Anglers – Canoes – Welsh rivers

WSTAA’s Guidelines on canoe access



WSTAA Guidelines to Member Clubs.




Of late there has been a dramatic increase in the number of canoeists – and even rafters – using rivers in Wales for their sport without seeking permission from local angling clubs or riparian owners. This practice is totally unacceptable.




Angling and canoeing cannot possibly go on simultaneously on any of our rivers and this is why angling clubs have sat down with canoeists to discuss ‘agreements’. Unfortunately many of the ‘local agreements’ drawn up in the past have recently been torn up or disregarded by canoeists and this is a huge cause of concern for the angling community.




At a recent meeting of Conservation Committee it was decided to again send out WSTAA’s policy/guidelines on access to, and use of, club waters.








No canoeing or rafting to be allowed on club or riparian owned waters without a valid ‘Local Agreement’ drawn up and signed by all parties.




Local agreements must take into account the following:



*Payment – all river users to pay for the priviledge.



*Insurance – all river users must have a valid and comprehensive insurance cover.



*Identification – all river users must carry some form of identification.



*Registration plate/mark – to be clearly visible on all canoes /rafts. (This in order to deter any illegal use of rivers).



*Fish species and spawning fish



Migratory fish need to be protected at all times. These fish – salmon and sea trout – come into our river systems at certain times of the year to spawn and it is imperative that they are not disturbed or frightened in any way. In view of this consideration must be given to:




·        River levels. These govern all activities on the river and must be considered at all times – and especially so in times of drought when it would not be appropriate for fishing or canoeing to take place.




·        Smaller rivers. Canoeing only to be allowed during the ‘close season’ – provided spawning fish are not disturbed.




·        Bigger rivers – Canoeing to be confined to the close season – if grayling fishing is not affected. This is an extra consideration.




*Fish Diseases – all river users must ensure that their tackle/river crafts have been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected if they have been used abroad. It is crucial that our rivers are kept disease free.



*Compensation – angling clubs and riparian owners to bring in an element of compensation into discussions and agreements. 




These guidelines have been drafted to aid our member clubs. All river users – especially WSTAA members – must be vigilant and look out for the welfare of rivers at all times.