Rules for fishing in Finland

If you plan to fish with a good old rod, here's the happy news: it's completely free. Same applies to ice fishing with a spinner on a single rod. Your only restriction is areas, where fishing is forbidden altogether: areas with rapids or hydrotechnology. Those areas will have a sign KALASTUS KIELLETTY (Fishing forbidden). There are also some restrictions that are ethical in nature. For example, fishing is forbidden closer than 50m from living residences, harbours, beaches and ice routes. Finnish people take their personal space very, very seriously.

If you plan to fish from a motor boat with some serious equipment, then you will have to buy some special licenses. They are required even if you plan on catching some crabs. The license must be on you during the trip, in case you need to present it to the officials.

Useful information about state licenses

Anyone fishing in Finland must have a state license for fishing (Valtion kalastusksenhoitomaksu). Which you can purchase from our website.

Only those under 18 and over 65 years of age do not require a license to fish. In both cases, individuals should have an ID with them.

If you plan to fish on a private lake or a private section of a river (which is common in Finland), in addition to the state license, you must also purchase a fishing permit from the owner.

Penalty for not having a single license is 50 euros.

To let free or not?

Having a license is a strict but not the only condition of a legally safe fishing trip. Fishermen in Finland must abide a multitude of restrictions and regulations, which are not negotiable. Complaining won't work either, since most fishing experts in the country agree that all rules are not only logical but also right.

Restriction 1. Size of the catch

Not all catch can be yours. Let's start with the size limitations. Here are some minimum size requirements:

  • sea salmon – 60 см
  • sea salmon from the northern part of the Guld of Bothnia – 50 см
  • lake salmon – 40 см
  • sea taimen – 50 см
  • lake taimen – 40 см
  • arctic char – 40 см
  • sander – 37 см
  • thymallus – 30 см

Fish size is measured from the caudal fin to the tip of the chin.

Restriction 2. Seasons

Fishing is forbidden during spawning season. Below also some examples of seasonal restrictions:

  • lake and sea salmon, river and sea taimen, river trout – from September to November
  • thymallus – from April 1st to May 31st
  • arctic char – from September 11th to November 15th
  • lamprey - from April 1st to August 15th
  • crustaceans – from November 1st to midday on July 21st

Restriction 3. Regional laws

In addition, regulations are often set for individual fishing areas, which is crucial.

For example, spinning on Jämsänjoki river during salmon fry season is strictly forbiden. Salmon and brown trout caught in Kymijoki river must be let free if grown in natural conditions, which can be recognized by the presense of a dorsal fin. Exceptin is fish caught durring summer season in specially equipped shores of Korkeakoski.

Admittedly, any tourist can get easily lost in the complexities of fishing in Finland. There are many regulations, and only a specialist versed in all of them can be of assistance. Our Russian speaking guide can do that for you! So that your fishing experience will be nothing but pleasant.