If you are aged between 18 and 65, you must have an angling license in order to go fishing. The fishing license fee goes towards the release of reared smolt as well as research. You can buy a fishing license – ‘fisketegn’ in Danish – at the post office or online: www.fisketegn.dk. Remember to bring it with you at all times while fishing.
Minimum size limit of sea trout
Generally speaking, the minimum size for a sea trout is 40 centimetres. Throughout Odense Fjord, however, the minimum size is 45 centimetres. There is no minimum size limit for rainbow trout. All sea trout below the minimum size must be immediately released as gently as possible. Moisten your hands before you touch the fish so as not to damage its protective mucous membrane. It is useful to bring longnosed forceps, so you can unhook the fish quickly.
You can fish for sea trout in the sea all year round, but colored fish, i.e. fish in their spawning colors, must be released immediately, as gently as possible, in the period from 16th November to 16th January (both dates inclusive). During this period, you can only take home silvery sea trout with loose scales. There is no closed season for rainbow trout.
Special conservation measures
In Odense Fjord, fishing in the ‘Inderfjord’ (inner inlet) is not allowed from 1st October through to the first Friday of March (both dates inclusive). Odense Harbour is exempt from this conservation measure – so you can fish here all year round.
Catch & release
During the closed season, you are allowed to fish, but all colored fish must be released. Catch & release is widespread too – meaning that fish are released even if they exceed the minimum size. Many anglers voluntarily choose to release colored sea trout in the late autumn, and kelts in the spring. Catch & release can be practiced as a principle or it can be a way of showing moderation if you have already caught a great fish or you already have all the fish you can eat at home in the freezer.
There are protected conservation creeks where they flow into the sea or an inlet. Here, fishing with rods or nets is prohibited because the sea trout need to be able to migrate freely to and from the rivers in connection with spawning. In most cases, you are not allowed to fish within 500 metres along the coast on either side of the estuary. If the river is more than 2 metres wide, this conservation measure applies all year round. If the mouth of the river is less than 2 metres wide, the conservation zone applies during the period 16th September to 15th March.
Please note, however, that more conservation zones may be added. It is your duty as an angler to keep up to date with developments. Fortunately, this is easy, because you can see a map of Denmark on the Danish AgriFish Agency’s website showing most of the conservation zones around the estuaries: www.fredning.fd.dk.
Making your way along the coast
● It is advisable to park in the designated parking spaces and not park on private land.
● As an angler, you can make your way along almost all stretches of Danish coastline at any time of the day or night.
● If the beach is privately owned, and you want to stay there, you must be at least 50 metres from the nearest neighbouring building.
● However, you are always welcome to fish from the shore and wade in the water – even off a privately owned beach.
● You are not allowed to put up a tent on the beach.
● In private woodlands, you may use the pathways from sunrise to sunset.
● If you want to spend the night in privately owned areas, you must always ask the owner’s permission first.
● In areas owned by the public authorities, you may spend the night on the ground with an underlay and sleeping bag or in a hammock – and you are welcome to have a rain cape, but your ‘shelter’ must not resemble a tent.
● The website www.udinaturen.dk gives a list of places with basic facilities for spending the night, free tent sites and campsites.
● Please remember to take your rubbish away with you and, if you see any litter strewn around, put it in the nearest waste bin.