• If a Water Classification boundary is crossed then the Classification is upgraded to the next level (e.g. if you paddle across the St. of Georgia it would be considered Class III, not Class II).
  • Small localized areas of Class 1, 2, and 3 waters are not listed within higher classed bodies of water. To list all these areas would be to onerous and confusing on a map of this scale. Please refer to classification definitions for clarification.

Click to enlarge

water classification map

View Larger Images

British Columbia Overview image
Black and white Overview image
BC South Coast Overview image
BC North Coast Overview image

Water Class Definitions

  • Class 1: Gentle tours in non-challenging protected waters with limited wind effect, little or no current, easy landings, and ready access to land based assistance.
  • Class 2: Tours in lightly populated areas with short crossings, moderate potential wind effects, gentle to moderate non-turbulent currents, easy to moderate landings and light surf beaches.
  • Class 3: Exposed water, sparsely populated areas with more committing crossings, moderate to strong currents with turbulence, moderate to strong wind effects, ocean swells, difficult landings, surf-beaches.
  • Class 4: Long committing crossings, uninhabited, rugged and exposed coast, strong turbulent currents, strong wind effects, large swells, difficult landings, exposed surf beaches.