At Eagle Nook fishing Resort, our experienced fishing guides are passionate about ensuring our guests have the best recreational salmon and halibut fishing experience possible. To ensure this remains possible, we are committed to sustainable fishing practices, doing everything possible to protect the fish population and their vulnerable ecosystems and habitat along the BC pacific coast. Eagle Nook Resort is perfectly situated in Barkley Sound, one of BC’s premier destinations for salmon and halibut fishing. Whether you are an experienced angler or just beginning, our knowledgeable guides will help ensure you have an unforgettable experience and that you have the knowledge required to move forward as a respectful, mindful, and sustainable fisher.

Located in the remote reaches of Vancouver Island’s rugged west coast, Eagle Nook Resort is surrounded by old-growth forest, abundant wildlife, and world-class salmon and halibut fishing. As stewards of the environment, we take our responsibility to the magnificent surrounding habitat very seriously, and we hope you will too. Whether you are planning your next recreational salmon or halibut fishing trip with Eagle Nook Resort or just looking for information regarding how you can be a mindful recreational angler, we are here to help. Keep reading to learn more about how you can help protect vulnerable ecosystems and the fish who call them home.

What is Sustainable Fishing?

Sustainable fishing is the act of actively contributing to healthy fish populations, ensuring they will be around for future generations to enjoy and experience. While many would be quick to place blame on commercial fishing operations for the detrimental practices related to overfishing and questionable fishing practices, as recreational fishers, we have a responsibility to actively pursue sustainable fishing practices. We are in this together, and the entire community must work together to ensure the longevity of our valuable and beloved salmon, halibut, and all aquatic life.

As recreational fishermen, we value the aquatic ecosystems that our catch calls home, and we want them to thrive. Many of us already practice a variety of sustainable fishing practices without realizing it. Sustainable fishing practices are not necessarily as complicated or daunting as the term might lead you to believe. It is also important to remember that conservation or sustainability does not mean, not fishing or other ‘radical environmental’ approaches. Sustainable fishing is about recreational anglers or sport fishers and the fish working together in harmony to protect the longevity of our aquatic populations.

A few questions that you can ask yourself to evaluate your sustainable fishing include:

  • How are my actions impacting the habitat and environment of the fish in the region?
  • Am I following the regional regulations and limits?
  • Are my actions negatively impacting at-risk or endangered species?
  • Am I respecting the fish by taking only what I need and utilizing as much of that fish as possible?
  • Is my boat negatively impacting the environment because of chemical leaks or a lack of maintenance?
  • Do I report illegal fishing practices when I see them?

Keep reading to learn more about the ways that you can fish sustainably at Eagle Nook Resort.

Understanding Recreational Fishing Regulations

As a sport fisherman, it is your responsibility to make sure you are following all recreational fishing regulations. In British Columbia, there are three different types of basic fishing licences: tidal water fishing, freshwater fishing, and licences for fishing in national parks.

At Eagle Nook Resort, we require a tidal water sport fishing license. This applies to all recreational fishers, including individuals under the age of 16. In Canada, tidal waters sport fishing licences are available as a 1 day, 3 days, or 5 days licence and can be purchased for juveniles, adults, and seniors. As soon as you have purchased your licence online, you are free to go fishing. Be sure to bring a printed copy or have it on your phone so that it can be displayed upon request.

To learn more about tidal water sport fishing licences in Canada click here.

If you are looking for information regarding non-tidal angling licences or freshwater licences click here.

The Top ways to practice sustainable fishing

Eagle Nook Resort is committed to offering our guests a sustainable approach to recreational fishing. The rules we follow and the efforts we make when you come to visit can also be implemented when you are fishing in any stream, river, lake, or ocean. Our top practices or suggestions for sustainable fishing include:

