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The Game Angling Code



The purpose of the Code is to encourage proper standards of sportsmanship among game anglers and those who manage and regulate game fishing and to help them show regard for the environment, the sport, their quarry and for each other.  All involved with game angling are expected to obey the relevant laws and fishery regulations and to avoid any behaviour which might bring the sport into disrepute.


The Environment


All anglers should be actively concerned about protecting the environment.  Good anglers are the watchdogs of the water and its environment.  Any sign of deterioration must be reported immediately to the fishery manager and the appropriate authority in the area.  The report should include :


  • “what” has been noted

  • “where” the occurrence was seen

  • “when” the event was noticed

  • “the extent” of any pollution


Anglers should take great care to avoid damage to the waterside or disturbance to wildlife. No tackle or litter must be discarded and particular regard should be paid to the hazards to wildlife from monofilament nylon.  Fishing, and the management of fisheries, should be conducted so that healthy fish populations are maintained.


The Fish


Fish retained for food should be promptly and efficiently despatched.  All other fish should be released as quickly as possible.  Fish should only be handled with wetted hands, they should never be thrown back into the water but held facing upstream in running water until they swim free.


Fishing Conduct


There is more to fishing than catching fish.  Moderation, courtesy, and consideration for others are the marks of a sporting angler.  Angling as a sport and recreation is a fragile and personal experience, which can so easily be disturbed by external interference.  However, water space is in great demand both from anglers and other activities and therefore its enjoyment has to be shared.  The following points should be observed by every angler :


  • ensure you have permission to fish and a rod license where appropriate

  • observe the bounds of any beat to which you have been assigned

  • be prepared to give way after you have finished a pool and never fish too long in one place

  • never crowd or obstruct an angler near to you on either bank

  • do not walk into or cut across another person’s fishing and avoid unnecessary wading

  • give consideration to anglers on the opposite bank

  • make sure you can distinguish between takeable and non-takeable fish

  • exercise restraint in the number of fish taken particularly when fish are easily caught

  • accept that “blank” days are part of the experience of fishing

  • acknowledge considerate behaviour by other legitimate water users

  • follow the Country Code particularly in relation to control of dogs, the risk of fires and fastening gates

  • wear unobtrusive clothing and respect the peace of the countryside

  • do not park vehicles so that they obstruct gateways or cause a hazard on the road

  • support the organisations which safeguard your sport




All anglers should be aware of the inherent dangers of fishing not only to themselves but to others.

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