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Covid-19

Angling Support Hub

Now that we are back fishing again, we are regularly updating our guidelines to anglers, clubs, fisheries, coaches and other angling organisations to ensure fishing complies with the latest Government guidance during the Covid-19 epidemic. Please choose an option below to read guidelines that are relevant to you.

UPDATE – On October 14, the Government introduced a new three tier system of Covid restrictions. Fishing and outdoor sports remain accepted by the Government as low risk activities and can largely continue within the new regulations in all the three tiers. However, there has been some tightening of the restrictions and the government discourages travel into and out of the Tier 3, Very High, alert level areas. As anglers we have an individual responsibility to fish safely, to adhere strictly to the rules and to follow the appropriate guidance for travel in the various areas.

For advice and further restrictions on local lockdowns, please see the latest Government guidance.

WALES

The Angling Trust has argued throughout the COVID-19 pandemic that in line with scientific evidence, outdoor individual sports or pastimes, where social distancing is practiced, are a safe and beneficial means for individuals to maintain their health and wellbeing during this difficult time.

We are disappointed that the Welsh Government’s “fire break” which will run from 6pm Friday 23rd October until Monday 9th November now limits access to practical participation in angling and for many other beneficial outdoor activities where essential equipment is required.

Angling remains a permitted activity, albeit with onerous conditions, and anglers can participate for as long as they wish provided they can walk or cycle to the water and their session starts and ends at home. Whilst we consider this an unnecessary constraint on a safe and beneficial activity during this ‘fire break’ we are asking anglers to follow the Welsh Government guidance and respect the travel restrictions.

For advice on fishing in Wales during Covid-19 restrictions visit our Fishing In Wales website.

LAST UPDATED: 21/10/20

Advice for Individual Anglers

Our guidelines for anglers on how to go fishing safely during the Covid-19 pandemic. These guidelines are designed to help you make angling compliant with current Covid-19 regulations.

 
 

Guidelines for Freshwater Anglers

 

TRAVELLING TO FISHING VENUES

  • You should travel to fishing venues on your own or with members of your household. Only travel based on what is allowed under current Government guidelines.
  • Many clubs & fisheries are using booking systems. Check you are permitted to fish before travelling. Fishing without permission is illegal.

MAINTAIN SOCIAL DISTANCING

  • Maintain a distance of at least 2 metres from other people (unless members of your household) in line with government guidance.

PRACTICE GOOD HYGIENE

  • Use hand sanitiser before and after touching locks, gates etc. Disposable gloves and use of face masks where appropriate are recommended.

READ CLUB & FISHERY NOTICES

  • Pay careful attention to club & fishery notices – if you are unsure speak to the venue for guidance. 

MATCH FISHING

  • The Head of Sports Participation at DCMS agreed that the new Angling Trust best practice guidelines were ‘sensible’ and could be issued as the basis for a safe resumption of match fishing in England from May 25th.

WHO YOU CAN FISH WITH

  • You can fish with members of your household or up to 5 other people outside your household but you must stick to social distancing guidelines at all times.
PEG SPACING
  • There are no government rules with regards to peg spacing other than standard social distancing. Fishery Managers and Match Organisers should use common sense and do their best to ensure that pegs are as sensibly spaced as is practical on their fishery to ensure the safety of anglers.

SHARING OF FISHING TACKLE

  • Sharing equipment is permitted although should be kept to a minimum. If equipment is shared to take someone fishing, you should practice strict hand hygiene, cleaning your hands thoroughly before and after use. Equipment should be cleaned thoroughly in line with wider guidance on hygiene. 
TACKLE SHOPS
  • Since June 15th, tackle shops have been allowed to open subject to retail safety guidance. Tackle shops are also able to carry on trading by remote ordering (online, phone text or post).

USE OF KEEPNETS

  • Following the return of match fishing to the new Covid-compliant best practice guidelines, the Angling Trust has revised the overall guidance in respect of no longer discouraging the use of keepnets.

