Angling code of conduct
The Public Angling Estate waters are open to everyone. It is important that people using the fisheries follow the angling code of conduct. The code encourages sportsmanship, care for fish stocks, the environment, wildlife and respect for fellow anglers.
Rules and regulations
Anglers must make sure they have the right licence and permit (or day ticket) for the particular fishery.
- Angling rod licences explained
- Angling permits explained
- Buy rod licences, permits and River Bush day tickets
You should give your name and date of birth to a Fishery Protection Officer from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA). Fishery Protection Officers carry a warrant card which can be shown when asked.
All anglers should obey the rules on the angling regulations page and on signs at each fishery.
Think of others at the waterside
Always show consideration for other anglers and water users on the shore or at the waterside. Respect their right to enjoy the peace and quiet of the fishery.
Stay safe when fishing from a slippery bank or near deep, fast flowing water. Don't take risks near the water. For safe and enjoyable angling, follow the advice below:
- check the weather forecast for changing conditions which affect the water you are fishing
- wear the right safety gear - always wear a life jacket when fishing from a boat
- notice and avoid contact with overhead power lines
- tell someone where you are going to fish and what time you expect to return home
- don't walk on ice-covered water
Anglers should also be aware of the dangers of Leptospirosis which is transmitted through contact with rat urine in the water or on the river side.
Fish to be returned should be handled as little as possible and placed gently back in the water. Fish to be kept should be quickly and efficiently dispatched, with a single accurate blow to the head using a suitable priest/cosh.
Care for the environment
You should follow the countryside code at all times. Do not leave any litter, do not damage fences, hedges, walls and do not leave gates open. You should avoid fire risk, drive carefully on country roads and always park your vehicle considerately and safely. Do not pollute waterways or reservoirs.
As an angler you should be aware that fish diseases or invasive species can be spread accidentally by fishing equipment that's been in contact with infected fish, water or sediment. Examples are the salmon parasite Gyrodactylus or the zebra mussel.
You should clean and disinfect all your fishing equipment regularly, particularly if it has been used overseas.