Lakselva Nittykuru 21

New regime for fishing licenses in Lakselva - our fishing license will no longer include fishing at FeFo's beats

It is regrettable to announce that the 71-year lease of the state's land in Lakselva has come to an end because of FeFo choosing to maintain its wrongful termination of the lease contract with the Lakselv landowners' association (LGF). LGF will therefore no longer lease- or sell fishing licenses for the properties managed by FeFo. However, LGF will offer fishing on private stretches and is now working on organizing an attractive fishing license solution. There will be plenty of space for the fishermen and fishing licenses will be available to everyone, regardless of where they live.

This is primarily a loss for our fishermen, both locals, visitors, businesses and not least for the wild salmon. Management and fishing will thus become less holistic.

Martin Rognli Johansen
Tuesday 28.February 2023 / 22:33

It was all about a -1- salmon!

In order to meet the requirements for sustainable management and counter the negative population development that has been seen in the Lakselva over several years, LGF set a seasonal bag limit of 1 salmon ahead of the 2022 fishing season. LGF received input from FeFo that this was too strict and therefore increased the quota to 1 salmon and 3 salmon smaller than 65 cm. Without any kind of knowledge-based justification, FeFo demanded that the bag limit should be increased to 2 salmon for local fishermen. LGF pointed out that this could decrease some of the effect of the bag limit regulation and that there was an opportunity to adjust the bag limits after the mid-season evaluation if it turned out that there were more salmon in the river than first thought. FeFo did not want to agree to this solution, and LGF had to accept FeFo's demands.

By forcing LGF to change a bag limit set in accordance with the Natural Diversity Act and the Salmon and Inland Fisheries Act, FeFo demonstrates that their guidelines and interpretation of the Finnmark Act precede sustainable management and current legislation.

Based on the disagreement in the summer of 2022, FeFo took the step of terminating the lease agreement with LGF with immediate effect, even though there were 2 years left on our 10-year contract. LGF contested the validity of the dismissal and a solution has since been negotiated. Due to ongoing negotiations, LGF has not been able to go out in the media or on our website and inform about the status.

LGF has gone to great lengths to meet FeFo's demands but feels that the criteria for reaching an agreement have been shifted along the way. Looking back on the negotiations, it can almost seem as if FeFo did not really want an agreement with LGF. FeFo today maintains the wrongful dismissal as a result of a decision in principle where they changed their own guidelines as late as autumn 2022.

FeFo's termination of the contract with LGF will result in a more fragmented fishing experience for all fishermen

  • FeFo will sell their own licenses on FeFo grounds. The fishing license will only give access to approx. half the river and there will be many good beats that will not be covered by FeFo's fishing license.
  • As mentioned, LGF will organize the sale of our own licenses that apply to privately owned properties (see below).
  • Fishermen must now buy two fishing licenses to gain access to the same stretches as before.
  • The bag limits for 2022 will be set by the Norwegian Environment Agency, but it has not been clarified whether fishermen who fish both on FeFo's land and on private land must report their catch on different platforms.
  • LGF will continue our hard work towards a sustainable management of Lakselva, but with two "managers" there will also be some uncertainty related to the organization of various matters. We will come back with more information.

New fishing license sale for fishing on private beats

  • As a result of the termination, the private landowners wish to establish their own fishing license for fishing from private beats.
  • LGF is working to organize a joint fishing license sale for private beats. The fishing will probably be set up as a rotational fishing where our fishermen will roll the fishing on different private beats.
  • The way it looks now, there is a good chance that several of the private beats that have previously been closed and only fished exclusively, can be reopened for LGf's new license. This provides new opportunities for fishing in some of the river's most famous private pools/beats.
  • There will be more information about the fishing license sale when this is ready.

"We will not discriminate against the fishermen depending on where they live. With us, everyone is welcome," says the head of LGF, Nils Roger Pettersen.