man fly fishing on shuswap lake

Shuswap Lake Fishing Regulations

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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 region 3 as it applies to Shuswap Lake & Mara Lake.

Region 3 Daily Quotas

shuswap lake daily fishing quotas

The general daily quotas for region 3 are listed above. 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 Lake & Mara Lake that the same goes for any salmon.

In other words – no steelhead or salmon. Period.

Sturgeon also fall under this category, but Shuswap Lake and Mara Lake are not known to have sturgeon.

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 Lake & 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.

shuswap lake fishing regulations

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.

map of areas on shuswap lake closed to fishing
Figure 1
  • 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 31. (see map C on page 32)”
  • From the third line – “No fishing in the entire area north of Albas Mar 15 – May 31. (see map B on page 32)”
  • From the fourth line – “No fishing Mar 15 – May 31, and rainbow trout and char release, June 1 – 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 Fishing Regulations

fisheries and oceans canada website saying there is no salmon fishing in region 3

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.

Shuswap Lake Fishing Regulations FAQ

  1. Can I use bait?

    No. Live or scented bait is not allowed, unless you are fishing specifically from the community pier in the City of Salmon Arm.

  2. Can I use tri-hooks (treble hooks)?

    No. Single, barbless hooks only.

  3. Is salmon fishing allowed?

    No. You shouldn't even target salmon or steelhead. If you catch one, it must be released.

  4. Can I keep rainbow trout?

    Yes, but you must have already purchased a conservation surcharge stamp, and the rainbow trout must be at least 50cm (measured to the V in the fin).

    You can only keep one legal rainbow trout per license per day — up to a total of 5 annually.

  5. Can I keep lake trout?

    Yes, but similar to rainbow trout – you must have already purchased a conservation surcharge stamp, and the lake trout must be at least 60cm (measured to the V in the fin).

    You also must release all lake trout caught between October 15 and January 31.

    You can only keep one legal char (this includes lake trout) per license per day – up to a total of 5 annually.

  6. Can I keep bull trout?

    Yes, but the regulations are similar to that of lake trout.

    You must have already purchased a conservation surcharge stamp and the bull trout must be at least 60cm (measured to the V in the fin).

    All bull trout caught from streams must be released between August 1 and October 31.

    You can only keep one legal char (this includes bull trout) per license per day – up to a total of 5 annually.

  7. What fish species can I target without needing a conservation surcharge stamp?

    Kokanee (5 per license per day)
    Whitefish (15 per license per day)
    Burbot (2 per license per day)
    Crayfish (25 per license per day)

    Possession quotas are twice that of the daily quotas (i.e.: Kokanee – daily quota = 5, possession quota = 10)

Shuswap Lake Fishing Reports

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!

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