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  • Are you interested in starting a fishing charter business?
  • Do you have a fishing charter business in Nanaimo? 
  • PRICES START AT $550.00
  • Call or text me. Captain Al 250-619-7008

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.

It 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.


Shellfish harvesters must have a valid Tidal Water Sport Fishing Licence.

Harvester’s 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 remains 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.



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Salmon species in the Nanaimo area waters run from early spring to year end. The best months for catching them are April through September.

Identify your catch

Pacific Salmon

Chinook salmon


Chum salmon


Coho salmon


Pink salmon


Sockeye salmon


Features of Pacific salmon

Atlantic salmon alert

Report all captures of Atlantic salmon to: 1-800-811-6010 (toll-free).

Click thumbnail to enlarge image.

Atlantic salmon


SpeciesIdentifying features
Cutthroat Trout

Trout – Cutthroat

  • Large mouth extends well past eye
  • Teeth in throat, at back of tongue
  • Many spots from front to back
Steelhead Trout

Trout – Steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

  • Slender lateral profile
  • Small black spots on back, uniform spots on square tail
  • No teeth in throat, at back of tongue
Dolly Varden Trout

Trout – Dolly Varden

  • Small head
  • Oval, snakelike body
  • White leading edges on low

Salmon Identification

Chinook Salmon





Chum Salmon





Coho Salmon





Pink Salmon





Sockeye Salmon










Atlantic Salmon Alert !






In tidal waters

  • Barbless hooks are required for all salmon and sea-run trout fishing. Treble barbless hooks are acceptable in most areas; however, single barbless hooks are required in many tidal areas of coastal rivers and in areas requiring special management measures.
  • If you pinch a barbed hook, the barb must be crimped flat against the shaft. Partially crimped barbs are not allowed.
  • In tidal waters, there’s no limit to the number of fishing rods you can use. In rivers and streams, including the tidal waters of the Fraser River, there’s a limit of one rod per angler.
  • It is illegal to angle with a fishing line that has more than one hook, artificial lure or artificial fly attached except:
    • in the tidal waters of the Fraser River, where you can attach two hooks, artificial lures or artificial flies to a bar rig.
    • in tidal waters, where you can attach any number of hooks to a fishing line if using the hooks in combination to hold a single piece of bait and if they’re not arranged so as to catch more than one fish. This does not apply in areas restricted to the use of only one single barbless hook.
  • It is illegal to fish with a fixed weight (sinker) greater than 1 kg except on a downrigger line, in which case the fishing line must be attached to the downrigger by a release clip.
  • It is illegal to sport fish with nets, including dip nets, minnow nets, gillnets or cast nets.


Watershed Watch Salmon Society

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Source: Watershed Watch Salmon Society

Salmon in B.C. Face Serious Issues For Survival

Are you curious about what is done to protect our Salmon fish species? Find answers and learn what the Watershed Watch Salmon Society are doing. They are a good advocate for the Salmon fish species in trouble. 

Through-out the province of British Columbia, wild Salmon struggle to overcome infection and disease and parasite’s. People and nature are responsible for the management in Salmon stocks.

Over-fishing by commercial vessels, and the growth in recreational fishing, are part of the reasons some salmon runs have declined. 

Watershed watch are doing a good work to bring us the facts. Disasters in our oceans and pollution in our waters, all have damaged and hurt the Salmon runs.

Watershed watch communicate with the officials. They open dialogue to create or find solutions to protecting the existing salmon.  Farm fishing sounds like a potential disaster for all wild salmon stocks. The scientists say farmed fishing is spreading diseases which infects our main food fish species.

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