The very nature of the Pyrenees-Orientales between sea and mountains means that every imaginable type of fishing can be found in the region. From fast flowing torrents in the mountains to slow relaxing rivers in the plains, from high altitude lakes to salt water lakes on the coast, from shore fishing and surf casting to deep sea fishing, the region really offers a challenging and varied days fishing for the keen angler.

fishing in the pyrenees

Fishing regulations in the Pyrénées Orientales

Fishing regulations for fresh water fishing are clearly defined and enforced by un garde pêche (fishing warden)

For fishing in rivers and lakes (unless private) you must pay a fishing tax (la taxe piscicole). This is usually in the form of a fishing pass valid for one year (une carte de pêche) which can be bought from fishing shops or some news agents (un bureau de tabac). A 15 consecutive day holiday pass is also available from the 1er of June to the 30th of September. Young people under the age of 16 are eligible for a carte jeune which gives them the same fishing rights as an adult but at a reduced rate.


Dates for the fishing season

11 March 2017
Opening of  trout fishing season, and other fish in that category

Make sure that you know the dates for the opening of the fishing season and where you are allowed to fish (the local tourist office will have this information) as some signs can be very confusing. For example, Réserves de pêche does not mean that it is a place reserved for fishing but that fishing is NOT allowed

The opening season varies according to the type of fish you are hoping to catch. Fishing rights are split into 3 categories. These categories define
– the type of fishing that can be done
– the type of fish that can be caught and the type of bait that can be used
– where you can fish on rivers and lakes

For more info on fishing in the Pyrenées-Orientales, visit (French only)

Fishing rights in the P-O

  • A maximum of 8 trout of at least 23cm is allowed (30cm at Les Bouillouses)
  • Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday and bank holidays are the only days fishing is allowed in the majority of lakes.
  • The lakes of Maternale, Puyvalador, Les Bouillouses, Passet and Fontvives permit fishing throughout the week.
  • The lake must be 90% thawed. In fact, there is always ice on many of the lakes at very high altitude like Soubirans and Col Rouge.
  • The Dougnes and the Long d’en Bas have been made ‘no kill’ lakes in the past  and all fish had to be thrown back, so it is worth checking this with the local police.
  • Fishing is forbidden in the Combeau and the Courg negre d’Evol.

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