Coarse fishing close season

Can you go fishing on the canals during the traditional coarse fishing close season? Mostly, yes. See below for what you need to know.

Man and boy fishing Father and son fishing together

What's the date of the closed season?

The traditional close season for coarse fishing runs from 15 March through to 15 June. This applies to all rivers, including the ones we own fishing rights to. But most of our canals are still open. 

What stays open during the closed season?

  • Most stillwaters (reservoirs), except some fisheries that have nature conservation status, can remain open all year for fishing, depending on the fishery owner.
  • Our commercial fisheries.
  • Most of our canals are open for you to fish all year round (find out if you need a Waterway Wanderers permit)

What closes during closed season?

Some canal sections where they meet rivers. For example, the Environment Agency classifies the whole of the eastern end of the Kennet & Avon Canal from Kintbury downstream to Reading as retaining a close season because it connects to the River Kennet. Plus, anywhere with nature conservation designations, such as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs).

Find a list of canal locations where the close season is still in force

Closed section Canal
Waterway County Bridge 44, Carlton Bridge to end of Ashby Canal Ashby Canal
Bridge 60, Whit Sunday Pie Bridge to Bridge 80, Misterton Coopers Chesterfield Canal
Foxton to Bridge 87, Kilby Bridge Leicester Line (Grand Union Canal)
Bridge 44, Rectory Bridge to Bridge 53, Redmile Mill Bridge Grantham Canal
Kinoulton Marsh & Canal Grantham Canal
Around Boodles Bridge Prees Branch Shropshire Union Canal
M6 Toll Motorway Bridge, Burntwood to end of Anglesey Branch  Wyrely & Essington Canal
Whole of Cannock Extension  Whole of Cannock Extension 
Castleford Weir to Lock 11, Ferrybridge Lock  Aire & Calder Navigation 
Lincoln to Lock 1, Torksey Lock where it joins the River Trent Fossdyke Canal
Downstream of confluence with River Kennet at Kintbury to Reading Kennet & Avon Canal
Upstream of Lock 8, Aqueduct Lock to Hertford Lee Navigation
Guilsford Arm Montgomery Canal
Whole of Montgomery Canal south of Bridge 92, Llanymynech Bridge  Montgomery Canal

Rivers closed to fishing

On rivers, the traditional close season for coarse fishing runs from 15 March through to 15 June. This applies to all rivers, including the ones where we control the fishing rights. 

For rivers not on the list below, please check with the Environment Agency.

  • Kennet
  • Bristol Avon
  • Thames
  • Colne
  • Frays
  • River Lee above Aqueduct Lock
  • Old River Lee
  • Stort
  • Cherwell
  • Witham
  • Ouzel
  • Nene
  • Severn
  • Dee
  • Salwarpe
  • Anker
  • Trent
  • Soar (but not the canalised Grand Union)
  • Ribble Link
  • Calder
  • Aire
  • Tees
  • Yorkshire Ouse
  • Usk
  • Weaver
  • Irwell
  • Croal
  • Goyt
  • Gowy
  • Douglas
  • Blythe

Last date edited: 29 June 2022