Good Practice Guide
Catching the fish
Use appropriate tackle. Rod and line should be strong enough to bring the fish to net swiftly and without playing it to exhaustion. Move the fish out of fast water as soon as possible. The use of barbless single or double hooks is recommended. Barbed hooks can be rendered barbless by pinching with pliers.
Landing the fish
Use a fine knotless meshed landing net. No gaffs or tailers may be used.
Ensure the fish remains in the water at all times.
Do not beach or tail a fish that is to be returned.
All coloured fish should be returned.
Handling the fish
Ensure that hands are wet and avoid squeezing the fish.
Removing the hook
Remove the hook gently, using forceps or a hook disgorger.
Should the fish be deep-hooked cut the line as near to the hook as possible.
Recording the fish
Do not weigh the fish, but calculate its length and subsequently use a length/weight conversion chart (see below) to find the weight. Suitable length marks on rod or wading-stick can be helpful.
Photographs of the fish should only be taken while the fish is in the water.
Reviving and releasing fish
Support the fish with both hands in a gentle current and facing upstream.
Allow time for the fish to regain its strength and be able to swim away on its own.
To guard against disease that can damage our fish stocks fishermen are directed to the Environment Agency's website for "Guidance on Disinfecting Fishing Tackle".
The Environment Agency Incident Hotline
For reporting any serious environmental incident such as pollution, poaching or fish in distress is 0800 807 060
Salmon weight/length conversion chart