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Getting to the waterfront ... Fishing in the 1st Category Fishing in the 2nd Category

The conditions of exercise of fishing are determined by the rural Code and the orders of the prefect. Also it is always good to get information locally, to know with exactitude the conditions of applicable fishings about the river.

Rivers's classification

The streams, streches of water and channels of 1st piscicultural category shelter piscicultural running water species where salmo species (as trout) dominate as those where it appears desirable to ensure a special protection of fish of this species. The streams, streches of water and channels of 2nd piscicultural category include mainly cyprinus species (like white fish), and the carnivores (like pikes, sandres, poles). In the Alpes-Maritimes, water is classified mainly in 1st piscicultural category.

Streams and stretches of 1st category on all their watercourse 

L'Artuby, Lane and lakes of its higher basin, Roya and lakes of its higher basin, Cians, Tinée and lakes of its higher basin, l'Estéron, Vésubie and lakes of its higher basin, Bévéra as well as the affluents and under affluents of streams or portions of streams indicated above except Briançon.

Streams and stretches of 1st piscicultural category having limits

The Loup : upstream from the Lauron dam (District of Tourrettes on Loup and Roquefort Les Pins), Siagne : upstream Bridge of Tanneron (RD 509 - District of Auribeau on Siagne), the Var : upstream Bridge of Manda (District of Colomars, Carros and Gattières), Cagne : upstream of factory unused of Gaude (District of Gaude and Vence).

Streams and stretches of 2nd piscicultural category : All Streams, stretches and channels not classified in 1st category.


Opening periods

In 1st piscicultural category 

  • General opening : from march 09 th to september 15 th 2019, included ;

  • In all the mountain lakes located at an altitude higher than 1 800 m : fishing is authorized from 2nd july to 15 th september 2019 included ;

  • The opening period in the Parcours and lake of the Boreon and the lake of Thorenc is extended to the 06 th october 2019, included.


In 2nd piscicultural category 

General opening : all year round

  • Pike : From january 1st to January 27 th and from may 1st  to december 31th 2019, included

  • Fario trout : from march 09 th to september 15 th 2019, included

  • Brook trout : idem

  • Artic Charr : idem

  • Lake Grey Trout : idem

  • Rainbow trout : all  year round

  • The fishing of baby eel is prohibited

  • The fishing of crayfish with red legslegs hailswhite legs and from mountain streams is authorized from july 27 th to august 5 th 2019, included

  • The fishing of green frog and russet-red frog is authorized from january 01st to february 24 th and from june 01st to december 31th 2019, included

Fishing is not allowed more than one half hour before sunrise, nor more than one half hour after sundown. Consult the solar tables. 


Authorized Processes and modes of fishing

The members of the Associations Approved for the Fishing and the Protection of the Aquatic Environment (AAPPMA) can fish with the means :

  • Of 4 lines at most in water of 2nd category ;

  • Of 2 lines at most in domanial water of 1st category (the Var from the Bridge of Manda to the junction of Vésubie) ;

  • Of 1 line in nondomanial waters of 1st category ;

  • Vermée and of 6 balances at the most intended for the capture of crayfish and shrimps ;

  • From 1 carafe or bottle, intended for the capture, only in waters of 2nd category, minnows and other fish used as bait, the capacity of which cannot exceed 2 liters ;

  • The lines must be on the rods and fitted with 2 hooks or 3 artificial flies at the most. Rods must be laid out near the fisherman.

The crayfish balances can be indifferently round, square or losangic. Their diameter or their diagonal should not exceed 30 cm.


Prohibited processes and modes of fishing

It's prohibited in the streams or their derivations to set devices, to execute operations or to beat the surface of the water in order to gather fish to facilitate the catching.

It's prohibited, for the capture of fish :

  • To fish with the hand or under the ice, or by disturbing the water, or by excavating under the roots and other shelters attended by fish. However, for the angling of the pin, the ramming carried out by the fisherman himself is authorized ; 

  • To use machines or any other devices intended to catch fish by any other way than by the mouth. On the other hand, it is allowed to use a landing net and blunder to withdraw from the water the fish already shoed ; 

  • To use firearms, faggots (except for the fishing of crayfish belonging to different species than those mentioned above),laces or snares, scuba diving equipment ;

  • To have a sonar device onboard a boat along with fishing equipment ; 

  • To use hooks with more than 2 branches, the points of which are distant by more than 20mm .

  • During off season for pike, fishing with sharp, dead or artificial fish, spoon and other lures, except artificial flies, is prohibited in 2nd category waters.

