Coronavirus and fishing

Statement from the Angling Trust: Update January 7th 2021

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.

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.

Because of this announcement we are instructing all members that as from Today 07/01/2021 fishing is again permitted on all SOTAS

waters other than RUDYARD RESERVOIR which remains closed until further notice, UNDER STRICT ADHERENCE  to the  rules and guidelines (Listed Above) laid down by the government and Angling Trust.

NOTE: NO NIGHT FISHING, NO MATCH FISHING, AND LOCAL ONLY. THESE RULES ARE ENFORCEABLE BY LAW.

Please ensure that you comply with these rules.

Please Click Here to view the full guidelines.

Please all Stay Safe. 

              John Davey Chairman of SOTAS

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