The UK Rules
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EA Rod Licence

UK Fishing Rod Licence Rules: EA 2017

Check whether you need to buy a rod fishing licence from the Environment Agency. This guide has all the current EA rod licence rules and costs.

UK FISHING LICENCE: By law, you need to get a rod licence permit to fish for certain coarse fishes and trout.

Rod licence rules apply to migratory and non-migratory trout, freshwater fish, salmon, eel, or smelt with a rod and line:

This guide explains how to get a rod licence to catch freshwater fish using a rod and line in England and Wales.

In some cases you may need to upgrade the standard fishing permit to a trout licence. Different rules apply when fishing for salmon, smelt, eels, on private land, and at the locks and weirs on the River Thames.

You face prosecution if the authorities catch you angling without proper documentation. So, you must have your licence to fish with you any time your rod is out, or the line is in the water.

Important Information iconFishing in the United Kingdom without permission and valid rod licence can result in a fine up to £2,500.

EA Rod Licence Rules for Juniors

Young children who are under 12 years old do not need a licence to fish. But, the person supervising them needs the proper permit to take hold of the rod or to help the child fish with it.

New EA rod licence rules came into force from the 1st of April 2017. The result is that children from age 12 to 16 get a free UK fishing licence. The angle is to encourage more youngsters into the popular hobby sport and give it a try.

Types of Environment Agency Fishing Licence

Licence for Trout, Eel, and Coarse Fishes

This EA permit allows you to fish for non-migratory trout and all freshwater fishes. But, you can only go fishing:

Anglers can choose to buy a rod fishing licence for 12-months. It is a 'rolling rod licence' lasting for 365 days and allows the use of 3 rods for freshwater fishing.

Licence for Sea Trout and Salmon

This EA rod licence allows you to fish for sea trout, salmon, non-migratory trout and all freshwater fishes. But, you can only go fishing:

Note: In all situations there could be extra rules imposed on rod use at the particular place where you fish. The licence limit totals exclude spod rods and marker rods if there are no hooks attached to them.

How Much is a Fishing Rod Licence UK?

EA Rod Licence Costs 2017 (1-day to 12-month)Environment Agency Fishing Rod Licence Rules in the UK

Type of Fishing Rod Licence Rules and Prices Price: Trout and Coarse (2-rod) Price: Trout and Coarse (3-rod) Price: Salmon and Sea Trout
Junior 12-month (age 12 - 16) Free Free Free
1 Day Rod Fishing Licence £6 N/A £12
8 Day Rod Fishing Licence £12 N/A £27
Full 12-month Rod Licence £30 £45 £82
Seniors 12-month (aver 65) £20 £30 £54
Disabled 12-month Concession £20 £30 £54

Note: The disabled concession applies if you have a Blue Badge, receive DLA, or get Personal Independence Payments (any rate). Use your National Insurance number for proof of benefits claim.

Where to Buy a Fishing Licence UK

Fishing licences are available only as 1-day, 8-day, or 12-month permits. But, there are several ways to buy a fishing licence online or at the Post Office:

  1. Post Office Fishing Licence: In person, by phone, or buy rod licence online.
  2. Environment Agency Fishing Licence: Buy rod licence now or set up a yearly Direct Debit (starting any time within 90 days of purchase date). It usually takes 10 working days to receive the card.
Environment Agency (EA)
Rod Licence Phone Number
Telephone: 0344 800 5386
From 8am to 8pm

Note: You can go fishing once you have paid for your rod licence online. But you should take your Post Office till or email receipt with you as proof of payment.

Buy a UK Fishing Licence from Abroad

You can buy the Environment Agency fishing license online from overseas. You should use your address in the United Kingdom for the online registration. The confirmation email is proof of purchase. It is valid if you do not receive the permit in time for your visit from abroad.

How to Change or Replace Lost Rod Licence

The Environment Agency will help if you need to change or replace your permit. The cost to replace a 12-month rod licence is £5 (£1 for junior rod licence). Contact them if you:

National Customer Contact Centre
Environment Agency
Bradmarsh Business Park
Bow Bridge Close
Rotherham S60 1BY

Environment Agency (EA)
Telephone: 03708 506 506
Textphone: 03702 422 549
Monday to Friday: 8am to 6pm
Note: Not all telephone calls are free of charge.

How to Upgrade a Rod Licence

You must use the correct type of Environment Agency Rod Licence when you are angling for fish. You must not fish for sea trout or salmon with a Trout, Coarse Fish and Eel licence. You can upgrade it by paying the difference in rod licence cost at a Post Office branch.

Rod Licence Scotland and Northern Ireland

You need a fishing rod licence UK to fish the Border Esk in Scotland and its tributaries. But, providing you have consent, you can fish elsewhere in Scotland without a permit. You need licences or permits to fish in most of Northern Ireland.

Lock and Weir Fishing on the River Thames

Fishing at locks or weirs on the River Thames means you need an additional permit. The annual rod licence cost is £31.00 for adults and £20.50 for children 12 to 16.

The same price concession applies for Blue Badge holders and citizens over 60. A River Thames fishing permit is permission to have another person fishing with you (3 times a year).

Freshwater Rod Fishing Rules

Do you use a rod and line for freshwater fishing in England and Wales? If so, you must comply with all national and local government bylaws.

How to Buy a Rod Fishing License Online from EA in the United Kingdom