Angling and Fishing
Recreational Fishing in the Estuary is regulated by the Environment Agency and Cornwall Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA)
Fowey Harbour Commissioners do not allow rod fishing from pontoons in the estuary for the safety of other harbour users
No nets are allowed in harbour area (Harbour Byelaw 52)
Anglers should be aware of the Bass Regulations within the estuary
Download Bass Regulations 2019
** Updated Recreational Bass Fishing Regulations from February 2019 **
The impact on recreational fishing is as follows.
1 January - 31 March 2019: Catch and release only
1 April - 31 October 2019: One fish bag limit. You may not retain more than one specimen of sea bass each per day (00:00 to 23:59 hours)
1 November - 31 December 2019: Catch and release only
Minimum size: The minimum size for bass remains at 42cm
Cornwall IFCA River and Estuarine
Fishing Nets Byelaw 2017
Defra has confirmed into law a new
byelaw banning netting for sea fish (with a small number of specific
exceptions) in Cornwall's rivers and estuaries.
It is an offence, with specific
exceptions listed below, to use a net for the purposes of taking sea fish from
any of the rivers or estuaries in the Cornwall IFCA district. In addition, it
is also an offence to carry a net on board a vessel while undertaking any
fishing activity for sea fish (including shellfish) in any of the rivers or
estuaries in the Cornwall IFCA district. The prohibition on carrying, or using
a net does not apply to the following exceptions:
1. Ebb nets: Ebb
netting is an unusual method of fishing where a single panel of fishing net is
fixed between two poles, pivoted from one side of a vessel, where the vessel is
moored in a river, estuary, channel or stream. The use of ebb nets is subject
to certain conditions, including an annual ebb net permit, annual catch returns
and a notification period prior to using the net. In addition ebb nets cannot
be used in the River Tamar (western part) or River Lynher or in the River Camel
or River Fowey from May to December incl. or east of Pinkson Creek in the River
Camel from January to April incl.
2. Sand eel seine
nets: Sand eel seine nets are allowed from the shore or from a boat,
though their construction and operation is restricted. An annual seine
net permit is required from Cornwall IFCA, which requires annual catch returns
to be made. Sand eel seines cannot be used in the River Tamar (western part) or
If you require an ebb net permit or a
sand eel seine net permit, you can obtain an application form from Cornwall
IFCA. There is no charge for either permit.
3. Various low
brailling nets (small nets
used for bringing fish aboard a vessel, usually from a trap or larger
landing nets used in
conjunction with fishing by rod and line or a trolling line;
any net which forms part of
a dredge or pot placed or used for fishing for shellfish;
any net which forms part of
a trap placed or used for fishing for or taking sea fish, where the trap
encloses fish within a framework structure; or
any net which when fully
expanded does not exceed an area of four square metres, where it is
operated only manually and not in connection with any vessel or mechanical
Read the full text of the Byelaw. Please note this byelaw has revoked
a number of former byelaws. The list of those byelaws revoked can be
found at the end of the byelaw text. The revoked byelaws have been removed from
the published list.
The byelaw was originally placed for
public consultation in September and October 2016 and was then made at the
December 2016 Cornwall IFCA Authority meeting and sent to Defra for
confirmation. The consultation process raised a number of concerns from the
public as well as from some organisations. As a result there was a considerable
amount of additional time spent working with Defra to make modifications to
this byelaw to resolve the concerns raised.
The modifications made by Defra
relate to the use of ebb nets and introduce the ebb net permit and permit
conditions described above.
Contact Cornwall IFCA for further details about the byelaw,
or to enquire about obtaining a sand eel seine or ebb net permit.
Crab catching is a popular activity, we allow crabbing from the shore linked pontoons but please be aware of other users, especially boats which take priority.
Please keep a close watch over children near water and lifejackets are advisable.
Bait digging should not take place within 6 metres of any mooring, pile, beacon, hard, causeway, jetty, wharf or similar structure or on the foreshore between signs indicationg areas of no digging (Harbour Byelaw 102)
We ask that you also adhere to the Bait Digging Code of Conduct adopted in this estuary
Bait Digging Code of Conduct
The harvesting of cockles is regulated in Cornish Estuaries with a Byelaw
Download Cockle Harvesting Byelaws