Rod licences and fishing permits
To fish on any of the 2,000 miles of canals, rivers and commercial fisheries we look after, you will need a rod licence and a permit.
A rod licence gives you the legal right to use a fishing rod or pole. You can buy a licence:
- Online from the Environment Agency
- By calling 0344 800 5386
A permit gives you permission to fish the actual stretch of water, depending on who manages that stretch. Check whether you need to buy a permit from:
- either our Waterway Wanderers scheme, or
- the local angling club as the ‘controlling’ or managing club
What is a rod licence and what does it entitle me to do?
Issued by the Environment Agency (EA), one rod licence covers up to two fishing rods. You'll need a licence before you fish on any inland waters. This licence, however, does not give you permission to fish anywhere.
You can fish on stretches where fishing rights are not rented out to clubs, but you'll need to buy a Waterway Wanderers permit first.
Who needs to buy a rod licence?
- Anyone aged 13 or over
- Parents or guardians of anyone under 13 if they’re fishing too
How much does a rod licence cost?
- Standard (2 rods) £30
- Standard (3 rods) £45
- Junior (aged 13 to 16) free - but you still must get a licence
- Over 65 or disabled £20
How do I find out who to buy a fishing permit from?
The fishing rights on the majority of our waterways are rented to local angling clubs. For these fisheries, use our Find a Fishery search tool for details.
If the stretch you want to fish isn't controlled by an angling club then you will need one of our Waterway Wanderers permits.
Help and advice
Can't find what you’re looking for? Email us or call 03030 404040. Please provide the name of the waterway, nearest bridge or lock number, postcode or town.
And remember - there's no free fishing on our canals.
Last date edited: 19 February 2021