Wales sees surge in fishing licence numbers

Two men sat in a boat on a river fishing

Nearly 30,000 people now hold a fishing licence in Wales, with a swell in sales following the Welsh Government’s easing of coronavirus restrictions on outdoor activity say Natural Resources Wales (NRW).

There is a bumper growth of 18% in junior licences, on top of a 3% year on year increase in the number of adult licences sold.

This rise is almost certainly due to existing anglers taking the opportunity to start fishing again, together with those taking up the sport for the first time or returning to the sport after a long absence.

Peter Gough, NRW’s Principal Fisheries Advisor said:

The Welsh environment offers a fantastic range of fishing, making it a sport for all. Getting people involved not only contributes to their physical and mental wellbeing but also helps them connect with nature.

There are hundreds of community-based angling clubs across Wales and promoting angling opportunities is an important part of sustaining our fisheries. 

We are pleased to be working in partnership with the Angling Trust and Visit Wales to create a one stop shop source of information about Fishing In Wales: www.fishingwales.net

As well as a pastime enjoyed regularly by locals, the spectacular scenery in Wales provides the perfect backdrop for anglers from the UK and further afield, making fishing a significant contributor to the Welsh economy.

All the money generated by rod licence sales in Wales goes back into improving our fisheries to help secure the future of the sport in Wales.

With the Bank Holiday weekend ahead, and so many new anglers out on Wales’ stillwaters and rivers, it's essential that everyone knows about fishing licences and permits so that we are all fishing legally.

Peter Gough continued:

You need a valid rod licence if you are aged 13 or over and fish for salmon, trout, freshwater fish, smelt or eel in Wales. Junior licences are free.

If you are freshwater fishing, there are also additional bylaws that must be followed. These are in place to protect fish stocks and making fisheries sustainable. All the information you need is on NRW’s website.

Explore more

Newsletter sign up

Sign up to receive monthly updates from Natural Resources Wales