Baitfish is a common term used for small fish that are preyed on by bigger fish. When fishing in saltwater around British Columbia, common baitfish include herring, anchovy and needlefish. These three baitfish species are commonly eaten by salmon. Shiner perch are also known as baitfish on groundfish such as rockfish and lingcod at times.

A school of juvenile salmon

In streams, juvenile salmon are known as baitfish that trout and char prey on. This is especially common during spring months when juvenile salmon migrate down a stream. Cutthroat trout hunt for these small baitfish on the surface and one can spot them by looking for splashes.

In lakes, redside shiner are known as baitfish for some strains of rainbow trout.

Dead or live baitfish can be used as bait in certain fisheries, while it is prohibited in some fisheries. It is also possible to use lures or flies that resemble baitfish when targeting predator species.

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