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Salmon/Sea Trout And Specimen/Specialist Coarse Fishing On The River Wear

New!                   River Closures

Our river beats from Shincliffe Garden Center downstream to Durham Rowing Club footbridge will be closed to pleasure anglers until 4.00PM on Sunday 28th July 2024 & Sunday 8th September 2024. Environment Agency survey matches will be in progress.

D.C.A.C River Sections &  Bye-Laws

Shincliffe Village

Shincliffe Village

Maiden castle

Maiden castle

Chester Moor

Chester Moor

Shincliffe Hall

Shincliffe Hall

Game anglers are catered for with big sea trout running the river Wear,(now officially the best sea trout fish river in the country and the 2nd best salmon river) salmon, brown trout and grayling. The Environment Agency has recently stocked several sections of the river Browney with grayling which in time should improve the Wears population of this lovely looking ‘lady of the stream’. A recent EA survey showed excellent growth rates with 2-3 year old fish.

The river Wear fished exceptionally well towards the end of 09 season with mixed dace/chub catches over 140 lbs being taken. The river Wears’ chub and barbel continue to grow and there never has been a better time to take a P.B. specimen and a new national record dace is always a possibility, and not only as is generally thought, from a small section of the river by the County hotel; big dace are being taken from all D.C.A.C. sections of the Wear. July 2010 saw another stocking of 3000 each of chub and dace at Shincliffe and Maiden castle.

Dace, Chub and Bream were stocked in 2011 by the EA, and a further stocking of the Wear with dace and barbel is planned during the 3rd week November 2011.


Big roach have also featured in matches with several fish over 2.5lb helping to swell the match weights. The September 2010 Wear Championships, which sadly fished relatively poorly due to very low river levels, produced a 17lb catch of small roach from a Club section which bodes well for the future, assuming the ever present cormorants do not devastate them. Pleas visit the new Angling Trust’s ‘Cormorant Watch’ web site and log any sightings The results from which will be used to urge Government to loosen the regulations regarding these alien predators

Photo Paul Cleasby


North East & Yorkshire Region EA Bye-Laws:

(Simplified Guide)


The North East & Yorkshire Region of the EA is probably unique in that there are three different sets of bye laws covering all waters the Humber in the south to the rivers and streams of Co Durham, Tyne & Wear and Northumberland up to the Scottish Borders but excluding the river Tweed and its tributary's



The Agency has the role of maintaining, improving and developing fisheries within the North East. The money required to do this comes largely from your rod licence fees. This information is for guidance only. It is not intended to be a legal interpretation of the byelaws. A full copy of the byelaws can be obtained from:- The Environment Agency North East Region 21 Park Square South Leeds LS1 2QG At present three sets of byelaws operate in different parts of the Region. The North East (covering the whole Region) the Northumbrian bye-laws and the Yorkshire bye-laws. In waters within the River Tees catchment and all catchments north of the Tees, the Northumbria byelaws apply. In waters to the south of this, the Yorkshire byelaws apply. The North East byelaws apply to the whole region. PLEASE REMEMBER all anglers aged 12 years and over must be in possession of a valid Environment Agency rod licence before starting to fish. All fishing belongs to someone - make sure you have permission from the owner before you start fishing. NORTH EAST BYELAWS: These byelaws apply to all parts of the Region Coarse Fish Close Season: It is unlawful to fish for coarse fish from 15 March to 15 June inclusive on any river, stream, drain or waterway (other than canals). With the exception of the Aire and Calder Navigation between Castleford and Ferrybridge Lock there is no statutory close season on any canals, reservoirs, lakes or ponds for coarse fish in the North East Region. However, individual owners may close their fisheries if they wish. ALWAYS check before you fish. Migratory Trout Close Season: It is unlawful to fish for migratory trout from 1 November to 2 April inclusive. Number of Rods: When fishing for salmon, trout or char, it is unlawful to use more than 1 rod and line in any river, stream, drain or canal or more than 2 rods and lines in any stillwaters. When fishing for coarse fish or eels it is unlawful to fish with more than 4 rods and lines.

It is unlawful to fish with more than 4 rods and lines anywhere and when using more than 1 rod and line, the distance between the butt ends of the 2 outside rods must not exceed 3 metres.


