Can you Magnet Fish Anywhere? Laws and Regulations, License – USA And The World


For the most part, you are free to magnet fish anywhere. The only problem is when you start trespassing. If you attempt to throw your magnet into somebody else's pond, you will be outside of your rights.

However, magnet fishing in public areas is absolutely legal. The only state that has put a ban on magnet fishing is South Carolina at the time of writing this article.

Can you Magnet Fish Anywhere Laws and Regulations by State
Can you Magnet Fish Anywhere? Laws and Regulations by State

Magnet Fishing Laws – Table of all 50 US States

The following is a table of all 50 states and whether or not it is legal to magnet fish. I will do my best to keep it updated, but always double-check if you are uncertain.

StateLegal to Magnet Fish?Summary
AlabamaYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Alabama. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
AlaskaYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Alaska. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
ArizonaYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Arizona. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
ArkansasYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Arkansas. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
CaliforniaYesIt is legal to magnet fish in California. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
ColoradoYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Colorado. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
ConnecticutYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Connecticut. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
DelawareYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Delaware. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
FloridaYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Florida. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
GeorgiaYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Georgia. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
HawaiiYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Hawaii. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
IdahoYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Idaho. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
IllinoisYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Illinios. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
IndianaYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Iniana. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
IowaYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Iowa. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
KansasYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Kansas. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
KentuckyYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Kentucky. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
LousianaYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Lousiana. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
MaineYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Maine. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
MarylandYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Maryland. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
MassachusettsYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Massachusetts. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
MichiganYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Michigan. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
MinnesotaYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Minnesota. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
MississippiYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Mississippi. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
MissouriYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Missouri. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
MontanaYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Montana. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
NebraskaYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Nebraska. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
NevadaYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Nevada. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
New HampshireYesIt is legal to magnet fish in New Hampshire. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
New JerseyYesIt is legal to magnet fish in New Jersey. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
New MexicoYesIt is legal to magnet fish in New Mexico. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
New YorkYesIt is legal to magnet fish in New York. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
North CarolinaYesIt is legal to magnet fish in North Carolina. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
North DakotaYesIt is legal to magnet fish in North Dakota. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
OhioYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Ohio. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
OklahomaYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Oklahoma. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
OregonYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Oregon. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
PennsylvaniaYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Pennsylvania. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
Rhode IslandYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Rhode Island. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
South CarolinaNoIt is now illegal to magnet fish in South Carolina. See below for reason magnet fishing is illegal in South Carolina.
South DakotaYesIt is legal to magnet fish in South Dakota. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
TennesseeYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Tennesse. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
TexasYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Texas. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
UtahYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Utah. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
VermontYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Vermont. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
VirginiaYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Virgina. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
WashingtonYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Washington. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
West VirginiaYesIt is legal to magnet fish in West Virginia. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
WisconsinYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Wisconsin. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
WyomingYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Wyoming. Make sure it's public property and you will be within your rights.
Laws and Regulations for Magnet Fishing in all 50 US States

Can you Magnet Fish in State Parks ?

State parks are established by a US state to preserve a location on account of its natural beauty, historic interest, or recreational potential. These are public lands. Hence it is legal to magnet fish in any state park in USA except in the state of South Carolina.

READ  How Magnet Fishing is Good for the Planet

Magnet Fishing Laws and Licensing Requirements – Table of Countries Around The World

CountryLegal to Magnet Fish?Summary
UK and WalesNoIt is illegal to magnet fish in UK and Wales under the General Canal Byelaw of 1965. It prohibits anglers from removing material from the canal and rivers, and offenders may be subject to a 25 pound fine if caught.

See below for the reason magnet fishing illegal in United Kingdom.
CanadaYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Canada but if weapons are found they must be reported to the police.
AustraliaYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Australia. There are no national laws when it comes to magnet fishing, so this is indeed legal. However, the important thing to note is that some regions do have limitations. Checking with the local authorities is always the right idea, and it can help prevent any potential issues.
New ZealandYesIt is legal to magnet fish in New Zealand. There are no national laws when it comes to magnet fishing, so this is indeed legal.
NetherlandsYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Netherlands. Generally adults can magnet fish in the Netherlands without any specific limitations. However, there are rules for magnet fishing, with the age limit being 14 to 18 depending on the region. There are places like Haarlem and Delft where you have a prohibition on magnet fishing, so that’s a thing to consider. Making sure you take your time and study the rules set by local authorities is ideal.
SwedenYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Sweden. Sweden doesn’t have any specific set of laws which state magnet fishing is not ok. So yes, you don’t have to worry about dealing with legal complications, at least at a national level. But just like any other country, specific regions can have their own limitations regarding magnet fishing. Seeking permission from the owner of a specific region is the ideal way to avoid any legal hassle.
IrelandNoIt is illegal to magnet fish in Ireland. The Bye Laws (similar to UK) do not allow the removal of any material from water without the Waterways Ireland permission. So, while this is not strictly prohibited, the rules clearly show that magnet fishing can be a problem if it’s performed randomly and without specific permission. That’s why it’s imperative to ensure you read the local rules and that you ask for permission.
DenmarkYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Denmark. Denmark also doesn’t have a very specific legal structure when it comes to magnet fishing. However, there are some places where it’s strictly not allowed to magnet fish. It is very important to check the local regulations, even if there’s no specific national rules set regarding magnet fishing, just to be on the safe side.
FranceNoIt is illegal to magnet fish in France. You can’t do that without having a permit issued by the landowners or the state itself.
FinlandYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Finland. There are no specific national rules or laws regarding magnet fishing. It is very important to check the local regulations, even if there’s no specific national rules set regarding magnet fishing, just to be on the safe side.
ScotlandYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Scotland with a permit / license. The fisher should have received a Scheduled Monument Consent from Historic Environment Scotland, and approval from Scottish Canals. An official group exists which gives its members authorization to magnet fish in the Union Canal in Edinburgh, with more locations to come. Archaeological or historical finds must be reported to Treasure Trove Scotland.
GermanyYesIt is legal to magnet fish in Germany with a permit. Magnet fishing without a permit is punishable by fine. Contact local authorities to get a license/permit before you magnet fish.
BelgiumIt is legal to magnet fish in Belgium but if weapons are found they must be reported to the police.
PolandNoIn Poland, magnet fishing without a permit is punishable by imprisonment. Permission is required to use equipment to search and fishing with a magnet is considered “using an equipment to search”.

