The Province has more than doubled fines for violating the Wildlife Act in a bid to deter illegal hunting and angling, among other contraventions. /RMG

By Abigail Popple, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, RMG

For the first time in over 20 years, the Province has increased ticket fines for those who violate the Wildlife Act.

The change, announced June 17th, more than  doubles ticket fines for violating the act. Previously, fines ranged from $115 to $575 – now, fines start as low as $345 and can cost as much as $1495.

Chief Conservation Officer Cam Schely says these amounts were settled on after thorough examination of similar legislation in other jurisdictions. said 

“There was analysis done across Canada as well as the Western United States to help guide what are appropriate fine amounts for 2024,” Schely told The Goat in an interview. “That’s what helped guide the amounts that B.C. landed on.”

Consultation with stakeholders throughout B.C. also informed the decision to increase fines, Schely added.

“There was some excellent feedback from both First Nations and stakeholders on where to go with fine amounts. It was a well supported initiative to raise these fine amounts,” he said. 

Schely hopes the new fines will discourage violating the Wildlife Act. Common violations he sees on the job include hunting during closed season and fishing without a licence.

“Increased fine amounts under the Wildlife Act are aimed to deter noncompliance, better protect wildlife populations, and make clear that the Province values wildlife,” he said.

Compliance with the Wildlife Act is crucial for keeping hunting and fishing sustainable, he added. If people witness Wildlife Act violations, they can report their experience to the toll-free Report all Poachers and Polluters line at 1-877-952-7277, or

“Fish and wildlife populations are only as abundant as biologists can make them,” Schely said. “If there is poaching going on, that impacts populations to the point of either seasons getting closed, or the inability of First Nations to harvest animals. It’s very important to keep those fish and wildlife populations vibrant and viable.”