Proposed National Salmon and Sea Trout Protection Byelaws

Closed 12 Apr 2018

Opened 7 Mar 2018


Update on Proposed National Salmon and Sea Trout Protection Byelaws – May 2018

Earlier this year the Environment Agency advertised proposed National fishery byelaws to protect the most vulnerable salmon stocks in England. Some of these byelaws would have taken effect from 1 June 2018.

The advertising period closed on the 12 April 2018. We received over 1350 responses, with around 800 of these containing objections to one or more parts of the byelaws. We are currently engaging with those that have objected to understand their concerns, following this any outstanding objections will be included in the byelaw package that is submitted to Defra.

As we do not consider there is now sufficient time before 1 June to give adequate notice to fisheries affected, we are deferring any introduction of the National byelaws until the 2019 season. This means that anglers fishing the rivers listed in Schedule 1 and 2 to the proposed byelaws will not be required to return all the salmon they catch after the 16 June this year. These Schedules are included with the proposed byelaws which can be downloaded at the bottom of this page. A number of net fisheries would also have had new measures from the 1 June this year. These net fisheries comprised: Anglian Coastal Fishery, North East Coast Drift Net Fishery, Ribble Drift Net Fishery, Lune Drift and Haaf Net Fisheries and the Camel Drift Net Fishery. These measures will not now be implemented in 2018.

Deferring these proposed National byelaws will not affect the existing measures in place to protect spring salmon stocks, which are provided by the current National Salmon Byelaws 2009.  We would also encourage anglers to continue to increase the proportion of fish returned to rivers, particularly on the rivers worst affected by declining stocks.

Separate new salmon and sea trout regulations for the Solway Firth, Border Esk and Eden Fisheries that were advertised earlier this year will also be unaffected by deferring the National byelaws. If confirmed, these will require the catch and release of salmon by anglers and netsmen fishing these rivers and estuary. These proposals are currently with Defra for their consideration. Further detail of these measures can be found here:

If you have any questions about this announcement please contact us using the details on the right of this page.

Thank you

The Salmon Programme Team

End of May 2018 update


We are advertising new byelaws for salmon and sea trout net and rod fisheries in England and on the Border Esk. A copy of the advert is provided below.

Your browser does not support inline PDF viewing.Please download the PDF.

If you would like to object, or provide support, to these proposed byelaws then please use the "Respond online" link below. Here we have set out the byelaws in four separate sections and you will be able to respond to each section separately. The sections are:

  • Renewal of current National Salmon Byelaws (applies to net/fixed engine and rod fisheries).
  • New byelaws for net and fixed engine fisheries.
  • New byelaws requiring catch and release of salmon by rod fisheries.
  • New byelaws restricting certain rod fishing methods.

There are 11 questions in total and if you provide a response to each section we estimate it will take you 60 - 90 minutes to respond.

Please see the Related section below for a copy of the proposed byelaws and other relevant documents. We recommend that you open and read these documents before proceeding.

Please note that the River Calder referred to in Schedule 1 of the proposed byelaws has been misidentified as the Calder in West Yorkshire, it should be the Calder in Cumbria. We apologise for any confusion caused and Schedule 1 will be amended when confirmation of the proposed byelaws is sought.

We are also intending to ask the Minister to amend to Schedule 2 to the byelaws to include the Yorkshire Ouse, River Trent, River Medway and River Stour (Kent) when we seek their confirmation. This would mean that all salmon caught from these rivers, their tributaries and estuaries must be returned immediately with the least possible injury.

In light of this proposed amendment to Schedule 2 all objections, or supporting representations, to these byelaws must now be received by the 12 April 2018.

What Happens Next

The advertising period for proposed salmon and sea trout protection byelaws in England and on the Border Esk has now closed and we would like to thank all those that responded during the advertising period.

If you response contained an objection to the proposed byelaws we will reply to your objection shortly.

Thank you

Heidi Stone


  • Net fishing license holders
  • River based salmon angling owners/fishing clubs/organisations
  • Individual migratory salmonid licence holders
  • Business that buy salmon/supported by salmon net and rod fishing
  • Angling trade contacts
  • National based fishery, conservation and landowner organisations
  • Government family organisations


  • Business and industry
  • Fishing and boating
  • Habitats and wildlife
  • Environmental permitting