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ANGLING IN THE NATIONAL LOCKDOWN - UPDATED 11/3/21
16/3/2021 - Angling Trust statement on fishing in England from March 29th
Updated: March 16th, 2021
Following the Angling Trust’s February 11th submission to the Cabinet Office making the case for a relaxation of travel restrictions and a return to all forms of angling – including night fishing, charter boat angling and match fishing – we have been having intense discussions with government officials who are drawing up the new guidance for the return of outdoor sports and recreation for the next relaxation in the Covid restrictions due on March 29th.
The Angling Trust is pleased to announce the Cabinet Office and Defra have now confirmed to us the following from March 29th:
Fishing will remain permitted as outdoor recreation or exercise for up to 6 people, or in a larger group if everyone present is from the same two households. A ‘household’ can include the support bubble linked to that household [if eligible].
Outdoor recreational activities and exercise may take place at night so you may fish into or through the night. There are no time limits on outdoor recreation. However, you may not go on holiday to go fishing or use fishing as a pretext for a camping trip as overnight stays for these purposes remain prohibited until April 12th (Step 2)
Match fishing will be enabled as an organised outdoor sport from March 29th. Organised outdoor sports will not be subject to the gatherings limits, but should be compliant with guidance issued by national governing bodies to ensure appropriate steps, including risk assessments, are taken to make it Covid secure in line with the law. At this stage, these gatherings must only include participants – not spectators.
Private boat fishing under the Rule of 6 and charter boats operating in accordance with Covid precautions should now both be allowed. However, where fishing takes place on a partially enclosed boat (eg with a cabin or lounge area) with the exception of the skipper, those outside the household support bubble must not go indoors (except for access to/use of the toilet).
The statutory stay at home restriction will be lifted but the guidance will encourage you to minimise travel outside of your local area. This means avoiding making unnecessary journeys, combining trips and avoiding travel at peak times where possible. People should avoid travelling further than is reasonably necessary to take part in, or during, their activity.
Tackle shops and other ‘non-essential retail’ can fully open at Step 2 (April 12th) but can continue to offer click/call and collect until this point. Fisheries offering self-contained accommodation such as campsites and holiday lets, where indoor facilities are not shared with other households, can also reopen at this time.
Throughout, anglers must also ensure they are in possession of a valid fishing licence, adhere to fisheries bylaws including the close season (March 15 to June 15 for coarse fishing on rivers) and have permission of the fishery owner.
Although the regulations are yet to be published we fully expect them to be in line with the above.
A series of FAQs will be published as usual by Sport England in addition to any departmental guidance.
The Angling Trust will update its formal guidelines once we have seen the regulations and had the benefit of legal advice. In the meantime, and with this caveat, we advise angling clubs and fisheries to plan on this basis.
11/3/2021 - Fishing out of Lockdown - Angling Trust Update
Updated: March 11th, 2021
It’s now a month since we put in our submission to the Cabinet Office for a return to all forms of angling including night fishing and competitions. A big thank you to the thousands of you who have indicated your support. It has certainly helped in our discussions with the officials who are drawing up the new government guidance to know that we have your backing.
We still have some outstanding issues to resolve and are working to secure the clarification needed but we remain hopeful that night fishing, match fishing and wider travel for angling will all be confirmed from March 29th as we were last summer and autumn.
Hopefully, we should be able to make an announcement next week. Thanks for your patience!
22/2/2021 - Roadmap Out Of Lockdown: What it means for angling - Angling Trust Update
Update: February 22nd 2021
The Angling Trust has responded to today’s government announcement on the easing of lockdown restrictions in England saying:
“Although it’s positive that the government have accepted the case that outdoor activities such as angling should be first to fully open up it looks like no real change for us until March 29th when restrictions are lifted and outdoor sports can resume. The Stay Home message and travel restrictions remain in place until then with the exception of a provision for outdoor recreation as well as exercise. Since angling has been deemed ‘permissible exercise’ throughout lockdown this is unlikely to affect us.
“We will know more when the regulations and DCMS guidance are published in the coming days and will update everybody if anything changes. Having a clear date at least means that anglers, clubs and fisheries can plan for the forthcoming season with more certainty and we can all look forward to once again being able to fish our favourite waters in a manner of our choosing.”
Currently anglers are restricted to fishing locally once a day, as a form of exercise, with one other person and no organised gatherings or competitions. Most other sports remain prohibited. The Angling Trust submitted a case to government for the early and full resumption of all forms of angling including night fishing and competitions. These will now be possible from March 29th.
Update: January 8th 2021
Fishing will be allowed to resume as part of daily exercise from 8/1/21 with some restrictions
!!DAY FISHING ONLY!!
!!NO OVERNIGHT FISHING AT ANY VENUE!!
!!RESTRICTED FISHING HOURS AT WYBOSTON AND KEMPSTON!!
!!ONLY TRAVEL TO LOCAL WATERS!!
!!FOLLOW STRICT SOCIAL DISTANCING!!
!!USE SANITISER AFTER USING LOCKS/GATES!!
KEMPSTON LAKE - Open From 10am Friday 8th Jan - fishing dawn to dusk only.
GRAND UNION CANAL - Open from Dawn Friday 8th Jan
BECKERINGS - Open from 10am Friday 8th Jan
WYBOSTON COMPLEX (South Lagoon River Ouse and North House Lake)
Open from 10am Friday 8th Jan You can Arrive at 06:30 and must leave the venue by 17:00hrs - Club books will be checked at the main gate and you will be turned away if not from the immediate local area - Security Gatehouse decision is FINAL! if you choose not to provide details then you will not be allowed access. No personal details will be recorded or stored
ALL RIVER SECTIONS - Open from Dawn Friday 8th Jan SLIPE LANE PITS - Open Friday 8th Jan
YOU MUST ONLY TRAVEL TO WATERS IN YOUR LOCAL AREA DURING LOCKDOWN
There is no perfect definition of ‘local’, so the best advice I can think of is imagine defending where you have chosen to fish if you end up having to defend yourself in court. I think you would struggle with a 50 mile trip and according to GOV.UK You should not travel outside of your village, town or the part of a city where you live. This may be difficult for some however if you have no waters in your immediate local area then you will have to find an alternate form of exercise.
If you choose not to show your details to the bailiffs or security at Wyboston they may not allow you access on to their property. If too much hassle is created they will just close the venue to angling during the lockdown!
Checks may also be made by Bailiffs, Police, EA to ensure the government advice is being followed with regard to night fishing and the travel restrictions you are responsible for your interpretation of the government rules and your actions based upon them - If in doubt stay at home.
If the rules are blatantly disregarded then these permissions may be revoked. Let's not screw this up!