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New law on salmon fishing in the Wye
New rules have made it illegal to catch and kill salmon on the River Wye in Herefordshire.
The Environment Agency Wales byelaws, which came into force on June 23, are an attempt to restore native salmon numbers.
Angler and landlord Mike Taylor, who runs salmon fishing holidays from the Red Lion Hotel in Bredwardine, said: “I think some of the old school fishermen might grumble, but it’s got to be a good thing considering the state of fish stocks.”
Stephen Marsh-Smith, director of EA-funded Wye and Usk Foundation (WUF) supports the new ruling, but said the change in legislation comes late in the day.
“Salmon numbers have been in catastrophic decline,” said Mr Marsh-Smith, who first asked the EA to introduce catch and release byelaws back in 1996.
“If this had happened 10 years ago we’d now be talking about removing the byelaws, but that’s not what happened.
“If you have the stock, more people will come. This is good news for salmon and fishermen.”
It is estimated that salmon fishing could be worth £10 million a year to Herefordshire if salmon numbers are restored.
- The Wye and Usk Foundation has issued the following guidelines to help anglers stay within the law:
- Do not lift the fish out of the water at any time.
- A net helps to keep the fish calm while unhooking.
- Use debarbed or barbless hooks.
- If the hook is deeply embedded, do not attempt surgery – cut the cast and leave it in situ.
- Return the fish in a quieter piece of water, holding it upright facing upstream.