Freshwater fisheries licensing

Information, application forms and application guidance in relation to the introduction of and fishing for freshwater fish.


Introductions of Fish Fry or Ova to Scottish Inland Waters

With the aim of protecting native biodiversity from the consequences of introductions of non-native fish, legislation came into force on 01 August 2008, regulating the introduction (i.e. stocking) of all species of freshwater fish within Scotland. The legislation makes it an offence for any person to intentionally introduce any live fish or spawn of any fish into inland waters, or possess such with the intention of introduction without previous written agreement of the appropriate authority.

Consent to Catch Salmon or Other Freshwater Fish During the Close Season and Using Otherwise Unlawful Methods

Under the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 2003 licences can be issued for scientific or fisheries management purposes for methods of fishing for salmon (includes sea trout), or other freshwater fish, which would be otherwise illegal.

The following are common fishing methods that often require licences:

  • Electro-fishing
  • Fishing using nets
  • Fishing using traps
  • Fishing by any method including rod and line during the close time


Freshwater Fish Introductions & Licensing Team
MSS Freshwater Laboratory
PH16 5LB

Email: MSSFFIntroductions@


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