We hope that you will find most of the information you need within the fishing pages of our website. But, in case you don't, we have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions to help.
Issued by the Environment Agency, one rod licence actually licences the use of up to two fishing rods and you'll need one before you fish on any inland waters. This licence, however does not give you permission to fish anywhere. Permission to fish still needs to be sought from the owner of the fishing rights or the angling club that controls the fishing on that water. There is no free fishing on any of our own fisheries. You can fish on stretches where fishing rights not owned by clubs, but you'll need to buy a Waterway Wanderers’ permit first.
Rod licences are available from any post office in England and Wales, over the telephone on 0344 800 5386 and also on line at www.gov.uk/fishing-licences/buy-a-fishing-licence. You must purchase it before arriving on site to fish. The maximum fine for fishing without a rod licence is £2,500.
Anyone aged 12 years or over must have a rod licence. Anyone under the age of 12 doesn't need one.
The rod licence does not entitle you to fish anywhere; for that you need the permission of the owner of the fishing rights. All fishing rights in non-tidal waters are owned by someone. The Environment Agency produces both an electronic and hard copy guide to angling within each of its regions. For our fisheries, use the Find a Fishery search from the fisheries home page for details.
From 1 April 2017:
All information on our fishing rights is available using our Find a Fishery search on our fisheries home page. If you are unable to find what you are looking for online, email email@example.com or call 01908 302533. Please provide the name of the waterway, nearest bridge or lock number, postcode or town. There is no free fishing on our canal network.
We do not necessarily own all the fishing rights on our canal network. The Angling Trust fishing information pages provides comprehensive information on a wide range of fisheries.
You can get a Waterway Wanderers' permit from John Harding - you can contact him on 01829 732748 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. More information is available on the Waterway Wanderers' pages.
Our reservoirs currently available for match fishing are:
The following season permits are available:
Contact the bookings office on 01582 843454 for more information.
Please contact the onsite bailiff:
It’s possible there has been a pollution incident and the Environment Agency deals with reports of pollutions. In the first instance contact their 24 hour hotline on 0800 80 70 60.
It is an offence to take any fish away from a canal or reservoir under the 1968 Theft Act and Environment Agency Byelaws. Please log it with the Police on 101 and call the Environment Agency 24 hour hotline on 0800 80 70 60 immediately.
Using anything other than a rod and line/pole is illegal under UK law. The Environment Agency is the organisation that polices these laws and you should contact them immediately on the 24 hour hotline 0800 80 70 60. For further information read our fixed engines blog.
We do not normally allow crayfish trapping on our waters except for research purposes or as part of an agreed Fisheries and Angling Action Plan. For further information please email details to email@example.com.
Again, normally we don't allow crayfish trapping on our waters except for research purposes or as part of an agreed Fisheries and Angling Action Plan. For further information please email details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please email details to email@example.com for us to consider.
No, a boat licence only gives consent to navigate and not to fish, in the same way that an angling licence gives the holder no rights of navigation.
Yes, but you must agree to purchase either day or season membership of the controlling angling club and adhere to the club rules at all times or, if there is no club controlling the fishing rights, a Waterway Wanderers’ permit. Please note however some clubs’ public liability insurances only covers fishing from the bank and may be invalid if an accident were to happen. For more information please read our fishing from my boat blog.
Yes, but you need a boat licence and permission from the controlling angling club or, if there is no club controlling the fishing rights, a Waterway Wanderers’ permit. The boat must be moored to the bank to avoid obstruction to navigation.
You need to get this information from the controlling angling club.
We do not ban night fishing but, on individual sections of canal, the decision as to whether to permit night fishing or not is made by the controlling angling club. Please get in touch with the local club for more infromation. Night fishing is allowed under the Waterway Wanderers' permit but please show consideration to people living nearby. Bivvies are only allowed if the towpath is wide enough.
The old close season, which ran from 15 March to 15 June inclusive, has now disappeared from most canals except certain SSSIs. The majority of the canal network is therefore open for fishing all year round. However, the close season still applies to rivers. The Environment Agency is responsible for enforcing the close season regulations. Read more about the coarse fishing close season and find a list of our canals an rivers affected by this.
Fishing rights on canals are owned from waters’ edge to waters’ edge, so you'll need to get permission from the controlling angling club or us first. Some rivers are different and the landowners may well have riparian rights including fishing rights.
Ask them politely not to do it again. In the first instance raise the matter with the controlling angling club; usually the situation can be resolved amicably at a local level. The matter is potentially one of trespass and the police would need to be contacted.
It is often difficult to determine who has deposited the litter but in the first instance, if the litter is clearly emanating from angling customers, contact the controlling angling club. Contact details can be found using the Find a Fishery search or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Please also email us if the area falls under the Waterway Wanderers' scheme. General litter, fly tipping and the emptying of litter bins are a matter for the relevant waterway unit.
We have a statutory legal duty to provide boating and fishing facilities. If a customer behaves unreasonably or is in breach of the law of the land (eg. noise or urinating or defecating in a public place) then it should be reported to the local authority or police as anti-social behaviour. Otherwise, they do have a right to be there.
Yes, there is nothing to prevent angling taking place opposite moored boats but anglers should take extra care to avoid getting their bait and tackle on the boat.
In the first instance you should approach the controlling angling club as their angling customers are the most likely culprits. In the event that the controlling angling club do not respond, instances should be reported to email@example.com. This is also covered in our top angling tips video.
No, this is a matter between the angler and the cyclist. All cyclists should hold third party public liability insurance and, as individuals, cyclists have a duty of care to ensure they cause no damage to the equipment of angling customers. There is guidance and a video on our Share the space, drop your pace pages.
The general nature and structure of the canals and when they were built means that access for disabled and less abled can be difficult. Slowly as improvement works, in partnership with local authorities and the highways agency, are carried out, access and towpaths will be upgraded to include disabled access. Disabled facilities are available at our Blythe waters fishery site near Solihull in the West Midlands. For enquiries regarding canal access and towpath conditions for disabled anglers firstly contact the local angling club and then firstname.lastname@example.org.
The fish species section contains detailed information and high quality images of all species present.
Fisheries & Angling Action Plans have been developed covering all areas of the canal network. Take a look at the plans on our guidelines and strategies page and scroll to the bottom to download a pdf of the plan that covers your local area. If you have any queries or are unsure which plan covers your area, please email email@example.com.
Last date edited: 18 April 2017