NEW salmon fishing byelaws being proposed for the River Severn have left local anglers fearing for the future of their sport on the famous waterway.
The Environment Agency-proposed legislation, which is geared towards protecting stocks of the iconic but endangered game fish, is in the consultation phase, and if passed would ban spinning and worm fishing for the species, outlaw the use of treble hooks, and enforce a 100 per cent catch-and-release policy.
Most salmon anglers return their fish these days, but the proposed restrictions on fishing methods would leave those who don’t fly fish bereft of options, locals claim.
Glyn Marshall, of the Severn Fisheries Group, believes the byelaws aren’t getting to the crux of the issue.
“Grandad who does a bit of salmon fishing is not the reason behind the stocks declining,” he said.
“We have the dirtiest rivers in Europe, and with fewer anglers on the banks, poaching will be rife.”