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

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Travel guidance

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

Before leaving for an essential hunting or fishing trip, you must consider the following: 
  • 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.

Road closures and restrictions 

For information about existing road closures and regional contacts, visit: 


First Nations communities

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.

Access restrictions

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.


Hunting and fishing guidance

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 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.


Licences

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

 


Limited Entry Hunting

Limited Entry Hunting (LEH) authorizations for Fall 2020 are valid. To view the results of the LEH draw, sign in to BC Hunting Online or contact the FrontCounter BC contact centre at 1-877-855-3222

If you were successful in receiving an authorization, please see the important messages for some hunts


Compulsory inspections

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

 


Education programs

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

The BC Wildlife Federation's CORE program is facilitated by individual CORE examiners. Contact your CORE examiner to find out if they are still leading in-person examinations.