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Public waters refer to Finnish territorial sea waters and open water areas in large lakes. Open water areas in large lakes refer to stretches of water that are eight kilometres in length and width or larger. In addition to the sea, the following lakes have public waters: Oulujärvi, Lappajärvi, Höytiäinen, Pyhäselkä, Orivesi, Koitere, Puruvesi, Päijänne and Inarijärvi.

You can check the public waters on the map service.

Hunting rights of permanent residents in Finland in public waters

At sea, all persons permanently residing in Finland can hunt in public waters and on state-owned islands and islets located in such waters, and they do not need to obtain a hunting permit from Metsähallitus. This right also applies to foreign citizens permanently residing in Finland.

In the public waters of lakes and on islands and islets in them, free hunting rights only apply to locals. The hunter's home municipality must be bordered by a public water area in the lake. In such situations, the hunting right applies to the water area in question.

In public waters, a permanent resident in Finland may hunt all game species during their hunting season in accordance with the Hunting Act and decrees.

Foreigner’s hunting permit for public waters

Foreign hunters have the opportunity to obtain hunting permits for public waters at sea. In addition, the hunter must pay the Finnish game management fee and be accompanied by a Finnish hunter.

After obtaining a hunting permit, the hunter can hunt for all game species during their hunting season in accordance with the Hunting Act and decrees.

A foreigner's daily permit costs EUR 10 (EUR 20 from 1 January 2024). A permit can be purchased for a period occurring between 1 June and 31 December.


The service is open on weekdays from 9 AM to 3 PM. You can also contact us by email: eraluvat(a)


Prior to purchasing an angling permit, you should read the Metsähallitus terms of purchase and cancellation for permits.