Oceans and Fisheries Regulations

Res #: 1-22M
Number: 1
Year: 2022
Midterm: Yes
Expired: No
Responses Received: Yes
Departments: Ministry of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

WHEREAS the Department of Oceans and Fisheries regulates the requirements of placement of infrastructure, such as bridges and culverts on fish bearing streams.

WHEREAS smaller streams and creeks appear to be labelled “fishing bearing” for the entire length of the waterway.

WHEREAS many streams and creeks have sections that only flow in spring or during high rainfall and are dry water beds where no fish could ever survive.

BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the Department of Oceans and Fisheries to allow sections of streams and creeks to not be subject to requirements of fish bearing streams.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a written and signed report from the local provincial Conservation Officer stating that there are no fish and no chance of fish surviving at that specific location be accepted as sufficient evidence so that municipality does not have to abide by the fish bearing rules for these sites, which add large costs and delays to projects.

Responses From: Ministry of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

March 1, 2023

Information and guidance related to infrastructure projects, such as bridges and culverts, can be found on Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s (DFO) webpage on projects near water. DFO’s website also provides a description of the steps to request a project review and the requirements for a project to be authorized. 

The amendments made to the Fisheries Act in 2019 confirmed that the fish and fish habitat protection provisions of the Act apply to all fish and fish habitat in all Canadian waters. The Department remains committed to administering the Fisheries Act to afford this protection, and to working with municipalities and other levels of government to ensure that the review of projects under the Act are coordinated, efficient, and effective. 

For further clarification, please contact the closest regional Fish and Fish Habitat Protection Program office. 

The Honourable Joyce Murray – Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard