The Environment Agency has released a guidance note as to how the new Salmon byelaws affect northeast rivers with regard to catch and release viz;
The agency has set a target of voluntary catch and release rates in excess of 90% starting from 2019 on rivers assessed to be ‘Probably at Risk’ – ie Tees and Coquet in the North East.
This will be reviewed in 2020 with a view to either continuing the voluntary measures or implementing mandatory catch and release byelaws if the stocks cannot be protected by voluntary means. The decision will be made on a river-by-river basis, determined by local considerations.
For rivers Probably not at Risk – ie Tyne and Wear, the EA hope to achieve high levels of C&R at or approaching 90%, and will work with anglers, the Angling Trust and others to understand how this can be achieved. If these levels of C&R are not achieved, the EA will not seek to introduce mandatory C&R unless the performance of the salmon population fell to Probably at Risk, and voluntary measures were proving ineffective in achieving the 90% level.
So whilst the Wear and Tyne remain ‘Probably not at Risk’ (and hopefully subsequently improve to Not at Risk) the EA will maintain voluntary C&R arrangements regardless of actual levels of C&R.
These targets apply only to Salmon and not Sea trout.
The only northeast and Yorkshire rivers to have mandatory catch and release are the Rivers Aln, Blyth, Wansbeck, Tyne Derwent and Warren Burn. and all of the Yorkshire Ouse system including the River Ure.