Fishing in France

Fishing in France

Fishing in France is not only a relaxing activity, but also it's a lifestyle. First we’ll talk about the fishermen in France and the best places to fish and then we will explain the type of fish caught in France, before we end with an economic analysis of the fishery in France.

Fishermen are governed and affiliated by the National Fisheries Federation (NFFF) in France. Did you know that the NFFF is the second largest sports federation in France? The federation has 2,150,000 licensed members, putting it in 2nd place on the podium after football.

You can see on this map that fishing in France has a fairly active presence across almost the entire country. Indeed, fishing in France is well developed in 80% of the regions, because there is at least 10,000 fishermen.

In almost all of the West Coast, most of the regions contain more than 20,000 fishermen.

The regions of the Rhone, Saone and Loire, Gold Coast and Isère have at least 20,000 fishermen. This is due to the fact that the Rhone and Loire rivers cross these regions.

Fishing Licences

When fishing on a public water (lake or river) you need a fishing licence (in French: Carte de Pêche). The AAPPMA, the French Fishing Associations offer are all kind of permits: for kids, adults, retirees, day tickes, holiday licence etc.

Important: You don't need any fishing licence when you fish a commercial lake or fishery. These waters are private property and the fishing isn't regulated by the French Fishing Associations. If you book one of our lakes, you don't need any licence!

The following are the places we consider perfect for fishing in France:  

Etang de Mont; located in Auvergne, it is the ideal destination for fishermen who love comfort. Livestock is well supplied and it provides over 1,000 carps with a weight between 7 and 27 kgs. Nine locations are provided with a bungalow-tent. The tents are placed on a wooden tray that provides a nice view over the water and canes. The toilets at Mount Pond are definitely in good condition so you can relax and enjoy fishing in France. The records for the biggest carps are as follows: a mirror carp of 27 kg, common carp of 21kg, a leather carp of 14kg, a koi of 18kg and a white love of 21kg.

• Domaine de Bouxier is also in Auvergne. The private lake is 21 hectares and is very popular with carp anglers. There are 7 locations at which you will find a large wooden hut with a table and 2 chairs to protect you against any bad weather. The owner will rent the 7 areas to a maximum of 14 fishermen to ensure quality fishing. The bathrooms are new and in good condition and there is electricity so that you can recharge any batteries. Recently fishermen caught a mirror carps of 26 kg, a common carp of 15 kg, and 13 kg leather carp.

Here we will explain the type of fish in France - firstly, the freshwater fish.

• Predators: Catfish, zander of black bass, pike and perch are at the top of the food chain in our ecosystems. They are predators that feed mostly on others fish. Obviously, the salmonids are predators too.

• Salmonids: These are whitewater species, much sought after by sport fishermen. The most common fish in our waters are salmon and trout.

• Cyprinids: This family includes most of the freshwater fish in France. They vary greatly in size, from large to the small carp roach. They are omnivorous fish with many species searching the bottom to find small invertebrates.

In total there are about 83 species of fish that can be caught in France's freshwater.

The coast of France is very well known for fishing and the type of fish are classified into two main groups, cartilaginous fish (chondrichthyans) and bony fish (Osteichthyes). The cartilaginous fish include sharks and rays whereby the bony fish group includes most of the species of France’s coastal regions, such as the bass for example or the more common sardines, etc.

With a coastal length of 5,500 km, the area of marine fisheries and aquaculture in France is 4th largest of the European Union with about 10% of catches. French fisheries have generated one billion euros in 2010, which represents nearly 93,000 direct and indirect jobs. A quarter of the national consumption of aquatic products comes from French fisheries.  France is the second largest global maritime domain after the United States. 7,000 French ships representing 310,000 tons landed fresh and frozen 154,000 tons, worth 940 million euros for 22,000 direct jobs, including 19,000 in France

French Foreign Trade:

French imports didn’t increase until 2012, despite the effect of imported salmon, cod and bar fish. The decline of inflows from Africa may be explained by an increase in prices, but also by implementing new community legislation. Meanwhile, exports are continuing their slide that began a few years ago - supported by sales of squid and monkfish. The Spanish and Italian demand has declined since 2010.

The balance of the French fish trade is negative in all areas of France as it is so dependent on other countries to buy its’ product.

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