B.C.’s Family Fishing Weekend is an annual celebration of fishing that coincides with the Father’s Day weekend. In 2024, the three-day event falls on June 14th to 16th. This is a great chance to get together with family and friends and try fishing! 

Image: Justine Russo
Image: Katie Mather

Fish for free during the Father’s Day weekend 

Right through the third weekend in June (including the immediately preceding Friday), our provincial government waives the requirement for residents of Canada – individuals who have lived in Canada for the preceding 12 months – to buy or carry a non-tidal (freshwater) basic fishing licence. 

There are some exceptions. If you plan to fish :

  • for species that require a conservation surcharge stamp (steelhead, Shuswap Lake rainbow trout and char, Kootenay Lake rainbow trout, white sturgeon, and salmon in both tidal and non-tidal waters)
  •  in Classified Waters (highly productive trout streams, listed as Class I or Class II waters in the water-specific tables of the fishing regulations)

then you are still required to purchase the appropriate licence(s) and stamp(s). 
Anglers must always adhere to catch quotas and regulations. To know where you can go fishing, and which fish species you can catch, make sure you have read and understood the  Freshwater Fishing Regulations Synopsis

The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, which manages fishing in tidal waters, also offers the opportunity to go saltwater fishing for free.  From June 14 to 16 only, if you’re fishing in Canadian Pacific tidal waters for any species other than salmon, halibut or lingcod, you don’t need a licence to fish. If you are fishing for salmon, halibut or lingcod, get a free 3 day BC Tidal Waters Sport Fishing licence, valid from June 14 to 16 only.

Family-friendly community events 

During B.C.’s Family Fishing Weekend, free fishing events for anglers and families are held throughout the province. Knowledgeable volunteers will be on hand at most events to teach tricks of the trade.

2024 B.C. Family Fishing Weekend Events 

North Vancouver
Event: BC Family Fishing Day
Location: Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve, North Vancouver. Meet at Rice Lake Gate, 4900 Lillooet Rd.
Date/ Time: June 16, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Hosts: Seymour Salmonid Society and Greater Vancouver Water District
Details: Try your luck at catching rainbow trout at Rice Lake. Enjoy the exhibits, other festivities and the Reel Mac and Cheese food truck. Come check out the LSCR and Metro Vancouver Watershed booth at the entrance to learn about the watershed.
Contact: Ph. 604-288-0511 | More information
Event: Family Fishing Day
Location: Lafarge Lake, Coquitlam
Date/ Time: June 16, 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Host: Coquitlam Festival Society
Details: Join us for the 25th annual BC free fishing day at Lafarge Lake. Come to Lafarge Lake for a free family-friendly day of fishy fun and prizes during BC’s free fishing weekend – when anglers can fish BC’s waters without a licence. Experts will be on site to teach participants new techniques on catching rainbow trout. Other activities include fly tying, casting lessons and salmon raffle. Some fantastic prizes will be given away at the end of the event.
Contact: Website
Event: Family Fishing Day
Location: Fraser Valley Trout Hatchery, Abbotsford
Date/ Time: June 15, 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Host: Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC
Details: Bring the entire family along and learn about B.C. freshwater fisheries, and enjoy helping your children fish for rainbow trout at the stocked ponds. There will be fishing for youth ages 18 and younger (all equipment provided), interactive family activities, concession stand, door prizes. All are welcome to this free event! No registration required.
Contact: Email | More information
Event: Lion’s Cultus Lake Family Fishing Day
Location: Cultus Lake Main Beach
Date/ Time: June 15, 5:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Host: Eastern Fraser Valley Lions Club
Details: We encourage fishers to be on Cultus Lake or fishing from the shore to catch smallmouth bass and Pike minnow. They are both predators of salmon fry; our goal is to protect the salmon of Cultus Lake. Fishers should bring their own gear including a fishing rod tackle a bucket for the fish and anything else that they need to be safe and comfortable.
Contact: Website
Maple Ridge
Event: Cast & Crew Welcome!
Location: Whonnock Lake, Maple Ridge
Date/ Time: June 15, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Host: City of Maple Ridge
Details: EVENT IS FULL. This event is free for families or first-timers. We will provide the fishing gear and volunteers for you to have a memorable experience.
Contact: Ph. (604) 467-7308