  • It's prohibited to use the likes of soft food or as follows :  Natural fish eggs, fresh or preserved or mixed with an artificial bait composition, in all the streams and stretches ; Maggots and other dipterous larvae , in 1st category waters ;

  • It's prohibited to bait the hooks and machines with fish of the species whose minimum size was fixed by the Articles of the Rural Code R 436-23 and R 436-24, of the species protected by the provisions of the Articles L 411-2 and L 412-1 and the species mentionned with the 1° and 2° of Article L 432-10.

In order to protect the spawning grounds, It's prohibited to fish while going in the water in 1 st waters category until March 15 th 2016 included.


Minimal size of fish and the crayfish

The fish and the crayfish of the species specified hereafter, cannot be fished and must be given to water immediately after their capture if their length is lower than :

  • Pike in 2nd category : 50 cm

  • Lake grey trout : 35 cm

  • Shade commun run, Coregone : 30 cm

  • Artci charr : 23 cm

  • Trouts (others that the sea trout), brook trout : 20 cm

  • Pikeperch : 40 cm 

  • Black bass in 2nd category : 30 cm

  • Crayfish with red legs, legs hails, white legs and of the torrents : 9 cm

  • Trout Fario : 23 cm on the watercourse of :

           - La Siagne (AAPPMA of Auribeau sur Siagne and Grasse)

           - Le Malvan (AAPPMA of Vence and Cagnes sur Mer)

           - La Cagne (AAPPMA of Vence)

           - Les Paillons (AAPMA of Nice)

           - Le Loup (from the sea to the Bramafan bridge)

           - Le Var (from the sea to the Ablé bridge) AAPPMA of Nice

           - L'Estéron (from the junction with the Var to Aiglun) AAPPMA of Roquestéron

           - La Roya (on the district of Breil sur Roya) AAPPMA of Breil sur Roya

           - La Tinée (from the junction with the Var to the bridge of Clans) AAPPMA de Nice


The length of fish is measured from the end of the muzzle to the end of the deployed tail; that of crayfish from the point to the head, grips and antennas not included, to the end of the deployed tail.


Number of authorized captures (salmo species other than sea trout)

  • 10 per fisherman and per day

  • 6 on the Siagne upstream from the old bridge of Tanneron and its triubutary and the Lane 

  • No Kill

- La Roya : on the district of Tende between the SNCF viaduct and the Roman bridge on the district of Breil sur Roya ;

- La Tinée : between the bridge of the moon and the Courbaisse (District of  La Tour sur Tinée and Tournefort) ;

- La Vésubie : between the old bridge of the village and the junction of the valley of Cervagné  (District of Roquebillière).



  • It's prohibited to catch eels and carp in the Mourachonne because of the human health.

  • In order to protect the spawning grounds, it's prohibited to fish while standing in the water in 1st category waters until april 15 th included.


Prohibition of sale

  • It's forbidden for amateurs fishermen (with lines and machines) to sell their catch (Article L 436-13 and 14 of the code of the environment).

  • Any person who buys or sells the catch of an amateur will be prosecuted as envisaged by the code of the environnement.


Permanent fishing prohibitions

Any fishing is prohibited :

  • In the devices ensuring the circulation of fish and in the works built in the bed of the watercourses ;

  • In the sluices, winnowings and where water goes though buildings ;

  • From the locks and stoppings established in waters where the fishing rights belong to the State (the Var starting from the limit of salinity of water to the junction of Vesubie), angling is not permitted within 50 m downstream of such equipment ;

  • In rivers classified like run water to sea trout (the Var to downstream of the junction of Estéron, Brague downstream of the junction of the brook of Bouillides, Siagne downstream of the bridge of Auribeau-Tanneron) ;

  • Any fishing is prohibited 50 m upstream and downstream from extremity of locks and stoppings.


Temporary fishing reserves

Some temporary reserves are instituted by prefectoral decree prohibiting fishing on rivercourse stretches.

Var :

  • Any fishing is prohibited starting from the small islands located in the bed of the Var : downstream of the Bridge Charles-Albert, for protection of the ornithological reserve ;

  • 50 m upstream and downstream of the thresholds so as not to hinder the crossing of these works by fish.


RECALL: Transportation with living fish, shellfish or frogs belonging to species likely to cause biological imbalances (in particular sunfish, American crayfish and catfish) is strictly forbidden in all the hydrographic network of Alpes-Maritimes. In addition, without the authorization of the National Park of Mercantour's director, it's prohibited to introduce fish whatever their stage of development into the national park.

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