The applicable regulations for fishing in Dutch inland waters are laid down in the Fisheries Act. In concise terms, it means that you are obliged to carry a written permit to fish. In most cases this is the VISpas, combined with a List of Fishing Waters. Fishing is permitted in waters included in the list. It is the angler’s responsibility to demonstrate whether he/she is permitted at a certain spot.
The VISplanner (www.visplanner.nl and the free VISplanner app) constitutes legal permission if combined with the VISpas. If you have the VISplanner on your mobile telephone or tablet/laptop, you can demonstrate that you are permitted to fish at a certain location if you are checked. The paper Joint List of Dutch fishing waters is therefore no longer automatically included in the VISpas.
The waters included in the List of Fishing Waters have been brought in by federations and clubs holding the fishing rights. With a few exceptions, fishing rights are connected to the land. The owner of a piece of land also holds the fishing rights. This fishing right can be leased, which is generally done by fishing clubs, which is why fishing rights are very fragmented, compared with land ownership. A different entity holding the fishing rights is involved for each water.
Sportvisserij Nederland focuses on making as much fishing water as possible available for their affiliated anglers. Generally speaking, the Sportvisserij Nederland clubs and federations have the fishing rights of 95% of all inland waters. About 90% of all inland waters are included in the Joint List of Dutch fishing waters,
and our aim is to make the booklet as comprehensive as possible. With the introduction of the VISpas, additional efforts have been made to make more waters available and we have succeeded in doing so by adding dozens of waters. In recent years, new waters have been added to the lists with additions.
The key to achieving a nationwide VISpas lies with the entities that hold the fishing rights. In most cases, this is the fishing club of which you are a member, and, as a member, you have a say in what the clubs do. If these clubs all indicate that they share their waters, we have achieved what all anglers want: one single document to permit fishing everywhere.
In addition to the VISpas, the extra VISpas has been introduced for anglers who are members of various clubs. No national payment is required for the second, third and so on (extra) VISpas, which makes things considerably cheaper. Some anglers are members of as many as three clubs. A payment of €35.00 is required for the first club, and about €15.00 for the second and third one.