Fishing rights in Sweden's lakes and rivers are individually owned and belongs to the land/property owner. In order to fish, a fishing permit is required. A fishing permit is a personal agreement between you and the owner of the fishing rights which entitle you to fish for a limited period of time in a certain area of water. Unless otherwise indicated, a fishing permit is required to identify yourself. In Vänern, Vättern, Mälaren, Hjälmaren and Storsjön in Jämtland no fishing permit is required. Unlike hunting, no general "fishing license" or other certification is required to practice sport fishing.

There are about 2 000 fishing areas, also known as FVO, in Sweden. Most have been formed since 1981, when a new law was adapted to fisheries management. This form of managment has been very succesfull in lakes and streams. The fishing area is managed by a Fishery Conservation Association. The area is the geographical unit. The association consists of all owners of fishing in the area. The fishing grounds are rural and agricultural properties of a third resource, the forest and cultivated land.

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