Recreational fishing in Estonia


Depending on the fishing gear used, there are 3 types of recreational fishing differentiated.

1. Line fishing

Everyone can fish with one simple hand line for free and without a special fishing permit on a body of water that is open to public or designated for public use, taking into account restrictions concerning permitted fishing seasons, areas and species of fish. Everyone has a lifelong right to fish by line.

2. Recreational fishing with up to three hook gears

Everyone who has paid for recreational fishing rights can fish with hook gear on a body of water that is open to public or designated for public use, taking into account restrictions set by law.

Hook gear includes: spinning reel, troll line, pulling device, fly rod, bottom line, trimmer, hand line and more than one simple hand line, harpoon gun and harpoon hook. When using this type of fishing gear, you have to pay a fee to obtain fishing rights.

From 1 January 2011 it is possible to pay for fishing rights in the following ways:

1. Purchasing fishing rights at

In order to pay the fee, you need to go to and fill out the payment order for recreational fishing rights. From 1 July 2011 a personal identification document will serve as the document certifying the fishing rights of the person and it is no longer necessary to bring along a printed out copy of the payment order when going fishing.

People who do not have an Estonian personal identification code, including foreign citizens, can also pay for fishing rights. In order to do that, the date of birth has to be inserted as follows: 29.06.1982 (yy - birth year, mm - birth month, dd - day of birth). For example, if you were born on 29 June 1982, the code has to be inserted as follows: 08206290000

Attention! At the moment the service is available in Estonian, English and Russian. The fee for fishing rights can be paid using the Internet bank (all the Estonian branches of the bank) as well as a credit card.

If you own a credit card, you can also purchase the ticket by calling 11800 (rate per minute: 0,74 €). Service is available 24 hours a day in Estonian, English and Russian.

See also: Instructions for obtaining Recreational fishing right via Internet

Fees for recreational fishing rights are as follows:

1) 1 day - € 1;
2) up to 1 week - € 3;
3) up to 6 months - € 13;
4) up to 12 months - € 20.

2. Bank transfer

From 1 February 2011 it is no longer possible to pay for fishing rights using bank transfer!

3. Mobile payment

Mobile payment service is available only within the networks of Estonian mobile operators (EMT, Elisa or Tele2). It is also possible to obtain fishing rights using calling cards of these operators. Fishing rights will become valid two hours after a mobile payment has been made and a respective notification message has been received.

Specific instructions are available here: How to pay for recreational fishing rights using a mobile

4. Purchasing fishing rights from points of sale

From 1 January 2011 it is also possible to pay for fishing rights at the ID-ticket information desk in Tallinn City Government as well as in several post offices of Estonian Post. In order to prove that you own fishing rights, you must present your sales receipt along with a personal identification document.

5. The right to fish free of charge with hook gear

Pre-school children, students under 16 years of age, pensioners, unlawfully repressed persons and disabled persons are not required to pay for the right to fish for recreation. The persons listed above must present the following documents certifying the benefit.

  • students under 16 years of age - a student card
  • pensioners - a pension certificate
  • unlawfully repressed persons - a rehabilitation certificate or certificate of repression
  • disabled persons - a document certifying the degree of disability

Attention! The right to fish free of charge does not extend to fishing gear and fishing spots that require the fishing card as a certifying document.

3. Fishing card

Fishing card allows you to use the following fishing gear: gillnet, bottom set longline with up to 100 hooks, dip-net and trap, sand, dragnet. In addition to this, fishing card is also required when catching salmon and sea trout from Pirita River, Jägala River, Selja River, Narva River, Vääna River, Purtse River and Valgejõe River; and when catching river trout from the rivers of Järva County and with a harpoon from Lake Saadjärve and Lake Kuremaa. Furthermore, fishing card is required when fishing for recreation in the following nature reserves: Endla Nature Reserve, Silma Nature Reserve and Matsalu National Park. Everyone has to pay for the fishing card and the number of cards is limited for some bodies of water! Fishing cards are issued by the Environmental Board.

See also: A few important things to consider when fishing

Additional information (in Estonian, Russian and English) at
Depending on the difficulty of the questions, answering can take up to 1-5 days.