The Natural Resources Body For Wales Salmon And Sea Trout Catch Controls 2017

The Wales rod and line (salmon and sea trout) byelaws 2017

The Wales net fishing (salmon and sea trout) byelaws 2017

We are seeking your views on proposals for a new catch controls.

It is proposed to have the new controls in place for the 2018 season.


The continuing fall in the number of returning adult salmon and sea trout to Welsh rivers has reached unprecedented lows in recent years and now threatens the future of many fisheries.

We are considering a number actions and measures which will help actively manage and reverse these trends. Ensuring both iconic species continue to play a vital role in our environment and culture.

We need to give more adult fish the chance to spawn if we are to ensure the survival of the species in Welsh rivers.

We have already asked anglers and netsmen to voluntarily release the fish they catch, we now feel after reviewing the evidence and liaising with our stakeholders it’s time to introduce further controls on fishing for salmon and sea trout.

The proposed catch controls include all Welsh rivers. We recognise the need for a fully integrated approach for our border rivers, we are working together with the Environment Agency to ensure that this happens in a practical and sensible way and will be subject to a later consultation.

The proposals are in three parts:

  • Net Limitation Order
  • Rod and Line Catch Controls (Byelaws)
  • Border Rivers Catch Controls (Byelaws) (expected consultation late 2017)

The controls would be in place for 10 years, with a comprehensive review into their effectiveness after five years.

The proposals include:

  • Maintaining the same number of net licences in the 13 public salmon and sea trout net fisheries
  • Making consistent the start and end of the net fishing seasons:
    • Shortening the netting season by starting net fisheries no earlier than 1st May
    • Ending the netting season on the 31st July
  • Implementing full catch and release fishing on all net and rod fisheries for salmon
  • Requiring sea trout catch and release in rod fisheries on vulnerable rivers before 1st May
  • Setting a 60cm maximum size limit for sea trout in rod fisheries
  • Implementing method restrictions (bait, barbless hooks and trebles) so that released fish have a good chance of survival (Byelaws)


Rod and Line Catch Controls statutory consultation on will begin on 22 August 2017 and run until November 14, 2017