NIGHT FISHING

  • Fishing at night in England is currently allowed. When fishing is finished, any night shelters must be removed and people should return home.

KAYAK & BOAT FISHING

  • Following government approval for water sports to resume, we can clarify that this includes solo boat and kayak fishing, and shared boat fishing on both sea and freshwater with household members or up to 5 other people where social distancing can be maintained.

SHARING OF FISHING POSITIONS

  • Fishing positions or pegs should only be fished by individuals or members of the same household, or unless anglers can maintain social distancing at all times.

IF YOU HAVE COVID-19 SYMPTOMS

  • Do not leave home if you have symptoms of Covid-19 and follow Government advice on testing and self-isolation.

FISHING LICENCE

 

Guidelines for Sea Anglers

 

TRAVELLING TO YOUR FISHING VENUE

  • You should travel to fishing venues on your own or with members of your household – abide by current guidelines on social distancing whilst fishing.
  • Only travel based on what is allowed under current Government guidelines.

MAINTAIN SOCIAL DISTANCING

  • Maintain a distance of at least 2 metres from other people (unless members of your household) in line with government guidance.

PRACTICE GOOD HYGIENE

  • Use hand sanitiser before and after touching locks, gates etc. Disposable gloves and use of face masks where appropriate are recommended.

PERMITTED FISHING

  • Fishing from beach and shore is permitted, along with small scale private boat fishing – provided you adhere to social distancing guidelines. Night fishing in England is currently permissible.

FISHING FROM PIERS AND BREAKWATERS

  • To avoid over-crowding, avoid fishing from piers and breakwaters if you have other alternatives.

READ HARBOUR / COUNCIL NOTICES

  • Pay careful attention to harbour and local council notices – if unsure seek guidance.

KAYAK AND BOAT FISHING

  • Following government approval for water sports to resume, we can clarify that this includes solo boat and kayak fishing, and shared boat fishing with members of your household or up to 5 other people where social distancing can be maintained.

SHARING OF FISHING TACKLE

  • Sharing equipment is permitted although should be kept to a minimum. If equipment is shared to take someone fishing, you should practice strict hand hygiene, cleaning your hands thoroughly before and after use. Equipment should be cleaned thoroughly in line with wider guidance on hygiene.

WHO YOU CAN FISH WITH

  • You can fish with members of your household or up to 5 other people outside your household – stick to social distancing guidelines at all times.

SHARING OF FISHING POSITIONS

  • No sharing of fishing positions / marks except by members of the same household, or unless anglers can maintain social distancing at all times.

COMPETITION FISHING

  • The Head of Sports Participation at DCMS agreed that the new Angling Trust best practice guidelines were ‘sensible’ and were issued as the basis for a safe resumption of match fishing in England from May 25th.

PEG SPACING

  • For shore match fishing, we favour leaving peg spacing to the common sense of match organisers but recommend a 15 metre space. A 15 metre space would be preferable for pleasure fishing.

NIGHT FISHING

  • Fishing at night in England is currently allowed. When fishing is finished any night shelters must be removed and people should return home.

TACKLE SHOPS

  • Since June 15th, tackle shops have been allowed to open subject to retail safety guidance. Tackle shops are also able to carry on trading by remote ordering (online, phone text or post).

IF YOU HAVE COVID-19 SYMPTOMS

Do not leave home if you have symptoms of Covid-19 and follow Government advice on self-isolation and testing.

