A fishing license is obligatory when fishing in natural waters in and around Denmark. The license is valid for one year and costs DKK 125. The license is obtained from the Danish post offices. For tourists, a license valid for one day or one week can be obtained at DKK 30 (daily) and DKK 90 (weekly). In addition to the post offices, licenses can be obtained from local tourist offices and tackle-shops of some size.
Persons under 18 years of age and over 65 years of age are except from the obligatory fishing license.
The license has as its objective to secure future fishing possibilities, as the means derived from the issuing of the license primarily will go to the stocking of fry.
Fishing rights in natural lakes and streams are nearly always private, but are often let to local angling societies which issue day or week cards. In addition to the above-mentioned obligatory fishing license, rates are approx. DKK 40-150 for a day card, and DKK 100-350 for a week card.
At many places, a boat can be rented with fishing rights included. In many cases, the cards are available from the local tourist office which can also offer help and give detailed advise on freshwater fishing in the area.
Everybody who holds an official fishing permit may fish free of charge in the territorial sea. Equally, anyone is free to walk on any beach. Only in very rare cases will the beach be private. However, it is frequently the case that access to the beach is along a private road, and you must then ask permission first. You should also be careful not to park your car so that it blocks the way for other road-users.
Finally, you are advised that it is not allowed – nor is it popular – to obstruct the beach with many fishing rods. Two rods per person is the accepted number among Danish anglers.
Since 1986, there has been a 100m net-free zone along all Danish coasts. The object is to protect the salmonoid on their migration along the coast to the spawning waters. This preservation applies all year. The rules applying are minimum requirements, which the Minister for Fisheries may extend for ecological reasons. There have been a number of cases where parts of inner fjords with important spawning waters have been designated net-free zones.
Otherwise the normal rules are that for streams wider than 2 meters, there is a permanent closed area all year. The closed area is a semicircle of radius 500m with its center right in the mouth of the stream. In addition, there must be a passing zone of a width of 500m and a length of 100m at a right angle to the stream. If the stream is narrower than 2m, the closed area only applies during the period 16 September-15 January. This corresponds to two months before the preservation of colored sea trout until the end of the season.
In contrast to the territorial sea, where everybody may fish freely as long as they have acquired the compulsory fishing permit, further permits are required for fishing in freshwater. This is because the fishing rights belong to the riparian owner, who will usually want to be compensated through the sale of a permit. If you want to fish in freshwater, you therefore need to acquire both a national and a local fishing permit.
It is important to be aware that all movement along lakes and rivers must of course be undertaken with due regard to plants, animals and birds. Stay on the marked paths, and do not cause damage to the rushes where many animals live. Be careful not to park your car so that it blocks the way for other road-users.
Fishing in lakes is prohibited within 50m of the entrance or mouth of any streams more than 1m wide. Fishing is also prohibited within 50m of passages in bridges and dams. However, these regulations do not apply to lakes that are smaller than 10 hectares.
Fishing is also prohibited in streams within 50m of the entrance to and mouth of artificially constructed fish passages, e.g. falls or fish ladders. For waters that have been included under the Fresh Water Fishing Act according to other legislation, the closed areas prescribed in the Salt Water Fishing Act for the mouths of streams also apply.