Coarse Fishing in Scotland – ‘The Legal Position – Part 1’

Since Angling re-opened at the beginning of July, as part of the Scottish Government’s Routemap out of the COVID-19 pandemic, literally hundreds of individuals have either returned to the sport, or indeed taken it up for the first time.  

This is excellent news, and it is great to see so many more anglers out on both natural and commercial waters.  The sudden increase in demand during this period, coupled with reduced capacity at commercial fisheries due to COVID-19 restrictions, has however sometimes proven a problem and we have been receiving numerous enquiries about access to natural waters and what permission are required to fish them.  With more anglers out on the bank, we have also been receiving increasing reports of individuals removing fish from waters, by net, trap or set lines and have had questions about the legal position of this activity and who it should be reported too.

In light of this I have asked Policy Officer, Ron Woods, to write a series of articles outlining the legal position with regard to coarse fish and coarse fishing in Scotland, rights of access to fish for them and legislation governing the movement and introduction of coarse fish.  These are quite detailed papers so it is my intention to publish all three over the next 2 weeks and then to produce a simpler summary/bullet point paper that anglers can keep as a quick reference.

The first of these articles, covering the ‘Legal’ position, can be accessed by clicking the link below:

Fishing for coarse fish in Scotland – the legal position – Part 1 – Methods of fishing

Part two, covering ‘Fishing for coarse fish in Scotland – the legal position – Part 2 – Where you can fish and permissions required’ will follow next week.


Tight Lines,


Gus Brindle, Chairman



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