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Know your minimum fish size and catch limits

Currently, the only exceptions to this guidance is for the river Severn or its tributaries in Wales, where emergency byelaws are in place. Check back soon for updates to this position or contact us at fisheries.wales@cyfoethnaturiolcymru.gov.uk

Taking fish from waters legally

Unless you have special written permission obtained in advance from us, no live or dead fish may be removed from any waters except legally by rod and line.

The byelaws do not apply to someone fishing with rod and line who, with as little injury as possible, either returns fish immediately to the same water alive or retains a fish in a keepnet or keepsack and then returns it to the same water alive on or before completion of fishing.

The exceptions to this are Allis and Twaite shad. You cannot retain any shad caught by rod and line in a keepnet or keepsack - you must return them immediately.

Size limits

Individual fisheries may impose size limits that are more stringent or prescriptive than those outlined in the byelaws below.

Undersized fish taken unintentionally must be released alive to the water immediately.

Species & area Size limit
Salmon

On all rivers, all salmon must be returned with minimum injury and with minimum delay.

Sea trout

23cm (9”) - excepting Gwynedd District where the limit is 21cm (8”)

On all rivers all sea trout greater than 60cm must be released with minimum injury and delay.

Brown trout 23cm (9”) - excepting Gwynedd District where the limit is 21cm (8”)
Brown trout and sea trout (Upper Severn Area) – upper reaches of: River Severn, River Vyrnwy, River Banwy and River Tanat 15cm (6")
Brown trout and sea trout (Upper Severn Area) – all other areas 20cm (8”)
Rainbow trout No size limit (individual fisheries may impose a limit in their rules)
Coarse fish (including grayling) Read about size limits and taking fish from waters

Definition of upper reaches

Upper reaches of the River Severn means the River Severn and tributaries upstream of its confluence with the Afon Clywedog (SN594847).

Upper reaches of the River Vyrnwy means the River Vyrnwy and tributaries upstream of Dolanog Weir (SJ067127).

Upper reaches of the River Banwy means the River Banwy and tributaries upstream of its confluence with the Afon Gam (SJ017103).

Upper reaches of the River Tanat means the River Tanat and tributaries upstream of its confluence with the River Rhaeadr (SJ130247).

Coarse fish, eel and shad removal

Rivers

When fishing rivers, anglers may take no more than:

• 15 small fish (up to 20cm) per day of native species listed below (other than grayling)

• 1 pike per day up to 65cm

• 2 grayling per day of 30 to 38cm.

The list of native species includes barbel, chub, common bream, common carp, crucian carp, dace, grayling, perch, roach, rudd, silver bream, smelt and tench.

The byelaw excludes ‘tiddler’ e.g. gudgeon and bullhead, non native species and ornamental varieties of the listed species e.g. Koi and ghost carp.

These limits are subject to the permission of the fishery owner or occupier who may set tighter limits.

Stillwaters

When fishing stillwaters (including canals in Wales), you can remove freshwater fish only with the written permission of the owner or occupier. This is normally through fishery rules printed on permits or day tickets.

Note: because they have multiple ownership, you should treat Llyn Tegid and Llyn Maelog in the same way as rivers.

Eel and shad

Removal of eels and shads (Twaite and Allis) by rod and line from any water (out to 6 nautical miles) is prohibited.

Wales rod and line byelaws

Read the confirmation instrument for the Wales Rod and Line (Salmon and Sea Trout) Byelaws 2017.

Read the Wales Rod and Line (Salmon and Sea Trout) Byelaws 2017.

Read the confirmation instrument for the Cross border Dee and Wye byelaws 2017.

Read the Cross border Dee and Wye byelaws 2017.

Read the River Severn Emergency Byelaws 2019.

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