Unattended Rods:


It is unlawful to leave a rod and line in the water which is unattended or over which control can not be effected. (i.e. to be physically at your swim, not relying on alarms/remote sounders whilst away ‘socialising’) Keepnets: Keepnets must be made of knotless non metallic material to avoid damage to the fish, and should be at least 200cm. long. Supporting rings must be less than 40cm. apart. Keepnets can not be used where there is a close season for coarse fish during that period. Landing Nets: Landing nets must be made of knotless non metallic material Keep-Sacks: Keep-sacks must be made of soft dark coloured, non abrasive water permeable material and should be at least 120 by 90 cm (or 150 by 30 by 40 cm if used with a frame). Not more than 1 fish may be kept in a keep-sack at a time. Fishing Weights: No fishing weights made of lead may be used except those of 0.06grams or less and those of more than 28.35 grams. In angling terms this means that lead shot from size 14 to size 8 and lead weights of over 1 ounce can be used in fishing.


Fishing Baits:


On waters where the close season for freshwater fish applies the only lures or baits which may be used are natural or artificial fly, minnow, worm, shrimp, prawn, sand eel, or artificial lure. It is an offence to fish for salmon by means of other than an artificial fly or artificial lure before the 16th June. Note: These baits are for fishing for game fish during the appropriate fishing season. This does not permit the fishing for coarse fish on waters where the close season applies.

Click the button to go to the Environment Agency Bylaws


Live Baits:


Fish taken for use as live bait may only be used on the water from which they have been taken. It is an offence to use live fish taken from another water. It is also an offence to use crayfish alive or dead) as a bait at any time.


Fishing near Obstructions:


Fishing within a distance of 25 metres upstream and 95 metres downstream of the following structures prohibited at the dates and times specified.


At any time:


Framwellgate Dam, Ferens Dam, Tees Barrage Broken Scar, Keilder Dam (downstream only) and Ruswarp Weir (to downstream side of Road bridge).


At night:


Guyzance Mill, Pauperhaugh Bridge, Wylam Bridge and Dales House Weir.

At night and at any time during the months of September. October and November:

Lesbury Weir, Denwick Bottom Dam. Denwick Dam, Cannongate Dam, Filberthaugh Weir, Hulne Park Weir, Coquet Lodge Dam. Acklington Dam. Felton. Humford Dam, Bothal Dam, Sheepwash Weir. Morpeth East Mill, Highford Dam. Olives Mill. Riding Mill Weir, Hexham Bridge Weir, Devils Water Dam, Derwenthough Weir. Haltwhistle Weir, Featherstone Weir, Haydon Bridge Weir, Catton Bridge, Whitfield Dam. Chollerford Weir, Otterburn Mill Weir, Tarret Burn Burnmouth Falls, Esp Mill Falls. Roses Bower Falls, Prebends, Chester Le Street weir, Burn Hall Weir, Wallnook Dam, Black Ling Hole, Bedburn Gauging Weir, Jocks Bridge Weir. Bur-tree Falls, Low Force (Holwick Falls). High Force, Bowes Falls and Bowlees Falls'"


Fishing Methods:


All methods of fishing other than using a licensed rod and line or licensed net are prohibited.

Foul Hooking:


Any fish that is hooked other than in the throat or the mouth must be returned to the water immediately with as little injury as possible.


Use of Gaffs:


The use of gaffs is prohibited at ail times of the year.


Night Fishing:

Fishing in rivers stream and drains for salmon and migratory trout between the end of the first hour after sunset and the beginning of the last hour before sunrise shall be an offence unless the bait used consists of a natural or artificial fly with each hook not exceeding 10 mm diameter.

Salmon and Sea Trout:

All salmon caught before the 16th June must be returned to the water immediately with as little injury as possible. It is an offence to buy, sell or receiveany salmon that has been caught unlawfully.



Catch Returns:


Details of each year's rod catches of salmon and migratory trout, including dates, locations and times spent fishing must be submitted to the Agency by 1 January on a form provided by the Environment Agency. If you have fished for salmon or sea trout you must make a declaration even if you do not catch any fish.

Northumbrian Bye Laws:

For all waters within the Region from and including the River Tees northwards, but not including the River Tweed and any of its tributaries.

Salmon & Trout Close Seasons:



The close season for salmon is from 1 November to 31 January inclusive. The close season for all non-migratory trout on rivers, streams, drains and canals, and for brown trout on all waters except those listed below is from 1 October to 21 March inclusive. The close season for brown trout on Kielder Water, Broomlee Lough, Crag Lough, Greenlee Lough, the Derwent Reservoir and East and West Hallington reservoirs is from 1 November to 30 April inclusive. There is no close season for rainbow trout on any stillwater.



