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The charity making life better by water

Renting our waters

A step-by-step guide for angling clubs who wish to lease our waters.

National Canal Angling Championships 2014

Follow these simple steps to successfully rent fishing rights on our canal and river network.

  1. Email us to get a list of waters available in your area. You can also check our Waterway Wanderers scheme list, although this may be less accurate as negotiations with a club could already be in progress.
  2. Meet one of our fisheries and angling managers on site to discuss the details of the fishery. This is a great opportunity to ask questions and find out whether renting fishing rights is the right option for you. Fees and the duration of agreements vary from place to place and are normally negotiated at this stage.
  3. Complete and return the formal letter and acceptance form.
  4. Sign and return the legal agreement document covering the fishing rights in question. Have a look at our standard angling agreement and standard reservoir angling agreement.
  5. You must hold third-party public liability insurance to the value of no less than £10 million. Although there are several providers of this service, many clubs get insurance through the Angling Trust.
  6. Once the agreement starts, your club can sell day permits or temporary day memberships if you wish, or you can keep the fishery for members only. Where a fishery was formerly part of the Waterway Wanderers scheme, you must honour all valid season permits.
  7. Anglers may fish the fishery from licensed moored boats but your controlling club is entitled to charge day or annual membership. Please note: boat licences do not allow people to fish free of charge from their craft.
  8. Clubs have to provide bailiffs to patrol the whole length. There will inevitably be part of the overall length where fishing is not permitted, such as near overhead powerlines, in lock chambers and within 25 metres of a lock approach. The club will have responsibility for the bailiffing of these sections. Training for club bailiffs is available.

You're good to go!

One thing to remember

All of our current staff and pensioners (of both the Trust and British Waterways) are entitled to fish on waters where we control the fishing rights without charge, other than any car parking fees. However, they are still bound by the rules of the controlling club and should produce proof of identity.

Matches and competitions

Email us to find out how your club can take part in our canal angling competitions, including the ever-growing junior canal angling championships.

Let's Fish! your way into the future

One of the best ways to be part of our angling club community is to host Let's Fish! 'learn to fish' events. We're always looking for more clubs and more coaches.

Last Edited: 09 May 2023

photo of a location on the canals
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