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Fish Welfare

As anglers it is in our interests to protect the species we fish for, so everyone in the sport can continue to enjoy their future captures on our venues.

Fish care starts with the essential items of equipment in order to protect and sort your catch while it's out of its natural environment, be it the correct size landing net, a unhooking mat or basic items like a disgorger or forceps for hook removal.

If you wish to weigh and take a picture of your fish make sure you have everything sorted and organised before you remove the fish from the water, scales, sling and camera must be to hand.

Wherever practical and safe to do so with large fish, remove the hook from the fish before lifting the landing net from the water, the use of quick links on your rigs will allow you to discard the rod and carry the net (and fish) to the unhooking mat with both hands.

Carefully transfer the fish from mat to sling, always keeping the fish close to the ground and over the mat.

Always use a wet sling. And don’t forget to zero your scales to take into account the weight of the sling, or deduct this weight from the total.

Make the weighing and photographing of a fish as quick an operation as possible, when presenting a fish to the camera, keep it low to the ground with your unhooking mat below it in case it flaps from your grasp.


Never carry a fish in your hands to the water, always carefully return fish using your sling or net, If it is exhausted from a long fight, or has perhaps been out of the water for a while it may need time to recover. If you feel that it is starting to roll onto its side, hold it upright until it recovers fully and ready to kick.

Use an antiseptic on hook wounds, sores and lifted scales, we suggest you use a quality Medi care kit.

Top Tips

  • Discorgers & forceps must be carried at all times

  • Safe Rigs

  • Use a appropriate sized landing net, minimum 20” or 42” for Carp over 10lbs

  • All members must carry unhooking mats, minimum size is 24”x36”

  • Use Keepnets, only where permitted

  • Use a quality weigh sling

  • Have a bucket or bowl of water to hand

  • Never leave your rods unattended

  • Members advised to carry Medi Kits

If you see any fish in any form of distress, disease or pollution to our waters, please inform a baliff, member of the committee or call the Environment Agency Emergency hotline 0800 80 70 60 immediately.

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