  1. Education: Before you head out on your next fishing adventure, educate yourself regarding the region, the fish and aquatic species, and other environmental or ecological elements in the region. If you are taking young people with you, ensure that you share your knowledge with them. It is easier to teach good habits and practices than it is to undo bad habits.
  2. Regulations: Further to tip number one, do your research before you head out fishing and ensure you know the regulations in the region. These regulations are put in place to protect vulnerable populations. This includes knowing what type of fish are in the water, what size of fish you should be keeping, and what limits apply. Before you head out fishing, check online, visit nearby outdoor or tackle shops, or simply read the signage at the boat launch to ensure you are up-to-date regarding the relevant regulations.
  3. Catch and Release: This one may not be of interest to you, but there is a strong argument to be made for catch and release. If you are interested in being a sustainable fisher, we suggest you consider releasing your catch as often as possible, allowing them to live another day, mating, and providing more fish for future generations. If you are releasing the fish, be as gentle as you possibly can, and keep the fish in the water as much as possible.
  4. No Littering: This tip should go without saying. As recreational anglers and lovers of fishing, we should all be respecting the environment, the fish, and each other. There is nothing more frustrating than seeing a beautiful ecosystem littered with garbage that can be harmful to fish and other aquatic species who ingest the garbage or get tangled up in it. If you are on a fishing trip and you see garbage, please be a sustainable fisher and pick that garbage up.
  5. Respect Your Catch: When you are taking a beautiful fish home with you, use as much of the fish as possible. No one is suggesting you make fish-head soup, but there are sustainable ways to utilize as much of your fish as possible.

Recreational or sport fishing licenses in BC

In British Columbia, a tidal water sport fishing licence is required for ocean fishing, and this must be purchased through the federal government. A tidal water sport fishing license is free for anyone under the age of 16, will cost an adult $21.89, and will be discounted to $11.47 for seniors. There are also variations for 1, 3, and 5-day licenses. To learn more about licensing fees click here.

The provincial government in British Columbia is responsible for all freshwater sport fishing licences, and you can purchase those online here.

It is important to note that there are distinct species of fish in British Columbia that require specific licenses and you should do your research before heading to ensure that you have the appropriate license for the type of fish you will reel in.

Understanding the impact of overfishing

It is easy to say that overfishing is bad for the environment, but why is it bad? Well, when regions are overfished, their populations are unable to mate and the species will quickly diminish in the region, and sometimes entirely. Even when the population is still there, overfishing can often negatively impact biodiversity, or put more simply, it can mess up the food chain.

Many of us brush this problem off saying I follow the rules, this isn’t my problem, but the reality is, we are all in this together. There are ways that all of us as recreational anglers can help to limit or end overfishing. If you are out fishing and you notice questionable or illegal fishing practices, report it. By reporting illegal fishing practices, you are protecting the aquatic ecosystem of your region and ensuring everyone is following the rules. Secondly, do your part and follow the licensing regulations in your region. We know it can feel redundant or like a hassle to have to purchase a license every year, but these regulations are implemented for a reason.

Fishing limits in British Columbia

It is your responsibility as a sport or recreational angler in British Columbia to know the limits and regulations in your area. These regulations include daily limits, possession limits, and annual limits. When you are reviewing your limits, be mindful of the varying species-specific regulations.

Eagle Nook Resort is located in the beautiful region of Barkley Sound, and our limits fall under the BC tidal areas of 23 and 123 – Bamfield, Port Alberni: Recreational fishing limits. In this area, there are specific limits for salmon, other fish, bivalve shellfish, crab, other invertebrates, and there are protected areas in the region. To learn more about the specific limitations and fishing regulations in Barkley Sound click here.

The advantages of sustainable fishing

Although we often think of sustainable fishing as a worthy goal that we should all aspire to, it’s not always clear why. At Eagle Nook Resort we believe that sustainable fishing is an essential element of responsible fishing. We are committed to protecting our aquatic ecosystems so that our community and future generations will be able to explore and enjoy the same healthy and thriving environments that we enjoy every day. By being a sustainable recreational or sport angler you will be helping to ensure the following:

  1. You will be protecting fish and other aquatic life and their habitats.
  2. You will be supporting communities that rely on the longevity and health of the fish and aquatic life in the region for economic and traditional reasons.
  3. You will be protecting and supporting at-risk or endangered species from disappearing entirely.
  4. By following regulations and ensuring you are properly licensed, you are helping scientists and monitoring bodies to avoid overfishing and other negative fishing practices.
  5. You will be ensuring that future generations are afforded the same opportunities as you to enjoy the sport of angling.

At Eagle Nook Resort we are committed to being mindful of our impact on the environment by being sustainable anglers. We hope that you will come to visit us in Barkley Sound so that you can fully appreciate why we are so passionate about protecting this place and its fish.

To learn more about Eagle Nook Resort, contact a member of our team today!