Spring is the time to get back on the bank

As March brings the promise of longer days and warmer weather, anglers right across Wales will be readying themselves to get back on the riverbanks and cast a line into Welsh waters

Fishing remains a popular pastime in Wales, with tens of thousands of people of all ages and abilities holding a rod licence.

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is encouraging those looking to experience all the well-being benefits fishing can bring to apply for a rod licence online,  where Welsh speakers and learners will now have the option to apply for their licence in Welsh. .

Ben Wilson, Principal Advisor Fisheries for NRW, said:

“Welsh rivers, lakes and reservoirs offer a fantastic range of recreational activities for both young and old to enjoy and the variety of fishing available in Wales makes it a truly inclusive sport.
“The benefits of going fishing are extensive - it can make a real difference to mental and physical wellbeing and connects people to the natural world. Joining an angling club is a great way to meet new people whether it be sharing a boat for a day on a reservoir or entering one of the many angling competitions held around Wales throughout the year.”

If you are aged 13 or over you will need a rod licence to fish for salmon, trout, freshwater fish, smelt or eel in Wales or England. Concessions are available for senior and disabled anglers.

Income generated by rod licences is used to protect and improve fisheries and facilities for anglers. Fishing without a valid rod licence is illegal and could result in a criminal conviction and a fine.

Licences are available for 12 months, 8 Day and 1 day and from this year Welsh speakers and learners can now apply for their licence in Welsh.

Licences can be purchased quickly and easily online at “Get a Fishing Licence” on GOV.UK or over the phone by calling the Environment Agency on 0344 800 5386.

And further information, including full details of how to buy a licence as well as rules about how, when and where you can fish in Wales, can be found on the NRW website.

Ben added:

“If you’re new to the sport or just haven’t been fishing for a while there is plenty of support and guidance available too, everything from where to fish to what tackle you’ll need to get started.
“There are hundreds of community-based angling clubs across Wales providing good value angling and plenty of information online providing help and guidance for anglers of all abilities.
“For the best advice on where and how to fish, visit the Fishing in Wales website, fishingwales.net, where you’ll find everything, you’ll need to go fishing whether you’re a beginner or an experienced angler. The Fishing in Wales website is part-funded using rod licence income and has quickly become the go to site for both local and visiting anglers wanting to find out about fishing opportunities in Wales.
“We really are spoilt for choice when it comes to fishing in Wales and there’s plenty on offer at this time of year from our early trout rivers and coarse reservoirs and stillwaters, so there’s no better time to get out there and go fishing.”

For more information on purchasing a rod licence visit: Natural Resources Wales / Search / rod licence

For more information on fishing in Wales visit Fishing In Wales | The official website for Welsh angling (fishingwales.net)

To report illegal fishing call the NRW incident hotline on 03000 65 3000.