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Shuswap Lake Fishing Regulations

Shuswap Lake & Mara Lake General Fishing Regulations

The Shuswap Lake fishing regulations are unique to itself & Mara Lake. Shuswap & Mara Lakes both fall under region 3 (Thompson-Nicola) of the B.C. Freshwater Fishing Regulations. Furthermore, Mara Lake falls under Shuswap Lake in these regulations. As a result, the regulations for Mara Lake are identical to those of Shuswap Lake.

We will summarize the region 3 link as it applies to Shuswap Lake & Mara Lake. Please contact us if we missed anything or if there is an error on this page.

BC Freshwater fishing regulations, region 3

Region 3 Daily Quotas

The general daily quotas for region 3 are listed to the left. These are the general rules to abide by unless stated otherwise. Note that all steelhead must be released regardless of the time of year. This is also a good time to mention that in the regulations specific to Shuswap & Mara Lakes (below) that the same goes for any salmon.

In other words – no steelhead or salmon. Period. Sturgeon also fall under this category, yet they are not often targeted on Shuswap Lake or Mara Lake.

Lastly, please note that bull trout and lake trout both have a period of time every year where they must be released if caught.

Shuswap & Mara Lake Specific Fishing Regulations

Below are the fishing regulations specific to Shuswap Lake and Mara Lake. Some of these regulations should be pretty clear (i.e. no ice fishing). However, we will elaborate on potential points of confusion.

shuwap & mara lake fishing regulations
shuswap lake closed fishing areas
Figure 1

Shuswap Lake Closed Fishing Areas

Figure 1 shows the closed fishing areas of Shuswap Lake. These closures are all seasonal so please pay attention to the dates. The second, third, and fourth regulations stated above apply to this map.

  • From the second line – “No Fishing east of a line between fishing boundary signs on on Murdock and Semaphore points, to Hwy #1 bridge, Mar 15 to May 14. (see map C on page 32)”
  • From the third line – “No fishing in the entire area north of Albas Mar 15 – May 14. (see map B on page 32)”
  • From the fourth line – “No fishing Mar 15 – May 14, and rainbow trout and char release, May 15 – Mar 14, in the waters lying west of a line between signs at Henstridge Road and Wharf Road to a line between signs on the south and north shores of Little Shuswap Lake. (see map A on page 32)”

Salmon Arm Bay Closed Fishing Areas

The fifth regulation applies to the Salmon Arm Bay map shown in Figure 2.

  • From the fifth line – “No fishing in Salmon Arm Bay west of line between Engineer’s Point and Sunnybrae Point (see map on Page 32), for the conservation of chinook and coho salmon stocks, Sept 1 – Dec 31 (anglers fishing from the community pier in the City of Salmon Arm are exempt from the closure).”

The rest of the regulations should be fairly straight forward.

Figure 2

Shuswap Lake Salmon Fishing Regulations

As stated previously, salmon fishing on Shuswap Lake & Mara Lake is prohibited. Of course, you don’t have control over what actually bites your lure, however you do have control over your setup and what you are targeting. Getting caught poaching salmon on Shuswap Lake can possibly lead to some hefty fines. In addition to this, we’ve also heard that they can seize your boat – however we cannot confirm this at the moment of editing this page.

Just don’t target salmon or steelhead.

The B.C. Freshwater Fishing Regulations does not seem to state the regulation on fishing for salmon while the Government of Canada Fisheries and Oceans does. See the screen shot from the site below. The table referenced in the screen shot does not include Shuswap lake therefor there is no fishing for salmon in the Shuswap. View the Government of Canada Fisheries and Oceans page for details.

Government of Canada website screen shot showing salmon fishing is not allowed in shuswap lake

Shuswap Lake Fishing Regulations Summary

To sum up, you should not have a problem adhering to the Shuswap Lake fishing regulations if you follow these rules:

  • You may only use a lure with a single barbless hook.
    • No bait allowed.
  • All steelhead, salmon, & sturgeon must be released year-round. In other words, you shouldn’t even target them. 
  • Aug. 1 – Oct 31: Release all bull trout caught from streams.
  • Oct. 15 to Jan. 31: Release all lake trout.
  • If you keep any rainbow trout or char (lake trout/bull trout), you must have a conservation surcharge stamp.
    • You must release all rainbow trout under 50cm.
    • You must release all char under 60cm.
    • Can only keep 1 legal rainbow trout and 1 legal char per day per license.
      • Rainbow trout per year per license – 5 max.
      • Char per year per license – 5 max.
  • 5 kokanee per day per license.
  • 15 whitefish per day per license.
  • 2 burbot per day per license.
  • 25 crayfish per day per license.
  • Possession quotas are twice that of the daily quotas (i.e.: Kokanee – daily quota = 5, possession quota = 10)
  • Obey the no fishing zones when applicable.

If you have gone fishing on either Shuswap Lake or Mara lake recently, send us your reports and pictures of your catch! We would love to share them. It’s always great seeing the fish that can be pulled out of Shuswap and Mara Lakes. You don’t have to give us more details than you want to. Perhaps you have a secret spot you don’t want to advertise to the world. However, at the very least you could just send us a picture of your catch! We love to see pictures of nice looking Shuswap Lake fish!

Check out our fishing reports here.

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