Fishing is a FREE activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities. We encourage responsible anglers and there are several bodies of water in the city where you can fish for free providing you have the appropriate rod licence.
All persons over the age of 12 must have a rod licence issued by the Environment Agency which can be purchased from any Post Office, by phone on 0844 800 5386 or online. There is an Environment Agency notice about licences pinned on the information boards. Report problems with fish/fishing/ponds/rivers to the Environment Agency on 0800 807060.
Under 12s do not require a licence however if the Bailiff catches a parent holding the rod, the parent may be liable to receive a fine.
Please note: If you fish with three or four rods (four is the maximum allowed) then you will need to purchase a second licence.
The statutory Environment Agency coarse fishing closed season runs from 15 March to 15 June inclusive and only applies to the Ornamental Lake (because it is a Site of Special Scientific Interest) and the River Itchen above Woodmill. We ask fisherman to observe the closed season on all other city waters.
Fishing for Salmon, Sea Trout and Brown Trout is covered by different closed seasons. The city council owns the right to this and can issue permits to allow game fishing (although currently choose not to). All Salmon/Sea Trout fishing enquiries to Woodmill Activity Centre - phone 023 8091 5746. Note: a different Environment Agency licence is also required.