Westcountry Angling Passport
Advice and Regulations

Rod Licences
To go fishing on a Westcountry Angling Passport beat you will need an appropriate Environment Agency rod licence and valid Westcountry Angling Passport Tokens, Dartmoor Fishery Ticket or have booked and paid for a Booking Office Beat. Always ensure that tokens are filled out in pen and posted in the token box before fishing and that you retain the second counterfoil part on your person as Trust staff and beat owners may ask you to produce your licence and token counterfoils. You can buy your Environment Agency licence online at the EA website or at Post Offices in England and Wales or by phoning 0844 800 5386.

National and Regional Byelaws

  • All salmon must be returned before the 16 June.
  • Fly and Lure only before 16 June.
  • No person shall sell, offer or expose for sale any salmon or migratory trout which has been taken by rod and line.
To download a copy of the South West Rod and Line Fisheries Byelaws, please click here
File format: Adobe PDF
File Size: 40kb

Bag Limits

  • Each beat description gives details of bag limits which must be adhered to at all times.

Voluntary Measures
In addition to the national byelaws, we would encourage anglers to practice catch and release for salmon and sea trout, and especially return all large or coloured fish as these are particularly valuable to the spawning stock. Larger fish have the capacity to produce more offspring and, in the case of sea trout, are often multiple repeat spawners.
On many rivers a variety of voluntary measures have been adopted to protect fish stocks. All anglers must familiarise themselves with these rules before they fish.

Fishing Safely and Responsibly
Most anglers, whether experienced or novices, will have an appreciation of the countryside code and the some understanding of the hazards that might be encountered. If you are new to angling or you are fishing a river which is new to you consider taking the services of a guide. The following notes will also be useful to you..

  • Please follow the countryside code when accessing the beat, keep dogs under control (on beats where they are permitted), avoid damaging crops, keep away from livestock and close gates behind you.  Please park considerately.
  • Take care when crossing stiles and gates, particularly when wearing waders.  Watch out for barbed wire and slippery grass slopes.  Put your rod over the obstacle first so that you can use both hands.
  • Some of the smaller streams can be accessed with the use of knee boots or thigh waders but deep wading with chest waders assists angling on some beats.   As with any wading great care should be taken at all times.  Watch out for slippery substrate and unseen ledges.  Use waders suitable for the substrate in question, i.e. studded and/ or felted soled.  Carry a wading stick and wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid.
  • Always wear a hat and glasses when fly casting. 
  • When casting look up first.  If you are near power lines the minimum recommended distance horizontally is 30m. Be aware that rods and fishing lines can conduct without making contact with the power line.
  • Access to some rivers can require considerable walking, sometimes over open moorland and the fishing can be physically demanding.  Take a map with you, obtain local knowledge from other anglers, watch the weather and tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back, especially if night fishing.  You should not rely on there being any mobile phone signal, very often there will be no signal.
  • In the summer it is quite easy to pick up ticks on bare skin. They can travel anywhere on your body.    Remove the tick with a tick remover.  Some ticks may carry Lyme’s disease.  Watch out for a bull’s eye ring around the tick bite which might appear several weeks later.  There is more information at www.nhs.uk.  Weill’s disease from rat urine is unlikely but could occur.  Consult your GP if in doubt.
  • There are several diseases that can be transmitted by clothing and equipment such as nets and waders.  These include Gyrodactylus salaris and crayfish plaque.  If you have fished on any other river or abroad within seven days you must disinfect your equipment; detailed information can be found at www.westcountryangling.com/protect_our_waters.php.
  • Please report to Westcountry Rivers Trust any hazards or pollution for example farm run off or litter that you identify.  If you have an accident or injury let us know so we can warn others of the hazard. If you see unusual wildlife or habitats we would be interested to hear from you.

All information in this document was believed to be correct at the time of printing. For up to date information please visit our web site at www.westcountryangling.com.

While Westcountry Rivers Trust endeavours to ensure that the information in this publication is accurate we cannot be held liable for any errors or discrepancies that occur. Through the Westcountry Angling Passport the Trust has opened up extensive wilderness fishing which would otherwise be inaccessible to visiting anglers. As with any fishing there are hazards involved. While we endeavour to highlight these hazards you undertake the activity at your own risk. Neither the Trust nor the landowners can be held liable for any accidents, personal accidents, personal injury or damage to your equipment.


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