The summer fishing season in Lapland has been exceptionally busy: fishing permits have sold out in several locations. However, fishermen without a permit can still do lure fishing in many lakes and ponds by paying the state fisheries management fee. In such cases, you may use only one fishing rod. For those aged either under 18 or over 65, the fisheries management fee does not need to be paid.
Fishing has been very popular for the last two years. This popularity has also been seen in the state-owned waters for which Metsähallitus grants fishing permits.
The traditionally popular and often sold-out fishing locations have been stretches of rapids in southern Finland and the rivers of northernmost Lapland. This year, however, Metsähallitus fishing permits have also sold out across a wider range of fishing locations in the north, such as permit areas 1551 Enontekiö wilderness, 1574 Utsjoki wilderness, 1564 Inari wilderness and 1580 Lake Inarijärvi. The permits for Lake Inarijärvi sold out for the first time ever.
The purpose of the permit quotas for fishing locations is to ensure the sustainability of fishing. Because of the limited quotas, it is important to obtain a fishing permit in advance before taking a fishing trip, thus avoiding an unfortunate surprise upon your arrival. Many fishermen have indeed bought permits beforehand for dates stretching to the end of August. This means that the fishing season will not end, but will instead continue to be busy. No new permits are available, however, for the above-mentioned sites.
A separate fishing permit is needed, for example, for trolling with multiple rods, for rapids and fast-flowing waters in salmon and trout waters, and for certain special locations. However, it is worth noting that large wilderness areas also include pond and lake waters where fishing is permitted for those who have paid the state fisheries management fee. It is therefore not always necessary to obtain a separate fishing permit. In addition, there are plenty of sites in southern Lapland in particular where fishing permits are still available.
You can always fish by paying the fisheries management fee
If you do not obtain your desired permit, you can fish in many lakes and ponds without a separate fishing permit by simply paying the state fisheries management fee and using only one fishing rod. Fishing with more than one rod or in rapids and fast-flowing waters is not permitted if you have only paid the fisheries management fee.
The state fisheries management fee applies to all persons fishing who are aged between 18 and 64 and are using lures or traps.
Paying the fisheries management fee is also usually sufficient for fishing in lakes and ponds in northernmost Lapland, provided one is using only one fishing rod. Those waters in which fishing is prohibited or in which a separate fishing permit is also required can be viewed on the Kalastusrajoitus.fi service maintained by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (available in Finnish and Swedish).
Why are permits running out this summer?
This year, fishing permits have been available in the normal way, but Metsähallitus has seen unprecedented numbers of enthusiastic fishermen during the current fishing season. However, this increased enthusiasm for fishing cannot on its own explain the widespread selling out of fishing permits.
The demand for some Lapland locations may have been boosted by the fact that it has not been possible this year to fish for salmon on the Tenojoki River, nor has Metsähallitus sold any fishing permits for the Utsjoki and Vetsijoki rivers that run into Teno. In addition, it has been more difficult to access Norwegian waters due to coronavirus pandemic restrictions.
Fishing in northern Finland may also have been more popular due to interruptions in permit sales for southern rivers. Earlier this summer, the significant rise in water temperatures meant that Metsähallitus had to suspend permit sales in order to protect salmon. These location, with only one exception, have now been reopened for fishing.
For more information on fishing permits for residents of Enontekiö, Inari and Utsjoki, visit www.eraluvat.fi/en/fishing/fishing-permits/residents-fishing-permits-in-northern-lapland
Markku Seppänen, Specialist, Metsähallitus, +358 206 39 7710
Jarmo Huhtamella, Game and Fisheries Management Planner, Metsähallitus, +358 400 397534