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Here you will find the "National Fisheries Byelaws for Anglers"
as set out by the Environment Agency

Local and regional fisheries byelaws also apply.
Full copies of these can be obtained by calling 0845 933 3111 or by contacting the relevant regional office of the

Coarse fish close season - 15 March to 15 June inclusive

The coarse fish close season applies to all rivers, streams and drains in England & Wales, but does not apply to most stillwaters.

There are some exceptions -

The Broads and some Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs);
these sites are listed in the Schedules attached to the byelaws, which you can obtain from your local office (tel 0845 9333111).

Recent byelaw changes mean that the coarse fish close season does not apply to most canals in England and Wales; again there are some exceptions, mainly SSSIs and these are also listed in the Schedules.

Where the statutory coarse fish close season has been removed, fishery owners and angling clubs are free to introduce a close season through club or fishery rules if they wish to.

Keepnets, keepsacks and landing nets -
design and construction

You may not use a landing net with any knotted meshes or meshes of metallic material.
Knots along the seams of the nets are permitted provided that the net is constructed from knotless mesh

You may not use a keepnet: -

(i) with any knotted meshes or meshes of metallic material;
(ii) having any holes in the mesh larger than 25mm internal circumference;
(iii) of less than 2.0 metres in length;
(iv) with supporting rings or frames greater than 40cm apart (excluding the distance from the top frame to the first supporting ring or frame) or less than 120cm in circumference

You may not use a keepsack: -

(i) not constructed of a soft, dark coloured, non-abrasive, water permeable fabric;
(ii) having dimensions of less than 120cm by 90cm if rectangular;
(iii) having dimensions of less than 150cm by 30cm by 40cm if used with a frame designed with the intention that a frame be used.

You must not keep more than one fish in a single keepsack.

Rod limits

The maximum number of rods that you can fish with varies according to the type of water and fishing; (see below for details). This only applies to rods actually in use - you can have as many as you wish set up.

When fishing with multiple rods and lines, rods must be placed such that the distance between the butts of the end rods does not exceed three metres.

A salmon & sea trout licence authorises only one rod per licence when fishing for salmon, sea trout or trout, or two rods per licence when fishing for coarse fish and eels.

A trout and coarse licence authorises one rod when fishing for trout or two rods when fishing for coarse fish and eels.
Salmon &
Sea Trout
(migratory trout)
Coarse Fish &
* 2 Licences required

Fishing Weights

No fishing weights made of lead may be used except those of 0.06 grams or less and those of more than 28.35 grams.

In angling terms this means that lead shot from size 14 to size 8 and lead weights of over 1 ounce can be used in fishing.

While lead dust shot (size 8 and smaller) are legal, they are toxic to birds if ingested. Use spillproof containers for lead dust shot and always dispose of used lead safely at home

Unattended Rods

It is unlawful to leave a rod and line, that is unattended, in the water or over which sufficient control can not be effected

For more information & contact details:
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