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Keeping your catch: what do I need to know?

Keeping your catch: what do I need to know?

The Netherlands follows the ‘catch-and-release’ principle, especially in fresh waters. That means fish can grow to an impressive size here. However, your VISpas does allow you to keep a limited number of fish for your own consumption. Some of the most important rules for keeping your catch are explained below.

Any carp, wels catfish or eel you catch in the Netherlands must be released into the same water after you catch it. The same principle applies to northern pike, although there are some local exceptions. You are allowed to keep a maximum of two zander per day (above the minimum size) in most waters in the Netherlands. Keep in mind that the rules for keeping your catch can differ depending on the water. Many waters in the Netherlands are subject to a strict catch-and-release policy for all species of fish. If you would like to know which rules apply to the water where you would like to fish, you can always check the VISplanner via the free app or the desktop version to find the rules that apply to your chosen fishing waters. The desktop version of the VISplanner allows you to translate the General Terms and Conditions by using your Chrome browser settings. 

If you'd like to know more, just watch this video. 

Minimum size

If you catch a fish that is smaller than the minimum size for that species, then you must always release it to the same waters immediately. Some important minimum catch sizes are listed below:

•Zander 42 cm
•Perch 22 cm
•Flounder 20 cm
•Cod 35 cm
•Sole 24 cm
•Plaice 27 cm
•Whiting 27 cm
•Bass 42 cm (anglers may keep up to two bass per day for their own consumption until 31 November 2020) Keep an eye on for the rules for 2021.
•Herring 20 cm
•Horse mackerel 15 cm
•Mackerel 30 cm

Please note: the minimum size may differ per water, so always check the VISplanner before keeping your catch.
Also, be aware that there are closed seasons for many fish species in the Netherlands, including pike, zander and perch. 

If you would like to know more about the closed seasons, please watch this video.

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