Why is magnet fishing illegal in South Carolina?

Magnet fishing has become a great hobby for lots of people all over the US. And while you can enjoy magnet fishing in most states, there are some where magnet fishing is not allowed at all. One of the states where that happens is South Carolina. There are specific reasons behind that, as you will notice below. Yet it’s still a restriction baffling a lot of people.

Why is South Carolina restricting any magnet fishing?

According to the South Carolina Underwater Antiquities Act of 1991, magnet fishing is not allowed as the means to protect underwater artifacts. These artifacts can only be collected if they are resting on bottom sediments. If you remove or disturb them or if they are partially buried, that becomes a problem. You can’t deploy a tethered magnet because you don’t know if the item in question is partially buried, fully buried and so on.

Does South Carolina issue any licenses for magnet fishing?

Unfortunately, that’s now the case. The SCIAA is not issuing any hobby licenses for magnet fishing. They only issue a license for recreational scuba hunting, but even that requires a lot of training until you eventually receive a license.

So, as you can see, South Carolina has a strict policy against magnet fishing. It’s definitely a problem, but you do want to address that as much as you can, otherwise you can encounter plenty of issues if you just attempt magnet fishing within the state. It’s imperative to read all the local regulations to prevent any problems.

READ  Profit from Magnet Fishing: 6 Interesting Ideas

Why is magnet fishing illegal in United Kingdom?

It’s always imperative to learn the local regulations when it comes to magnet fishing, so you know 100% if you are allowed to perform this hobby anywhere. With that in mind, there are plenty of countries and US states that just don’t allow magnet fishing. In fact, it’s downright illegal to perform such an action. What about the United Kingdom, can you go there and attempt any magnet fishing? Let’s find out.

Does the United Kingdom allow magnet fishing?

According to the Canal & River Trust, you will notice that magnet fishing is not allowed to do such a thing. No person can remove any type of coal or other materials from canals. That can become an issue if you are serious about magnet fishing in the United Kingdom and really want to perform this hobby. Unfortunately, the governmental regulations are clear, and you can’t do this in public waters.

Is there a way to perform magnet fishing in the United Kingdom?

Yes, but it’s very strict. You are only allowed to do that in private waters, and even then you must have an authorization. Otherwise you will not be able to do any magnet fishing. That can be a very daunting proposition, but in the end it’s clear that you can get some good results, as long as it’s done privately. The fact that you need an authorization just adds yet another wrench into the entire process. However, this is the only way you can enjoy this hobby in the United Kingdom!


Do I need a license to magnet fish?

You do not need any sort of license to go magnet fishing as you would for regular fishing. If it's public property and your state has not regulated the sport then you are free to do so. However, if it's private property you must ask for permission before tossing in your magnet.

Laws for Rare Finds

Wreck and Salvage Laws

This probably will never happen but if it does, make sure you check your stats wreck and salvage laws. You may be required to report this or turn in any items found at a wreckage site.

What to do if you Find a Weapon

One of the biggest concerns when it comes to magnet fishing is, what do I do if I find a weapon? It's true that this is pretty rare, but if you do happen to stumble upon a knife or a gun, don't freak out. It's not a big deal, and the steps to take are simple.

Finding knives

For knives, it's pretty simple. Most states allow you to own any type of knife, however, some are more strict. For example, Michigan does not allow spring-loaded knives. It is important to look up your state laws just to make sure your okay.

Most hunting knives should be fine. If it's just a standard utility knife feel free to take it home with you. However, if you ever have any doubt just leave it alone.

Also, please make sure to wear gloves while magnet fishing, especially with the risk of knives or other sharp objects being retrieved from the water.

Finding guns

This is a very serious matter. If you find a gun you are going to want to contact the police. The gun could be used in a crime and may help solve a case. On top of that, all guns have serial numbers. This is to know who the gun belongs to. It is illegal to own a gun that is not issued to you, so trying to take this home could lead to some problems down the line.

This situation is pretty rare, and likely won't happen to you. However, if it does just take it seriously and you will be fine.

When in doubt

If you find a weapon and you are unsure whether it's okay to have or not, the safest thing to do is just throw it away. Either that or don't even touch it. Just knock it off the magnet and allow it to return where it came from.

Conclusion

As you can see, you are pretty much free to magnet fish anywhere you want with the main concern making sure to stay off private property (obviously). The only state that has banned magnet fishing is South Carolina. I'm not sure why. I will have to dig more into that later.

While you are free to magnet fish in most places, in 49 states, it's important to remember you aren't free to keep everything you find. Certain items have restrictions, such as weapons and wreckage. Make sure to check your state's laws regarding these items before you take them home with you.

Sources

Magnet Fishing Adventure

Anthony is passionate about magnet fishing. He likes to go out magnet fishing with his friends. On this site he shares his knowledge, experience, and details about magnet fishing gear and research with you.

Recent Posts