Size Limits :



It is illegal to take fish less than the size limits below (measured from the tip of the snout to the fork of the tail). Undersized fish must be returned to the water immediately.


Size Limits:


Salmon 30cms Migratory Trout 25.4cms


Non-Migratory Trout:


River Tees below Egglestone Abbey Bridge 22.5cms River Wear below Harelaw Bridge 2 2.5cms River Coquet below Pauperhaugh Bridge 22.5cm River Tyne below Hexham Bridge 22.5cms River Tees and tributaries above High Force 17.5cms River Lune and tribs above Selset Reservoir 17.5cms River Balder and tributaries above Balderhead Reservoir 17.5cms Kilton Beck and tributaries above Lockwood Beck Reservoir 17.5cms Burnhope Burn and tributaries above Burnhope Reservoir 17.5cms Waskerley Beck and tributaries above Tunstall Reservoir 17.5cms

Any other waters covered by Northumbria Byelaws 20cms






For all waters within the Region lying southwards of the River Tees and its tributaries.

Salmon & Trout Close Seasons:


The close season for salmon is from 1 November to 5 April inclusive. The close season for all non-migratory trout in rivers, streams, drains and canals and brown trout in all waters is from 1 October to 24 March inclusive. There is no close season for rainbow trout in any stillwaters.





Keepnets cannot be used on waters where there is a close season for coarse fish during that period.



Undersize bream, carp, grayling, tench or trout must not be used as bait. Fish roe must not be used as bait

Coarse Fish Size Limits & Bag Limits:

See the new National Bye Laws below



Conservation Areas:


Fishing with a rod and line for salmon or migratory trout is prohibited in the River Esk between Ruswarp Weir and a line drawn due west across the river from the southern-most end of Eskside Wharfe in Whitby. Fishing of any kind with a rod and line is prohibited in this area from 8pm or one hour after sunset (whichever is earlier) and 6am the following morning.





Tagged Fish:



The Environment Agency release many tagged salmon and sea trout into rivers each year. If you catch a fish with either a visible tag or a missing adipose fin please contact your local Environment Agency office. You will be entitled to a reward when the tag has been recovered from the fish.


Discarded Tackle and Litter:


The Environment Agency is concerned about the problems caused by discarded fishing tackle and litter and the harm this can do to wildlife. Please take home your unwanted tackle and any other litter when you finish fishing.

The Environment Agency urges all anglers to abide by the Countryside Code.




Pollution can cause serious damage to our fisheries. Your help is vital to protect fisheries in the region and all anglers are asked to report any pollution and dead or distressed fish without delay. Your prompt attention could save thousands of fish and enable firm action to be taken against the polluter.


New National Bye Laws on Fish removal by rod and line

New byelaws are in place to protect coarse fish, eel and shad fisheries.

On rivers

On any given day,you may only remove:

 one pike of up to 65 cm;

 two grayling of 30–38 cm;

 up to a total of 15 small fish (in total, not of individual species) of up to 20 cm of the following native species: barbel; chub; common bream; common carp; crucian carp; dace; perch; pike; roach; rudd; silver bream; smelt; and tench.

 Fish are measured from the tip of the snout to the fork of the tail.

If you remove any more fish than this, you are committing an offence and risk a substantial fine.

You can still take:

minor’ or ‘tiddler’ species, such as gudgeon;

 non-native species;

 ornamental varieties of native species – such koi carp.


Please remember that you will still need the written permission of the owner or club to remove fish from privately owned stillwaters.


On stillwaters :


You may only remove fish with the written permission of the owner or club. (Within the current National Bye Laws)

You will normally have a day ticket or permit, on which the fishery rules are often printed. These rules normally state the numbers and types of fish you can remove. If in doubt, ask the owner. If there is no obvious owner to ask for permission, you are not allowed to remove any fish.


If you take any fish without permission you are committing an offence and risk a substantial fine.

Eel and shad

You must return any eel (Anguilla anguilla*) or Allis or Twaite shad you catch from any water in England and Wales.

This includes estuaries and inshore waters, to a distance of six nautical miles.

* Does not include conger eel (


Conger conger).

(Freephone 0800 80 70 60)



Ø Anyone found to be under the influence of alcohol  will be asked to leave the club water for their own and others safety (Our insurers do not cover and other anglers could be put at risk)

(b) Anyone found to be in procession of illegal drugs will be reported to the appropriate authority and if found guilty will have their membership terminated

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