Fishing and Boating

Local byelaws must be observed and a permit is usually required before starting to fish or launch your own craft.

Rod licences, Bassenthwaite Lake permits for canoes, sailboats and sailing dinghies and Keswick Anglers Association permits are available from Keswick Information Centre

For more information on fishing permits (from the shore or rowing boat) and watercraft permits contact the Lake District National Park who operates the Keswick Moot Hall Tourist Information Centre tel 0845 901 0845.


  • An Environment Agency fishing rod licence is required to fish in all rivers, lakes and tarns which can be obtained from the Post Office or online.
  • To fish from the shore of Derwentwater lake you can get a day, week or season ticket from Keswick TIC.
  • A permit is required to fish from a boat on Derwentwater lake and can be obtained from Keswick TIC.
  • To fish from the shore of rivers Greta and Derwent for trout or Salmon (in season) you can get a day ticket from Keswick TIC or a weekly ticket for trout only.
  • Keswick Tourist Information Centre sells shore fishing permits to Bassenthwaite Lake (for day/week/season) and rowing boat tickets including permission for one person to fish for a day/season and salmon fishing permits for a day or season.
  • Keswick Tourist Information Centre also sells watercraft permits (canoe, sailboat, sailing dinghies, rowing boat and kayaks) for Bassenthwaite Lake. There is no right of navigation on Bassenthwaite Lake. You must have a permit to take any craft onto the lake. 
  • Please respect the no boating zones. These protect the most important sites for breeding and over-wintering birds. Canoeing from the River Derwent? Please pass through the no boating zone as quickly and quietly as possible, keeping along the east shore. You can then leave the lake at Peel Wyke or Blackstock Point.
  • Permits cannot be purchased in advance, you will need to buy them in person at Keswick Tourist Information Centre in the Moot Hall in the Market Square.
  • Fishing and boating permits for Buttermere, Crummock Water and Loweswater are available from the National Trust. Day permits can be purchased from the car park machine at the National Trust car park in Buttermere (sat nav CA13 9UZ) - please note this machine only takes coins. For an annual permit please call the North Lakes office on 017687 74649.

Launching on Derwentwater

You can launch small craft at the National Trust Kettlewell car park where you can also land and picnic. 

Bassenthwaite Lake Permits

If you want to visit Bassenthwaite and get out on the water, you will need a permit. You can buy a boating permit for any kind of unpowered pleasure craft. You can buy a fishing permit for shore or boat fishing. If you want to fish from your boat you will need both permits. Please buy a permit online and keep a copy of the email permit you receive, either digitally or printed out, so you can show it to our ranger patrols on your visit. Your email will also have a copy of the Bassenthwaite Lake map.

Fishing and boating permits can be bought online at the Lake District National Park website.

River Greta and Derwent

It contains brown trout, sometimes sea trout and salmon. Only fly fishing methods are allowed.

Derwentwater

It contains brown trout, perch, pike and roach. Use of live or dead freshwater fish at any time and maggots between 15 March and 15 June as bait is prohibited. Boats are available for hire. Your own boat may be launched with permission. A 10mph speed limit must be observed.

Bassenthwaite Lake

This large lake is regarded principally as a pike fishery although it also contains roach, perch, brown trout, roach, dace and eels. Some salmon fishing takes place at the outflow by Ouse Bridge. Your own boat (no power) may be launched with a boat permit.

Watendlath Tarn

A trout fishery stocked with rainbow trout. Tickets and fly-fishing tackle can be obtained from the Tea rooms at Watendlath.

Buttermere

Contains trout, char, pike and perch. No power craft. A limit of 10 craft for canoeing, windsurfers, dinghies and rowing boats.

Crummock Water

Contains trout, char, pike and perch. Salmon and sea trout from July onwards. No power craft. A limit of 10 craft for canoeing, windsurfers, dinghies and rowing boats. No launching facilities.

Loweswater

Brown trout fishing is permissible on this lake with a bag limit of 3. There is also other coarse fishing with pike and perch in Loweswater. There are no launching facilities but you can launch your own small boats (under 4 meters) including canoes. There is a restriction on the lake of four craft at any one time.

Visit Keswick Angling Society for more information 

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