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The key info you need to know about fishing in Norway

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
The key info you need to know about fishing in Norway
If you're planning on fishing in Norway, there are a few things you will need to know. Pictured is a angler casting a line. Photo by Andreas Wagner on Unsplash

Norway is widely considered one of the best fly-fishing locations in the world. Whether you've planned a trip or always wanted to give fishing a go, you'll need to get up to speed with the rules.


Fishing has traditionally been a cornerstone of the Norwegian economy, and the country's seafood is considered some of the best in the world.

The country still has a large fishing industry, but recreational angling probably attracts the most interest these days.

This is because the country is considered one of the best destinations in the world to cast a line due to its clear and bountiful freshwater lakes and rivers.

Whether you're located in Oslo or above the Arctic Circle, you are likely to be near a good spot, too.

The rules for fishing are typically divided into two categories: freshwater and saltwater.

Saltwater fishing

You don't need a permit to fish, and you can fish from land when you aren't in built-up areas. You can also cast a line from a jetty in other areas.

Anglers can only use handheld tackle, and it is illegal to catch species that require gear other than handheld tackle. There are also minimum size requirements to catch certain species.

There are also regulations on the minimum size of the fish you catch, boat drivers must have a boating licence, and life jackets must be worn in the vessel.

When fishing, you must be at least 100 metres from the nearest fish farm. It is also illegal to sell your catch, but you can give it away.

Only tourists with a registered camp or guide can take their fish products out of the country, with weight limits also in place.


Furthermore, spiny dogfish, basking shark, porbeagle, blue ling, lobster, bluefin tuna, silk shark, eel, and wrasse are protected species and cannot be caught. You cannot catch cod in the Oslofjord, either.

Some species, such as redfish, cod, halibut, and Greenland halibut, are also protected during the year. Halibut above 2 metres long must also be released.

More information on the regulations can be found on the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries website.

Freshwater fishing

Those who want to fish freshwater in Norway will typically need to purchase a licence from the local rights holder. Local sports shops and tourist offices will have more information on where to purchase the fishing licence.

There will also be local fishing rules and a fishing season for fish like salmon (typically between June and August).

When fishing for migratory fish, like salmon, you can only use worms, lures, spinners, wobblers and flies as bait. There are also restrictions on hook sizes, or single hooks, the maximum gape size is 15 mm, and for double/treble hooks, it is 13 mm.


There is a national fishing fee of 329 kroner for salmon, Arctic char and other fish that migrate upstream that can be purchased online. This is paid in addition to any local fishing licence fees.

Catch and release?

In almost all cases, you can keep your fish and eat it if you want. This is due to the Norwegian right to roam and forage.

However, local restrictions may mean there are certain types of fish you need to release, furthermore prohibited species and those not meeting the minimum size requirements must also be released.

The exception to this rule is if it is clear that the fish will not survive in the wild.

Catch and release is a growing trend in Norway and is something you can choose to do, too, if you wish.



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