Do I Need a Fishing Licence for a Private Lake UK?

When it comes to fishing in the United Kingdom, there are a range of laws and regulations that must be adhered to in order to ensure the safety of both fish and fishermen. One such law is the requirement for a fishing licence when fishing in publicly owned waters, including rivers, streams, canals and the sea. This includes anglers fishing in private lakes.

In England, anyone over 12 years old must possess a valid rod licence to fish for salmon, trout, freshwater fish or eels in any waters including private lakes. This licence is issued by the Environment Agency and can be purchased online or at various outlets throughout England. All monies collected through rod licences are used to manage and improve fisheries throughout England.

In Scotland no rod licence is required for those over 12 years old who wish to fish in private waters with permission from the landowner. However, a rod licence is required if you intend to fish in any public waters or those owned by an angling club. In Wales you need a valid Environment Agency rod licence when fishing anywhere other than your own private land.

It is important to note that even if you have permission from the landowner of a private lake, you will still require a valid rod licence before you can start fishing.

Whether you are looking for some peace and quiet by yourself on a lake or want to take part in some competitive angling with friends and family, obtaining the correct permits is essential before beginning your trip.

Although there may be some exceptions depending on where you live within the UK as well as what type of water you are planning on fishing in, it is generally accepted that anyone who wishes to take part in any form of recreational angling will require a valid rod license.

By following these regulations and obtaining a fishing license before setting out on your trip, not only will you be keeping yourself safe from prosecution but also help protect our precious natural resources for generations to come.


Yes, do I need a fishing license for a private lake UK? The answer is yes – anyone over 12 years old should obtain an Environment Agency rod license before heading out onto any public waters or privately owned lakes within England. In Scotland only those who wish to fish publicly owned waters need obtain permission whilst those over 12 years old wishing to fish on privately owned land do not need one; however this may differ depending where else within The UK they live.

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Emma Gibson