Hunting and Fishing 2023 Update
By Wayne Zaccarelli
Effective 1 February 2023 until further notice, the recreational fishing for halibut will open coast-wide with the following measures in effect as noted below:
The 2022/2023 Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licences and Conditions of Licence, are in effect until 31 March 2023. The 2023/2024 Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licences and Conditions of Licence will be in effect from 1 April 2023 until 31 March 2024.
A subsequent Fishery Notice will be released prior to the start of the 2023/2024 Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence which will announce the recreational halibut fishing measures from 1 April 2023 onward Limits and sizes: Effective 1 February 2023 until 31 March 2023: The daily limit is one (1) halibut per day. The possession limit for halibut is EITHER of:
- one (1) halibut measuring 90 cm to 133 cm in length (69 cm to 102 cm head-off), or
- two (2) halibut, each measuring under 90 cm in length (69 cm head-off).
No person shall retain a Halibut greater than 133 cm head-on length (102 cm head-off). Head-off measurements are made from the base of the pectoral fin at its most forward point to the extreme end of the middle of the tail.
As a result of the January International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) meetings held in Victoria January 23-27, 2022, there is to be a 10.3% halibut catch reduction across all waters. Canada’s quota is 6.78 million pounds of which the public (sport) fishery’s quota is approximately 880,250 pounds. The public fishery is entitled to 15% of the total quota after an estimate for First Nations catch is removed from the Canada (i.e. British Columbia) quota. The commercial quota is 85%. The public fishery’s total allowable catch (TAC) in 2022 was 1,011,750 pounds and our year end catch was about 950,000 pounds.
The Sport Fishing Advisory Board has recommended a reduction in maximum size of halibut retained from 133 cm. to 126 cm. effective during the 2023-2024 licence year starting on April 1, 2023. This was done to accommodate the reduced annual quota and still allow a year round fishery (ie. February 01 to December 31).