Easy Steps to Get Your BC Fishing License Today

Easy Steps to Get Your BC Fishing License Today – 2024 Updated Guide

Are you eager to cast your line into the pristine waters of British Columbia and reel in the catch of a lifetime? Before you embark on your fishing adventure, it’s crucial to understand the importance of obtaining a valid BC fishing license. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the simple steps to secure your license, ensuring that you’re fully compliant with the latest regulations and ready to responsibly enjoy the world-class fishing opportunities that BC has to offer.

Why You Need a BC Fishing License

Obtaining a fishing license is not just a legal requirement; it’s also a vital contribution to the conservation and sustainability of British Columbia’s thriving fisheries. Here’s why:

  1. Conservation Efforts: The fees collected from fishing licenses directly support the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC and their initiatives to protect and enhance fish populations, habitats, and the overall health of BC’s water bodies.
  2. Fisheries Management: Your license purchase helps fund research, monitoring, and management programs that ensure the long-term viability of fish stocks and the enjoyment of fishing for generations to come.
  3. Access to Prime Fishing Spots: With a valid fishing license, you gain access to thousands of lakes, rivers, and streams across the province, each offering unique and exciting fishing experiences.
  4. Compliance with Regulations: By obtaining a license, you demonstrate your commitment to adhering to the rules and regulations set forth by the BC government to protect fish populations and maintain fair access for all anglers.

Remember, fishing without a valid license can result in significant fines and legal consequences. By securing your BC fishing license, you not only avoid potential penalties but also contribute to the responsible stewardship of the province’s invaluable aquatic resources.

Types of BC Fishing Licenses

British Columbia offers a variety of fishing licenses tailored to different angler needs and preferences. Here are the main types of licenses available:

  1. Annual Angling License: This license is valid for one year from the date of purchase and allows you to fish in both freshwater and saltwater environments throughout BC.
  2. Short-Term Angling License: If you’re planning a shorter fishing trip, you can opt for a 1-day, 3-day, or 8-day license. These licenses are perfect for tourists or those who only fish occasionally.
  3. Conservation Angling License: This license is designed for catch-and-release fishing, allowing you to enjoy the sport while minimizing the impact on fish populations. It’s an excellent choice for conservation-minded anglers.
  4. Classified Waters License: Some of BC’s most prestigious fishing destinations, such as the Skeena River and the Dean River, require a special Classified Waters License in addition to your regular angling license. These licenses are limited and often allocated through a lottery system.
  5. Salmon Conservation Stamp: If you plan on retaining any species of Pacific salmon, you must purchase a Salmon Conservation Stamp along with your angling license. The funds generated from these stamps support salmon conservation projects across the province.

It’s essential to choose the right type of license based on the duration of your fishing trip, the species you target, and the specific waters you intend to fish. Always review the current BC Freshwater Fishing Regulations Synopsis to ensure you have the appropriate license and are aware of any additional requirements or restrictions.

How Much Does a BC Fishing License Cost?

The cost of a BC fishing license varies depending on the type of license, the duration, and whether you are a resident of British Columbia or a visitor. Here’s a breakdown of the prices for the most common license types as of 2024:

Annual Angling Licenses:

  • BC Resident: $36.00
  • Canadian Resident (outside BC): $55.00
  • Non-Canadian Resident: $80.00

Short-Term Angling Licenses:

  • 1-Day License: $10.00 (BC Resident), $20.00 (Canadian Resident), $30.00 (Non-Canadian Resident)
  • 3-Day License: $20.00 (BC Resident), $40.00 (Canadian Resident), $60.00 (Non-Canadian Resident)
  • 8-Day License: $30.00 (BC Resident), $60.00 (Canadian Resident), $90.00 (Non-Canadian Resident)

Conservation Angling Licenses:

  • Annual: $15.00 (BC Resident), $30.00 (Canadian Resident), $45.00 (Non-Canadian Resident)
  • 1-Day: $5.00 (BC Resident), $10.00 (Canadian Resident), $15.00 (Non-Canadian Resident)

Salmon Conservation Stamp:

  • Annual: $6.00 for all anglers

It’s important to note that prices are subject to change, so always check the official BC government website for the most up-to-date information on license fees.

