Cookies on our website

The Natural Resources Wales website uses cookies. By continuing to browse or by clicking “Continue,” you agree to the storing of first- and third-party cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyse site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. Cookie policy.

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

Salmon restrictions

Use barbless or de-barbed hooks.

Fly refers to unweighted artificial fly of less than 5g in weight.

Salmon flies (trebles) are allowed up to 7mm gape - approximately a size 8. If you use larger singles or doubles, they must be de-barbed or barbless.

Only single hooks are allowed on spinners, spoons or plugs, with a maximum gape of 13mm. You can use up to a maximum of 3 singles on a plug.

Shrimp and prawn are allowed with single small treble with a gape less than 7mm.

Using treble hooks on spinners, plugs or spoons is not permitted.

Worm fishing for salmon is prohibited at all times.

Using a float in conjunction with any lure or bait to take salmon is not allowed in the Wye Fisheries District or in the Upper Severn Area.

Groundbait or feeder bait is not allowed at any time.

Read more about salmon open seasons.

Read advice on how to practise salmon catch and release.

Sea trout restrictions

All hooks you use must be barbless or de-barbed.

Fly refers to unweighted artificial fly of less than 5g in weight.

Flies (trebles) are allowed up to 7mm gape - approximately a size 8. If you use larger singles or doubles, they must be de-barbed or barbless. Tandem and 'secret' weapon type flies are not prohibited up to a maximum of 4 points. Treble hooks must be less than 7mm.

Only single hooks are allowed on spinners, spoons or plugs, with a maximum gape of 13mm. You can use up to a maximum of 3 singles on a plug.

Using treble hooks on spinners, plugs or spoons is not permitted.

Bait fishing for sea trout is allowed outside the catch and release period, with small hook gape size of 8mm (approximately size 8) and a single worm.

Groundbait or feeder bait is not allowed at any time.

Maggots, pupae or non-aquatic larvae are not allowed. This is except within the Gwynedd Fisheries District where it is permissible to fish with maggots if they are used with artificial fly when fishing between one hour before sunset and one hour after sunrise.

Read more about sea trout open seasons.

Use of lures and baits - general

Crayfish

No crayfish, of any species, whether alive or dead, and whether whole or in part, may be used as bait for salmon, trout, freshwater fish or eels.

Livebaits

You can use livebait only in the water from which it was taken and only during the same period of fishing.

Fish roe

No fish roe, from whatever source, may be used when fishing for salmon, trout or freshwater fish.

Non-migratory trout, coarse fish and eels

Hooks

Only one hook is allowed with lures and bait unless the gape of the hook (measured from the shank to the point) does not exceed 10mm (0.375 inch) with the exception that the gape of hooks attached to a plug bait may be up to 13mm (0.5 inch) and the plug is used without any weight.

In no case shall any bait or lure have more than nine hooks and no weight or sinker can be attached below the lure or bait.

Stillwaters including canals

There are no byelaw restrictions on the use of baits in reservoirs, lakes, ponds or canals but fishery owners may impose their own rules.

Rivers - non-migratory trout

There are no byelaw restrictions on the use of baits in rivers except:

  • groundbait or feeder bait is not allowed at any time

  • maggots, pupae or non-aquatic larvae are not allowed (except within the Gwynedd Fisheries District where it is permissible to fish with maggots if they are used in conjunction with artificial fly when fishing between one hour before sunset and one hour after sunrise)

  • only natural earthworm or artificial fly may be used within the Usk Fisheries District

  • in Upper Severn Area during the coarse fish close season no floats may be used and only artificial or natural flies, lures, minnows, worms, prawns or shrimps may be used as bait.

Read more about non-migratory trout, coarse fish and eels open seasons.

Rivers - coarse fish and eels

Within season all methods may be used subject to the following conditions:

  • in the River Wye and its tributaries upstream of Boughrood Bridge, natural earthworm, prawn or shrimp are not allowed between 30 September and 1 November

  • in Upper Severn Area, when fishing for eels during the coarse fish close season (15 March to 15 June, inclusive) no floats may be used and only artificial or natural flies, lures, minnows, worms, prawns or shrimps may be used as bait

  • in Upper Severn area: during the period 8 October to 31 December (inclusive) the use of dead fish, worms, prawns, or lures (other than artificial flies) as bait is prohibited on the following rivers:

    • River Vyrnwy upstream of Meifod Bridge (SJ156128)
    • all tributaries of the River Vyrnwy upstream of Llanymynech (SJ268205)
    • River Severn upstream of Penstrowed railway bridge (SO074911)
    • all tributaries of the River Severn upstream of Cilcewydd Brideg (SJ228041)

Maggots, pupae or non-aquatic larvae are only allowed in Wales in the following rivers:

River Permitted dates (inclusive) for use of maggots, pupae or non-aquatic larvae when fishing for coarse fish or eels

• Wye

• Ithon and its tributaries

• Irfon and its tributaries

• Marteg

• Llynfi, downstream of Llangorse Eel Trap

• Duhonw

• Edw

• Elan, below Caban Coch Dam

• Trothi

15 September to 14 March following

• Taff, downstream of Upper Boat, Treforest

• Monnow and Lugg

• Rhymney, downstream of Nant-yr-Aber

• Dee and tributaries (excluding the River Ceiriog), downstream of Horseshoe Falls, Berwyn

• Ely downstream of Pont Talybont

16 June to 14 March following
Usk and tributaries, upstream of Llanfoist Bridge 1 October to 14 January following
Usk and tributaries, downstream of Llanfoist Bridge 16 June to 14 January following
Gwynedd Fisheries District - all rivers 1 June to 17 October

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.

Is there anything wrong with this page? Give us your feedback.