Environment Agency River Severn Salmon and Sea Trout Protection Measures 2021
Confirmation of Severn Estuary and River Severn Salmon and Sea Trout Protection Byelaws 2021 and Environment Agency (Limitation Of Severn Estuary Lave Net Fishing Licences In England) Order 2021
As a River Severn rod and line angler with an interest in the salmon protection measures we are informing you about necessary restrictions on salmon and sea trout fishing in the River Severn and its estuary from September 2021.
Following the consultation on the proposed River Severn byelaws and net limitation order which took place in March and April 2021, The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has confirmed the Severn Estuary and River Severn Salmon and Sea Trout Protection Byelaws 2021 and Environment Agency (Limitation Of Severn Estuary Lave Net Fishing Licences In England) Order 2021 (NLO). These byelaws are coming into force with immediate effect in order to protect salmon stocks for the remainder of the current rod season, which lasts until 7 October.
The 2020 salmon stock assessment shows stock levels for the River Severn catchment, continue to be significantly below conservation limits with the salmon stock is now assessed as “At Risk”. These declines in numbers means that every fish returned safely could contribute to improving the spawning population.
Reducing the taking of salmon by rods and nets is only one part of the Environment Agency’s larger programme to protect salmon stocks. Actions taken by the Environment Agency and its partners that contribute to protecting salmon stocks include removing barriers, improving water quality and agricultural practices, and addressing unsustainable water abstractions. Actions against these measures will be assessed annually in a Severn Salmon Action plan.
We believe that these regulations are proportionate and necessary to significantly reduce the number of salmon killed via rod or net fisheries and is only one element of fisheries management work designed to support salmon stock recovery.
These regulations are to protect stocks and we urge all to play part in the recovery of those stocks for the future.
Summary of byelaws and NLO for the Severn Estuary, River Severn and its tributaries:-
Shall expire 10 years after the date on which they first come into force
Require the release of all salmon and sea trout taken by means of lave net within the River Severn estuary
Prohibit any person catching salmon and sea trout by draft net within the River Severn estuary
Prohibit any person catching salmon and sea trout by putcher within the River Severn estuary
Prohibit any person from retaining a live or dead salmon that has been taken by rod and line
Require any salmon that has been taken by rod and line to be returned immediately to the river at the point of capture with least possible injury
Prohibit specified methods for fishing for salmon and sea trout by rod and line within the Severn Estuary as follows:
No fishing for salmon and sea trout unless using and artificial lure fitted with a single barbless or de-barbed hook with a gape no greater than 13mm.
No fishing for salmon and sea trout with rod line by means of any bait (worms, prawns and shrimp).
No fishing with artificial fly unless furnished with a single barbless or de-barbed hook with a maximum gape of 13mm OR a single barbless or de-barbed treble or double hook with the maximum hook gape of any treble or double hook(s) being no greater than 7 millimetres.
The Net Limitation Order and Byelaws are separate pieces of legislation. The Net Limitation Order simply defines how many lave net licences will be made available for the net fisheries, while the byelaws define the conditions around the use of those licences. A maximum of twenty two (22) lave net licences will be issued in any year for the next 10 years unless revoked earlier.
Information and details of the byelaws are available at https://consult.environment-agency.gov.uk/west-midlands/river-severn-net-limitation-order-and-byelawsTo