Co-existing with Spawning Salmon - BC Canada


Staff member
Jan 14, 2019
Williams Lake, BC
Co-existing with Spawning Salmon Angling opportunities provided for some species of fish (e.g., trout, char, whitefish) may have negative impacts on holding or spawning salmon in the same river system. In many cases, angling for salmon is prohibited during times when angling for other species remains open. Anglers can minimize disturbances or incidental hooking of salmon by adopting these simple voluntary measures:

Gear Selection
Use fishing gear which will effectively avoid hooking salmon. For example, use fly fishing gear with a floating line and a dry fly. Sinking lines or spoons are not recommended as spawning salmon can be easily foul hooked. If the target species is smaller than the spawning salmon, use of a light tippet is a good added measure.


Bait Selection
If bait is allowed, avoid using bait types which aggressively attract salmon. Using bait such as worms, grasshoppers or other insects will effectively avoid salmon yet attract other species such as trout and whitefish.

Wading the River
Concentrate angling activity in areas of the river where salmon may be less prevalent. For example, avoid deep pools where salmon are holding prior to spawning. Also, avoid areas of shallow water where you observe concentrations of spawning salmon and their redds (gravel “nests”). Salmon redds are generally between 1-2 square meters in size and may be recognised by the appearance of clean looking gravel which is loose and soft underfoot, as opposed to firmer and darker gravel nearby. When newly formed, redds will appear to be a depression with a mound of gravel on the downstream side. Eggs will be buried in the mound of gravel and for several metres downstream. Walking on the redds may kill buried eggs, so please avoid them entirely. With the cooperation of knowledgeable anglers, it is often possible to maintain angling opportunities which might otherwise be eliminated to protect vulnerable fish. Please adjust your angling techniques accordingly.

Link to British Columbia page

Use the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) hotline to report violations 1-877-952-RAPP (7277) or via cell (on the Telus network) at #7277: We can all help ensure that those who break the law do not spoil future angling opportunities for everyone. For more information, see Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP).
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