Poland, which is located in the central part of Europe, offers a number of fishing opportunities – both in terms of numerous fish species and various waters: starting from small ponds, through lakes, streams, rivers, and ending in the Baltic Sea.
As much as 3% of Poland’s surface is covered by water. It is no wonder, that fishing is such a popular activity in Poland – it is estimated that the total number of anglers in Poland amounts to 1.5 million, of which approximately 600,000 people are members of the Polish Angling Association (PZW).
The most popular in the country is active fishing for predatory fish (pike, catfish, zander and asp), carp fishing and traditional fishing with ground methods or with a float.
To legally fish, Poles need a fishing license in Poland (issued by public authorities) and an additional fishing permit issued by the water owner (PZW for most of public waters). However, foreigners who want to fish legally in domestic waters, are exempt from the obligation to have a fishing license in Poland, but they absolutely must have a permit issued by the owner or user of the water.
Fishing license in Poland
Polish citizens fishing in Poland are required to have a fishing license, which can be obtained after passing the official examination on the knowledge of state regulations regulating the principles of fishing in Poland. The exam can be taken at the local circle of the Polish Angling Association and on the basis of a passed exam, the fishing license is issued by the county governor (starosta).
What is important, the fishing license in Poland is a document valid indefinitely.
Exemptions from the obligation to have a Polish fishing license
There are two groups of people exempt from the obligation to have a fishing license when fishing in Poland. The first group consists of children and teens up to 14 years of age. Children have the right to fish without a fishing license if they fish under the supervision of an adult angler with a fishing license (and a permit issued by the owner of the water).
The second group are foreigners, who have been exempted from the obligation to have a fishing license and only need a fishing permit in Poland from the owner of the water to fish legally.
Fishing permit in Poland
A fishing permit in a given body of water is always an absolutely required document. In Poland, the vast majority of waters (including all flowing waters – streams and rivers) belong to the state treasury and majority of the above are under management and supervision of the Polish Angling Association (this also applies to all the largest Masovian rivers – Vistula, Narew, Bug) and the permit issued by the Polish Angling Association is to fish legally there.
The list of waters managed by PZW is available on the association and its districts respective websites at https://www.pzw.org.pl/home/. Unfortunately, most of the information on the website is in Polish, but in case you cannot use the help of a Polish-speaking person, you can use the tools available on the Internet that automatically translate the website into English.
All other waters are under management of:
- PGW Wody Polskie, a company established to provide all-round management pf public waters (not limited to fishing and angling). The list of water reservoirs and the rules for purchasing a permit for waters under the management of PGW can be verified at https://www.wody.gov.pl/nasze-lowiska (unfortunately also in Polish)
- Fishing farms
- Fishing associations
- Private owners
- Fishing clubs
For the last four groups, the possibility and conditions of obtaining a fishing permit should be individually verified. It is not always possible by commercial means – some fishing clubs require charity involvement in activities for the benefit of local waters and improvement of their quality (e.g. participation in fish stocking, cleaning, water guarding, etc.)
Purchase of a fishing permit in the Polish Angling Association
The basic and traditional way of purchasing a PZW water permit is a visit to the local PZW club. You can find the nearest PZW club here: https://www.google.pl/maps/search/Polski+Związek+Wędkarski+Koło
Prices vary depending on the region, type of water (lowland and mountain waters), number of fishing days (annual or periodic fee – weekly, three-day or one-day), and in some cases also the method of fishing (e.g. additional fee for trolling fishing). The fees for PZW members are lower than for foreigners and non-members.
The second method of purchasing a permit is to visit a local fishing store, most of which can sell he PZW permit.
The third option (usually the most convenient when buying a short-term license) is to buy a fishing permit online. Each PZW district has its own regulations in this regard, but most districts cooperate with the platform available at: https://eokon.eparki.pl/
Fishing permit for foreigners in and around Warsaw
In 2022, the fees for fishing for foreigners are as follows:
- One-day permit: PLN 50
- Three-day permit: PLN 110
- Weekly permit: PLN 140
- Annual permit for lowland waters: PLN 400
- Annual permit for lowland and mountain waters: PLN 450
Obvously, the purchase of a permit is just the beginning of the adventure, and the biggest challenge is choosing the right place, time, methods and lures to successfully catch your dream fish. If you do not have enough time, we invite you for a trip with our fishing guides in Poland. We present our offer available on our website: https://wildriver.pl/index.php/en/fishing-guide-in-poland/ or you can contact us directly anytime here.
In case of doubts or difficulties – please contact us and we will always be happy to help.