Byelaw banning River Esk fishing to be extended

A BYELAW which bans fishing in the River Esk is to be extended.

The current restriction ends in February next year but salmon stocks are still low so the Environment Agency is applying to extend the legislation.

A notice published by the Environment Agency says: “The byelaw will prohibit fishing or attempting to take fish by any means from the tideway of the River Esk (from Ruswarp Weir downstream to the Eskside Wharf) but allows fishing for sea fish with a rod and line during the daytime.”

It adds: “The byelaw is considered necessary to protect the stocks of salmon and sea trout from the pressure of uncontrolled fishing in the tideway.”

The legislation, which comes under the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975 and the Water Resources Act 1991 means anyone caught fishing in this area is doing so illegally.

Andrew Davies, a fisheries technical officer for the Environment Agency, said: “Seafishing is allowed but the purpose of this byelaw is to stop people poaching.

“At low tide there are shallow parts and when the fish swim from these they are extremely vulnerable to poaching or snatching.

“This is a preventative measure and has been efficient in stopping people doing this. If they are found on the river in the hours of darkness it is pretty obvious something illegal is going on so the byelaw is very effective.”