Hunting and Fishing
Metsähallitus is in charge of hunting and fishing rights and management of game lands and fishing waters in an area totalling nearly 9 million hectares of land areas and 4 million hectares of water areas, most of which are located in northern and eastern Finland.
Hunting and fishing permits
Hunting and fishing in Finland is subject to licence. Hunting requires a firearm certificate, payment of an annual game management fee (i.e. hunting card) and a hunting permit by the landowner, for instance Metsähallitus. Additionally, a certificate indicating the successful completion of a shooting test is required for elk hunting, for instance.
With certain exceptions, fishing requires payment of a fishing management fee and permission given by the owner of the water area.
Hunting and fishing sites are normally located in remote areas far away from habitation. In order to reach these areas some sort of transportation is required. Hiking in the areas requires a map, good orienteering skills, food and equipment to survive in bad conditions. Persons who are not familiar with the conditions in the Finnish wilderness should seek the company of experienced hunters or fishermen.
Hunting and game management
Metsähallitus sells hunting permits, leases areas for hunting and grants hunting rights for some game species.
Hunting permits are sold for small game in hunting areas the number of which totals just over one hundred. The size of the areas varies from one thousand hectares to hundreds of thousands of hectares. The permits sold are usually valid from 1 to 7 days and specify the period of validity, game species and game quotas.
Grouse and hare hunting are the most popular types of hunting, and usually involve dogs. Hunters report their kill after the hunt.
Metsähallitus sells hunting permits over the telephone and Internet. The sale of permits begins in August.
In order to hunt elks and large carnivores hunting rights must be obtained from Metsähallitus and a hunting licence must be granted by a Game Management District. Hunting rights are granted for a fee for an area covering at least 1,000 hectares, and are valid for one hunting season. The rights are mainly granted to hunting clubs.
Game management is taken into consideration in landscape ecological planning and detailed operational planning.
The fishing waters of Metsähallitus have been divided into various fishing grounds (Isoapaja, Lähiapaja ja Villiapaja), and waters, where fishing is mostly done with lures and nets. Fishing grounds are mostly fishing points consisting of single lakes or small water areas with various services, such as boat renting, permit selling and fire places. Fishing is done mostly with lures, and permits are granted for a certain number of days or weeks.
The fishing grounds are managed by introducing angling-sized fish into the waters and in the vast water areas of Lapland management is based on natural fish stocks. The sites consist of large and small lakes, rapids and rivers and streams.
In large water areas permits for fishing with lures and nets can be obtained. Lure permits are valid for various periods, a maximum, however, of one year. Net fishing permits are valid for one calendar year. Natural fish stocks are favoured in lure and net fishing water areas.
Lure permits allows fishing with lures, flies and trolls. Lure water areas include, especially in northern Finland, also rivers and streams. Net fishing permit allows fishing with nets, traps, longlines, bait hooks and small fykes.
Read more about
- fishing licences in Finland (site of Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry)
- fishing in state-owned land (www.eraluvat.fi)