The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs manages over 60 waters, loughs and rivers, located in some of the most scenic areas of Northern Ireland and all within a relatively short travelling distance, regardless of where in Northern Ireland you are located. The Public Angling Estate offers salmon, wild brown trout and seat trout fishing, regularly stocked fisheries of put-and-take brown trout and rainbow trout, as well as world class angling for perch, pike, tench, bream, roach and rudd.
The Public Angling Estate offers angling in a range of urban, scenic and tourist areas. Many venues offer picnic sites and stunning hill walks, while a range of caravan and camping sites as well as a variety of tourist accommodation are often available close by.
Many angling venues provide some degree of disabled access, ranging from easy walking through special car parks and fishing stands to disabled hoists, which enable wheelchair access to boat fishing on Lough Erne.
One of the finest fisheries is the River Bush, situated close to the Giants Causeway on the North Antrim Coast. The River Bush offers excellent salmon fishing and with the right conditions, salmon can be seen leaping from 3 stretches of the river: the New, Town and Leap beats.
Salmon and Whiskey Festival
The Salmon Station opens its doors to the public for one day during the Salmon and Whiskey Festival in September, providing guided tours of the hatchery and a river walk. Admission is free, including light refreshments.
Anglers are required to have a rod licence and permit for angling in the Department’s fisheries. These licence and permits start at just £9.50 for three days fishing and kids season permits are as little as £2 per year. Concessionary licence and permits are available for people with disabilities and pensioners.
Licences and permits can be purchased online from the Departments website, the Visit Belfast Welcome Centre, or from the majority of tackle shops throughout Northern Ireland.
Rod Licence/Permit Prices
- 3 day licence/permit (Coarse) – 2 rods £9.50
- 14 day licence/permit (Coarse) – 2 rods £20.00
- 3 day licence/permit (Game) £9.50
- 14 day licence/permit (Game) £26.00
For further information on the Public Angling Estate, permits, the River Bush or any general information, please visit the NI Direct website: www.nidirect.gov.uk/angling