Frequently asked questions about fishing
I'M NOT A FINNISH CITIZEN AND I DON'T LIVE IN FINLAND. DO I HAVE TO PAY THE FISHERIES MANAGEMENT FEE?
Yes, you do. Finland's fishing permit system is the same for everyone, regardless of whether they live in Finland or not, for Finnish citizens and foreign nationals alike.
WHERE AM I ALLOWED TO FISH AFTER PAYING THE FISHERIES MANAGEMENT FEE AND WHICH AREAS ARE OFF LIMITS?
When you have paid the fisheries management fee, you are allowed to fish with a lure on any standing body of water, i.e. lakes, ponds and sea areas. Payment of the fisheries management fee does not entitle you to fish in closed areas, water areas in the Åland Islands, rapids and running waters where there are migratory fish, or special sites, such as stocking and angling ponds.
You can find restricted areas online at www.kalastusrajoitus.fi (in Finnish). You should check this website, for example, before fishing with a lure to see whether a site is listed as a migratory fish route. Lure fishing with payment of the fisheries management fee.is prohibited in rapids and running waters where there are migratory fish.
IF I TURN 65 THIS YEAR, DO I STILL HAVE TO PAY THE FISHERIES MANAGEMENT FEE?
The need to pay the fisheries management fee is determined by your birthday, not your birth year. The fisheries management fee must be paid for as long as you are fishing at 64 years of age. Therefore, if you are fishing on the day before you turn 65, the fee must still be paid up to that point. The fisheries management fee can be paid for an entire year or in 1 or 7-day periods.
CAN I TROLL AT SEA OR ON A LAKE IF I HAVE ONLY PAID THE FISHERIES MANAGEMENT FEE?
As a rule, if you are spinning or trolling with a single rod and lure, yould should be able to fish with only payment of the fisheries management fee. If you are, for example, trolling with several rods, you will need the permission of the water area owner. You should also check to see if there any fishing restrictions for the area in question.
WHAT DOCUMENTS SHOULD I HAVE WITH ME WHEN I'M OUT FISHING?
Thw law requires that you have proof of payment of the fisheries management fee with you, unless you are only hook and line fishing, ice fishing or fishing with a simple herring rig. The payment receipt for the fisheries management fee is acceptable as proof of payment.
Persons under 18 years of age and 65 years and up do not need to pay the fisheries management fee, but they are required to have official identification as proof of their age if the fishing method they are using otherwise requires payment of the fisheries management fee. You should also have permits from water area owners (if any are required).
DO I NEED TO PAY THE FISHERIES MANAGEMENT FEE IF I CRAYFISH?
Yes. Those who are 18-64 years of age and fish with a rod or a trap or who crayfish need to pay the fisheries management fee.
DOES THE ROWER NEED TO PAY THE FISHERIES MANAGEMENT FEE?
If the rower does not participate in fishing, he/she does not need to pay the fisheries management fee. The handling of fishing gear during a fishing situation is a part of fishing, the transport of a boat is not.
However, the fisheries management fee is personal; in other words, every person in a boat who is 18-64 years of age and is participating in fishing must pay the fisheries management fee if he/she is fishing with the means referred to above.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON'T HAVE THE REQUIRED DOCUMENTS WITH ME AND I CAN'T SHOW THEM TO THE FISH INSPECTOR.
If you do not have the fisheries management fee payment receipt with you, the inspector will order you to go to a police station within seven days in order to present the receipt that was valid at the time of fishing.
I'M NOT A FINNISH CITIZEN AND I DON'T LIVE IN FINLAND. DO I NEED TO BUY DIFFERENT PERMITS THAN A FINNISH CITIZEN RESIDING IN FINLAND?
Finland's fishing permit system is the same for everyone, regardless of whether they live in Finland or not, for Finnish citizens and foreign nationals alike. In other words, you'll need exactly the same permits as a Finnish citizen residing in Finland.
HOW DOES A FISHING PERMIT DIFFER FROM THE FISHERIES MANAGEMENT FEE?
The fisheries management fee is a statutory general fishing fee, which is valid everywhere in Finland except Åland. Metsähallitus fishing permits apply to state-owned waters. Many fishing destinations administered by Metsähallitus require both a fisheries management fee and fishing permit.
WHICH WATER AREAS DOES METSÄHALLITUS SELL FISHING PERMITS FOR?
Metsähallitus sells fishing permits for the water areas under its administration, i.e. waters owned by the Finnish state.
Fishing permits for privately owned waters in Finland cannot be purchased from Metsähallitus. Permits for these waters must be obtained from the owner of the fishing rights for the water area in question. An owner might be a joint owners association, city or private person.
WHERE CAN I FIND INFORMATION ON FISHING PERMITS FOR PRIVATELY OWNED WATERS AND WHERE TO PURCHASE THEM?
There are tens of thousands of privately owned water areas in Finland. There is no central permit system 'database' for them. Finding the seller of fishing permits is easier if you know which area you will be fishing in.
Many fishing districts have their own website, which provides detailed information on how to purchase the necessary permits. Fishing associations and fisheries centres, which are found in each region, can also provide assistance with finding a seller. Information on fisheries centres can be found on the Federation of Finnish Fisheries Associations at ahven.net (in Finnish). You can also get advice from fisheries experts with the Finnish Federation for Recreational Fishing. These experts serve regionally all over Finland. You can find their contact information on the FFRF website at vapaa-ajankalastaja.fi. Municipalities and cities usually present information on what types of fishing permits are required for their waters on their own websites.
