The Natural Resources Body for Wales Salmon and Sea Trout Cross border rivers byelaws

We are seeking your views on proposals for a new catch controls on the Rivers Dee and Wye.

It is proposed to have the new controls in place for the 2018 season.


There are continuing concerns around the numbers of salmon returning to our rivers. Stocks have reached unprecedented lows in recent years and the future of many fisheries is now threatened. Put simply, there are not enough adult fish spawning to sustain stocks at their current levels or to prevent further decline.

In order to help tackle these concerns, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is proposing several actions which will help reverse the trend and ensure this iconic species may continue to play an important role in our environment and culture.

In August, we launched our consultation on catch controls, but this excluded the cross-border rivers with England. This further consultation now is on the Welsh parts of the cross-border rivers Dee and Wye. The Environment Agency will be carrying out an identical consultation on the English parts of the Dee and Wye. In this way, we can seek to ensure that integrated solutions are rolled-out on the 2 rivers. The proposed catch controls include all Welsh rivers. We recognise the need for a fully integrated approach for our border rivers, we are working together with the Environment Agency to ensure that this happens in a practical and sensible way and will be subject to a later consultation.

The proposals include:

  • Mandatory catch and release of salmon on the River Dee,
  • Mandatory catch and release for sea trout before 1st May on the River Dee,
  • A 60cm maximum size length limit for sea trout on the Dee,
  • Method restrictions (bait, barbless hooks and trebles) so that released fish have an improved chance of survival. These will apply to both the Dee and the Wye

These measures will not affect the extensive ’10 year’ catch controls that have been in place on the Wye since 2012 and are not due to expire until 2021.


Rod and Line Catch Controls statutory consultation on will begin on 13 November 2017 and run until February 5, 2018

How to respond:


Comments on the consultation on the catch controls byelaws (season length for nets, catch and release, sea trout maximum take size and method restrictions) should be made to Natural Resources Wales.

Comments should be submitted by 05/02/2018, you can submit your comments on the response form in the following ways

By email to

By post to:

David Mee,
Salmon and Sea Trout Cross Border Byelaws,
Natural Resources Wales,
Maes Newydd,
Neath Port Talbot SA10 6JQ