Three recreational anglers near Sechelt, B.C. sentenced to large fines, fishing prohibition, and fishing area ban

News release

March 6, 2024

Sechelt, B.C. - On February 8th, 2024, sentencing was handed down in Sechelt Provincial Court to three individuals found guilty of multiple violations of Canada’s Fisheries Act. The defendants were all convicted of possession of clams, and for illegal possession of prohibited clam species. One of the three individuals was additionally convicted of possessing more than the legal limit of rockfish. A total of $29,000 in fines was handed down by the Court to the three anglers ($15,000, $8,000 and $6,000 each)

On September 22, 2022, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) Conservation and Protection fishery officers were on patrol in Egmont, B.C., where they observed possible fishing activity on a dock belonging to a fishing lodge that is also a private residence. During a subsequent inspection, three individuals were found in possession of 14 rockfish, 969 Littleneck/Manilla clams, 1 oyster, 83 Varnish clams, and 12 Butter clams. The Varnish clams and Butter clams were prohibited for harvest at that time due to potential contamination. All the shellfish and rockfish were seized as evidence; the shellfish were released live at a different location and the rockfish were stored at the Powell River office to be tendered as evidence, if needed.   

In conjunction with the fines, the anglers were all given fishing prohibitions and banned from attending the fishing lodge for periods of time ranging from one to two years. This Egmont lodge is run by one of the guilty individuals, who also acts as a fishing guide.

DFO has a mandate to protect and conserve marine resources and to enforce the Fisheries Act. As part of DFO’s work to disrupt and prevent illegal activity, the Department asks the public for information on activities of this nature or any contravention of the Fisheries Act and regulations. Anyone with information can call DFO Pacific region’s toll-free violation reporting line at 1-800-465-4336, or email the details to

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Image entered as evidence during the trial

Quick facts

  • Each year approximately 300,000 tidal water recreational fishing licences are issued in British Columbia. As in all fisheries, repetitive and excessive harvesting poses a significant risk to the sustainability of Canada’s aquatic resources.

  • The daily limit for a licenced angler is one rockfish per day with a two-day aggregate possession limit of two. The individual daily limit of clams is 60 with an aggregate possession limit of 120.

  • There are more than 34 species of rockfish in B.C. waters. They are a very long-lived sedentary species with an average life expectancy of 75 years. Long-lived and slow to grow and reproduce, rockfish stay close to home habitats, which makes them extra sensitive to fishing pressure and some rockfish species are of conservation concern.

  • The significant fines and prohibitions handed down in this case underscore the seriousness of violating fishing rules and regulations under Canada’s Fisheries Act intended to protect and preserve at-risk fish populations.

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Media Relations, Pacific Region
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

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