Angling licences and permits
Anglers require a licence and a permit to fish in freshwater lakes, loughs and rivers in Northern Ireland. Find out about angling licences and permits.
Fishing areas in Northern Ireland
The Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) and the Loughs Agency of the Foyle, Carlingford and Irish Lights Commission (FCILC) are responsible for protecting fish stocks in Northern Ireland. On the map below, fisheries marked with small pink circles are managed by DCAL. FCILC-managed areas are outlined.
You need a rod licence to fish anywhere in Northern Ireland. A rod licence is required by law for each rod used by anyone over 12 years in the DCAL area and for all ages in the area covered by the Loughs Agency.
DCAL and FCILC issue angling licences for their respective jurisdictions. On payment of a supplement, licence holders are allowed to fish in the other jurisdiction.
Game and coarse fish
Game species include brown trout, sea trout, salmon, and arctic char. Coarse species include pike, bream, roach, perch, carp, tench and rudd.
Licences and permits are split into game or coarse categories.
Does a Great Britain (English,Scottish, Welsh) or the Republic of Ireland licence cover you in Northern Ireland?
Great Britain (English, Scottish, Welsh) or Republic of Ireland fishing licences do not cover angling in Northern Ireland. You will require a separate licence.
Game angling licences
A game licence is required by law for each game fishing rod used by anyone over 12 years of age in the DCAL area and for all ages in the FCILC area. A licence is required by law for using a fishing rod when angling for freshwater fish. There is no requirement to have a licence for sea angling, except when fishing for salmon or sea trout.
A DCAL game licence entitles the holder to fish for either game or coarse, but with only one rod at any one time. A separate game licence is required for a second and subsequent rod being used for game or coarse.
For details on FCILC Game licences, visit the Loughs Agency website.
Coarse angling licences
A coarse licence is required by law for each coarse fishing rod used by anyone over 12 years of age in the DCAL area and for all ages in the FCILC area. Licences are issued by either the DCAL or FCILC depending on which area you are fishing in.
A DCAL coarse rod licence entitles the holder to use two coarse rods. A separate coarse licence is required for a third and subsequent coarse rod being used.
For details on FCILC coarse licences, visit the Loughs Agency website.
A permit or day-ticket is issued by the owner of a fishery which allows the angler the right to fish in that fishery. A fishery owner can be a private individual or a company, an angling club or in the case of the the Public Angling Estate, the Department of Culture, Arts arts and Leisue (DCAL).
DCAL provides a Public Angling Estate of Fisheries available to tourist and local anglers on payment of a small permit fee.
A DCAL game permit entitles the holder to fish the Public Angling Estate for either game or coarse, but with only one rod at any onetime. A separate game permit is required for a second and subsequent rod being used for game or coarse.
A DCAL coarse rod permit entitles the holder to use two coarse rods. A separate coarse permit is required for a third and subsequent coarse rod being used.
Holders of Concessionary permits using more than one game rod require a full adult game rod licence and game permit for their second and every subsequent game rod.
Joint licences for three days and 14 days
You can buy a joint licence and permit for three days and 14 days.
Buy angling licences and permits
You can buy DCAL angling permits and coarse rod licences via nidirect's Do it online section at the following link.
DCAL Rod licences and most types of permits may be obtained from appointed distributors throughout Northern Ireland.
Permits can also be obtained by contacting the Inland Fisheries Group by telephone or email:
- telephone:0300 200 7860 (outside NI + 4428 9151 3101)
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Replacement licences and permits
You can buy replacement licences and permits online at nidirect's Do it online section.
Alternatively, you can write to DCAL at the address below.
1 - 7 Bedford Street