Guidance

Rod fishing byelaws: Anglia

Anglia rod fishing byelaws are statutory (regulated by law) rules and regulations explaining who can fish, and where, when and what fish you can take.

Anglia byelaws overview

Anglia byelaws apply to anyone fishing with a rod and line for salmon, trout, coarse fish, eels, smelt and lamprey in all freshwater fisheries.

They cover all waters within river catchments flowing into the North Sea between (but not including) the Thames catchment and the Humber catchment.

Principal river catchments include the Stour (Suffolk), Waveney, Yare, Wensum, Bure, Great Ouse, Cam, Whitham, Welland, Nene and Ancholme, and the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads.

See the national rod fishing byelaws for rules that cover the whole country.

Angling clubs and private fisheries may enforce their own additional rules, but national and local byelaws still apply.

When and where you can fish

Dates are inclusive

All dates in these byelaws are inclusive. This means a stated period, such as 15 March to 15 June, includes the full day of 15 March and the full day of 15 June.

Salmon and migratory trout

The close season (when you must not fish) for salmon and migratory trout (in all waters) is 29 September to the last day of February. There is also a weekly close time from 6am on Sunday to midnight on Monday throughout the year.

Non-migratory trout

The close season for brown trout and rainbow trout in rivers, and for brown trout in unenclosed stillwaters, is 30 October to 31 March inclusive.

There is no close season for rainbow trout in any stillwater or for brown trout in enclosed stillwaters.

Coarse fish

National close season rules for coarse fishing apply across Anglia. The coarse fishing close season between 15 March and 15 June applies to all rivers, streams, drains, the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads, some canals and some stillwaters.

Canals with a coarse fish close season

Some rivers in Anglia have been converted into canals (canalised). They are Fossdyke Canal, Louth Canal, Horncastle Canal and the Dilham and North Walsham Canal. The national coarse fish close season applies to these.

There is no coarse fish close season on other canals in Anglia.

Stillwaters in Anglia that have the national coarse fish close season

Bedfordshire

Felmersham Gravel Pits – SP991584

Cambridgeshire

Water OS grid reference
Fowlmere Watercress Beds TL406454
Grafham Water TL150680
Holme Fen TL205895
Little Paxton Pits TL200637
Stow-Cum-Quy Fen TL515527
Wicken Fen TL555700
Woodwalton Fen TL230840
Dogsthorpe Star Pit TF213025
Nene Washes TL200977, TF395029
Ouse Washes TL393747, TL571987

Norfolk

Water OS grid reference
Didlington Park Lakes TL777963
Dillington Carr, Gressenhall TF971158
East Wretham Heath TL910882
Gunton Park Lake TG221345
Sea Mere, Hingham TG035012
Stanford Training Area TL870940
Thompson Water, Carr and Common TL930955
Wretham Park Meres TL902918
Westwick Lakes excluding Captain’s Pond TG273274

Northamptonshire

Water OS grid reference
Higham Ferrers Gravel Pits SP945686
Pitsford Reservoir SP780708
Twywell Gullett SP947775

Suffolk

Water OS grid reference
Benacre to Easton Bavents TM537855
Cavenham and Icklingham heaths TL755733
Lackford TL890710
Lakenheath Poors Fen TL701827
Minsmere and Walberswick heaths and marshes TM465662, TM465735
North Warren and Thorpeness Mere TM460594
Sizewell Marshes TM466638
Stallode Wash, Lakenheath TL675853

There is no coarse fish close season on other stillwaters in Anglia, including some stillwaters in the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads catchments.

Waters in the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads with no coarse fish close season

Water OS grid reference
Aldeby Hall Pits TM441930
Boundary Farm Campsite Pond, Oby TG403149
Bungay Common Pond TM332902
By Pass Pit, Bungay TM327898
Cantley Sugar Factory Lakes TG390036
Ditchingham Pit TM335907
Earsham Pits TM318900
East Ruston AC Pit TG344272
Farm Reservoir, Dunburgh TM404911
Holly Farm Lakes, South Walsham TG384134
Limpenhoe Fishery TG393038
Marsh Trail Lakes, Beccles TM429913
Martham Pits TG447195
Mill Road Fishery, Stokesby TG426108
Mown Fen, East Ruston TG341278
New Pit, Mustard Hyrn, Martham TG440189
Penneygate, Barton Turf TG358231
Priors Diesel Pit, Martham TG439191
Reedham Ferry Touring Campsite Pond TG403014
Shell Club, Aldeby TM444928
Snakesmeadow, Winsford Hall, Stokesby TG446120
Weavers Way Fishery, East Ruston TG354263

Fishing for eels

You are allowed to fish with a rod and line for eels all year round in waters with no coarse fishing close season.