 

Guidelines for Clubs and Fisheries

 

The Angling Trust issued the following guidelines to help keep venues safe:

  • You should consider how many people each venue can safely cater for. There are no government rules with regards to peg spacing other than standard social distancing. Fishery Managers and Match Organisers should use common sense and do everything possible to ensure that pegs are as sensibly spaced as is practical on their fishery to ensure the safety of anglers. Sharing of pegs should only be allowed by members of the same household unless there is sufficient room to ensure that social distancing can take place at all times.
  • Competitions may be organised, provided they meet current social distancing guidelines and follow the best practice guidance issued by the Angling Trust. See our Guidelines for Competitions.
  • Access to toilet facilities should be maintained in accordance with current Government guidelines on cleanliness.
  • The cleaning of gates, locks, boats, catch return boxes and other items that will be handled by anglers as part of their fishing session should be considered and wherever possible the number of individuals coming into contact with these items should be reduced.
  • Clubs and fisheries should consider the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for staff members and volunteers. Government guidelines on appropriate PPE can be found here.
  • Fisheries that provide shared equipment, such as landing nets, mats, slings etc.,  should ensure that this equipment is cleaned appropriately prior to every use.
  • Contactless payments and pre-booking should be encouraged wherever possible.
  • Clubs are advised to display the guidance that anglers must follow clearly on site, and on your website.
  • For further information on the delivery of taster sessions or coaching events please read our Guideslines for Coaches, Guides and Ghillies.
 

Guidelines for Coaches, Guides and Ghillies

 

ADVICE FOR COACHES

How do I deliver a safe coaching session?

  • The coach or quality assured volunteer to participant ratio of 1:4 should always be maintained. This abides by the Government’s ‘rule of 6’ protocols.
  • At events where numerous groups will be present, a bubble should be created between the coach and participants. The coach should only work with that bubble during the event and should not move between different groups.
  • All bookings and paperwork to be completed online or remotely, prior to the session/event. It should also include medical requirements which should then be shared confidentially on a need to know basis. Ideally electronically such as text or email.
  • All contact details of attendees should be kept for 21 days to assist the NHS Test and Trace process.
  • Allocate specific time slots and control numbers.
  • Risk Assessment completed and shared electronically with all staff and coaches. This must include control measures for reducing risk of infection. Verbal briefing before commencing activity carried out, including processes and procedures for infection control of Covid-19. A Covid-19 risk assessment template is available to support event delivers during this time. Please contact the Get Fishing Team at [email protected] (clubs/fisheries/coaches in the North) or [email protected] (clubs/fisheries/coaches in the South) to access the template.
  • Handwashing and anti-bacterial gels or wipes should be provided and have the appropriate strength as set out by the government.
  • No food should be taken into, or consumed, in the coaching area. Personal drinks bottles allowed, but handwashing procedure, before consumption, must be adhered to.
  • Social distancing of 2 metres must always be maintained, unless in emergency situations. Procedures to cope with these possible occurrences should form part of the risk assessment and procedures in place to minimise contact.
  • Sharing equipment is permitted although should be kept to a minimum. If equipment is shared to take someone fishing, you should practice strict hand hygiene, cleaning your hands thoroughly before and after use. Equipment should be cleaned thoroughly in line with wider guidance on hygiene.
  • We strongly recommend the wearing of face coverings for coaching and participants, especially where social distancing of 2 metres may be impractical. Face coverings should be worn when coaching activity takes place indoors.
  • If you need support in managing bookings, a useful booking website can be found at: https://www.castbooker.com/add-your-fishing-business/

What about Personal Protective Equipment and Disinfecting?

  • Nitrile gloves, and the use of Personal Protective Clothing, if required, is encouraged.
  • All equipment used during the session should be cleaned. Surfaces and areas of use should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, this includes gates, locks, handles, tables, boats, seats etc.

What happens if someone feels unwell or shows signs of Covid-19?

  • Any instances of participants or coaches who report signs of feeling unwell, should be provided with an area or room to isolate until leaving the venue.
  • All circumstances relating to breaches of the session guidance must be recorded and fed back to Richard Hadley at the Angling Trust: [email protected].

