The UK Rules
Fishing Laws

UK Fishing Laws and Bylaws

This page explains fishing rights and lists the laws that govern fishing in England and Wales. British fishing laws and local bylaws have developed over the centuries in history.

FISHING RULES UK: This informative section covers the United Kingdom fishing laws and byelaws.

You can find out whether you need a rod licence and what extra permissions you might need to fish in your local area.

There is up-to-date guidance if you need help to buy a fishing rod licence in England and Wales.

Another section covers the important subject of discarded fishing litter. Learn how to help the RSPCA control needless injuries to birds and wildlife in the UK each year.

You will want to read up on the freshwater rod fishing rules if you fish in rivers. Find out how to follow national and local council byelaws for coarse fishing in Britain.

Fishing Rules and Regulations UK

Fishing Rod Licence Rules

The guide helps you buy a fishing rod licence and check when you need a permit to fish. Find out how to get rod licences to catch freshwater fish using a rod and line in England and Wales. You may also need to upgrade your existing permit.

Note: Information in the main section lists further rules and regulations about environmental management and countryside legislation in the United Kingdom.

Fishing Waste and Litter

Lost or discarded fishing litter causes avoidable suffering for wildlife. Each year, thousands of birds and wild animals get hurt or die from fishing litter. Please take your fishing waste home with you.

Freshwater Rod Fishing Rules

Do you use a rod and line for freshwater fishing in England and Wales? If so, you must comply with all national and local government byelaws. Freshwater rod fishing rules help protect vulnerable fish stocks and sustain fresh water fisheries.

Magnetic Fishing

There is no specific law that prohibits magnet fishing in United Kingdom. Furthermore, the Environment Agency does not regulate the use of magnets for retrieving metal objects from water.

Note: You do not need an EA fishing licence to carry out the activity of magnetic fishing. But, you should have permission from any relevant landowner.

Report a Catch Return

Do you have a rod licence to catch migratory salmon and sea trout? If so, you need to report your catch details using the Government Catch Return Service. The online service is an easy way to report how many salmon, grilse, or small sea trout you caught.

Fishing Laws and Permission Byelaws in United Kingdom