Advice to anglers on reporting unusual catches
What to do if you suspect you have caught:
- an escaped farmed Atlantic salmon
- an escaped farmed Rainbow trout
- an escaped farmed Brown trout
- a non-native Pink salmon
- fish displaying external or internal signs of disease
Report any suspected catches to DAERA Inland Fisheries or Loughs Agency:
If possible take a picture before release and attach it to any report.
Don't dispatch fish unless in line with fisheries regulations and bag limits.
DAERA Inland Fisheries and Loughs Agency will monitor reports and develop further advice if needed.
Castlewellan Lake - North, South, East and West is now open to water activities.
Until further notice - access to the Leap stretch on the River Bush is pedestrian only. Car parking is available nearby at Priestland Road.
Angling Event Grant Fund
The Inland Fisheries Angling Event Fund reopened for applications on 17 May 2021 for planned events for new anglers to be held from 27 May 2021 onwards.
Organisers should follow all relevant COVID-19 regulations and guidance that apply on the date of their planned event. In particular, the number of participants allowed to take part in outdoor events and also practising safe social distancing measures.
You can ask for an application form by emailing:
Anglers with a DAERA angling licence and DAERA permit may fish at DAERA Public Angling Estate fisheries and do not need to pay any other fees.
Only court approved private water bailiffs with a valid warrant card may ask to see an angler’s licence and permit. They must carry a warrant card as evidence of their legal appointment. If challenged by anyone while fishing at DAERA Public Angling Estate waters, an angler can ask to see the warrant card to make sure the person who has challenged them has the authorisation to do so. Impersonation of being a private water bailiff is an offense.
Public Angling Estate – COVID-19 restrictions
The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs’ (DAERA) Public Angling Estate waters are open to allow outdoor exercise – this includes angling. For more information about COVID-19 restrictions and guidance (including exercising and sports) visit the following page:
Car parks are open, including disabled parking. However, anglers should check for updates about the facilities for particular waters before they visit. Updates will be posted on this page.
It will be for private fisheries to decide whether they stay open or close during this period of restrictions. If they stay open they must follow the Health Protection regulations and guidance.
Anglers should not travel more than 10 miles from home to angling waters and must continue to stay safe by following the Health Protection Regulations and guidelines. These include maintaining social distancing and washing your hands often, especially after touching shared hard surfaces.
No refunds will be given for the closure of fisheries due to COVID-19.
Contacting DAERA Inland Fisheries
You can only contact DAERA Inland Fisheries by email:
Health and restrictions advice
Follow the latest COVID-19 health advice on the Public Health Agency website.
2021 angling licences and permits
2021 angling licences and permits will be available to buy online from 17 December 2020.
Buying angling licences and permits
You can only use the online system to buy DAERA angling licences and permits.
DAERA fisheries offices and most distributors are closed to the public due to the COVID-19 restrictions.
Dunalis Reservoir - Blue-green algae
Blue-green algae is present in Dunalis Reservoir. Anglers should exercise caution when fishing there.
Fish stocking figures
DAERA has continued to stock its public angling estate waters while its fisheries were closed. The latest fish stocking figures on the Public Angling Estate can be found at the following page:
Anglers are advised not to fish near the float and nets at Altnahinch Reservoir as an experiment is taking place to pick up tagged fish signals.
Killylane is now open but visitors should be aware of lower water levels. All anglers must follow health and safety measures and visitors should consider the welfare of the fish.
Reports of diseased salmon
Reports have been received of Atlantic salmon from European rivers being caught which have demonstrated symptoms of Red Skin Disease.
If you catch or see Salmon with a red spotted rash, ulceration and bleeding, report to:
Affected salmon should not be removed from the water.
All fishing tackle, boots and fishing jackets should be disinfected.
If you've recently fished in the Republic of Ireland and plan to fish in Northern Ireland, follow the advice at the link below when you leave the water, to stop the spread of invasive species:
Depending on the weather, members of North Down Model Aircraft Club will be at Lough Cowey on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 May.
How to avoid spreading crayfish plague
Anglers are urged to take precautions to avoid spread of crayfish plague
Craigavon City Park Lake South
The car park at Craigavon Watersports Centre is closed due to construction work. Therefore the nearest car park for anglers fishing at Craigavon City Park Lake South is off roundabout nine on the Portadown to Lurgan road.
Portavoe Reservoir changed owners in June 2020 and will not be open as an Public Angling Estate water for the foreseeable future.
Safety at waterways
If you're a competitor or a spectator at angling events, always pay attention to safety notices and warnings about waterways.
More useful links