GUIDES AND GHILLIES

  • When with clients, guides and ghilles are in a working environment and therefore government guidance on workplace safety should be observed at all times.
  • Every guide will need to make their own decision as to whether they are able to offer the level of service and experience their clients would expect under current guidelines – for those who decide to offer services we would advise the following points are adhered to:
  • Guides, Ghillies, Instructors must not make physical contact with clients and maintain social distancing guidance at all times.
  • A dummy rod or set up must be used to explain techniques from a safe distance, no direct contact with client or equipment.
  • No sharing of cars or physical contact of any sort.
  • Sharing equipment is permitted although should be kept to a minimum. If equipment is shared to take someone fishing, you should practice strict hand hygiene, cleaning your hands thoroughly before and after use. Equipment should be cleaned thoroughly in line with wider guidance on hygiene.
  • We strongly recommend the wearing of face coverings for coaching and participants, especially where social distancing of 2 metres may be impractical. Face coverings should be worn when coaching activity takes place indoors.
  • Care should be taken to ensure that the same person throughout the day ties all knots, lands all fish and handles their own equipment only.
  • 1 client to 1 guide ratio unless clients are members of the same household.
  • Weighing and photographing of fish should be carried out within social distancing guidelines.
  • All payments should be made electronically where possible.

We’ve produced a video explaining how to run a coaching session safely during the pandemic:

Guidelines for Charter Boats

 

These guidelines have been issued by the Professional Boatman’s Association and the Angling Trust. It is general guidance. Each Boat Skipper will have adapted this guidance to suit the specific circumstance of their boat.  The Skipper’s instructions should be followed at all times.

TRAVEL UPDATE 15/10/20: We all have a responsibility to fish safely and to adhere strictly to the rules and to follow the appropriate guidance for travel in and between various areas. It is up to individual anglers to be aware of the guidance in force at any time in their own areas and in the areas to which they are travelling.

SKIPPERS GUIDANCE

  • It is your decision to allow passengers onboard and should you suspect they are displaying any of the Covid-19 symptoms they should not be allowed to board.
  • Before allowing anyone onboard you should ask if they have or have been in contact recently with anyone showing symptoms of Covid-19 and you should use a digital temperature measuring device to test your passengers.
  • Collect the contact details of each of your passengers as part of the NHS Test and Trace data and retain this information for 21 days.
  • Carry out a full Safety Briefing listing all the measures in place to keep to Government guidelines and what passengers need to do to follow these guidelines.
  • All passengers must be required to bring face masks and should wear them if required by the skipper.
  • Social distancing should be maintained at all times. You should only permit a maximum number of people onboard to ensure this. Government guidance changes regularly and may differ from region to region. You must ensure that the numbers of passengers you take does not breach official guidance.
  • If a passenger is suffering from a bout of seasickness they should be kept well away from the other clients.
  • Where possible you should use marked areas for passengers to sit in and fish from.
  • Passengers should only move around, once on board, if it is absolutely necessary. Remember, social distancing must be maintained when travelling and must be a consideration when setting your passenger numbers.
  • No unauthorised persons should be allowed in the cabin at any time.
  • You should discuss your measures for how people should move around the boat if necessary. If possible, you should have a one way system for people to move around the boat and a system of rotation to avoid passengers from coming into contact with each other.
  • You should deep clean the boat after each trip, ensure you comply with any harbour rules around the use of cleaning equipment.

ANGLERS/PASSENGERS GUIDANCE

  • If you have any Covid-19 symptoms you SHOULD NOT board the boat.
  • It is the skipper’s decision to allow you on the boat and should he suspect you are displaying any of the symptoms he is within his rights to refuse you permission to board the boat.
  • If you are asked to wear Personal Protection Equipment by the skipper, you should do so.
  • The cabin is off limits to all passengers at all times. This is to protect the health of the skipper and minimise risk. Only the skipper can allow entry to the cabin in exceptional circumstances.
  • Anglers should take on board their own soap / sanitiser, small bait board, small knife and bucket with a string attachment – do not risk cross contaminating others.
  • Minimise the amount of fishing equipment you bring to the essentials ie only 2 rods, 1 medium size dry bag, 1 box plus your bait board and bucket. Bait can be carried in the bucket along with weights etc. Nothing is to be placed in the cabin.
  • Use your own hand wash and sanitiser regularly, ensure the area you are fishing from is regularly cleansed, especially handrails.
  • If you need to use the toilet, use your bucket where possible. Only if the skipper allows should you use the boat’s toilet, ensure you wear disposable gloves and follow the Government advice on cleaning your hands before and after using the toilet. Clean anything you touch in the toilet thoroughly using the cleaning equipment provided by the skipper, disposing of used material in the bin provided.
  • Keep all your ‘rubbish’ in your own bag and dispose of it ashore to avoid cross contamination.
  • Bring your own soft drinks (no alcohol, no glass bottles) and food. The boat’s galley area will not be available to passengers.

Please note this advice is only a basic guide to helping us to enjoy our sport. It is down to all onboard to ensure that Government guidelines are followed, and a duty of care is provided to all onboard by all onboard. Please be aware that Government guidelines are changing daily, and the skipper’s advice and guidance should be followed at all times.

QUICK CHECKLIST

  • Waterproof bag for your equipment
  • 1 x small tackle box and 2 rods
  • Small bucket with lanyard, small bait board and knife
  • Appropriate Personal Protection Equipment
  • Hand Wash and Sanitizer
  • Rubbish Bag
  • Drinks and Food.
 

Guidelines for Competition Anglers and Organisers

 

Covid-19 Risk Assessment Guidance for Competition Organisers

Following the Government’s latest Covid-19 guidance relating to the phased return of sport and recreation, organisers of angling competitions are now legally required to carry out a thorough Risk Assessment to mitigate the risk of spreading the virus.

To assist our member clubs and fisheries, the Angling Trust has produced a useful Risk Assessment template based upon standard angling competition best practice and with reference to the latest Coronavirus guidance and regulations.

This Risk Assessment highlights elements of competitions that may pose a risk of Covid-19 transmission through physical cross contamination or air borne infection. It may be clarified or amended by the competition organiser, club or fishery owner to align with their current or proposed Covid-19 practices, and blank template pages have been included at the end of the document to record these amendments or clarifications which can be handwritten.

For instance, organisers of major competitions may be able to carry out a live draw by social media and have all payments made by bank transfer, whereas a small club may only be in a position to have the match organiser draw at the venue and take cash for match fees and pools. The club must then use the blank template to record what measures it is taking to avoid a gathering at the registration point (air borne infection) and to handle cash (cross contamination). The competition organiser will also need to review and consider local area and countrywide Covid-19 restrictions.

Anglers must be made aware of the mitigation measures that have been put in place before the competition is held. Risk Assessments must be produced, signed off by the competition organiser and a record kept so that it can be provided to any authority that may request to see it.

With Coronavirus still a significant threat, competition organisers have a duty of care to all taking part and must give clear advice to anglers on the measures they have put in place to protect the safety and welfare of everyone involved.

 
 

Best practice guidelines

We’ve worked with leading anglers, fisheries and other angling organisations to produce best practice guidelines for the safe resumption of match angling. Click to read the advice relevant to your discipline.

 

Further support

NORTH REGION
Daniel Williams
07854 240 368
[email protected] 

Darren Birch
07791 164 921
[email protected]

SOUTH REGION
Dean Asplin
07854 239 731
[email protected]

Clive Copeland
07730 765 714
[email protected]

EAST REGION
David Munt
07854 239 715
[email protected]

James Roche
07791 786 251
[email protected]

WEST REGION
Dave Evans
07854 239 721
[email protected]

Richard Hadley
07720 974 811
[email protected]

Regional Enforcement Managers
MIDLANDS
Kevin Pearson
[email protected]
07495 433620

NORTH WEST
Dave Lees
[email protected]
07495 433618

SOUTH WEST
Nevin Hunter
[email protected]
07495 433622

NORTH EAST
Currently vacant

SOUTH EAST
Dave Wilkins
[email protected]
07495 433623

EAST
Paul Thomas
[email protected]
07495 433621

BUILDING BRIDGES
Jan Kansik
[email protected]
07495 433615