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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.

New Junction Canal, courtesy of Angling Times

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

Waterway County Bridge 44, Carlton Bridge to end of Ashby CanalAshby Canal
Bridge 60, Whit Sunday Pie Bridge to Bridge 80, Misterton CoopersChesterfield Canal
Bridge 44, Rectory Bridge to Bridge 53, Redmile Mill BridgeGrantham Canal
Kinoulton Marsh & CanalGrantham Canal
Around Boodles BridgePrees 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 TrentFossdyke Canal
Downstream of confluence with River Kennet at Kintbury to ReadingKennet & Avon Canal
Upstream of Lock 8, Aqueduct Lock to HertfordLee Navigation
Guilsford ArmMontgomery 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

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Last Edited: 17 May 2024

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