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Fishing regulations in Poland

The angler who goes fishing has to take account of the law.

Before fishing it is essential to obtain a rod licence and a separate permit of a water authority for the certain area (and sometimes for adjoining areas), which allow the holder to fish. The inland waters are controlled by Polish Angling Association, water-companies, fishermen cooperatives and also by private persons.

It is required to observe the legal regulations concerning fishing.

Children to 14 years old are relieved of possessing a rod licence, but they are allowed to fish only under supervision of adults who hold licences and water authorities permissions. Licences are issued by the Polish administrative unit after passing special exams in fishing rules and regulations. The examinations are organized by local anglers' clubs.

Members of Polish Angling Association pay a membership subscription and a fee for local waters preservation and stocking them with fry. It allows to fish local waters (and adjoining areas). Before fishing it is needed to check what areas the permit is valid for. It is obviously possible to pay additional fee which allows to fish coarse waters controlled by Polish Angling Association all over the country.

Game fishing waters require separate contribution.

Foreigners and non-members of Polish Angling Association just pay special fees (see: here - LEGEND: nizinne-lowland river; górskie-mountain river; roczne- for 1 year; 1 dz. - for 1 day; N.Z. - foreigners and non-members.

It is possible to remit money to the bank account by postal order, after coordination with the local water authority.

For more information please contact the proper body (see: here)

All anglers who fish waters controlled by Polish Angling Association should respect legal rules and fishing regulations, especially fish limits and the close season dates (it concerns to several species). While fishing waters controlled by other body than the PAA anglers should follow the local regulations. Anglers should be informed about the rules before they start fishing.

Both sides of a boat used for fishing must be marked with registration plates, well-visible from the distance.

(Attention! There are many boat-houses leasing out boats with no registration plates on sides.)







Polish Angling Association – largest association of Polish anglers


● The Polish Angling Association (in Polish: Polski Związek Wędkarski) comprises 600 000 members, representing all circles and social groups. It perpetuates the history and tradition of organized Polish angling, which celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2004, and 55th anniversary of Polish Angling Association in 2005.


The organizational structure of the PAA (Polish abbreviation: PZW) consists of circles (2700) and regions (47) as local units. The Association’s activity is based on the voluntary work of its members.


The aim of the Association is organizing angling, recreation, angling sport, management of water bodies, activities serving environment conservation/protection and promoting of angling ethics. The Association is directed by the Main Board located in Warsaw, which administers the activity of the whole association.


The PAA conducts activity in water management and protection, realizes the ecological policy of Polish government, which is congruent with international conventions and directives of the European Union that have been ratified by Poland.


● The Polish Angling Association is the member of two international organisations:


Confédération Internationale de la Pêche Sportive - C.I.P.S. (1958), and


The European Anglers Alliance – EAA (1999)


125 years of angling – from chronicles of history


The National Fishing Association, which started organized fishing and angling activity in Polish lands, then occupied by Poland’s neighbours, was established in Kraków on 13 July 1879. The first President of the Association was Dr. M. Nowicki, who performed this function till 30 October 1890. From its very beginning the Association, beside organisational matters, was engaged in stocking rivers and in fish fauna protection/conservation, in ichthyofaunistic research and promoting angling education. The Association’s initiative was passing the “National Fisheries Act for the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria together with the Grand Duchy of Kraków” on 24 January 1887, which enabled respective authorities to normalize legal and fishing rights in the rivers of southern part of the country.


The development of angling sport – catching fish using the artificial fly as a bait – was initiated by the Kraków Fishing Club in 1896. After 1907 its activity was continued by the Association of Angling Sport Amateurs.


After World War I the previous directions of activity of the Association were continued. The efficiency of stocking rivers with fish and of conservation/protection measures increased, new hatchery/rearing centers were established, e.g. at the towns of Folusz, Nowy Sącz, Czatkowice, Porąbka, Myślenice, Zawoja and Tarnów. At that time other angling associations, which conducted their activity till 1939, were established.


The National Fishing Association was also the initiator and a founding member of the Alliance of Angling Organisations of the Polish Republic, and it was owing to its initiative that the Act on “Angling in inland waters”, which standardized conditions of fishing and angling in Poland, was passed.


