ARE TANDEM HOOKS LEGAL?
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"Are tandem hooks allowed in B.C.? And if they are, can you use them in lakes that specify only single barbless hooks?"
Thanks for the question, Steve.
To answer this, I read up on the British Columbia Sport Fishing Regulations. Section 8 reads,
"8 (1) Subject to subsections (2) to (4), no person shall angle with a fishing line to which more than one hook, artificial lure or artificial fly is attached."
In the Provincial freshwater synopsis. It states that your basic license entitles you to,
"fish (with or without a rod) with one fishing line to which only one hook,one artificial lure OR one artificial fly is attached."
Of course, I'm not a lawyer so I wanted to dig deeper to understand exactly what this means. I decided to contact both DFO and the Fish and Wildlife Branch.
When asked, both the Fish and Wildlife Branch and the DFO said that there is no definition of "artificial lure" in the regulations that limits it to a single hook, and therefore the interpretation has been that the lure may have more than one hook as long as it meets any single point and barbless requirement that may be in place.
So the short answer appears to be yes: you may use tandem hooks, as long as they are both attached to a single artificial lure. If the lake has a single barbless hook restriction then you can still use single hooks in tandem if they are part of your artificial lure, but you must have crimped barbs.
Interestingly, there is a definition for "artificial fly" that specifies that an artificial fly may only have one hook in non-tidal waters (ie: lakes). In tidal waters (ocean and portions of some rivers), tandem hooks on a single artificial fly are permitted.
Policy and legislation can change, and it's possible that the regulations will be updated to define "artificial lure" as having a single hook. Up-to-date information can be obtained by contacting DFO, or the Fish and Wildlife Branch.