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How to Get a Fishing License in the UK

Fishing is a beloved pastime in the UK, offering tranquility and excitement in equal measure. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, obtaining a fishing license is a crucial step to ensure you’re fishing legally and responsibly. This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know about getting a fishing license in the UK.

Why You Need a Fishing License

A fishing license is a legal requirement for anyone aged 13 and above who wants to fish with a rod and line in rivers, lakes, and other freshwater bodies in the UK. It grants you permission to fish for various species, including salmon, trout, freshwater fish, smelt, and eel. Fishing without a valid license can result in a fine of up to £2,500.

Types of Fishing Licenses

There are two main types of fishing licenses available in the UK:

  1. Trout, Coarse Fish, and Eel License: This license allows you to fish for non-migratory trout and all freshwater fish.
  2. Salmon and Sea Trout License: This license covers salmon, sea trout, non-migratory trout, and all freshwater fish.

License Duration and Costs

Fishing licenses can be purchased for different durations to suit your needs:

  • 1 Day: Ideal for short-term fishing trips.
  • 8 Days: Suitable for vacations or extended trips.
  • 12 Months: Best for regular anglers.

The costs for these licenses vary based on the type and duration:

Licence Type1 Day8 Days12 Months
Trout and Coarse (2 rods)£6.60£13.20£33.00
Trout and Coarse (3 rods)N/AN/A£49.50
Salmon and Sea Trout£12.60£28.30£86.10
Concessions (65+ or disabled)£22.00£33.00£57.40
Junior (13-16 years)FreeFreeFree

Where to Buy a Fishing License

You can purchase a fishing license through the following methods:

  1. Online: Visit the GOV.UK website to buy a license. This service is available 24/7, and you will receive an email confirmation upon successful purchase.
  2. Phone: Call the Environment Agency at 0344 800 5386. This service is available Monday to Friday from 8 am to 6 pm, and Saturdays from 8 am to 1 pm (from March 1 to May 31).
  3. Post Office: Note that as of January 15, 2023, fishing licenses are no longer available at the Post Office.

Special Considerations

  • Children: Children under 13 do not need a license. Those aged 13-16 can get a free junior license but must still register.
  • Disabled and Senior Citizens: Concessionary prices are available for those over 65 or with a disability.

Additional Regulations

  • Rod Limits: Ensure you register for a license that covers the number of rods you intend to use. Specific rods like spod rods and marker rods are not affected by license limits unless hooks are attached.
  • Local Byelaws: Always check local byelaws for specific regulations in your fishing area. These can include closed seasons, size limits, and catch limits.

Penalties

Fishing without a valid license can result in a fine of up to £2,500. Always carry your license with you when fishing, as you may be asked to produce it by an authorized person.

Conclusion

By following these steps, you can ensure that you are fishing legally and responsibly in the UK. Obtaining a fishing license is a straightforward process that supports conservation efforts and helps maintain healthy fish populations. Whether you’re planning a short fishing trip or are a regular angler, having the right license is essential for a successful and enjoyable fishing experience.

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