Fishery Notice

FN0261-RECREATIONAL - Shellfish - Prawn and Shrimp - New Recreational Fishing Regulation: Mandatory to Release Prawns with Eggs

New Recreational Fishing Regulation April 1, 2018: to conserve prawn 
populations it is mandatory to release all egg-bearing female prawns.

Changes to the conditions of the BC Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence for 
2018/2019 require that no person shall retain prawns carrying eggs, or remove 
eggs from the underside of prawns carrying eggs.  All prawns carrying eggs 
externally on the underside of the tail shall be returned to the water 
immediately and in the manner that causes the least harm. 

This new regulation was recommended by the Sport Fishing Advisory Board to help 
conserve prawn populations for a vibrant and sustainable recreational fishery 
in British Columbia. 

As part of their reproductive processes prawns transition from male to female 
halfway through their 4-year lifecycle. Wild prawn stocks are monitored twice a 
year in BC to ensure a minimum number of female prawns are present in the 
population.  The next time you set your prawn traps watch for scientific 
observers out on the water.  They're collecting important data that will be 
used to monitor the abundance of female prawns in future stock assessments.  
Your participation in scientific monitoring is a fundamental part of 
sustainable fisheries management. Please honour the spawner and fish 

Protect egg-bearing female prawns. It's mandatory to release them! 

Respect biological monitoring, catch limits and seasonal closures.  Sampling 
occurs in the spring during the commercial fishery and again in the fall during 
spawning season.  Trained fisheries observers are authorized to board 
commercial vessels to examine traps to sort and count catch by gender and 
maturity stage.  Monitoring results may necessitate seasonal closures that 
apply to all fisheries.  Winter is when the highest number of spawning female 
prawns are present.  During this time recreational harvesters must respect area 
closures or, if areas are open, protect egg-bearing female prawns by returning 
them to the water in support of future stock strength. 

Expect catch success to vary every season. Every season marks a new life stage 
with environmental conditions that influence prawn abundance.  Ocean currents, 
larval distribution and changes in water temperature and salinity all have an 
impact on survival and population strength.  When it comes to prawn fishing 
there is no such thing as "an average condition of abundance," which means you 
can count on your catch success to varyseason to season, area to area, year 
over year, throughout the Pacific region. 

Prawns Spawn!

Recreational Prawn Fishing. What to Expect?

2018 - 2019 Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licences

BC Sport Fishing Guide


Laurie Convey 250-756-7233
Mike Kattilakoski 250-756-7315
David Fogtmann 250-339-3799
Anna Magera 604-916-6743
Brad Beaith 250-756-7190
Coral Keehn 250-627-3021

Fisheries & Oceans Operations Center - FN0261
Sent March 29, 2018 at 1824