Fishing in Wales

Wales is internationally renowned for the quality of its wild brown trout, grayling and salmon fishing. We have some of the best sea trout (or ‘sewin’) rivers to be found anywhere in Europe! We also have some great reservoir trout and pike fishing, and no shortage of still waters for targeting coarse fish such as carp, bream and roach.



If you are 13 years or older you will need a rod licence to fish legally in Wales.


Check the Byelaws (Local & National). Fishing in Wales is subject byelaws – in order to protect the future of our fisheries. They apply to all waters, whether they are owned by angling clubs, local authorities or private individuals. Read the angling byelaws (fishing rules).

Responsible angling: Practise Catch and Release to help conserve stocks.

Stocks of salmon and sea trout have generally been declining in recent years. As a result, anglers are voluntarily releasing an increasing number of fish they capture.

The rivers Taff, Ely and Wye are now 100% Catch and Release all season for both salmon and sea trout. In addition, any salmon caught in Wales before 16 June must be returned to the river.


Helping fish to survive. Studies show that most fish will survive after they have been released and survival rates can be up to 100% if the following steps are followed:

  • Always use single or double barbless hooks
  • Minimise the time spent playing a fish
  • Do not remove the fish from the water at any time
  • Support the fish in the water until it is fully recovered


Stop the spread of damaging invasive species! Invasive non-native species can have a damaging impact on British plants, animals and ecosystems. They do this by spreading disease, competing for habitat and food as well as direct predation. Anglers may unknowingly be helping to spread invasive species from one water body to another in wet equipment, such as nets and waders. You have a responsibility to help stop this happening by following three simple steps: Check, Clean and Dry.



Help record wildlife. As an angler you’re in a unique position to help update wildlife records; not only the fish you catch, but all the other species you see when out fishing. The iRecord App offers a simple field based way for you to get involved in wildlife recording and help contribute to nature conservation, planning, research and education. You can get more information on biological recording at: NBN Atlas Wales or the UK Biological Records Centre