Due to a high number of angling associations functioning in Poland, the Alliance of Sport Angling Associations (Polish abbreviation: ZSTW) was established in Warsaw on 29 January 1932. Dr. Adam Lardmer from Kraków became its first president, and was superseded by Włodzimierz Czermiński in 1934, who performed this task till the end of the Alliance’s existence, i.e. till 1949, with a break during World War II.


In 1936 the Praesidium of the Alliance established “Angling News” (Polish: “Wiadomości Wędkarskie”) as the journal of all Polish anglers.


On 1 September 1939 the ZSTW comprised 54 angling associations with 2073 members. During World War II, in the area of the so called General Government, there existed 38 angling associations, exploiting 167 fishing regions and hiring 255 guards.


After World War II, in 1945-46, the National Fishing Association in Kraków and Regional Sport Alliance “Warta” in the town of Poznań were active in Poland.


On 16 February 1947 a congress of delegates of angling associations in Warsaw reactivated the functioning of the Alliance of Sport Angling Associations. The Alliance also began to publish “Wiadomości Wędkarskie” again.


On 23 September 1949, on the strength of a decision made by the Municipal Council in Warsaw, the activity of the Alliance became suspended. This was followed by the Special General Congress of the ZSTW in Warsaw on 19 March 1950, during which 270 delegates representing 35 000 members set up the Polish Angling Association, the activity of which initiated a subsequent period in the development of organized angling in Poland. Nowadays, the activity is actively perpetuated by about 600 000 members of the Association.


Largest fishing-angling manager of inland water bodies in Poland


● The Polish Angling Association manages water bodies whose total surface area is over 210 000 hectares. This area constitutes about 36% of the total inland water body area of Poland. The PAA (Polish abbreviation: PZW) has at its disposal 66% of the total area of running waters (rivers), 88% of dam reservoir area, and 21% of total lake area.


● Water body management supervised by the Polish Angling Association is based on scientific methodology concerning the biological protection/conservation of species and is congruent with the principles of efficient, sustainable exploitation of water resources. To rescue endangered and vulnerable fish species, the PAA supports their active conservation by perfecting the biotechnology of hatching and rearing, while preserving their specific genetic diversity. The stocking policy of the PAA consists in avoiding introductions of species that are allochthonous to the native fish fauna.


● The Polish Angling Association conducts hatching and rearing of fish in 47 hatcheries indispensable for inland stocking purposes; it is the biggest producer of stocking material as regards cyprinid, predatory and riverine salmonid fishes.


The mean annual production of stocking material is 350 tonnes, the value of which is 5.5 million zlotys, while the water bodies administered by the PAA are stocked with 1600 tonnes of fish annually, the value of which is 18 million zlotys.


The species stocked are (in specimens per annum), e.g.: brown trout – 7,000 000, grayling – 600 000, Danube salmon – 700 000, pikeperch (zander) – 9,500 000, pike – 4, 000 000, reophilous fish species – 10,000 000.


● The Polish Angling Association protects inland waters against poachers and thieves by means of the activity of the Social Fisheries Guard, which consists of about 10 000 guardians.


The Social Fisheries Guard, which functions in all organisational units, cooperates with the Government Angling Guard and the Police.


Each year the PAA Guard carries out about 100 000 actions, controls about 550 000 thousand people, confiscates 12 000 poachers’ fishing nets, 150 items of sailing equipment. Two thousand notes about offences are submitted to prosecutor offices, courts and the Police.


Research and Development Activity


● The Polish Angling Association promotes proecological angling, which respects the superiority of environmental protection and conservation over economical and commercial activity. This approach is supported by scientific investigations. The PAA cooperates with most scientific research centres and academies in Poland that conduct investigations for environmental protection/conservation, angling and fisheries management.


The respective research comprises:


- ichthyofaunal research, monitoring of riverine fish faunas,


- investigations of diadromous fishes migrations, observations of fish passes, water power plants and impoundments from the point of view of their impact on fish production in rivers,


- development of biotechniques of fish hatching/reproduction,