Fishing rules in Sweden

Fishing rules in Sweden

Can you fish anywhere in Sweden?

There are certain fishing rules that apply to hobby fishing in Sweden. One of the most important rules to remember is The right of public access, which means that everyone has the right to use nature for outdoor activities, including fishing. However, this does not mean that you can fish how and where you want, there are some rules and restrictions that you must follow.

When it comes to lakes, rivers and seas, there are three different types of fishing: general fishing, sport fishing and commercial fishing. General fishing is the type of fishing that most hobby fishermen do. Sport fishing is only allowed on certain waters, and requires a sport fishing licence. Commercial fishing is fishing conducted by people who earn money from it, for example professional fishermen or fishing guides.

To be able to fish in Sweden, you must have a valid fishing license, regardless of whether you are a hobby fisherman, sport fisherman or professional fisherman.

What is The right of public access?

It’s a law that regulates how you can use nature in Sweden and means that everyone has the right to enjoy nature and outdoor life in forests and land, regardless of who owns the land. However, this does not mean that you can do whatever you want to, there are certain limitations. Often people talk about “do not disturb, do not destroy”, which briefly summarizes that the restrictions that exist are about harming or disturbing animals and nature.

One of the most important aspects of The right of public access is that it gives all people the right to outdoor life in nature, regardless of social status or income. This means that everyone has the right to camp, go for walks, take the dog into the forest etc. The right of public access is one of the most important laws in Sweden, and has contributed to making it possible for everyone to use nature.

What does The right of public access say about hobby fishing?

Fishing is not specifically included in The right of public access, but you can fish freely with a rod in the five large lakes Vänern, Vättern, Mälaren, Hjälmaren and Storsjön. Also along the coasts, with the exception of salmon fishing on the northern coast. In other places, there are special fishing rules – for example, you may need the landowner’s permission, or a special fishing license.

In order to be allowed to fish in lakes and watercourses, one must therefore redeem a fishing license for affected fishing waters. Those who engage in fishing are also obliged to know which local rules apply in the particular water in which they are fishing, as well as laws and the authorities’ regulations for how fishing may be conducted in the country. This means that you have to pay attention to the area you are fishing in, to make sure you are not breaking any rules. “Poaching”, which is fishing without permission, is a criminal act directed against the owner of fishing rights and a violation of the Fisheries Act leads to public prosecution.

It is easy to buy a fishing license, both at a local tourist information, or online, for example at