Event: Father’s Day Fishing
Location: Bush Creek Hatchery, Ladysmith. 2.5 km down Trans-Canada Trail (Christie Falls)
Date/ Time: June 15, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Host: Ladysmith Sportsmen’s Club
Details: There are 100 fish to be caught in the hatchery pond. Participants are welcome to bring their own rods if they want but rods and bait will also be available and free to use. There will be a BBQ and prizes for the kids.
Contact: Ph. 250-245-7277
Event: Chemainus Rod and Gun Club Family Fishing Day
Location: Fuller Lake, Ladysmith
Date/ Time: June 16, 5:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Host: Chemainus Rod and Gun Club
Details: Fish anywhere in the Chemainus River Drainage. Fuller’s Lake, Chemainus Lake, Holy Oak Lake, Rhinehart Lake. All fish must be weighed in at Fuller’s Lake park no later than 1pm. Hot Dogs and Hamburgers water and pop provided free for everyone attending the event. 
Contact: Ph. 250-245-5824
Event: Family Fishing Day
Location: Mayo Lake, Cowichan
Date/ Time: June 15, 9:00 AM –2:00 PM
Host: Valley Fish and Game Club
Details: Family fishing at Mayo Lake.
Contact: Ph. 250-749-4025 | Email
Event: Family Fishing Day
Location: Victoria Fish and Game Protective Assoc. 700 Holker Place, Malahat
Time/ Date: June 15, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Host: Victoria Fish and Game Protective Society
Details: Members and the public are invited to bring their families and fish at our campground’s fishing pond, which is stocked with over 200 rainbow trout for the event. All ages and skill levels are welcome, and kids can bring home one of the fish they catch!
Contact: More information
Shawnigan Lake
Event: Annual Walter Hall Memorial fishing Event
Location: Shawnigan Lake
Time/ Date: June 15, 7:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Host: Royal Canadian Legion Malahat Branch 134
Details: A fun-filled event for the whole family. Join us on Fathers Day for a day of fishing, food, and prizes! All ages are welcome to join this public event. In order to enter your family, you will have to register on our legion’s website www.malahatlegion.ca.
Contact: Ph. 250-743-4621 | Email | Website
Gold River
Event: Father’s Day Fishing Event
Location: Star Lake, Gold River
Time/ Date: June 16, 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Host: Gold River Rod and Gun Club
Details: Annual Father’s Day Family Fishing Derby up at Star Lake on the Ucona M/L. Fishing starts at 9:00 am and goes until 12:00 pm, lunch (supplied) and prizes etc. until 1:00 pm. Bring your own fishing gear and bug juice, there is no advanced sign-up required but please enter children’s names upon arrival. Contact John Bruce at 250-203-7113 for info. 
Contact: Ph. (250) 203-7113 | Email
Comox Lake
Event: Family Fishing Weekend
Location: Courtenay & District F&GPA Property. 3780 Cole Lake Rd. Comox Lake.
Time/ Date: June 15, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM, June 16, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Host: Courtenay & District Fish & Game Protective Association
Details: Our fishing pond is located on our property. Meet at the main parking lot, located at the office and Clubhouse. Participants can bring their own rods & bait. We can supply rods & bait for those that do not have any. We can clean, bag & keep their catch on ice. We have a two fish limit / person.
Contact: Email

