Lure fishing Lake Geneva English French

Lake Geneva - Lure fishing

Lake Geneva
Fish Species
Fishing law

Your catches
Fishing techniques


Lake Geneve - Lure fishing - 2013

Lake Geneva

General information

Lake Geneva is a large glacial lake located between Switzerland and France, by its size, is the largest Central European lake and the largest natural lake in Western Europe. The lake has the shape of a croissant, the north shore and the two ends are Swiss, the south shore is French. The border between the two countries runs through the middle of the lake. The lake is often divided in three areas:

- The Upper Lake: from the Rhone entry to the axis Rivas-Meillerie
- The Little Lake: The axis Prangins-Yvoire up to Geneva
- Grand Lake : the biggest and deepest part in between

Only 3% of its shores are still natural. Excluding 23% of semi-natural meadows, about 60% of banks are arranged by walls, and/or are privatized, which limits the potential re-naturalization of the shores. The surface of the lake is 582.4 km2, from which 348.4 km2 in Switzerland and 234 km2 in France. The maximum depth is 310m in the Grand Lake between Lausanne and Evian.

Fishing on Lake Geneva

There are 150 active commercial fishermen who fish with nets and cages/traps. The number of licenses for professionals is limited to 177. In addition, there are about 8,000 recreational anglers who fish mainly with rods from the shore or an anchored boat and others troll for pike and trout. Access to the lake for shore fishing is limited as many banks are privatized. In total, approximately 1,000 tons of fish are caught per year from Lake Geneva (3 tons of fish per day!) Recreational anglers catch about 10% of this.

Fishing license

A fishing license is required to fish on Lake Geneva. There are two types of fishing permits for Lake Geneva; a trolling license (only annual) and the license ‘à la gambe’ (annual, monthly, weekly or daily). To get an annual permit a competency certificate of SaNa is mandatory. All courses are published at
The only unlicensed fishing allowed is fishing with a bobber and a single hook. Youth (under 14) may fish without a license if they are accompanied by a permit holder.

Fish species in Lake Geneva

The most fishes caught are perch (400 tons / year), whitefish locally called ‘féra’ (500 tons / year), trout (15 tons / year), char (15 tons / year) and pike (40 tons / year). Other species are less frequent: burbot, roach and crayfish. The grayling is endangered and therefore protected.

* Fishing statistics

* Fishing law for recreative fishermen from January 1st 2016 till December 31st 2020.