Fishing Licence

An ENVIRONMENT AGENCY FISHING LICENCE is required by all anglers over the age of 12, and the fines are heavy for those caught fishing without one.

Following an overhaul of the system in 2017, a new structure to the fishing licence went live.

Previously the standard coarse fishing licence covered only 2 rods, but due to pressure from the specialist anglers who commonly use 3 rods at a time, the Government introduced a new 3 rod licence covering the use of 3 rods. However, its still possible to buy a 2 rod licence at a reduced rate.

You can be fined up to £2500 if caught fishing without a valid licence

What is a fishing licence?

You are required by law to hold a valid fishing licence, in your possession, if fishing for the following species with a baited rod and line;

  • Salmon
  • Trout
  • Freshwater fish
  • Smelt or Eel

In any of the following locations:

  • England (expect the River Tweed)
  • Wales
  • The Border Esk region of Scotland

You do not need a licence for sea fishing, or when fishing for salt water species in tidal rivers.

In addition to a fishing licence, there may be additional bylaws and these should always be checked before fishing

Of course, a rod licence is required in addition to any club or syndicate memberships needed to fish a particular water.

Who needs a fishing licence

Everyone over the age of 12 needs a fishing licence. However, the licence is free of charge for those aged between 12-16.

There are also concessions for OAPs over the age of 65 and the disabled with a valid blue badge.

Fishing Licence types

You can buy 1 day, 8 day and 12month licences, and these can start on any day as long as its 90 days after purchase. You can buy a licence to cover either 2 or 3 rods. if you like to fish 4 rods, where allowed, then you need to buy two 2 rod licences.

If you buy a 1 or 8 day licence but then wish to extend to a 12month, its possible to do buy call the environment agency direct on the number below. You’ll need to buy and pay for a new 12months licence, but you’ll receive a refund for the 1 or 8 day licence you brought previously.

Environment Agency
Telephone: 0344 800 5386
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

How much does a fishing licence cost (2018)

Licence type Trout and coarse 2-rod Trout and coarse 3-rod Salmon and sea trout
1-day £6 Not available £12
8-day £12 Not available £27
12-month £30 £45 £82
12-month – over 65 or disabled £20 £30 £54
12-month – junior (12 to 16) Free Free Free

Where can I buy a fishing licence

The best place to buy your fishing rod licence is either online via the environment agency website, link below, or over the counter at your post office.

Gov website

You can also call the environment agency direct on 0344 800 5386 between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday.

Whilst there are 3rd party vendors where you can buy fishing licences, they normally charge a fee, so its cheaper to buy direct.