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Types of Fishing Licenses in the UK

Fishing is a beloved pastime in the UK, offering a blend of relaxation and excitement. However, to fish legally, anglers must obtain the appropriate fishing license. This article will provide a comprehensive guide to the types of fishing licenses available in the UK, ensuring you are well-informed and compliant with local regulations.

Overview of Fishing Licenses

In the UK, there are two primary types of fishing licenses issued by the Environment Agency for England and Wales:

  1. Trout, Coarse Fish, and Eel License
  2. Salmon and Sea Trout License

Each license type caters to different species and fishing methods, ensuring sustainable fishing practices and the protection of fish stocks.

Trout, Coarse Fish, and Eel License

This license is ideal for anglers targeting non-migratory trout and various freshwater fish. It allows fishing in most freshwater bodies, including rivers, streams, canals, lakes, and ponds.

Permissions and Rod Limits

  • 1 rod for non-migratory trout in rivers, streams, drains, and canals.
  • Up to 2 rods for non-migratory trout in reservoirs, lakes, and ponds.
  • Up to 2 rods for freshwater fish.

This license is suitable for those who enjoy fishing for species such as carp, roach, bream, and perch. It is the most common type of license due to its broad applicability.

Salmon and Sea Trout License

This license is necessary for anglers targeting migratory species such as salmon and sea trout, in addition to non-migratory trout and other freshwater fish.

Permissions and Rod Limits

  • 1 rod for salmon, sea trout, and non-migratory trout in rivers, streams, and canals.
  • Up to 2 rods for salmon, sea trout, and non-migratory trout in reservoirs, lakes, and ponds.
  • Up to 3 rods for freshwater fish.

This license is more expensive due to the inclusion of migratory species, which require more stringent conservation efforts.

License Duration and Costs

Fishing licenses in the UK can be purchased for different durations to suit various needs:

  • 1 Day: Ideal for occasional anglers or those trying out fishing for the first time.
  • 8 Days: Suitable for holidaymakers or short-term fishing trips.
  • 12 Months: Best for regular anglers, offering the most value.

Cost Breakdown (2023 Rates)

License 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
12 Months (65+ or disabled)£22.00£33.00£57.40
12 Months (Junior)FreeFreeFree

Junior Licenses

Children under the age of 13 do not need a fishing license. However, those aged 13-16 can obtain a free junior license. This initiative encourages young anglers to participate in the sport while ensuring they are aware of the regulations.

Where to Buy a Fishing License

Fishing licenses can be purchased through several convenient methods:

  • Online: Visit the GOV.UK website to buy a license, which will be delivered by post.
  • Phone: Call the Environment Agency at 0344 800 5386. This service is available Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm, and Saturdays, 8am to 1pm (from 1 March to 31 May).

Previously, licenses could be purchased from the Post Office, but this service ended on January 15, 2023.

Additional Permissions

A fishing license grants the legal right to fish, but additional permissions may be required:

  • Private Waters: Obtain permission from the landowner or join a fishing club.
  • Locks and Weirs: An additional license is needed for fishing on locks or weirs on the River Thames.

Compliance and Penalties

Fishing without a valid license can result in a fine of up to £2,500. Environment Agency inspectors regularly check licenses at fishing venues, so it is crucial to carry your license at all times while fishing.

Conclusion

Understanding the types of fishing licenses available in the UK is essential for legal and responsible angling. Whether you are a seasoned angler or a beginner, ensuring you have the correct license will help protect fish stocks and support conservation efforts. By following the guidelines and obtaining the appropriate license, you can enjoy a fulfilling and lawful fishing experience in the UK’s beautiful waters.

For more detailed information and to purchase a fishing license, visit the GOV.UK website.

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