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How Much Is a Fishing License in UK

Fishing is more than just a hobby; it’s a beloved pastime that connects us with nature, offers a chance to unwind, and creates lasting memories. However, before you can cast your line into the tranquil waters of the UK, it’s crucial to understand the requirements and obtain a valid fishing license. This comprehensive guide will provide you with all the essential information you need to navigate the process seamlessly, ensuring you can enjoy your angling adventures to the fullest while contributing to the conservation of our aquatic ecosystems.

Understanding Fishing License Types in the UK

In the UK, there are two main types of fishing licenses: the Trout, Coarse Fish, and Eel License, and the Salmon and Sea Trout License. Let’s explore what each license entails:

Trout, Coarse Fish, and Eel License

This license allows you to fish for:

  • Trout (non-migratory) in rivers, streams, and canals using one rod
  • Trout (non-migratory) in reservoirs, ponds, and lakes using two rods
  • Freshwater species like carp, roach, and bream using two rods

Salmon and Sea Trout License

The Salmon and Sea Trout License permits you to fish for:

  • Salmon, sea trout, and trout (non-migratory) in rivers, streams, and canals using one rod
  • Salmon, sea trout, and trout (non-migratory) in reservoirs and lakes using two rods
  • All freshwater species using three rods

It’s important to note that these licenses are required for fishing in England (except the River Tweed), Wales, and the Border Esk region in Scotland. Failure to have a valid license can result in a fine of up to £2,500.

How Much Does a Fishing License Cost in the UK?

The cost of a fishing license varies depending on the type of license, duration, and any applicable concessions. Here’s a breakdown of the current prices for the 2024 season:

Trout, Coarse Fish, and Eel License

  • Annual (two rods): £30 (£20 for concessions)
  • Annual (three rods): £45 (£30 for concessions)
  • 8-day: £12
  • 1-day: £6

Salmon and Sea Trout License

  • Annual: £82
  • 8-day: £27
  • 1-day: £12


Anglers over 65 and those with a blue badge are eligible for a 1/3 discount on annual licenses. Children under 13 do not need a license, and those aged 13-16 can obtain a free junior license (registration required).

Purchasing Your Fishing License

You can purchase your fishing license through the following convenient methods:

  • Online: Visit the official GOV.UK website to purchase your license online.
  • By Phone: Call the Environment Agency’s fishing license department at 0344 800 5386.
  • At the Post Office: Many Post Office branches offer fishing license sales.

When purchasing your license, ensure you have the necessary information, such as the type of license you require, the number of rods you plan to use, and any applicable concessions.

The Importance of Fishing Licenses for Conservation

Purchasing a fishing license not only ensures you’re fishing legally but also contributes to the conservation and management of fisheries in the UK. A portion of the license fees is invested back into projects that improve fish stocks, conduct surveys, maintain flood defenses, and promote angling among younger generations.

By obtaining a fishing license, you’re supporting the sustainability of the sport and ensuring future generations can enjoy the joys of fishing.

Additional Considerations and Regulations

While a fishing license is a legal requirement, there are a few additional factors to keep in mind:

  • Private Land: You may need permission from the landowner to fish on private land, even with a valid license.
  • River Thames: An additional license is required to fish in locks or weirs on the River Thames.
  • Local Byelaws: Familiarize yourself with local byelaws, as they may have specific regulations regarding closed seasons, tackle restrictions, and fish size limits.

Enhancing Your Fishing Experience

While a fishing license is a necessity, there are several ways to enhance your fishing experience further:

  • Invest in Quality Gear: Explore the wide range of fishing rods, reels, lines, and lures available at reputable retailers like TFDFish. Quality gear can improve your chances of success and make your time on the water more enjoyable.
  • Join a Fishing Club: Joining a local fishing club can provide access to exclusive waters, valuable knowledge from experienced anglers, and a sense of community.
  • Attend Fishing Events: Participate in fishing events, tournaments, or workshops to learn new techniques, meet fellow enthusiasts, and potentially win prizes.
  • Respect the Environment: Practice catch-and-release when appropriate, and always leave your fishing spot clean and undisturbed for others to enjoy.

By combining a valid fishing license with the right gear, knowledge, and responsible practices, you can ensure a rewarding and sustainable fishing experience in the UK.


Obtaining a fishing license is a crucial step for any angler in the UK. By understanding the different license types, costs, and purchasing methods, you can ensure compliance with regulations and contribute to the preservation of the sport. Remember to always carry your license while fishing, respect local byelaws, and consider additional ways to enhance your fishing experience. With the right preparation and mindset, you’ll be well on your way to creating lasting memories on the water.

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