Fishing with nets and traps

Fishing with nets and traps

Find out what licences you need if you are fishing for eel and elver, or netting salmon and sea trout with nets or traps.

Net and trap fisheries

There are a variety of net and trap fisheries around Wales. Salmon, sea trout and eel are targeted in estuaries and coastal waters.

Natural Resources Wales regulates net and trap fishing for migratory and freshwater fish using a combination of fishing licences, Net Limitation Orders, authorisations and byelaws

Eel and elver fishing

There are currently around 50 eel and elver fishermen across Wales. Because of concerns about stocks, eel fishing is restricted to those who are existing fishermen and have held a licence/authorisation since 2008.

Authorisations to fish for eel and elver will continue to be issued after 1 April 2013 by the Environment Agency on behalf of Natural Resources Wales.

Find further information and application forms on the Environment Agency's website

Salmon and sea trout net licences

Salmon and sea trout are caught using a range of nets and traps. These include compass nets, draft nets, hand nets, wade nets (including lave nets) and coracle nets.

We regulate these fisheries using a combination of fishing licences, Net Limitation Orders and fisheries byelaws.

Further information

For further information please contact us on 0300 065 3000 or email