Fishing is one of the most popular free time activities in Finland. Fishing is permitted in most lakes, rivers and sea areas.

Metsähallitus is in charge of fishing in state-owned water areas. Our fishing destinations are a great option for those who want to try fishing in rivers, rapids or other special locations. In Finland perch and pike are some of the most common catches, and quite often it is also possible to find zander, whitefish and salmonids.

Fishermen on the shore of a lake in the evening. Rowing boats on the lake.
Fishing at the Ruunaa National Hiking Area. Photo by Ismo Pekkarinen.

Fishing permits and fees

The most important permit for fishing is the fisheries management fee. All fishers between 18 and 64 years of age are required to pay this fee. Once you have paid the fisheries management fee, you are allowed to fish with one rod in lakes, ponds and the sea. However, you are not required to pay this fee for hook and line fishing, ice fishing and fishing with a simple herring rig.

For angling with more than one rod, trap fishing and crayfishing, a separate fishing permit for a specific water area is always required in addition to the fisheries management fee. This also applies to special fishing destinations and running waters, such as rapids, with migratory fish stocks.

Fishing permits are sold by the owner of the fishing rights, which in state-owned water areas is Metsähallitus. The number of fishing permits that are available, permit-specific catch quotas and catch sizes depend on how much fishing is sustainable for the fish stocks.

Before starting to fish, remember to make sure that the water area is not closed for fishing. The website contains a map showing all no-fishing zones and restricted areas where you need a fishing permit in addition to the fisheries management fee. Unfortunately, this service is available only in Finnish and Swedish.

The customer service of Metsähallitus Wildlife Service Finland is happy to help in case you have any questions: +358 20 69 2424, open on weekdays between 9 AM and 4 PM.

Revenue from fishing permits is used to help maintain fish habitats. This means that the fisheries management fee and the Metsähallitus’ fishing permits you buy are investments into nature.

Read more