Where to Buy a BC Fishing License

Obtaining your BC fishing license is a simple and convenient process, with several options available to suit your preferences:

  1. Online: The easiest and most popular method is to purchase your license online through the official BC government website. Simply visit https://www.fishing.gov.bc.ca/, create an account, and follow the step-by-step instructions to buy your license. You can print your license immediately or save it on your mobile device for easy access.
  2. Service BC Locations: You can visit any Service BC location across the province to purchase your fishing license in person. Find your nearest location at https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/organizational-structure/ministries-organizations/ministries/citizens-services/servicebc.
  3. Authorized Vendors: Many sporting goods stores, fishing tackle shops, and outdoor retailers across BC are authorized to sell fishing licenses. Look for the “Fishing Licenses Sold Here” sign or ask your local outdoor store if they offer this service.
  4. By Phone: If you prefer to purchase your license over the phone, you can call the FrontCounter BC Contact Center at 1-877-855-3222. Have your payment information ready, and a representative will assist you in completing your license purchase.

Regardless of the method you choose, make sure to provide accurate personal information and keep your license easily accessible while fishing. It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the current fishing regulations and any updates before hitting the water.

BC Fishing Regulations You Should Know

To ensure a safe, enjoyable, and sustainable fishing experience, it’s crucial to understand and abide by the fishing regulations set forth by the province of British Columbia. Here are some key regulations to keep in mind:

  1. Catch Limits: Each species of fish has specific daily and possession limits, which can vary depending on the region and time of year. Always consult the BC Freshwater Fishing Regulations Synopsis or the BC Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Guide for the most current information on catch limits for your target species and fishing location.
  2. Size Restrictions: Some fish species have minimum or maximum size limits to protect juvenile fish and maintain healthy populations. Ensure that any fish you retain meets the required size specifications for that species and water body.
  3. Gear Restrictions: Certain water bodies may have restrictions on the type of fishing gear allowed, such as fly-fishing only or single barbless hooks. Familiarize yourself with any gear restrictions for the areas you plan to fish.
  4. Seasonal Closures: Some lakes, rivers, and streams may have seasonal closures to protect spawning fish or sensitive habitats. Always check for any closures or special regulations before planning your fishing trip.
  5. Invasive Species Prevention: To prevent the spread of invasive species, it is mandatory to clean, drain, and dry your boat and fishing equipment when moving between water bodies. This helps protect BC’s aquatic ecosystems from harmful non-native species.
  6. Proper Fish Handling: When practicing catch-and-release fishing, it’s essential to handle fish gently and minimize their time out of the water to increase their chances of survival. Use wet hands or gloves when handling fish, avoid touching their gills, and release them quickly to reduce stress.

By staying informed and complying with these regulations, you contribute to the responsible management of BC’s fisheries and help ensure that these incredible fishing opportunities remain available for generations to come.


Obtaining your BC fishing license is a simple yet essential step in embarking on an unforgettable angling adventure in British Columbia. By following the easy steps outlined in this guide, you’ll be fully prepared to responsibly enjoy the province’s world-class fishing opportunities while supporting conservation efforts and sustainable fisheries management.

Remember to choose the appropriate license type based on your needs, purchase your license through one of the convenient methods available, and always stay informed about the latest fishing regulations and best practices. With your valid BC fishing license in hand, you’re ready to create lasting memories on the water and experience the thrill of landing that once-in-a-lifetime catch.

So, what are you waiting for? Get your BC fishing license today and start exploring the incredible fishing destinations that British Columbia has to offer. Tight lines and happy fishing!


  1. Freshwater Fishing License Information – Province of British Columbia
  2. Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC – Our Work
  3. Fishing in British Columbia – Destination BC
  4. Conservation License Information – Province of British Columbia
  5. Classified Waters Information – Province of British Columbia
  6. BC Freshwater Fishing Regulations Synopsis – Province of British Columbia
  7. Service BC Locations – Province of British Columbia
  8. Authorized Fishing License Vendors – Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC
  9. FrontCounter BC Contact Center – Province of British Columbia
  10. Invasive Species Prevention – Province of British Columbia
  11. Catch and Release Best Practices – Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC

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