Metsähallitus sells fishing permits for fishing in state-owned waters online at eräluvat.fi and by phone at +358 (0)20 69 2424.
Any restrictions set for a fishing area can be found at kalastusrajoitus.fi (in Finnish).
HOW CLOSE TO ANOTHER PERSON'S SET TRAP CAN I PLACE MY OWN TRAP?
Finland's Fishing Act does not explicitly state how close one person may place a trap to a trap already set by another person. However, each fisher's activities should in no way interfere with or disturb the permitted fishing activities of another fisher. Under general fishing rights, you should not fish within 50 metres of a large fyke net or trawl being used in commercial fishing.
I WANT TO TRAP FISH IN A WATER AREA OWNED BY THE FINNISH STATE. HOW CAN I PURCHASE A TRAP PERMIT?
Trap permits can be purchased from the Eräluvat phone service (tel. +358 (0)20 69 2424) and Metsähallitus permit sales points.
HOW CLOSE TO ANOTHER PERSON'S SHORELINE AM I ALLOWED TO FISH?
Finnish fishing legislation does not explicitly state the precise number of metres you have to be from another person's shoreline in order to fish. However, fishing should not damage or disturb the environment, other water users, other permitted fishing activities or the owner/holder of a waterfront property.
WHAT IS EXCURSIONMAP.FI? HOW CAN I USE THE EXURSIONMAP.FI SERVICE?
The Excursionmap.fi service shows areas administered by Metsähallitus. On the Excursionmap website, you can, for example, check to see whether a water area you are interested in is state-owned, i.e. whether you can purchase a fishing permit for it from Metsähallitus.
You can use the menu on the left side of the page to choose which map layers you want to display. In addition to fishing areas, you can also display, among other things, hiking structures and trails. If you want to view, for example, state-owned water areas, check "Hunting and fishing" and "Fishing areas" under it on the Map layers tab. This will highlight the areas on which you can find information on fishing permits and their necessity on the Metsähallitus Eräluvat website. Clicking on the highlighted area will display the destination name and a link. The link will take you to the Eräluvat.fi page, which presents information on whether you will need a fishing permit for the area in question and where you can purchase one.
Fishing destinations can also be found on a list or using a destination search. If you want to use the destination search, do the following: Enter the number or name of the desired permit area on the Destination search tab. Check "Fishing areas". Zoom in on the area to more clearly display its boundaries.
You can also create a link to the map screen for sharing with your friends, among others. You can choose a guide map, topographic map or aerial image as the background map.
HOW DO I KNOW IF A FISHING DESTINATION HAS A CAMPFIRE SITE OR LEAN-TO SHELTER?
Information on hiking structures at fishing destinations can be found on, for example, the Excursionmap.fi website by selecting "Excursion services".
Information on Metsähallitus fishing destinations and their services can also be found in permit area descriptions on the Eräluvat website. Destination-specific pages contain a permit area map (as PDF file).
I’m planning to fish with two rods on an angling permit. Do I need to pay the fisheries management fee?
Yes. The general fishing rights afforded under the Fishing Act entitle you to fish for free with only one rod.
If I have already paid the fisheries management fee and I purchase an angling permit, how many rods can I use?
The fisheries management fee entitles the angler to fish with one rod nearly everywhere in Finland as well as in public sea areas owned by the state. Fishing with more than one rod simultaneously requires payment of the fisheries management fee and a fishing permit for a specific water area when fishing outside public sea areas owned by the state. In public sea areas owned by the state, there is no limit set on the number of rods and anglers may fish if they have paid the fisheries management fee or they are under 18 years of age or 65 years of age or older.
For holders of an angling permit, the number of rods allowed is separately specified and the angler must always check the terms of the fishing permit in question.
If the use of bait fish in hook and line fishing is prohibited in the area, can I use a crayfish as bait when fishing with a hook and line?
Yes, provided that it is not otherwise prohibited.
Why are stocking times not announced?
Even though many Metsähallitus angling sites are stocked with angling-sized fish intended for fishing, Metsähallitus does not want to promote fishing immediately after stocking. This allows the stocked fish to spread out more effectively in the water body and offers more anglers opportunities for making catches over the long term.
IN WHAT CASES MIGHT I HAVE TO PAY COMPENSATION FOR THE CONSERVATION VALUE OF ENDANGERED FISH SPECIES?
If you commit a fishing offence or violation against an endangered fish species, the value of the illegal catch will be forfeited to the Finnish state based on the value of the species in question. The decree on conservation values lists 23 different values ranging from EUR 50 to EUR 7,510. The endangered fish species affected by the decree are salmon, landlocked salmon, eel, lamprey, trout, grayling, Arctic char and noble crayfish, as well as European whitefish in rivers and brooks flowing into the sea. The conservation value of fish may be subject to forfeiture in the following situations:
A fish listed as subject to forfeiture was caught
- Using a prohibited fishing method, trapping method or fishing equipment (e.g. fishing with dynamite or snagging endangered fish species, or recreational fishing using trapping methods exclusively restricted to commercial fishing).
- Fishing in violation of regional fishing closures (in addition to protection areas for specific fish species, other regional fishing closures specific to certain fish species, such as the prohibition of fishing in river mouth areas and fishing in fishways.)
- Fishing in violation of scheduled fishing closures (i.e. protection periods).
- Fishing in violation of catch sizes (undersized or large-sized) or otherwise in violation of the Fishing Decree, ELY Centre regulations or border river agreements (e.g. catch quotas).
- Fishing by essentially legal means (during a legal time, in a legal place, using legal equipment), but failing, as required by law, to release an endangered fish species caught unintentionally during a prohibition period.