BC Parks Campsites You Can Reserve in Advance at Stocked Fishing Lakes

January 22, 2024
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Where to Fish » BC Parks Campsites You Can Reserve in Advance at Stocked Fishing Lakes

Some keen anglers may be braving winter’s cold to wet their lines, but most of us are still bundled indoors, dreaming of warmer months to come. However, it is an ideal time to plan summer fishing adventures and camping trips. In 2024, BC Parks’ reservation policy allows the reservation of campsites four months in advance – in January, it’s already possible to book sites for a May arrival! For the forward-planners out there, organize your family and friends to get some camping trips with fishing on the calendar.
When it comes to selecting which B.C. park to visit, we’ve done the hard work for you. Below, you’ll find a selection of BC Parks campsites that allow reservations, have vehicle access, and are on or near a stocked fishing lake.
If you miss out on booking a campsite at one of the parks listed below, don’t fret! Many BC Parks and Recreation Sites and Trails B.C. locations offer first-come-first-serve spots. Check out the map on the Camping & RV in BC website (which features stocked lakes, provincial and national parks, Recreation Sites BC, and private camping and RV parks) for ideas on where to go fishing and camping.

Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley

Sasquatch Provincial Park

Nearest town: Harrison Hot Springs
Stocked lakes: Hicks and Deer
Stocked species: Fraser Valley rainbow trout
With two stocked lakes and three campgrounds to choose from, Sasquatch is a favourite fishing destination for many in the Fraser Valley. The three campgrounds – Bench, Hicks, and Lakeside (Deer Lake) – provide a total of 178 vehicle-accessible campsites, 169 of which are reservable. Hicks and Deer lakes are stocked with catchable-sized rainbow trout. Hicks Lake, with its fishing dock, makes an ideal spot for families to fish.

Hicks Lake
Hicks Lake. Joyce Chiayi.


Paul Lake Provincial Park

Nearest town: Kamloops
Stocked lake: Paul
Stocked species: Kokanee
Although there is an abundance of red-sided shiners in Paul Lake, angling for rainbow trout (the lake was stocked with Blackwater rainbow trout for many years) and kokanee remains good. Trolling is an option, but this lake is mainly renowned for fly-fishing, especially during mayfly and chironomid hatches. Paul Lake Provincial Park has 90 vehicle-accessible campsites, 47 of which are reservable.

Fishing dock at Paul Lake.


Otter Lake Provincial Park

Nearest town: Tulameen
Stocked lake: Otter
Stocked species: Blackwater rainbow trout; kokanee
Set amongst the mountains on the edge of the Cascade Range, Otter Lake is one of the Okanagan’s premier camping and fishing destinations. It has a quality rainbow trout fishery, especially during the spring and fall when the water temperatures are mild. The lake is heavily stocked with both rainbow trout and kokanee, and trolling is a good method to try for both species. There are 45 vehicle-accessible sites, all of which are reservable, as well as five double sites and five pull-through sites.


Big Bar Lake Provincial Park

Nearest town: Clinton
Stocked lake: Big Bar
Stocked species: Pennask rainbow trout
Stocked since the 1970s, Big Bar Lake is very productive, with many trout reaching 2.3 kilograms (five pounds). The fishing is best in spring and fall, as the water warms considerably in the summer and trout retreat to the cooler depths. With a surface area of 227 hectares, there are plenty of fishing spots to explore here. But if you’re looking for more, nearby Little Big Bar  and Beaverdam lakes are also stocked. The Lakeside Campground has 27 sites, and the Upper Campground has 19 sites.

Green Lake Provincial Park

Nearest town: 70 Mile House
Stocked lake: Green
Stocked species: Kokanee; Blackwater, Pennask, and Fraser Valley rainbow trout
Warm and shallow, Green Lake’s alluring emerald-green waters are excellent for a swim in mid-summer (although watch for leeches!). It is also a popular spot for anglers, with opportunities to target rainbow trout and kokanee. There are 120 vehicle-accessible sites and one group site. Boat launches are located at the Sunset View campground and Little Arrowhead picnic site.


