Rod fishing byelaws: Midlands

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

Applies to England

Midlands byelaws overview

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

They apply to all waters within the River Severn and River Trent catchments. They do not include the River Little Avon (Gloucestershire) and the River Wye (Herefordshire and Gloucestershire) catchments.

Principal river catchments include the Severn, Trent, Dove, Derwent (Derbyshire), Soar, Tame, Avon (Warwickshire), Teme and Vyrnwy. There are separate byelaws for the River Wye.

Midlands byelaws may apply to local waters or to whole river catchment areas – for example, the River Severn and all its tributaries.

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

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.


The close season (when you must not fish) for salmon and migratory trout (in any waters) is 8 October to 31 January.


The close season for brown trout and rainbow trout in rivers, and for brown trout in unenclosed stillwaters, is 8 October to 17 March.

Coarse fish

The national coarse fish close season from 15 March to 15 June applies to all rivers, streams, drains and the stillwaters listed in the following table.

Stillwaters in the Midlands that have the national coarse fish close season


Water OS grid reference
Carver’s Rock SK330227
Cromford Canal SK299569, SK351520
Hilton Gravel Pits SK249315
Ogston Reservoir SK376602
Morley Brick Pits SK389418


Water OS grid reference
Frampton Pools SO753073
Soudley Ponds SO662112

Herefordshire and Worcestershire

Water OS grid reference
Ashmoor Common SO852467
Bittell Reservoirs, excluding Lower Bittell Reservoirs SP018750
Grimley Brick Pits SO840605
Hewell Park Lake SP010690
Upton Warren Pools, excluding the Sailing Lake SO913672, SO935672
Brampton Bryan Park SO360716
Berrington Pool SO509630
Flintsham and Titley Pools SO318589, SO325595
Moccas Park SO341425
Hurcott and Podmore Pools, excluding Hurcott Pool SO854779


Water OS grid reference
Blackbrook Reservoir SK458174
Cave’s Inn Pits SP538795
Frisby Marsh SK686174
Groby Pool and Woods SK521083
Grantham Canal SK747317, SK790359
Barrow Gravel Pits SK568166
Buddon Woods and Swithland Reservoir SK560145
Ashby Canal SK346099, SK387043


Water OS grid reference
Clumber Park SK622744, SK643773
Thoresby Lake SK630703
Welbeck Lake SK580729
Attenborough Gravel Pits SK522341
Misson Line Bank SK715961
Chesterfield Canal SK722821, SK762944
Kinoulton Marsh and Canal (Grantham Canal) SK677306, SK690305


Water OS grid reference
Berrington Pool SJ525072
Bomere, Shomere and Betton Pools SJ504078
Brown Moss SJ562395
Cole Mere SJ433332
Fenemere SJ445228
Marton Pool, Chirbury SJ296027
Shelve Pool SO335979
Sweat Mere and Crose Mere SJ434304
White Mere SJ414330
Morton Pool and Pasture SJ301239
Prees Branch Canal (Shropshire Union Canal, Llangollen Branch) SJ496341, SJ497332
Montgomery Canal - Aston Locks to Keepers Bridge (Shropshire Union Canal) SJ328257, SJ351287


Water OS grid reference
Aqualate Mere SJ770205
Chasewater Heaths including Wyrely & Essington Canal, Anglesey Branch SK042073, SK046071, SK 039 080
Cop Mere SJ802297
Doxey and Tillington SJ906245
Maer Pool SJ789384
Cannock Extension Canal SK019044, SK020069


Water OS grid reference
Alvecote Pools SK249050
Brandon Marsh SP385755
Coleshill and Bannerly Pools SP200860
Combe Pool SP392794
Middleton Pool SP190983
Stockton Railway Cutting and Quarry, excluding Big Quarry Pool SP440650, SO444643
Ufton Fields SP383615
Ensors Pool SP348903

West Midlands

Water OS grid reference
Edgbaston Pool SP054841
Sutton Park SP098974
Swan Pool and the Swag SK040019
Fens Pools SO920886

Fishing near weirs

You must not take, or attempt to take, fish by rod and line within a distance above or upstream of the crests, or below or downstream of the toe of certain weirs. The distances are:

  • 15m above and 45m below Shrewsbury Weir on the River Severn – SJ501130
  • 15m above and 25m below Powick Weir on the River Teme – SO832524, and Carreghofa Weir on the River Tanat – SJ253217
  • 5m above and 15m below Tewkesbury Weir – SO882328, Maisemore Weir SO817216 and Llanthony Weir SO821182 on the River Severn
  • 15m above and 35m below Diglis Weir on the River Severn – SO846534

Rods and nets

See the national 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 the Midlands.

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

These 4 local byelaws also apply.

1. Where the coarse fish close season applies and you are fishing for eels or trout, you must not:

  • use any float or bait (including ground bait) other than artificial or natural fly (excluding bloodworms, jokers and other midge larvae), spinners, minnows, worms, prawns or shrimps
  • use a keepnet or keepsack in waters where the close season for coarse fish applies (15 March to 15 June)

2. You must not keep salmon (including salmon parr) or trout in a keepnet or keepsack.

3. When fishing for salmon or sea trout in the Severn Estuary, River Severn or its tributaries, you must not use any:

  • bait (worms, prawns and shrimp)
  • artificial fly other than with a barbless or de-barbed single hook with a gape of more than 13mm, or with a barbless or de-barbed double or treble hook with the hook gape for each hook being no more than 7mm
  • artificial lure other than with a barbless or de-barbed single hook with a gape of more than 13mm, or if it is a wobbler, plug or artificial imitation fish bait, with no more than three barbless or de-barbed single hooks with the hook gape of more than 13 millimetres

4. In addition to the national byelaws on fishing for eels, if you fish for eels during the coarse fish close season, you must not use a hook with a gape of less than 12.7mm (0.5in).

You measure the gape across the opening of the hook (it’s the distance between the point and the shank).

Catch limits, size limits and catch returns

National byelaws for salmon and migratory trout catch limits apply across the Midlands.

It is illegal to catch and remove any live or dead salmon from the following rivers, their tributaries and estuaries:

  • Severn
  • Trent

You must release all salmon you catch from these waters immediately with the least possible injury.


You must not take or kill any trout (except rainbow trout) shorter than 20cm from any water.

You must not take rainbow trout shorter than 20cm from the Rivers Derwent and Amber, including their tributaries:

  • above or upstream of their confluence at Ambergate, Derbyshire – SK346515 – excluding the stretch of the River Wye from Blackwell Mill near Buxton to Cressbrook Mill – SK173727
  • above or upstream of Ashford-in-the-Water (this does not include any reservoir or lake formed by a dam across the valley of those rivers, or across one of their tributaries)

If you unintentionally catch an immature or undersized fish, you must return it immediately to the same water with as little injury as possible.

Coarse (freshwater) fish

National byelaws apply across the Midlands.

How to measure a fish

You measure fish from the tip of the snout to the fork of the tail.

Published 7 June 2019
Last updated 29 September 2021 + show all updates
  1. In section 'Tackle, lures and baits' included a local byelaw about fishing for salmon or sea trout in the Severn Estuary, River Severn or its tributaries and in section 'Catch limits, size limits and catch returns' removed Blakeney Brook and Blackpool Brook, Gloucestershire.

  2. Corrected error in section 'Tackle, lures and baits' first of 3 local byelaws not relevant to salmon. Changed to 'Where the coarse fish close season applies and you are fishing for eels or trout, you must not:'.

  3. We have clarified how national byelaws work with local byelaws. We have also added the locations that are covered by these byelaws.

  4. First published.