Event: Learn to Fish
Location: Kingfisher Interpretive Centre, 2550 Enderby Mabel Lake Rd, Enderby
Date/ Time: Sunday, July 21, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Host: Kingfisher Interpretive Centre
Details: This is a free family event which will be taking place at the Kingfisher Interpretive Centre (located 25 kms east of Enderby). The event will include fishing opportunities, fly tying, learning about water bugs and more. This event is an opportunity to teach our young anglers the ins and outs of successful fishing!
Contact: Ph. 250-838-0004 | Email
Salmon Arm
Event: 25th Annual Salmon Arm Kids’ Fishing Day
Location: Salmon Arm Wharf at Marine Park, Salmon Arm
Date/ Time: June 16, 6:00 AM – 11:00 AM (registration 6AM)
Host: Salmon Arm Kids’ Fishing Day
Details: The fishing day is a free event open to all kids 12 years of age and under. Participants must wear a life jacket or PDF and be accompanied by an adult.
Contact: Ph. 250-517-8087 | Facebook page

Williams Lake
Event: Fishing Forever – Fishing Day for Persons with Disabilities
Location: Biff’s Ponds. 2710 Dog Creek Rd. Williams Lake
Date/ Time: June 10, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Host: Biff’s Ponds
Details: The Fishing Forever program provides an opportunity where people with disabilities can learn, or continue, to fish and enjoy the outdoors. Low-mobility or disabled persons are invited to fish Biff’s Ponds. There will be hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, water & pop. All equipment will be supplied. To sign up please email: [email protected]
Contact: Ph. 250-392-7460
Event: Father’s Day Family Fishing Event
Location: Tyhee Lake Provincial Park, Telkwa
Date/ Time: June 16, 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Host: Michelle’s Tackle Box
Details: Fishing, food and fun! Learn to fish for ages 5 – 15, boat rides, fly-fishing demo and instruction, fishing pond ages 5 and under, free BBQ, prize draws.
Contact: Ph. 780-933-4676 | More information
Event: Family Fishing Day
Location: 386 Haisla Blvd, Kitimat
Date/ Time: June 16, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Host: Kitimat Rod and Gun Assoc.
Details: We will have a casting contest, archery, hatchery display and information, and food, including hotdogs, juice, and chips.
Contact: Ph. 250-632-1598
Event: Family Fishing Weekend
Location: Clearwater Trout Hatchery & Fishing Ponds, 40 Old North Thompson Highway East, Clearwater
Date/ Time: June 15, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM June 16, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Host: Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC
Details: Join us for a mini Learn to Fish lessons at our stocked trout fishing pond. All fishing equipment available. Plus, prize draws every hour!
Contact: Ph. 250-674-2580
Event: Family Fishing Weekend
Location: Nechako White Sturgeon Conservation Centre, 3030 Burrard Avenue, Vanderhoof
Date/ Time: June 15, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM June 16, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Host: Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC
Details: Join us for a mini Learn to Fish lessons at our NEW trout fishing pond. All fishing equipment available. Plus, prize draws every hour!
Contact: Ph. 250-567-6673

