Fisheries Byelaws forthe North East Region
The Environment Agency maintains, improves and
develops fisheries within the North East. The money required to do this comes
largely from rod licence fees. This information is for guidance only.It is
not intended to be a legal interpretation of the byelaws. A full copy of the
byelaws can be obtained from the Environment Agency North East Region, 21 Park
Square South, Leeds, LS1 2QG.At present three sets of byelaws operate in
different parts of the Region. In waters within the River Tees catchment and all
catchments north of the Tees, the Northumbria byelaws apply. In waters to the
south of this, the Yorkshire byelaws apply. The North East byelaws apply to the
REMEMBER all anglers aged 12 years or over must be in possession of a valid Environment Agency rod licence before starting to fish. All fishing belongs to someone, make sure you have permission from the owner before
you start fishing.
North East Byelaws These byelaws apply to all parts of the Region.
Coarse fish close season
It is unlawful to fish for coarse fish from15 March to 15 June inclusive on any river, stream, drain or waterway (other than canals). With the exception of the Aire and Calder Navigation between Castleford and Ferrybridge Lock there is no statutory close season on any canals, reservoirs, lakes or ponds for coarse fish in the North East Region. However, individual owners may close their fisheries if they wish. ALWAYS check before you fish.
Migratory trout close season
It is unlawful to fish for migratory trout from 1 November to 2 April inclusive.
Number of rods
When fishing for salmon, trout or char, it is unlawful to use more than 1 rod and
line in any river, stream, drain or canal or more than 2 rods and lines in any
stillwaters. When fishing for coarse fish or eels it is unlawful to fish with more
than 4 rods and lines. It is unlawful to fish with more than 4 rods and lines
anywhere and when using more than 1 rod and line, the distance between
the butt ends of the 2 outside rods must not exceed 3 metres.
It is unlawful to leave a rod and line in the water which is unattended or over
which control can not be effected.
Keepnets must be made of knotless non-metallic material to avoid damage
to the fish, and should be at least 200cm long. Supporting rings must
be less than 40cm apart.
Landing nets must be made of knotless non-metallic material.
Keepsacks must be made of soft dark coloured, non-abrasive water
permeable material and should be at least 120 by 90cm (or 150 by 30 by
40cm if used with a frame). Not more than 1 fish may be kept in a keepsack
at a time.
No fishing weights made of lead may be used except those of 0.06grams or less
and those of more than 28.35grams. In angling terms this means that lead shot
from size 14 to size 8 and lead weights of over 1 ounce can be used in fishing.
Lures and baits
On waters where the close season for freshwater fish applies the only lures
or baits which may be used are natural or artificial fly, minnow, worm, shrimp,
prawn, sand eel, or artificial lure. It is an offence to fish for salmon by means
of other than an artificial fly or artificial lure before 16 June.
Fish taken for use as live bait may only be used on the water from which they
have been taken. It is an offence to use crayfish (alive or dead) as a bait at any time.
Fishing near obstructions
Fishing within a distance of 25metres upsteam and 95metres downstream of
the following structures is prohibited at the dates and times specified.
At any time: Framwellgate Dam, Ferens Dam, Tees Barrage Broken Scar, Keilder Dam (downstream only) and Ruswarp Weir (to downstream side of Ruswarp Road bridge). At night: Guyzance Mill, Pauperhaugh Bridge, Wylam Bridge and Dales House Weir. At night and at any time during the
months of September, October and November: LesburyWeir, Denwick Bottom Dam, Denwick Dam, Cannongate Dam, Filberthaugh Weir, Hulne ParkWeir,
Coquet Lodge Dam, Acklington Dam, Felton, Humford Dam, Bothal Dam,
Sheepwash Weir, Morpeth East Mill, Highford Dam, Olives Mill, Riding Mill
Weir, Hexham Bridge Weir, DevilsWater Dam, Derwenthaugh Weir, Haltwhistle Weir, Featherstone Weir, Haydon Bridge Weir, Catton Bridge, Whitfield Dam, Chollerford Weir, Otterburn MillWeir, Tarret Burn Burnmouth Falls, Esp Mill Falls, Roses Bower Falls, Prebends, Chester Le Street Weir, Burn HallWeir, Wallnook Dam, Black Ling Hole, Bedburn Gauging Weir, Jocks Bridge Weir, Burtree Falls, Low Force (Holwick Falls), High Force, Bowes Falls and Bowlees Falls.
All methods of fishing other than using a licensed rod and line or licensed net
Any fish that is hooked other that in the throat or the mouth must be
returned to the water immediately with as little injury as possible.
Use of gaffs
The use of gaffs is prohibited at all times of the year.
Fishing in rivers stream and drains for salmon and migratory trout between
the end of the first hour after sunset and the beginning of the last hour
before sunrise shall be an offence unless the bait used consists of a
natural or artificial fly with each hook not exceeding 10mm diameter.
Salmon and sea trout
All salmon caught before 16 June must be returned to the water
immediately with as little injury as possible. Buying and selling salmon and sea trout It is an offence to buy, sell or receive any salmon that has been caught
unlawfully. Catch returns Details of each year’s rod catches of salmon and migratory trout, including dates, locations and times spent fishing must be submitted to the Agency by 1 January on a form provided by the Environment Agency. If you have fished for salmon or sea trout you must make a declaration even if you do not catch any fish.
For all waters within the Region from and including the River Tees northwards,
but not including the River Tweed and any of its tributaries.
Salmon and trout close seasons
The close season for salmon is from
1 November to 31 January inclusive. The close season for all non-migratory
trout on rivers, streams, drains and canals, and for brown trout on all waters
except those listed below is from 1 October to 21 March inclusive.
The close season for brown trout on Kielder Water, Broomlee Lough, Crag
Lough, Greenlee Lough, the Derwent Reservoir and East and West Hallington
reservoirs is from 1 November to 30 April inclusive. There is no close season for rainbow trout on any stillwater.
It is illegal to take fish less than the
size limits below (measured from the tip of the snout to the fork of the tail).
Undersized fish must be returned to the water immediately.
Salmon 30cms Migratory Trout 25.4cms
River Tees below Egglestone Abbey Bridge
River Wear below Harelaw Bridge 22.5cms
River Coquet below Pauperhaugh Bridge 22.5cms
River Tyne below Hexham Bridge 22.5cms
River Tees and tributaries above High Force 17.5cms
River Lune and tribs above Selset Reservoir 17.5cms
River Balder and tributaries above Balderhead Reservoir 17.5cms
Kilton Beck and tributaries above Lockwood Beck Reservoir 17.5cms
Burnhope Burn and tributaries above Burnhope Reservoir 17.5cms
Waskerley Beck and tributaries above Tunstall Reservoir 17.5cms
Any other waters covered by Northumbria Byelaws 20cms
For all waters within the Region lying southwards of the River Tees and its
tributaries. Salmon and trout close seasons The close season for salmon is from
1 November to 5 April inclusive. The close season for all non-migratory
trout in rivers, streams, drains and canals and brown trout in all waters is
from 1 October to 24 March inclusive. There is no close season for rainbow
trout in any stillwaters.
Keepnets cannot be used on waters where there is a close season for
coarse fish during that period.
Undersize bream, carp, grayling, tench or trout must not be used as bait. Fish
roe must not be used as bait.
Fish which are below the following size limits must not be killed or taken away.
The size is measured from the tip of the snout to the fork of the tail.
Dace, Perch, Roach, Rudd 18cms
Bream, Chub, Grayling, Tench, Trout 23cms
Not more than six fish of which not more than two may be bream or tench
may be taken away in one day without written consent of the owner or occupier
of the fishery. Day or season tickets sometimes state higher bag limits and
this may be taken as written consent. Any lower limit stated on a ticket must
Fishing with a rod and line for salmon or
migratory trout is prohibited in the
River Esk between Ruswarp Weir and a line drawn due west across the river
from the southern-most end of Eskside Wharfe in Whitby. Fishing of any kind
with a rod and line is prohibited in this area from 8pm or one hour after sunset
(whichever is earlier) and 6am the following morning.