in your household or core bubble
- Now is not the time to learn to hunt unless an experienced member of your household can assist you
Access to parks and recreation areas
Most Provincial Parks, Conservancies, Recreation Areas, Ecological Reserves and recreation sites are open for day-use and camping.
- Avoid overcrowded areas and trails
- If your favourite fishing spot is already being used, try the Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C.'s map of fishing areas in B.C. to find another location
- Camping and motorized recreation (including the use of off-road vehicles) is restricted in the Koocanusa Recreation Strategy Area
Road closures and restrictions
For information about existing road closures and regional contacts, visit:
- Local Road Safety Information
- Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Regional and District Contacts
First Nations have jurisdiction in states of emergency to protect the health and safety of their communities.
- Some First Nations under their local states of emergency have issued travel restrictions related to travel into their communities
- Essential travellers are asked to respect check-points and comply with restrictions unless providing services at the request of the First Nation community
- Prior to leaving for your hunting or fishing trip, review individual First Nation websites to check if they are welcoming visitors
- Avoid travel through or near the First Nation communities that have issued States of Emergency and/or travel advisory
Haida Gwaii Deer Licence
Effective July 27, 2020, the Haida Gwaii Deer Licence (HGDL) will not be available for purchase online or at any Service BC or FrontCounter BC location outside of Haida Gwaii.
First Nations have the authority to restrict travel into their reserve lands. Several communities are closed to people from outside the community. If you encounter access restrictions, you may need to follow your alternate plan. If approached at an access restriction point, stay calm at all times, maintain a physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) and consider wearing a face mask.
Please report the access restriction to the Conservation Officer Service (through the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) online form or hotline 1-877-952-7277 or #7277 on the TELUS Mobility Network) and the Province will determine the course of action and continue to work through discussions. Please report all safety concerns to the RCMP.
You are expected to follow all orders and guidance provided by the Provincial Health Officer (PHO). All angling and hunting regulations and licensing requirements are still in effect.
- Hunting and trapping regulations
- Hunting licensing information
- Freshwater fishing regulations
- Angling licensing information
Hunting as an essential service
Hunting for the purpose of providing food is considered an essential service under the food cultivation section of Ministerial Order No. M120.
Hunting species which do not require the retrieval of edible portions is considered recreational. You only can hunt recreationally if you follow the PHO orders and guidance. Local hunting will often be considered an essential service.
Businesses and individuals that support hunting for food cultivation can continue to operate if they are able to follow the PHO orders and guidance. Businesses and individuals that support hunting for purposes other than food cultivation can continue to operate if they are able to follow the PHO orders and guidance, however they are not deemed essential.
Conservation Officer Service
The Conservation Officer Service is continuing to operate across B.C., patrolling, taking enforcement actions and proceeding with investigations.
- Expect to be checked by Conservation Officers
- Be prepared to produce licence and other documents as required
Violations of fisheries, wildlife, or environmental protection laws can be reported through the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) online form or hotline 1-877-952-7277 or #7277 on the TELUS Mobility Network.
Due to COVID-19, licensing processes have changed. Refunds are not issued for unused licences.
Many hunting licences are electronic only, with no paper copy required.
- Species licences will be mailed directly to you
- Expect to receive them within four weeks. Please make sure your mailing address is correct and up to date
- Access BC Hunting Online
Anglers only need a paper copy of their licence if they are fishing for a species where a retention record is required. Otherwise an unmodified electronic copy on your digital device (i.e. a photo on your phone, tablet, computer, etc.) is acceptable.
In-person licence sales are limited due to COVID-19.
- Service BC locations are only providing core services and will not be administering hunting or angling services
- Some FrontCounter BC offices are now open with restrictions. Check individual offices for opening information before visiting
- Angling and hunting licences may be available in-person through private vendors who are continuing to operate. Call ahead to confirm
If you were successful in receiving an authorization, please see the important messages for some hunts.
Compulsory inspection and all regulations are in effect. Refer to the current Hunting and Trapping Regulations Synopsis for compulsory inspection requirements.
Compulsory inspections can be conducted over the phone, and biological samples can be stored for submission at a later date. Contact your region for more information.
- Region 1 (Nanaimo Office): (250) 751-7220
- Region 2 (Surrey Office): (604) 586-4400
- Region 3 (Kamloops Office): (250) 371-6200
- Region 4 (Cranbrook Office): (250) 489-8540
- Region 4 (Nelson Office): (250) 354-6333
- Region 5 (Williams Lake MU’s 5-1 to 5-6, 5-12 to 5-15): (250) 398-4530
- Region 5 (Nanaimo MU’s 5-7 to 5-11): (250) 751-7220
- Region 6 (Smithers): (250) 847-7260
- Region 6 (Nanaimo MU’s 6-12 and 6-13): (250) 751-3100
- Region 7A (Prince George): (250) 614-7400
- Region 7B (Fort St. John): (250) 787-3411
The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC has cancelled the following programs until it is safe for them to resume:
- Learn to Fish Program
- Rod-loaning programs