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Kootenay angling plan secures quality fishing for all

In addition to the booking system necessary to provide the available non-guided, non-resident angler days on classified waters, the following changes to the existing Classified Waters regulations are also made:

  • Michel Creek is established as its own classified water, while simultaneously removing it from the larger Elk River Classified Water. This will allow for more specific management at a smaller scale for Michel Creek. Michel Creek is currently closed to angling due to low flows and high temperatures, but when it reopens the new regulations will apply.
  • Angling guides are now able to use their existing Lower St. Mary allocation of days on both the Upper and Lower St. Mary. This will reduce guided angling pressure on the Lower St. Mary and provide some guiding flexibility in a challenging economy.
  • Guided days on the Wigwam River and Skookumchuck Creek increased by 80 and 50 days respectively, to more accurately reflect the fishable season and fishable lengths of these waters, which were too conservatively estimated, 10 years ago.

Classified waters for the White River, Upper Kootenay River, St. Mary River and Elk River are otherwise unchanged. On these rivers there are maximum angling days in place for angling guides, but non-residents may continue to fish without caps, after paying for their Classified Water licence.

How do I obtain a licence under the new system?

  • For information on how to obtain a fishing licence, visit:
  • The system for obtaining a Classified Water Licence remains exactly as it was before – users will log into the online angling licence webpage and select the classified water of their choice.
  • The difference will be that for non-guided non-resident anglers, once the allocation for the streams on the booking system is fully sold, that classified water will no longer appear as an option for purchase for them.
  • In order to allow reasonable access throughout the season, the allocation will be divided up into two-week periods. If a classified waters licence isn’t available for an angler’s preferred time, there is a good chance it will be available in a different two-week window.

Where do I learn more about the Kootenay Angling Management Plan?