PROPOSED NEW FISHING CONTROLS TO ADDRESS THE DECLINE IN STOCKS OF SALMON AND SOME SEA TROUT IN WALES – AN UPDATE

After careful consideration of our evidence and taking account of the many varied and diverse views we have received, we submitted our case and application for approval of our byelaw proposals to Welsh Government on the 20 th February for the Cabinet Secretary to consider.

At the moment, timescales for a decision are uncertain, so we are proposing that introduction of any new measures should not happen until the beginning of the 2019 rod and net seasons. We hope this will help clarify the situation for anglers, netsmen, fishery owners and clubs and associations. The current angling byelaws can be found on our internet fishing page  at   http://naturalresources.wales/media/684397/angling_byelaws_2018.pdf

An updated briefing note is attached here - it reiterates that our salmon stocks are in serious trouble and have fallen to historically low levels. The same is true of about half of our sea trout stocks.  Although the mandatory catch and release proposals have proved unpopular, NRW firmly believes that they, along with other measures such as tackling agricultural pollution, improving water quality and urgently reviewing the issues around predation are vital for the future survival of these iconic fish.

Most anglers are already voluntarily releasing the fish they catch, to help address the decline, but some are not.  It is essential for every fish to have a chance to survive and breed. We are therefore calling on all fishermen to help preserve as many fish as possible by returning all salmon in every river in Wales in 2018.

It’s very important that fish are treated very carefully: this means keeping them in the water while unhooking, using fishing methods and tackle that ensure the fish has a good chance of survival, and taking care while photographing fish. A good guide to successful C&R fishing can be found here:  https://www.fishingpassport.co.uk/download/C&R_2013.pdf

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us  Fisheries.Wales@cyfoethnaturiolcymru.gov.uk