In 2019 the Environment Agency introduced an emergency byelaw to protect salmon in the River Severn after data showed a reduction in salmon stock levels in the Severn, Wye, and Usk. The stock assessment, completed in 2019, showed that despite the protection measures in place, the number of returning adult salmon continued to decline.
This byelaw was brought into force on 15 June 2019 and covered the following:
- Draft net and putcher fishing in the Severn estuary will be prohibited
- Lave net fishing will operate on a catch and release basis only.
- Catch and release for rod and line fishing will be compulsory on the whole of the Severn for the remainder of the current rod season, which lasts until 7 October.
A copy of the byelaw is available on the Environment Agency’s website.
The Atlantic Salmon Trust is saddened to see this is required but welcome the extension, made by Defra, to December 2020 as this provides valuable time to protect the surviving salmon from harm.
We need to continue to understand what is happening in our rivers and how to look after our salmon so that future generations don’t miss out on this iconic species.
To read more about this byelaw and its extension, visit the Environment Agency’s online consultation hub.