The Directorate of Fisheries in Norway gives the following information for salt water fishing (the sea or the fjords) :
Welcome to your fishing holiday in Norway! The coastal fish stocks in Norway are under pressure and we need to increase our efforts to ensure that future generations will also be able to enjoy fishing as a sport or recreation in Norway. The fish in the sea are free for all, but we have a goal to safeguard fish stocks for the future. You are therefore very welcome to fish for free in Norwegian sea waters, provided that you follow a set of simple rules:
- Foreign tourists may only use handheld tackle when fishing in the sea. Tourists are not permitted to make use of nets, pots, traps, lines etc.
- Tourists are permitted to take up to 15 kg of fish and one (whole) trophy fish out of the country. Freshwater fish such as salmon, trout and char are exempt from the 15 kg limit.
- You must keep a distance of more than 100 metres from the closest fish farm when fishing. All boat traffic shall keep a distance of at least 20 metres from fish farms and moorings for fish farms.
- Foreign tourists are not permitted to sell the fish they catch.
- Comply with the regulations for minimum size of fish.
Freshwater fishing in Norway
There’s an abundance of freshwater fishing spots in the forests, mountains and national parks – in fact, pretty much all over the country. Compared to many other countries in Europe, Norway is exceptionally clean with fresh air, clear water, and lots of happy fish. And if it’s peace and quiet you’re after and love spending time outdoors, you will not have a hard time finding a place all to yourself. Just remember that you will need a fishing licence (see more below).
Those who are hooked on fly fishing will be pleased to hear that Norway’s cold water lakes are chock-a-block with brown trout, pike and perch. Other common species are grayling, common whitefish and Arctic char. Salmon fishing is a chapter in itself. Thanks to the cold climate, Norway has also established itself as a premier destination for ice fishing in Europe.
In most places, the high season for freshwater fishing starts in May and lasts until the end of the summer. The months of September and even October, before the mountain lakes freeze over, are especially good for grayling fishing. In the winter, you can try ice fishing.
Rules that apply:
- You need a fishing licence (“fiskekort” in Norwegian) to go freshwater fishing in lakes, rivers and streams in Norway. This is important as regular checks are carried out and you can get fined without one.
- Fishing licences are issued by local land owners and fishing organisations. You can buy your licence online at inatur.no. You can also get one in selected sports shops, convenience stores and at many campsites. Some fishing guides can also help you to get a licence.
- Fishing licences are valid in specific areas – this can be a lake, a group of lakes, or just a part of a lake (or river, stream etc), so be sure that you know where you’re going before you buy a licence.
- Fishing licences are valid for a specific time period.
- The price for a fishing licence varies, but it is generally inexpensive (from around NOK 100 per day).
- There may be local restrictions on the amount of fish you are allowed to catch, and you may need to report your catch to the landowner in order for statistics to be produced. There is a total ban on eel fishing in Norway.
- If you want to fish for salmon, sea trout or Arctic char, you must pay a small fishing fee in addition to having a fishing licence. This does not apply to children under 16 years.
- You do not need a fishing licence for fjord and sea fishing in saltwater.
- You can read more about rules for freshwater fishing in Norway at miljodirektoratet.no.
- Another good resource with information in English is fishspot.no.