River Esk Byelaw Consultation

Closed 11 Apr 2022

Opened 10 Mar 2022


This webpage provides information about changes to the existing River Esk byelaw, proposed by the Environment Agency. We are inviting interested stakeholders to comment on these proposed changes until the 11th April 2022.  After this date, we will review all comments we receive and then apply to the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for confirmation of the revised byelaws.

Proposed changes

The current byelaw for the Esk was made under the Water Resources Act 1991.  It prohibits fishing or attempting to take salmon and sea trout, smelt, shad, eels and freshwater fish by any means from the tideway (tidal section) of the River Esk in North Yorkshire, from Ruswarp Weir downstream to the Eskside Wharf in Whitby.  These restrictions are considered necessary to protect the stocks of salmon and sea trout from the pressure of uncontrolled fishing in the tideway. We want to change the current bylaw from its temporary status to make it permanent in order to enhance the protection of these fish stocks.


Responding to this consultation

This consultation runs from the 10th March to the 11th April 2022.  A copy of the draft byelaw and supporting technical report can be downloaded from the bottom of this page.  

These documents can also be viewed at these EA offices during normal office hours:

Foss House, Kings Pool, Peaseholme Green, York YO1 7PX

Crosskill House, Mill Lane, Beverley, HU179JW

Copies can also be obtained by telephone.  Please dial 03708 506 506 to request one and we will be happy to provide you with a copy free of charge by post.

If you wish to comment on the proposed change, please type your comments in the ‘Give us your views’ section below.

Alternatively you can send your comments by email to: freshwater.fish@defra.gov.uk using the heading ‘Esk Bylaw Consultation’ in the subject line.  

If you prefer to put your comments in writing, please send them to Migratory & Freshwater Fisheries (Salmon Byelaws), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, 1st Floor, 2 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DF.

What happens next

How we will use your information

At the end of the consultation period, we will read and consider all responses received and amend the byelaw if necessary.  We will then apply to the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for confirmation of the revised byelaws.

The Environment Agency may look to make all responses publicly available during and after the consultation, unless you have specifically requested that we keep your response confidential. We will not publish the names of individuals who respond.

We will also publish a summary of responses on our website in which we will publish the name of the organisation for those responses made on behalf of organisations. In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, we may be required to publish your response to this consultation, but will not include any personal information. If you have requested your response to be kept confidential, we may still be required to provide a summary of it.


  • Recreational and commercial river users
  • Fishing clubs and representative associations
  • Members of the public with an interest in the river, the species and conservation


  • Fishing and boating