Environment Agency publishes new salmon byelaws: download a copy

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The Angling Trust | NEWS

salmon crop

The Environment Agency has published its revised Salmon and Sea Trout Protection Byelaws which came into effect at the start of the year.

The byelaws are different from the confirmed 2018 salmon byelaws and reflect the changes made after the Agency received feedback last year. The key amendment was the withdrawal of Byelaw 13 – method restrictions.

Heidi Stone, National Salmon Programme Manager with the Environment Agency, said: “We considered and acted upon the responses received to the advertising of proposed Byelaw 13, particularly those received from angling clubs and angling representative organisations. This led us to request Defra to withdraw the byelaw for the following reasons:

  • England’s salmon rivers are very diverse and a single set of national byelaws is now felt to be too blunt an approach. Going forward, where specific concerns are found, they are better served by existing local byelaws or making new ones at a local and not at a national level.
  • The responses have made clear that many angling clubs and river representatives already have well developed salmon angling codes of practice which are appropriate for their waters. These would be undermined by Byelaw 13. We want to encourage all clubs to consider how best to ensure salmon are released without damage.
  • The protections that are sought to protect salmon and increase their successful release are likely to be better served by river specific codes of practice that can deliver best practice reflecting the type of fishing on any specific river.
  • We feel that there will be a more proactive response and support from tackle manufacturers and anglers who felt that any implementation of angling method byelaws in 2019 would not give anglers enough time to adapt their fishing techniques and equipment.
  • We will try a voluntary approach first. This is in line with Government’s red tape challenge.
  • We would still keep Byelaw 13 in reserve, with potential to revise and implement at mid-term review if codes of practice approach has not seen a satisfactory take up.”
Other amendments were changes in season lengths in the North East salmon net fishery and some of the rivers listed on Schedule 1 and 2.

Download a copy of the new byelaws