An historic River

The Mandal River is the second largest river in the southern part of Norway and has a salmon run of 50 km. The river has yearly catches of salmon and sea trout between 12.6 and 5.7 metric tons.

Kulpen og utløpsosen under Øyslebøfossen i sone 3 i Mandalselva.

The Mandal River  is regulated for hydropower production. Since the river is regulated, it has  a somewhat more stable water flow, rarely flooding (except for in heavy rain) and rarely very low water flow.

Until the end of the 19th Century, Mandal River was among the best salmon rivers in Norway. Catches were between 20 000 and 35 000 kg annually. During the 20th Century, catches of salmon and other freshwater fish sank dramatically as a result of acidification. The river was heavily affected by acid rain, and after a few years, the original salmon stock was exterminated. The sea trout population has survived through reproduction in less acidified creeks an tributaries.

The calcification of Mandal River began in 1997. With an annual requirement of lime of approx. 13. 000 tonnes - this was then the world's largest river calcification project. The goal was to establish a new salmon stock and bring the river back to the natural state it had had throughout centuries. With the amazing salmon catches that have been in recent years, one must say that this work has been and is very successful. Lime requirements have been reduced to about 7.000 tonnes annually in recent years, due to more precise methods and somewhat diminishing acid rainfall. According to the scientist, the need for lime treatment will endure for a long time.

You can observe the calibration of lime online.

Until 2013, the Finså Hatchery produced smolts for both cultivation and research in the river. Salmon were caught in the fall and large amounts of roe and fry were cultivated. As of 2013 the environmental authorities in Norway has concluded that the natural spawning is sufficient to supply the river and the hatchery is closed.

Mandal River currently offers varied fishing opportunities from Mandal town and 48 km upstream to Kavfossen and the lower part of Kosåna in Bjelland, where the salmon run ends.

In addition to salmon fishing, the river offers a good fishing for sea trout and brown trout in the lower part and an attractive fishing for brown trout and brook trout in the upper part. The streches along the river are nice recreational areas where you can find wilderness-rich nature and opportunities for a swim in clean water. Average water flow at the outlet in Mandal is 88 m3 / s.

Visitors to the area can get our information leaflet about fishing in the Mandal River at one of our outlets. The folders are in three  languages (Norwegian, German, English). In the leaflet you will find an overview of the fishing possibilities in the river, including detailed maps for the salmon run.

General description on fishing

Our informationbrochure about fishing for 2021


You can find aviable fishing here.

The river offers varied fishing from the sea to the upper reaches of rivers where the salmon’s journey ends. The river isvery suitable for salmon angling with plenty of good pools, rapids and small waterfalls - often ideal for flyfishing. The Mandal river is split into several sub-zones. Fishing licenses can be purchased at our web-site and at local dealers. In addition to salmon fishing  we offer fishing for sea trout, brown trout and brooke trout.

The fishing in Mandal River is divided into 4 main zones. In zones 1, 3 and 4, one licence covers the entire zone. Zone 2 consists of 32 sub-zones. These are all named related to their location. In 23 of these zones, the number of rods is limited.

Our outlets sell permits to all of the above-described zones in the river. Fishing license sales starts on the 15th of February for Zone 1 and 2 at Muller Gasin, Intersport Mandal, Sandnes Camping and Grønberg sports outlets. Permits for the zones Hauge A, B, C and D can be bought at the landowners from the same date. For the sub-zones at Hauge, Holmesland and Fuskeland, fishing permits can be purchased at our online sales from the 15th of February. At the Marnar Salmon Center (Laudal) and Joker Bjelland, the sale of fishing licenses starts at the end of May. Joker Bjelland also sells licenses for trout fishing in zone 4 from the 1th of May.

Guidelines to be observed when fishing

  • The national fishing license for salmon and sea Trout must be paid before Fishing starts. Remember to sign the card 
  • Fishing from bridges is not allowed 
  • Always start fishing upstream another fisherman 
  • All fishermen move downstream during fishing 
  • Pay attention to the local environment, acres and fields 
  • Obvious embarrassing behavior will lead to demission



Fishing rules Mandalselva



1. June to 31. August


1. June to 31. August

The Land Owners Association publishes own lockal angler rules. All anglers are also obliged to study the current fishing rules aimed for the Vest-Agder Region.

Fishing licences

The fishing licenses in Mandal Riwer are personal. Licences can be boght at our sales offices and at web-sales here and here.

At Hauge and Holmesland beats you can buy "gruppekort". If you buy "gruppekort" more fishermen can take part in the fishing, but not more than maximum amount stated at once. At Nødingfossen fiskecamp contact the landowner for detailed rules.  

If you are going to fish for salmon, sea trout or arctic char, you have to pay a fishing fee. Children and youth below 18 years is not required to pay the fee. You can pay the fee here.

Fishing equipment

You are allowed to use fly, lure or worm in all zones. Fishing with live-bait is illegal and offenders will be reported to the police. In order to prevent spreading the paracite Gyrodactylus salaris it is illegal to use a sinker or float filled with water. Deliberate foul-hooking, or snagging, is also illegal.

Bag limits

* Maximum of catching 2 salmon and 2 seatrout per angler per day.

* Fishing must end when the bag limit for salmon is taken.  

* All kelts (overwintered salmon) must be released.

* Released living fish doesn`t count to this quota. 


Fishing season

Sone 1, 2 og 3: 01.06 - 31.08

Sone 4:  01.06 – 15.09 (01.05 - 31.05 brown trout)


Mid-season evaluationwill be conducted on 25. July. The fishing rules may bee changed on the basis of this. 


Catch reports – deposits

All catches (and C&R) are to be reported at once, no later than the next day. Reports can be done at our sales offices or here.

The deposits are NOK 100,- and 200,- for day, week and season permit respectively. Deposits will be refunded when catch reports are returned to one of the Sales offices for the zone. (no later than seasons end).

There are no deposit at permits bought at Our web-shop.

For internet purchase there will be an additional fee of in some zones.


All fishing aktivities are at your own responsibility.


Youth fishing

In all open zones (zones without limitation) free fishing is aviable until you are 18 years old. Permission for fishing (fishing license) must nevertheless be obtained at one of our outlets.


Mid-season evaluation

Mid season evaluation 25 July 

Mid Season Assessment undertaken 25 July, any measures introduced from 1 August.
If necessary spawning stock appears to be reached, continued policies of the season. 
If the spawning population estimate does not appear to be reached, one of the following alternatives occurs: 1) limited quota reduced to one salmon per fisherman and imported stocking orders for salmon over 90 cm (about 7.5 kg), or in the worst case 2) fishing stopped completely.
Restrictions in fishing time, changes in the limited quotas mm will not provide a basis for reimbursement of license.