New fishing byelaws come into force on Dee and Wye

New byelaws to protect vulnerable salmon stocks in the cross-border rivers of the Dee and Wye in Wales have been confirmed by the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths.

The byelaws, which came into force on the 31 January, replicate the approach for the All Wales byelaws which came into place earlier in January, in time for the 2020 season.

The byelaws will be in place for 10 years and mean all salmon caught must be released alive with minimum injury and delay.

On the River Wye the new measures should be read alongside the extensive catch controls which have been in place since 2012 and are not due to expire until 2021, NRW will however, review and consult on new regulations before then if necessary.

Measures have also been introduced to help protect sea trout in many of our rivers, with all rod-caught sea trout over 60cm to be released alive.

In addition, new controls on angling methods will improve the survival of released fish so that they can contribute to spawning stocks.

Peter Gough, Principal Fisheries Advisor for Natural Resources Wales, said:

“We recognise the need for a fully integrated approach for our border rivers and we are working with the Environment Agency to ensure that this happens in a practical and sensible way.
“All of our salmon stocks are in serious trouble and have fallen to historically low levels. The same is true of the majority (70%) of our sea trout stocks. 
“We firmly believe that the new byelaws, along with a range of other urgent measures such as tackling agricultural pollution, improving water quality, improving habitats and managing potential threats from predators, are vital for the future of salmon and sea trout in Wales.
“We want to work with the fishing communities and all with a stake in our river environments to protect our fish and fisheries for future generations to enjoy. The byelaws will be a positive step in helping protect stocks.”

Statement from the Minister:

Further information can be found here: