New angling rules

NEW bylaws governing the removal of coarse fish caught on rod and line will allow anglers to retain some of their catch for the table.Revised regulations under The Water Resources Act 1991 recognises the individual's long held right to take home edible freshwater fish for the family table.

NEW bylaws governing the removal of coarse fish caught on rod and line will allow anglers to retain some of their catch for the table.

Revised regulations under The Water Resources Act 1991 recognises the individual's long held right to take home edible freshwater fish for the family table.

On rivers an angler can take away one pike per day up to 55cm in length (approx 5lb.) and two grayling between 30cm and 36cm in length.

Unlimited numbers of alien zander may also be retained as well as exotic species such as koi carp and cat fish.


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In addition up to 15 fish per day not exceeding 20cm (eight inches) in length may be retained with the species listed common bream, silver bream, barbel, crucian carp, common carp, chub, dace, roach, rudd, tench, pike, smelt, grayling, perch and hybrids.

The Environment Agency announcing these details recognises that small fish are required by predator anglers for live or dead baits.

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However nothing appears in the bylaws preventing an angler taking home half a dozen tasty eight inch perch for the frying pan.

The EA said there was a need to allow for species that are traditionally taken for eating while also protecting the more valuable large and mature specimens.

It is also accepted that taking small fish for bait was an important part of predator fishing, and since there was no evidence that this was damaging fish stocks then this should be allowed.

It was also noted that fishery owners or occupiers could set tighter restrictions along their river banks but these could not be enforced by the authority.

On still waters anglers will be allowed to remove fish only by the owner's written consent.

Stillwaters are classified as Broads, boatyard lagoons, boat dykes, lakes, pits, ponds and canals.

As fish in stillwaters usually belong to the owner or occupier they will able to enforce their own individual rules under the Theft Act with out Environment Agency involvement.

Eels are now regarded as an endangered species and may not be removed on rod and line under any circumstances nor be retained in keepnets during fishing competitions.

Pike anglers on the Broads will be obliged to obtain written permission from the owners before fishing for live baits and this also applies to boat dykes and lagoons and any other off river water.

Where the owner of a stillwater cannot be located or identified fish may not be removed under any circumstances.

Owners or occupiers of trout streams may apply for a special dispensation to remove unwanted coarse fish of any size and this relief may also be granted to owners or occupiers of small river reaches where roach and dace stocks appear to be threaten by pike.

In the mean time all rod and line sport has touched rock bottom. The majority of lakes, ponds and boatyard lagoons were frozen over this week and along the beaches returns have been abysmal.

Small flat fish obliged in Holt open at Kelling won by Clyde Leggett of Gorleston with 2lb 4oz.

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