Tyhee Lake Provincial Park

Nearest town: Telkwa
Stocked lake: Tyhee Lake
Stocked species: Blackwater rainbow trout
If you’ve not yet visited, the stunning Bulkley River Valley is not to be missed. Tyhee Lake is nestled right in the middle of it, 10 kilometres east of Smithers. There are 59 vehicle-accessible sites, 20 of them reservable. This campground also features an RV sani-dump station, electrical hookup, and showers. Rainbow trout, native cutthroat trout, and minnows (like peamouth chub, red shiner, and pygmy whitefish) can be found in the lake, making for some fun family fishing.

Tyhee Lake.


Champion Lakes Provincial Park

Nearest town: Fruitvale
Stocked lakes: Champion Lakes (First, Second, and Third)
Stocked species: Blackwater and Fraser Valley rainbow trout
There are plenty of activities to keep the family entertained at Champion Lakes Provincial Park, including canoeing, swimming, hiking, and biking. There’s even golfing at the Champion Lakes Golf and Country Club, located twenty minutes from the park. Book one of the 95 vehicle-accessible sites (44 reservable), and enjoy fishing at any of the three stocked lakes. Third Lake receives the most fishing pressure and, because of this, is stocked with catchable-sized rainbow trout. Second lake is also accessible via road, but you’ll need to walk one kilometre from here to reach First Lake – the quietest (with arguably the best fishing) of the three.

Summit Lake Provincial Park

Nearest town: Nakusp
Stocked lake: Summit Lake
Stocked species: Pennask rainbow trout
Fly-anglers who love targeting the aggressive Pennask strain of rainbow trout are in for a treat at Summit Lake. From early April, the fishing is on at this low-elevation lake (tip: opt for chironomids and caddisflies). The lake is stocked annually with 5,000 Pennask strain rainbows that can attain weights up to 2.3 kilograms (five pounds). Summit Lake Provincial Park has 35 vehicle-accessible sites – 23 reservable – and a good boat launch.

Summit Lake. Casey McKinnon.


Purden Lake Provincial Park

Nearest town: Prince George
Stocked lakes: Purden Lake
Stocked species: Blackwater rainbow trout; kokanee
Purden Lake is a popular playground for anglers, boaters, kayakers, and campers from nearby Prince George. This is a great spot for RV enthusiasts, with sites for larger RVs and a sani-dump station. The park has 78 vehicle-accessible sites, 41 of which are reservable. The lake is stocked with both kokanee and rainbow trout, and there are also plenty of burbot present. There is great year ’round angling available.

Vancouver Island

French Beach Park

Nearest town: Sooke
Stocked lakes: Kemp and Poirier
Stocked species: Fraser Valley rainbow trout
While there are no stocked lakes within the provincial park itself, there are ample fishing opportunities close to French Beach Park, and the opportunity to set up your tent near the ocean in this beautiful park is not to be missed. With stunning views across the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the family can enjoy swimming, walking along the pebble beach, and whale spotting – all steps from the campground. There are 69 vehicle-accessible sites that can be booked in advance. For freshwater anglers, Poirier and Kemp lakes are both a twenty-minute drive from the campground, and are stocked with catchable-size rainbow trout. 

French Beach. Jessica Greinke.


One Island Lake Provincial Park

Nearest town: Dawson Creek
Stocked lake: One Island Lake
Stocked species: Eastern brook trout, Blackwater rainbow trout. 

Stocked each year with 5,000 brookies and 5,000 rainbow trout, One Island Lake is known for being full of freshwater shrimp and, as a result, big fish. For the non-anglers, there are plentiful bird-and-wildlife-spotting opportunities, with waterfowl, moose, beavers, deer and black bears frequenting the area. Although reservations are not available through BC Parks, it’s possible to contact the park operator for more information and to book one of the vehicle-accessible sites. 

As always, before you head out on your trip, make sure you have your freshwater fishing licence, and that you have checked out the fishing regulations for your chosen lake. Respect the park rules, wildlife, and your fellow campers, and you’re set for a year full of fun camping and fishing adventures!

Author: Jessica Greinke, Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC