Conservation & Regulations

What you need to know to fish within the regulations & without harming the environment

Rod Licences

To go fishing on a Westcountry Angling Passport beat you will need an appropriate Environment Agency rod licence and valid Westcountry Angling Passport Tokens or a Dartmoor Fishery Ticket; always ensure that tokens are filled out in pen and posted in the token box before fishing and that you retain the second counterfoil part on your person as Trust staff and beat owners may ask you to produce your licence and token counterfoils.  Rod licences now operate on a rolling 12 month period rather than the previous April to April arrangement. In addition, under 16s no longer require a licence, which is a great move and should help youngsters get out on the water.

National and Regional Byelaws

  • All salmon must be returned before the 16 June.
  • Fly and Lure only for salmonbefore 16 June.
  • No person shall sell, offer or expose for sale any salmon or migratory trout which has been taken by rod and line.

To download a copy of the South West Rod and Line Fisheries Byelaws, please click here SW_Fishing_Byelaws

Bag Limits

  • Each beat description gives details of bag limits which must be adhered to at all times.  Most rivers also have their own guidelines that are designed to conserve and enhance fish stocks; information is provided below.

Voluntary Measures

In addition to the national byelaws, we would encourage anglers to practice catch and release for all fish, especially salmon and sea trout, returning all large or coloured fish as these are particularly valuable to the spawning stock. Larger fish have the capacity to produce more offspring and, in the case of sea trout, are often multiple repeat spawners.  On many rivers a variety of voluntary measures have been adopted to protect fish stocks. All anglers must familiarise themselves with these rules before they fish.


 

DARTMOOR Conservation Measures & Regulations

The River Dart and its tributaries are some of the wildest and most pristine environments in the UK and the Duchy of Cornwall and all those involved with managing the rivers and streams of Dartmoor appreciate your support in protecting this valuable resource.

Sometimes it is necessary to use catch restrictions in order to protect vulnerable fish stocks. Please check the Dartmoor Fishery page regularly in order to fish within current regulations and guidelines

The following measures must always be observed:

  1. An appropriate EA licence must be obtained before fishing. Fly only on all rivers; Only fish with single or double barbless hooks, no larger than size 6. 3. Sorry, no dogs are allowed. 4. Please respect other anglers – a 30 minute maximum fishing period should be observed if another angler is waiting to fish the same pool. 5. Anglers must carry their permit with them at all times when fishing. 6. ALL ANGLERS MUST COMPLETE AND SUBMIT A CATCH RETURN; this can now be completed online in the Guidance section of this website or by using the catch return provided with your ticket; just complete this and hand it back to a ticket agent or post to the Westcountry Rivers Trust, Rain-Charm House, Kyl Cober Parc, Stoke Climsland, Cornwall, PL17 8PH.
Catch restrictions:

Salmon: With the objective of achieving a ‘catch and release’ rate for salmon of 90%, as required by the EA: all salmon must be returned before June 16 (EA National Byelaws). After 16 June the first salmon caught may be kept but do not keep more than two salmon in the season. Notwithstanding the above, return any hen salmon or salmon over 10lbs (approx. 30’’ long) or which is coloured or tagged. Sea trout: No more than two fish may be kept per night, all coloured fish, fish over 6lbs and fish under 12 inches to be returned. No angler may retain more than 24 sea trout in the season. Please return all salmon and sea trout in September to help preserve stocks. It is recommended that you stop fishing if the catch limit is reached. Brown trout: Please return all trout under 8 inches and over 11. One fish between 8 and 11 inches may be kept per day.

Please also remember: Members of the public may also have a right of access to the river bank. Please do not climb fences or walls – only use gates and stiles. Take a map with you; O.S. Explorer OL28 covers the Fishery.

Help protect Dartmoor Rivers:

The Dart Fisheries Association aims to conserve the natural environment of the River Dart and its tributaries. It works in conjunction with the Duchy of Cornwall, the Westcountry Rivers Trust and the Environment Agency to carry out a range of conservation works. To make a donation to help such works continue, to become a member or find out how you can practically assist, contact Bill Robertson on 01364 652574.

Record your catch returns

We cannot stress how important your catch returns are. It is the main source of information available which enables us to know and understand what is happening to our fishing.

Record your return now