You may also fish for eels during the coarse fish close season (15 March to 15 June inclusive) in waters that are seaward of the demarcation points in the following table.

You may fish for eels in all other waters all year round, as long as no hook or metal implement is attached to your line.

You must return any eel you catch by rod and line to the same water unharmed.

Waters where you can fish for eels during the coarse fish close season

Watercourse Demarcation point OS grid reference
Middle Level Main Drain St German’s Pumping Station TF588143
Tidal Great Ouse Stowbridge Road TF602070
Mill Basin The Sluice TF545110
Smeeth Lode Pumping Station, The Sluice TF575144 (tidal limit)
Flood Relief Channel Tail Sluice TF605173 (tidal limit)
Nar Valley Drain The Sluice TF615187 (tidal limit)
Nar Tidal Sluice, King’s Lynn TF621183 (tidal limit)
Middleton Stop Drain Pumping Station Sluice TF622187 (tidal limit)
Gaywood Mill Fleet Sluice, King’s Lynn TF618197 (tidal limit)
West Lynn Drain The Sluice TF612198 (tidal limit)
North Lynn Drain The Sluice TF611215 (tidal limit)
Babingley Tidal Sluice, The Saltings TF606239 (tidal limit)
Ingol Tidal Sluice, Wolferton Creek TF654303 (tidal limit)
Heacham Tidal Flap Valve, Heacham Harbour TF663368 (tidal limit)
Stour (South Channel) Judas Gap TM080328 (tidal limit)
Stour (North Channel) Cattawade Barrage TM101330 (tidal limit)
Stutton Brook Stutton Mill Tidal Sluice TM132331 (tidal limit)
Holbrook Tidal Sluice near Lower Holbrook TM174349 (tidal limit)
Ramsey Dock Sluice near Parkeston TM242323 (tidal limit)
Holland Brook Holland Sluice, Holland Haven TM219172 (tidal limit)
Colne East Mills, Colchester TM006254 (tidal limit)
Salary Brook Tidal Sluice TM021238 (tidal limit)
Roman Essex Water Company Dam TL997201 (tidal limit)
Tenpenny Brook Tidal Sluice TM082194 (tidal limit)
Blackwater Beeleigh Long Weir TL839084 (tidal limit)
Pennys Brook Osea Road Sluice TL891073 (tidal limit)
Bowstead Brook Tidal Sluice TL928087 (tidal limit)
Virley Brook Tidal Sluice Salcot TL951136 (tidal limit)
Chelmer Beeleigh New Sluice TL838083 (tidal limit)
Asheldham Brook Round Barn Dengie TM017015
Crouch Wickford Gauging Station TQ748934 (tidal limit)
Shotgate Brook A129 Road Bridge TQ775931
Rawreth Brook Rawreth TQ778932 TQ778932
Roach B1013 Road Bridge TQ876902
Prittle Brook Rochford TQ880894
Mardyke War Department Sluice TQ548786 (tidal limit)
Chelmer/Blackwater Canal Heybridge Basin TL872068
Winterton Beck Winteringham Haven Sluice SE935228 (tidal limit)
West Drain Sluice at South Ferriby SE975211 (tidal limit)
Ancholme Sluice at South Ferriby SE975211 (tidal limit)
East Drain Sluice at South Ferriby SE975211 (tidal limit)
Barton Haven Barton Haven Sluice TA028226 (tidal limit)
Barrow Beck Barrow Haven TA064225 (tidal limit)
New Holland Main Drain New Holland Sluice TA080243 (tidal limit)
Goxhill Haven Goxhill Haven Sluice TA120254 (tidal limit)
East Halton Beck East Halton Skitter Sluice TA145228 (tidal limit)
North Killingholme Drain North Killingholme Haven Sluice TA166201 (tidal limit)
Killingholme Marsh Drain Killingholme Marsh Sluice TA177187 (tidal limit)
South Killingholme Drain South Killingholme Haven Sluice TA187172 (tidal limit)
Habrough Marsh Drain Habrough Marsh Drain Sluice TA207157 (tidal limit)
North Beck Drain North Beck Sluice TA216152 (tidal limit)
Middle Drain Middle Drain Pumping Station TA229140 (tidal limit)
Oldfleet Drain Oldfleet Drain Sluice TA238131 (tidal limit)
Mawmbridge Drain Mawmbridge Drain Sluice TA246124 (tidal limit)
New Cut Drain Pyewipe Sluice TA263109 (tidal limit)
Freshney Alexandra Dock Pumping Station TA270096 (tidal limit)
Buck Beck Buck Beck Outfall Sluice TA327067 (tidal limit)
Louth Canal Tetney Sluice TA354031 (tidal limit)
Old Fleet Drain Tetney Sluice (North Coates) TA354031 (tidal limit)
