Fish, Habitat and Wildlife Regulation

Below, you can find information on a variety of policies, bylaws, programs and practices relating to ecological protection for:


Richmond is home to many species of wildlife. The majority of wildlife in British Columbia are under the jurisdiction of the Provincial government and governed by the BC Wildlife Act. The Act governs such things as nesting birds, problem wildlife and hunting and trapping. Visit the BC Provincial Ministry of Environment FAQ page for comprehensive answers to wildlife questions.

Development in the city must follow best management practices laid out as part of the Wildlife Act. This pertains to the management of bird nests and habitat for migratory birds and raptors. For more information, see the following provincial documents:

Other wildlife management resources:

Fish and Aquatic Habitat
Richmond has a unique relationship with its aquatic setting, as managing the river through dikes and providing drainage is critically important to the City’s livability. Although the inland watercourses in the City are generally thought of as ditches, they do have a habitat value; primarily in the provision of water to the Fraser River estuary outside the dike. Depending on what type of activity you wish to undertake near water, different provincial and/or federal standards may apply.

Freshwater fish (inland of the dike and in the Fraser River) are under the jurisdiction of the Provincial government and governed by the BC Riparian Areas Protection Act (formerly the Fish Protection Act).

Richmond is a municipality subject to the requirements of the provincial Riparian Areas Regulation (RAR) which guides development near most City watercourses (ditches).

Specific information on the City’s requirements and approach can be found in the Riparian Areas Regulation Response Strategy.

If you are modifying a watercourse (ditch) in the City, you may require an approval under the Provincial Water Sustainability Act (formerly the Water Act).

For projects inside the dike, the requirements of the Federal Fisheries Act apply to all open watercourses (including ditches) in the City. This Act also applies to the Fraser River foreshore. If you’re planning a project around water, you need to be aware of your responsibilities. Fisheries and Oceans Canada has a comprehensive resource on this topic called Projects Near Water.