Fisheries Byelaws Consultation 2021 - River Severn

Closed 11 Oct 2021

Opened 19 Jul 2021


The “Severn Salmon and Sea Trout stock assessment and review of fisheries regulations: Technical case for fishery byelaws” explains why we are consulting on The River Severn Rod and Line (Salmon and Sea Trout) (Wales) Byelaws 2021 - an updated suite of byelaws to limit the exploitation of salmon and sea trout by the rod fisheries in order to conserve stocks and ensure the future sustainability of the Severn salmon fishery.

We are consulting on the proposed new regulations (byelaws) for the rod fishery: catch and release of salmon and sea trout, and method restrictions ensuring released fish have the best chance of survival and the opportunity to contribute to spawning stocks. These byelaws are designed to protect salmon and sea trout stocks in the River Severn for the next 10 years.

We recognise the need for a fully integrated approach for our border rivers and we are working together with the Environment Agency (EA) to ensure that this happens in a practical and sensible way.

Under an agreement between NRW and the EA, the EA takes the management lead for matters relating to migratory fish in the cross-border catchment of the River Severn (as does NRW for the cross-border rivers Wye and Dee). This is to ensure an integrated approach in each river.

There are continuing concerns around the numbers of salmon returning to our rivers. Stocks have reached unprecedented lows in recent years and the future of many fisheries is now threatened. Put simply, there are not enough adult fish spawning to sustain stocks at their current levels or to prevent further decline.

In order to help tackle these concerns, NRW is proposing several actions which will help reverse the trend and ensure this iconic species continue to play an important role in our environment and culture.

The byelaws will apply to the catchment of the River Severn (in Wales only) include: -

  • Requirement for all salmon and sea trout to be returned alive
  • Prohibition of bait fishing for salmon and sea trout
  • Prohibition of some fishing hooks and trebles when fishing for salmon and sea trout

The byelaws are intended to protect vulnerable stocks, while maintaining many of the important benefits associated with the fisheries.

What are we consulting on?

This is the statutory consultation on proposed new regulations that are designed to protect salmon and sea trout stocks in the River Severn in Wales:

  1. River Severn Rod and Line (Salmon and Sea Trout) (Wales) Byelaws 2021

This consultation runs for 12 weeks from 19 July 2021 until 11 October 2021.

Note that this consultation only refers to the River Severn in Wales, with consultation responses made to NRW.

The Environment Agency have consulted separately on their proposals for the River Severn in England, earlier in 2021

River Severn Net Limitation Order and Byelaws 2021 - Environment Agency - Citizen Space (

Our proposals

We are seeking representations to proposed new byelaws for rod fishing for salmon and sea trout on the River Severn in Wales. These byelaws, if confirmed, would run until the 31 December 2031.

The preferred fishery management option for the River Severn rod fisheries, is as follows:

  • mandatory catch and release of all  salmon and sea trout caught by rod and line.
  • Implementation of byelaws that control fishing methods, namely:

1. prohibit bait fishing for salmon and sea trout;

2. require the use of barbless (or de-barbed) hooks for fly fishing for salmon and sea trout;

3. require the use of single, barbless (or de-barbed) hooks with a  maximum hook gape of no more than 13mm to be used with any artificial  lures and spinners used to target salmon and sea trout;

4. no more than 3 single, barbless hooks with a maximum hook gape of 13mm are to be fitted to wobbling or jointed plugs used to target salmon or sea  trout;

5. barbless single, double or treble hooks may be used in conjunction with a fly  for salmon and sea trout. However, the maximum hook gape of any double or treble hook used in conjunction with an artificial fly shall be no greater  than 7mm, and 13mm for single hooks.

Read the Executive Summary – Severn (in Wales) byelaw proposals

Read the Severn Byelaw review - Technical Case Feb 2021

Read the Severn Byelaw review - Technical Case Appendices Feb 2021

Read the Severn rod and line (salmon and sea trout) byelaws 2021 signed and sealed

Why your views matter

We want your views on our proposals, and also any relevant evidence that might support a need to modify the proposed measures that we consider are necessary to protect salmon and sea trout stocks.

We want to hear your thoughts on our salmon and sea trout stock assessments, the status of salmon stocks and our proposed regulations to protect stocks. Please provide evidence that you believe is relevant to justify any comments you make, and which may justify the need to modify, strengthen or relax the proposed measures.

If you wish to provide further evidence to support your response, please email this to us at and include your unique ID (supplied at the end of the consultation).


  • All Areas


  • Fly-fishing
  • Cockles
  • English
  • Anglers


  • Fishing