New 2019/2020 regulations for all British Columbia tidal waters

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New 2019 / 2020 fishing regulations are in force for the BC coast tidal waters. Changes to the regulations which include closures, with salmon species and ground fish Cod species.

There are 37 species of rockfish that are caught in fisheries off the coast of British Columbia. Inshore rockfish species (which include Yelloweye, Quillback, Copper, China, and Tiger) are usually caught with hook and line gear in rocky reef habitats. Monitoring and research programs in B.C. indicate that inshore rockfish, especially within the inland waters of Vancouver Island, are at low levels of abundance.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) needs your help to protect and conserve inshore rockfish. Since 2002, catch restrictions, fishery monitoring, stock assessment programs, and Rockfish Conservation Areas (RCAs) have been established throughout the B.C. coast.

DFO’s rockfish conservation strategy is designed to alleviate further rockfish population declines. Within RCAs, inshore rockfish are protected from all mortality associated with recreational and commercial fisheries.

Rockfish conservation areas

Rockfish Conservation Area Overview

Pacific salmon

Chum salmon

Salmon are iconic to Pacific coastal and inland waters, connecting communities across the region. Together, through partnerships and action, we strive to ensure healthy, diverse salmon populations to sustain aquatic ecosystems and balance the needs of Canadians for generations to come.

BC Halibut Fishery Opens Coast Wide March 1st 2018

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FN0144-RECREATIONAL – Fin Fish (Other than Salmon) – Halibut: 2018 Fishery Opening March 1 2018 and Management Measures in Effect Until March 31, 2018


Category(s):    RECREATIONAL – Fin Fish (Other than Salmon)

Fishery Notice – Fisheries and Oceans Canada Subject: FN0144-RECREATIONAL – Fin Fish (Other than Salmon) – Halibut: 2018 Fishery Opening March 1 2018 and Management Measures in Effect Until March 31, 2018 For 2018, the recreational fishery allocation of Halibut is 927,990 pounds.The following measures will be in effect as noted below.  Further updates on the fishing regulations for April 1, 2018 will be provided later in March 2018.  COAST-WIDE Open time:Effective at 00:01 hours March 1, 2018 fishing for Halibut will be opened coast-wide until further notice. Licensing:The 2017/2018 Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licences and Conditions of Licence, remain in effect until 23:59 hours March 31, 2018. Limits and sizes:[Effective March 1, 2018 until further notice]-The maximum length for Halibut is 133cm.-The daily limit for Halibut is one (1). -The possession limit for Halibut is two (2), only one (1) of which may be over 83cm in length.-The annual limit is six (6) Halibut per licence holder, as set out on the 2017/2018 Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence.-All halibut retained by the licence holder shall be immediately recorded on the 2017/2018 Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence. The area from which each Halibut is caught and its length shall immediately be recorded on the licence. The exceptions to these openings are: Areas 121:No person shall fish for or retain Halibut, Rockfish and Lingcod in Area 121 outside the 12 nautical mile limit seaward of a line that begins at 48 degrees 34.000 minutes and 125 degrees 17.386 minutes W and continues south easterly at a bearing of 116 degrees True to a point at 48 degrees 28.327 minutes and 125 degrees 01.687 minutes W. Area 121:Closed to all finfish, year round in the waters of Swiftsure Bank, inside a line from 48 degrees 34.00 minutes N and 125 degrees 06.00 minutes W, thence to 48 degrees 34.00 minutes N and 124 degrees 54.20 minutes W, thence to 48 degrees 29.62 minutes N and 124 degrees 43.40 minutes W, thence following the International Boundary between Canada and the U.S. to 48 degrees 29.55 minutes N and 124 degrees 56.20 minutes W, thence in a straight line to the point of commencement.     Variation Orders: 2018-81 (Close Time) and 2018-82 (Quota)  Non-residents of Canada wishing to fish for and retain Halibut in Management Areas 121, 23 and 123 must purchase an electronic licence through a Canadian vendor. NOTE: Rockfish Conservations Areas (RCA’s) remain in effect – refer to the following website for descriptions:  FOR MORE INFORMATION:Contacts: Brad Beaith (South Coast) – (250)756-7190Peter Katinic (North Coast) – (250)559-8330Carole Eros (604)666-7089.   Fisheries and Oceans Canada Operations Center – FN0144Sent February 28, 2018 at 10:57Visit us on the Web at


Nanoose Bay Recreational Shellfish Reserve

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The Nanoose Bay Recreational Shellfish Reserve is located on the south side of Nanoose Bay parallel to Highway 19. It is located approximately 27 kilometers north of downtown Nanaimo.


This shellfish reserve covers approximately 23 hectares and is very productive supporting an abundance of shellfish species. The more significant and important species include Manila and littleneck clams, cockles and oysters. Butter and varnish clams can also be found as well as other minor species.


You must have a valid Tidal Water Sport Fishing Licence.

You must check for shellfish closures by calling 1-866-431-3474 or check online closure notices.

To access this recreational reserve you must turn right from Highway 19, near the head of Nanoose Bay onto Arlington Road. Follow Arlington onto Nanoose Beach Road to the head of Nanoose Bay. Public parking is found at the end of Nanoose Beach Road.

Special Concerns:

  • To access this Shellfish Reserve you must cross over private property that is an active shellfish farm. This private section is just west and adjacent to the reserve.
  • The property owners have permitted public access across their beach. They ask the public to keep to the upper intertidal area so as not to disturb culturing activities. Please respect their rights. Heed any signage or directions from workers that you may encounter.
  • While much of Nanoose Bay is under commercial tenure for shellfish aquaculture, there remain significant recreational opportunities outside the tenured areas on vacant Crown land.
  • Harvesters that choose not to walk the distance to the recreational reserve may wish to harvest clams closer to the parking area. The beach here contains a similar concentration of shellfish with the exception of oysters that can only be found in abundance at the shellfish reserve.
  • You must always observe the location of commercial tenures as the shellfish on these tenures is private property. You can distinguish the corners of these commercial reserves as they are marked by red concrete markers.