Guidance for anglers during Coronavirus

March 12, 2021 by 11 Comments | Category Freshwater Fisheries

The First Minister has announced further action to stem the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Following the announcement the Scottish Government introduced, from midnight on 5 January, a legal requirement to stay at home except for essential purposes. This is similar to the lockdown of March 2020.

The First Minister acknowledged that it is important for physical and mental well-being that we can get outdoors for fresh air and exercise as much as possible.  Given this, local outdoor recreation, sport or exercise is to be considered an appropriate reason for leaving home.  Unlike the lockdown last year, the frequency of outdoor exercise is not being limited.

Outdoor non-contact activities such as walking, cycling and golf are permitted for all age groups.

Angling is also permissible provided this is within a single household group, or the group contains no more than 4 people from 2 different households.  Children under the age of 12 from these households do not count towards this number.

You can travel for local outdoor sport or exercise such as angling but must stay within the more general requirements with regard to travel and ensure that you abide by the rules on meeting other households.  In general, stay as close to home as possible – within your local authority, or no more than 5 miles from the boundary – and stay away from crowded places.

Individuals should continue to follow the five principles behind the Scottish Government’s FACTS campaign:

  • F – wear a Face covering
  • A – Avoid crowded places
  • C – Clean hands and surfaces regularly
  • T – stay Two metre distance away from other people
  • S – Self-isolate and book a test if you have COVID-19 symptoms (new continuous cough, fever or loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste)

Detailed guidance on safe conduct while angling is available on the Angling Scotland website and from Fisheries Management Scotland.

Club competitions, outings etc

Angling activity should be restricted to individuals, household groups or no more than 4 people from 2 households, suitably distanced.

From Friday 12 March, outdoor non-contact sports and organised group exercise will be permitted for all adults, in groups of up to 15 people.  This will include gatherings for fishing competitions, subject to all other arrangements in place regarding travel, suitable distancing, etc.  Club outings or group meetings, etc are not yet permitted under the current restrictions.

Sea angling

Sea angling from the shore is allowed, provided that anglers comply with the more general requirements with regard to travel and the rules on meeting other households.

Sea angling from private boats with members of your own household is also allowed.

Again, sea angling should be practised as close to home as possible and no more than 5 miles beyond your local authority boundary.

Angling from charter boats is not currently permitted.

Travelling from other parts of the UK to fish in Scotland

This is not allowed under current rules in Scotland.

In addition, all holiday accommodation is closed to tourism. Hotels, B&Bs and self-catering can remain open for essential customers only.

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  • Adam says:

    What if I’m traveling alone for sea fishing, I live in Glasgow area.
    Reach west coast takes me 50 minutes, definitely I wont be able stay in my local authority boundary.

    Is anyone’s can explain what should I do in that situation?

  • Raymond Carroll says:

    You cannot fish from a private boat with yourself and a friend yet you can go onto a building site with hundreds of strangers milling about your rules are made up in a nut house

  • Alan Carpenter says:

    Is the 5 miles from your council area a hard and fast rule ,the river I fish is 11 miles from West Lothian area limit. and I fish on my own.

  • Peter Stephens says:

    HI Kevin,
    I think it depends on your still water venue and how it is managed.
    I fish at 2 still waters regularly and the rules are clear – keep a minimum of 2m apart and with no club house facilities to touch, you just handle your own equipment, fishing and other! I have no sign in requirements at either venue, take your own drinks and lunch so the risk is less than going for a walk with one other person.
    Peter Stephens, Secretary at Wey Valley Fly Dressers, Farnham, England.

  • rab kelly says:

    You say that we can fish up to 5 mls beyond our region border but you also state in your talks that you cannot leave your region if in Tier 4 area you want to make your mind up Woman I will just take my fishing rod and go and see my mates who live 3mls outside my area

  • Nigel Hooker says:

    Don’t see any problem with Stillwater – sanitise hands before & after using any gates or net tanks, walk to your peg usually set at least 10m apart anyway, keep to yourself, don’t use the cafe (most likely closed anyway) & be careful if you can’t avoid using any toilet facility – where’s the problem? Just engage brain a little and take appropriate extra care – with your comments on Stillwaters you are making a problem where there is none!
    Just be thankful the Scottish authorities have the sense to see fishing is not a problem. Hopefully this will be reconsidered in England and fishing allowed as it was eventually from May – with no significant issues re virus spread.

  • Selena says:

    I think that you have left the churches, the gym’s and the driving lesson all open

  • William Mclaughlin says:

    What about shooting within the restrictions??

  • Angela says:

    Are fishery’s permitted to be open to the public to fish at their pond?

  • John Logan says:

    If you can use your boat to go sea fishing then why are some marinas closed.
    As the one I have my boat stored in closed last night for three weeks.
    So there is no way I can use my boat as I cannot get in to check or take the boat out if I wanted to.
    If you where launch a boat from the shore with a car and a trailer this would take more than one person. The rules just don’t make sense at times looks like they are making them up as they go along.

  • kevin moss says:

    Clearly you dont understand how stillwater fisheries operate.You can fis a river on your own but stillwaters will have large groups and you can forget all rules of any lockdown.All this advice does is encourage breaking rules.Try looking at any stillwater and see how many people are congrating and sanitised.

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