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Irish Fishing Regulations

On the spot fines

An on the spot fine of €150 can be issued for a range of fisheries offences eg fishing in a closed season, taking fish smaller than allowed for in a bye-law, taking more fish than a bag limit allows etc.
S.I. No. 363 of 2014  Inland Fisheries (Fixed Charge Notice) Regulations 2014 

Do I need a licence to fish in Ireland?

While no licence is needed for trout, pike and coarse fishing in the Republic of Ireland, a rod licence is required in  Northern Ireland. In both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, licences are required for salmon and sea trout fishing.

Sea fishing for marine sport fish does not require a licence in either country.

In the Republic of Ireland State Salmon and Sea Trout Licences are available as a National licence or a District Licence. A National Licence covers all Fishery Board Districts while a District Licence covers only the Fishery District in which the licence is purchased. A list of fishing tackle shops where licences may be bought is available on this site. Alternatively you can buy a licence online. It should be noted that a licence does not confer the right to fish for salmon or sea trout and that permission or permits are required to fish most waters.

Anglers in the Shannon Region must have a Permit (ticket charge) to fish for trout, pike or coarse fish in the Midland Fisheries Group of controlled waters. This area comprises the following river catchments; RIVER SUCK, RIVER INNY, RIVER BROSNA, LITTLE BROSNA RIVER and CAMLIN RIVER. This permit is not required to fish the main River Shannon or other fisheries whose fishing rights are NOT under the control of the Inland Fisheries Ireland.

For up-to-date information on all licence and permit regulations in Northern Ireland visit the Northern Ireland Tourist Board website.

Republic of Ireland Angling Regulations

When measuring fish you need to be aware of the difference beteen total length and fork length.

Fork Length - Total Length


Foul Hooking

This bye-law prohibits the killing and possession of foul hooked fish (i.e fish not hooked in the mouth) in any fishery district in any year.


A State Licence is required to fish for salmon and sea trout, but does not entitle you to fish. Permits or permission from fisheries owners must be obtained.

General salmon and sea trout angling regulations

Bag Limits, Closed Rivers, Catch and Release

Open Rivers, Closed Rivers, Catch and Release Rivers, Tagging Scheme, more information

Salmon fishing opens on January 1 on a handful of rivers and after that the remainder of rivers open on various dates in February, March, April and May. The majority of rivers close on September 30th but some rivers remain open for sea trout fishing to October 12.

Please follow this link for Salmon Angling Regulations.

Coarse Fish

CONSERVATION OF AND PROHIBITION ON SALE OF COARSE FISH BYE-LAW NO. 806, 2006 provides for the following conservation measures:

LOUGH RAMOR CONSERVATION OF COARSE FISH (CATCH AND RELEASE) BYE-LAW NO. 862, 2009: This Bye-law provides for catch and release in respect of coarse fish in the harbour area of Lough Ramor. The Byelaw also prohibits the possession of any coarse fish or keep net in, or on the banks of, the harbour area and provides for the use of single barbless hooks only in angling for coarse fish.

Importation of Bait


Eel fishing is closed.


The CONSERVATION OF PIKE BYE-LAW NO. 809, 2006 provides for the following conservation measures:

Please Note



Bluefin tuna


Most brown trout fisheries open between February 15th and March 1st. Most close on September 30th with some exceptions which close on various dates between September 15th and October 12th. Clubs may have their own regulations on opening and closing dates.

Size limits and bag limits

Almost every river and lake has defined size limits for brown trout. These vary from water to water and details are available on this site in the Brown Trout fishing section. While many of these fisheries also have bag limits many more don't and Inland Fisheries Ireland advises anglers to fish sustainably and practice Catch and Release.


On some waters fly only regulations or other method restrictions may be in place. Please check with the fishery owner or local IFI office for further information.