Seven Towns North Eau Grainthorpe Sluice TA395007 (tidal limit)
Seven Towns South Eau Pyes Hall Sluice TA409006 (tidal limit)
Grayfleet Drain Saltfleet Haven Sluice TF456934 (tidal limit)
Great Eau Great Eau Sluice TF459933 (tidal limit)
Mablethorpe Cut Mablethorpe Sluice TF508854 (tidal limit)
Woldgrift Drain Trusthorpe Sluice TF514841 (tidal limit)
Boygrift Drain Huttoft Sluice and Pumping Station TF534800 (tidal limit)
Anderby Main Drain Anderby Sluice and Pumping Station TF546760 (tidal limit)
Willoughby High Drain Chapel Sluice and Pumping Station TF560729 (tidal limit)
Ingoldmells Main Drain Ingoldmells Point Sluice and Pumping Station TF571684 (tidal limit)
Steeping Wainfleet Haven Clough Sluice TF543596 (tidal limit)
Steeping Relief Channel Steeping Relief Channel Sluice TF552587 (tidal limit)
Cowbank Drain Pumps at Wainfleet Haven TF553585 (tidal limit)
Witham Grand Sluice Boston TF323445 (tidal limit)
Maud Foster Maud Foster Sluice Boston TF336430 (tidal limit)
South Forty Foot Drain Black Sluice Boston TF327428 (tidal limit)
Hobhole Drain Hobhole Pumping Station and Sluice Fishtoft TF365402 (tidal limit)
Hun Sluice TF721446 (tidal limit)
Burn Near Burnham Norton TF835439 (tidal limit)
Stiffkey Stiffkey Greens TF988441 (tidal limit)
Glaven A149 Road Bridge (Cley next the Sea) TG043438 (tidal limit)
Thorpeness Hundred Sluice Cottage TM468584 (tidal limit)
Lothingland Hundred Benacre Pump TM536845 (tidal limit)
Cove Run B1127 Road Bridge TM509791 (tidal limit)
Blyth Blythburgh Bridge TM453756
Wang Wolsey Bridge A1095 TM472768 (tidal limit)
Dunwich Dunwich Bridge TM474707
Minsmere The Sluice TM477662 (tidal limit)
Alde Near B1069, The Maltings Snape TM390577 (tidal limit)
Butley Butley Mills TM387516 (tidal limit)
Deben Wilford Bridge Melton TM291502 (tidal limit)
Fynn Martlesham TM259473 (tidal limit)
Shottisham Creek Near Shottisham TM300431 (tidal limit)
Mill Kirton Creek TM291415 (tidal limit)
Gipping and Orwell Velocity Control Structure TM168434
Belstead Brook A137 Road Bridge, South of Ipswich TM162419 (tidal limit)
Bure (including Ant and Thurne) Five Mile House TG474101
Yare Six Mile House TG455034
Waveney Waveney Seven Mile House TG458015
Mun Mundesley Mill TG315365
Welland Confluence downstream of Fulney Lock and Coronation Channel TF259242 (tidal limit)
Glen Surfleet Seas End Sluice TF280293 (tidal limit)
Nene Guyhirn Road Bridge TF400035
Vernatt’s Drain Vernatt’s Bridge TF282293 (tidal limit)
Risegate Eau Risegate Outfall TF304316 (tidal limit)
Lutton Leam Leamlands Sluice TF486263 (tidal limit)
South Holland Main Drain Confluence with River Nene TF477200 (tidal limit)
North Level Main Drain Confluence with River Nene at Foul Anchor TF468182 (tidal limit)

Rods and nets

See the national rod fishing byelaws for rules on:

  • the number of rods you are allowed to use
  • using landing nets, keepnets, gaffs or tailers

Tackle, lures and baits

National byelaws on lead weights apply in Anglia.

National byelaws on using tackle, lures and bait apply in Anglia, in addition to local byelaws.

These 2 local byelaws also apply.

  1. You must not fish with any form of gorge bait. A gorge bait is a piece of stick, plastic or bone hidden in the bait parallel to the line – when swallowed, a tug on the line causes the gorge to turn sideways in the fish’s throat.

  2. You can only fish for trout using artificial wet or dry fly during the annual coarse fish close season.

Catch limits, size limits and catch returns

National byelaws on catch limits, size limits and catch returns for salmon, migratory trout and coarse fish apply across Anglia.

Published 7 June 2019
Last updated 12 February 2021 + show all updates
  1. We have clarified how national byelaws work with Anglian byelaws. We have also added the locations that are covered by Anglian byelaws.

  2. First published.