For the first time in 20 years, freshwater fishing fees in the province will see an increase.
Trevor Rhodes, Associate Director of Fish for the Fish and Wildlife Branch of the Ministry of Forests, said since 2003 the cost hasn’t gone up for a licence and associated Conservation surcharges effective April first.
“That means this year the basic angling licence for adults will increase from $36 to $39.56 then to $41.15 in 2024. 100 per cent of the fishing licence revenue and the surcharge revenue goes to conservation. The licence fees go to the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC who provide under contract to the government primarily all of our small lakes stocking programs, they also deliver Learn to Fish in a number of conservation projects that assist in managing and monitoring Fisheries.”
Rhodes said the surcharges go to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation for habitat-related conservation projects like the protection and enhancement of fish habitats.
Rhodes noted that there hasn’t been an increase in licences since 2003, and like everyone else, both groups have felt the pressure of rising inflation costs.
“The Freshwater Fisheries Society has been addressing things like hydro, and water quality in their operation and they’ve just hit a point where if there wasn’t an increase in fees the services that they deliver to anglers in the province would need to be reduced so we certainly didn’t want to see that. On the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation side, they flow those funds through the projects and they’ve also seen that their ability to fund those kinds of projects has been diminished their ability to fund those projects has been affected by inflationary pressures as well.”
The Freshwater Fisheries Society stocks more than 5.4 million fish in 641 lakes annually.
The licence fee increases are anticipated to infuse additional funding to both the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC and the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, helping them continue to deliver the conservation services they provide to the province.