Scientific Fish Collection Permit

Scientific Fish Collection Permit

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A Fish Collection Permit is a document that authorizes an organization or individuals to capture and/or collect fish specimens for scientific and other non-recreational purposes. It is not used for general recreational angling or for commercial harvest of fish.

Costs and Responsibilities

$25.00 Per Activity 

Fees are payable at the time of application. Applications will not be processed until the fee has been paid. 

The payment can be made by one of the following payment methods:

  1. Online via Credit Card (Visa, Visa-Debit, Master Card, American Express)
  2. Mail Payment Cheque/Money Order - Payable to Minister of Finance
  3. Cash/Debit - To be paid at one of the FrontCounter BC office locations

Credit Card payments are securely processed online in the Final Step of the application process. To find out more about the acceptable payment methods in each office location please visit selected FrontCounter BC location

The Habitat Conservation Trust Fund surcharge is included in the above fee(s).

Fees calculated on the electronic Fish and Wildlife application may not be the complete final fee. A Permit Clerk will contact you if late fees are owed or if other licence specific fees are outstanding.

Fee Exempt

If you are requesting this application to be exempt from fees, please follow the instructions below to complete the electronic application submission:

  1. Make sure that you are eligible for fee exemption as per the reasons listed in theWildlife Regulations which states "No fee is payable for a permit issued to a person under this section authorizing the person to collect fish for non-profit scientific research purposes."
  2. Provide proof of exemption along with your application (if applicable).
Apply for Non-Profit Scientific Research Purposes. If Regional Manager decides your application does not qualify for fee exemption your application will be returned for you to select another permit type.

What you need to apply

Please refer to the following letter as well as the information below regarding the requirements for the Scientific Fish Collection Permit:


Anyone who is:

  • 19 years of age or older

can apply for a Scientific Fish Collection Permit


  • Know the full legal names of other individuals conducting work under this permit
  • Be able to describe and answer questions about the Sampling Program that will be used including the start and end dates of the Sampling period.
  • Be able to identify the Sampling Locations being listed for in the application (MOE Region, Waterbody, Watershed Code, etc)
  • Provide a clear description of the project and project area which should include the project rationale and methodologies.
  • Know which Sampling Techniques will be used
    • Note: Gill Netting is considered to be a lethal sampling technique. Please be aware of this as you complete your application form.
    • If you are using any Lethal sampling or tagging and marking techniques note that you will be required to provide additional information including the number of fish affected as well as the waterbody in which the sampling will take place.
  • Be able to identify the species of fish being sampled by both their common and scientific names
  • Understand the Reporting Requirements:


  • Multiple Waters or Extended Time Period Notification Requirements

This notification process is to be used only for scientific fish collection permits previously approved for multiple waters or extended dates. Appendix A, #12 of this permit requires notification no less than 48 hours prior to collection. The requirements for notification are met upon submission of a completed notification form. The thank you notice verifying the information submitted is considered a part of the permit and must be printed and attached to the original Scientific Fish Collection Permit.

  • Scientific Fish Collection Permit Summary Report

The permittee shall, within 90 days (120 Days for the Kootenay/Boundary region and Peace region) of the expiry of this permit, electronically report fish collection activities following the fish data submission process outlined at This includes following reporting format requirements, minimum data standards, and submitting online Fish Data Submission project information. Interim reports may also be required, and shall be submitted in accordance with the permit issuers requirements. Questions regarding the fish data submission process can be made to:

What happens after you apply

The target time frame for decision on your permit is 30 days*

*Processing time may be considerably longer if there is a required consultation process.

Your application will not be processed until payment has been received in full.

Receiving the application

Your application will be reviewed to ensure that it is complete. Your payment and documents will be entered into the appropriate systems. When necessary, you will be contacted for more information. 

An application will not be accepted and processed until all required information as well as payment has been received.

Decision Making

A decision will be made on whether to issue a permit or not after a full review of your submission.

Issuance of Permit

If your application is approved, the permit is issued and sent to you by FrontCounter BC. If your application was not approved, you will be notified. 

NOTE: If you used a BCeID and a licence or permit is issued, you can download it from the Manage your Natural Resource Applications webpage by logging in using your BCeID
Wildlife Permit/Licence Report Forms
Wildlife Act
Angling and Scientific Collection Regulation
Scientific Fish Collection Application Guidelines
Salish Sucker Collection Guidelines
Nooksack Dace Collection Guidelines
Stickleback Species Pairs Sampling Guidelines

Tips for a successful application

Follow these tips to make the application process easier:

  1. Review this guide and have all the information and documents ready before you start filling out the application.
  2. Use a Basic, Personal or Business BCeID for your application. A BCeID is easy to get and allows you to save your application, reopen it, and check the status of your application online. Applications will automatically time-out after a certain period of inactivity if not saved.
  3. Contact FrontCounter BC before you begin, to help you with all natural resource applications.