Fishing to be allowed during England’s national lockdown - But no night fishing [and no fishing at Kingsbridge until Monday 11 January 2021]
The following is an extract from an announcement made by Chief Executive of the Angling Trust today:
"The Government have now formally responded to the representations made by the Angling Trust. We have promoted the huge benefits of fishing on individual health and wellbeing and have been able to present a case to which the Government have listened. On this basis I am pleased to announce that fishing will be permitted during the third national lockdown in England.
The Head of Sports Participation at DCMS confirmed the following:
“fishing is allowed as exercise so long as participants adhere to the rules on staying local, gathering limits, social distancing and limiting the time spent outdoors”
This has also been confirmed by DEFRA:
“Cabinet Office have now officially confirmed that angling / fishing (incl. sea fishing off private boats, water sports) can be considered exercise and are hence permitted.”
We have worked extremely hard to reach this position and we as anglers have a duty to abide by the strict conditions under which fishing is once again permitted. With infection rates and death tolls rising we must stick to the Government’s rules and ensure that angling remains part of the solution and does not cause problems.
Please bear in mind these key points which will be reflected in the new Angling Trust guidelines which we will publish shortly:
• This is a strictly limited resumption of LOCAL fishing and very different to how we have been allowed to operate since May.
• We are in a National Lockdown and this must be respected. The law requires a ‘reasonable excuse’ to leave your home or penalties will apply.
• The Government has recognised that fishing can be seen as exercise, which is expressly permitted under the lockdown rules, although outdoor recreation is not.
• Organised sporting gatherings are prohibited so no match fishing.
• The exercise is limited to once a day so no overnight fishing whatsoever.
• To remain within the law you should follow the Government’s guidance, and only fish locally within the district where you live. If you have no local fishing available then you will have to take your daily exercise in other ways.
We are once again able to enjoy the sport we love at a time when many others cannot and we must ensure that every angler adheres to the rules."
On this basis interim rules to govern attendance at WDAC fisheries have been prepared and these will be updated, if need be, once the Angling Trust has updated their advice in this respect and these are also below'
The Club's waters are, therefore, open again. However, please remember that Kingsbridge is currently closed for essential works this week and will open again on Monday 11 January.
Interim Advice and Rules for Wimborne and District Angling Club Members on Angling during the Covid-19 pandemic third ‘Lockdown’ updated on the 7th January 2021.
The rules below are prepared based upon the previous guidance and the new position as advised by Government to the Angling Trust. These may well be modified in the light of further detailed advice from the Angling Trust. However, the main points are clear.
Member behaviour departing from the following guidance will be likely to amount to a breach of rule 10a in the Club’s Constitution and may lead to the conduct being considered improper for disciplinary purposes. However, the key message is still that every member will need to consider others with sensitivity and in the way we have all had to become accustomed. Social distancing and extreme care with hand hygiene are the new normal and it will be no different fishing.
At present no allowance in these rules is being made for any person who may have been vaccinated.
Wimborne and District Angling Guidelines [applicable to Club waters only and not the fisheries where the Club is not responsible for the management but does have ticket arrangements].
1. Anyone displaying symptoms of COVID-19, or who shares a household with any individual displaying symptoms, must not go fishing on Club waters and should continue to follow government advice on isolation.
2. Social distancing will be undertaken at all times and a minimum of two metres will be observed between all people on Club waters (except for people in the same household, parents of juniors/minors, who are not from the same isolation household but share custody and carers for the less able as a ‘bubble’). Please be sensitive to, and avoid conflicts with, non-fishing members of the public where there is public access (do not spread tackle out as you might do in normal times).
3. Anglers [and any non-fishing attendees] must not gather before or after fishing unless the participants are from one household or ‘bubble.’
4. When opening and closing gates and locks use best hygiene practice and carry appropriate equipment and materials [examples are anti-viral hand foam and hand gel - use these before after touching hard surfaces in common use].
5. In car parking areas ensure social distancing can be practised. Do not park in locations that may jeopardise the behaviour of others and be patient, so adjacent cars are not in active use being loaded and unloaded at the same time. If there is not an obvious place to park safely leave the site.
6. Angling is to be undertaken on a solitary basis with no sharing of swims or fishing tackle. Use recognised swims/platforms and stay as far apart as is reasonable from your fishing neighbour to avoid the potential for tangles of tackle etc. The only exception to this will be members of the same household fishing together, juniors/minors fishing with a parent not necessarily from the child’s normally isolated household, or disabled fishermen with carers.
7. Portable toilets are available for use and are being regularly cleaned. However, this must be entirely at the risk of the user. Please ensure and practice best hygiene using your own materials.
8. No night fishing on any water.
9. Take all litter home. [This existing Club rule is repeated as it is totally inappropriate to leave any litter that then may involve others in having to remove it – a recent incident has resulted in a lifetime ban from the Club for a person caught leaving litter].
10. No portable or disposable BBQs of any description are to be used.
11. No swimming in Club waters.
12. All members carrying out essential maintenance or other similar work will apply the same rules in so far as hygiene and social distancing is concerned and in addition to any particular issues arising from any risk assessment for the relevant work. Follow advice for opening and locking containers and the buildings at trout waters that is expressed at 4 above: use best hygiene practice and carry appropriate equipment and materials [examples are anti-viral hand foam, hand gel, –use these after touching hard surfaces in common use]. Wipe down hand tools etc. with an anti-viral spray or standard disinfectant. When working on a particular activity it shall be carried out in isolation.
13. Bailiffs will continue to operate but maintain social distancing requirements; all anglers must hold up their Club membership books for inspection and provide their membership number upon request. [At Rawlsbury also be prepared to offer any individual acting for the landowner the same inspection].
14. There will be no access to the fishing Lodge at Rawlsbury and the Hut at Winterborne Zelston except for storage. [But note 4 and 12 above]
15. All trout ticket returns are to be made by email to the Game Secretary address. Do not use paper returns in the boxes.
16. Do not sign in, as in pre-Covid times, at Rawlsbury in the yard.
17. No coarse fishing matches will take place until further notice associated with a relaxation of the current restrictions.
Except where in conflict with the above, the existing Club rules continue to apply and in particular attention is drawn to the national requirement for a valid EA rod licence, hours of opening and closing of fisheries and that the normal close season rules for fishing and fish species continue to apply on the River Stour, at Alder Hills Pond and Rawlsbury.
NB: If requested by relevant authorities to do so, the Club will use the personal information it holds on members and guests to assist track and trace for attendees at Club waters.