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Regulations and culture

In order to make sure that angling takes place in a responsible way, the Netherlands has a number of important rules. In the Netherlands catch and release is part of our angling culture.

For some species there is a closed season, for instance from 1 April to the last Saturday in May, in which you’re not allowed to fish for pike, perch and zander. During this period it is forbidden to use types of bait with which these species may be caught. This way the fish can spawn peacefully and the fish stocks are being kept healthy.

Catch and release culture


In the Netherlands the ‘catch & release’ culture is leading. There is also a release obligation for several species that is in effect all year through. Some fresh water fish – such as the zander – may be taken home for private consumption. Of course this is limited by strict quota and minimum sizes. There is nothing wrong with taking a fish home – provided that you kill it immediately after you catch it. A nice meal of self-caught fresh fish is tasty and also very healthy.

Thanks to our ‘catch & release’ culture you find big specimens of a lot of species like carp, zander and perch.

All in all: If you’re angling in the Netherlands, you’ve got the VISpas on you and you know the rules that apply as well as the Dutch angling culture.

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