Event: Fishing Forever
Location: Cottonwood Lake, Nelson
Date/ Time: June 16, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Host: Nelson Rod & Gun Club
Details: On Saturday, June 15, we take all seniors and disabled individuals (and caregivers) around the lake trolling for rainbow trout. On Sunday, June 16, we do the same for families with small children. We supply Boats, lifejackets, rods, reels, lures and bait. For those who catch a fish we give then a rod and reel set and or a fishing forever medal. Off the water, we provide a hot dog or burger, juice and chips to all attendees.
Contact: Ph. 250-444-1953 | More information
Event: LWDR&G Club Family Fishing Day
Location: Lake Lilian, Invermere
Date/ Time: June 15, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Host: Lake Windermere District Rod and Gun Club
Details: Lake Windermere District Rod and Gun Club is happy to announce our annual Family Fishing Day event in collaboration with The Freshwaters Fish Society and BC Family Fishing Weekend. Usually we have the support of the local Conservation Officers and 4-6 boats to take the public out. Draw prizes& BBQ provided free.
Contact: Ph. 250-688-2504 | Email
Event: Nakusp Family Fishing Day
Location: Nakusp Marina
Date/ Time: June 16, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Details: Coldwell Banker Rosling Real Estate
Details: Fishing and info booth 10-4 with a free BBQ and draws to follow at the Nakusp Marina.
Contact: Ph. 250-265-1940 | Email
Event: Cranbrook Fire Fighters Fishing Clinic
Location: Idlewild Lake, Cranbrook
Date/ Time: June 16, 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Host: Cranbrook Firefighters Association
Details: Our event is about bring families and community together. It is a fishing competition for youth and children under 16. There are multiple prizes awarded as well as a BBQ by donation.
Contact: Email | More information
Event: Family Fishing Day
Williamsons Lake, Revelstoke
Date/ Time:
June 16, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Revelstoke Rod & Gun Club
This is a free family event. We’ve got you! Don’t know how to fish? We’ll show you. Don’t have a rod? We’ll lend you one. No fishing License? No problem…You don’t require one ( for this event only). Children under 16 years are required to have a guardian present. Lunch: Juicy chargrilled burgers will be served up 11- 1 or until we run out (by donation). Bring your Dad, Mom, Sister, Brother, Auntie, Uncle, Cousin, Bestie or just come on your own to meet new people.
Ph. 250-683-9153 | Email | Facebook page
Event: Family Fishing Day
Location: Mawson Lake (aka Rykerts Lake)
Date/ Time: June 15, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Host: Creston Valley Rod and Gun Club
Details: All members and their families are invited to attend a fun-filled day at the lake. Fishing from shore or boats is permitted. No gas motors allowed. We are also going to have some archery demonstrations and members will be able to try their hand at some target practice. Hamburgers and hotdogs and cold beverages will be provided for lunch. 
Contact: Ph. 250-428-4355 | Email
Event: Family Fishing Weekend: Champion Lakes Park
Location: Champion Lake Provincial Park, day-use area beach
Date/ Time: June 15, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Host: BC Parks, RAP Park Contracting, local Conservation Officer Service.
Details: Come out and celebrate Father’s Day with a fishing trip with BC Parks! There will be information displays, snacks, loaner fishing gear, and draw prizes. Park Rangers will be on hand to answer questions and help tying up fishing gear.
Contact: Ph. 250-354-3650 | Email

Aspen Grove
Event: Father’s Day Family Fishing Event
Location: West Pond, Kentucky-Alleyne Park
Date/ Time: June 16, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Host: Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club
Details: We will be holding our Family Fishing Event. It will be held at the Kentucky Alleyne Park and is for anglers 16 years old and younger. There is a stocked pond for youth anglers. We will have fishing gear to give away to youth who do not already have their own. There will be snacks, coffee, & water provided for attendees. We will also have volunteers on hand to assist and teach a variety of fishing activities. This is always a great family event and it warms the heart to see the smiles on kids faces as they get the opportunity to catch some fish.
Contact: Ph. 250-280-0304 | Facebook page
Event: Kids’ Fishing Day
Location: Chain Lake Campsite – Princeton-Summerland Road, Princeton
Date/ Time: June 15, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Host: Princeton Fish and Game Association
Details: All kids registered, try fishing mostly from shore. Lunch will be provided to all in attendance. Members will provide hamburgers, hotdogs, and drinks to participants and parents. All participants to receive a prize at the end of the event.
Contact: Ph. 250-295-2711 | Email | Facebook page


Host an event or volunteer  

We are always looking for more locations and willing communities that want to get involved in B.C.’s Family Fishing Weekend. If your agency, club, or group is interested in hosting a community event that is free and open to the public, please fill out the Event Submission Form. Activities at past events have included family barbeques, fly-tying clinics, free rod and tackle loan, children’s fishing clinics, and stream clean-up projects. The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC offers event support, supply of fishing equipment and giveaways, and promotion and marketing. If you have any questions about BC Family Fishing day, volunteering, or how to host an event, please contact us.
Thank you to all of the community volunteers, organizations, and local businesses that make each event possible. 


Free resources for event hosts 

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BC Family Fishing Weekend Sponsors and Supporters

The BC Family Fishing Weekend organizers are grateful to the generous sponsors and supporters that help make BC Family Fishing Weekend a success. We couldn’t do it without you!

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