Some regulations on salmon fishing in Iceland


                                      The season

The rod fishing season for salmon in Iceland extends from June first until the last day of September. Only the most early rivers, like the Nordurá and the Thverá, (both in the Borgarfjördur district) actually opens some of the first days in June, many open up in the middle of the month and almost all salmon rivers are open by the end of June. No river is allowed to have a longer season than 3 and a half-month, so the earliest ones must close at the middle of September. Actually only few rivers keeps open for more than 3 months and both Nordurá and Thverá do close in early September.


The bait

In Iceland it is legal to use every kind of bait that the fish do case and take willingly. It is forbidden to use any kind of tackle that hooks into the fish unawares or without the fish casing it. Just the same, many River Associations puts further constrictions to bait used, and an increasing number of rivers allow only fly fishing all through the season. Almost all of the bigger rivers market the prime time of the season internationally and fly-fishing only is strictly enforced in that period.


Fishing hours

Rod fishing is legal from 07:oo in the morning until sundown, but newer more than 12 hours every day. Every River Association makes it’s own rules regarding fishing hours inside the above mentioned frame.


A short abstract from the Icelandic laws and regulations on salmon fishing.

  1. Salmon fishing in salt water is forbidden.
  2. All fishing rights belong to the riparian owners.
  3. Net fishing for salmon is illegal from Friday night until Tuesday morning. (Only legal for half of the time)
  4. Rod fishing is only legal for 12 hours each day. (Also only for half of the time.)
  5. Net fishing and rod fishing for salmon may never be carried out on the same stretch of water at the same time.
  6. A Fishery Association (River Association) must be established for every fishing water in Iceland. Its main purpose is to enhance the fishing stocks in its waters and to maximize the profit of the fishing. In most cases those Associations manages it's rivers or lakes as a unit, often leasing the fishing rights to angling clubs, professional outfitters or individuals.
  7. Most Salmon Rivers Associations enhance their stocks by releasing either fingerlings or smolts into its waters. To do so they must work by a confirmed breeding program and only use local breeding stock, to avoid gene pollution. It is strictly forbidden to move stocks from one river system to another one.
  8. If you have used your fishing tackle, shoes and waders in other countries before taking it to Iceland, it must be sterilized before you use it in Icelandic waters.