Fishery Rules

The rules below, which apply to those members fishing waters available to the Association, are intended to complement, not replace, any other set of rules issued by controlling clubs, societies or associations.

Please consider the impression we give to landowners, controlling clubs and the general public, and the possible repercussions which many ensue if these rules are not observed.

Members and their guests :

  1. A member and any guest(s) are liable to be turned away from waters available to the Association if the member fails to produce their current membership card and current EA fishing licence, at the request of a bailiff or any ABF member, who has produced their own documentation.
  2. Members and guests must observe all Environment Agency rules, regulations, and close season periods.
  3. Members and guests under 16 years of age must be accompanied at all times on waters available to the Association by an adult member of the Association (18 years of age or above).
  4. All members, guests, and persons fishing or accessing the waters available to the Association do so entirely at their own risk. Whilst making every reasonable effort to protect those concerned, the Association accepts no responsibility for any injuries/losses/damage/theft which may occur to members, guests or their property either fishing waters available to the Association, or participating in work parties and other activities e.g. Meetings and fish-ins.
  5. Permit holders are restricted to a maximum of two guests at any time.
  6. There is no limit to the number of times a guest may attend a fishery with a permit holder.
  7. No guests allowed on the first five and last five nights of a season.
  8. All guests to be paid for prior to attending the fishery and notice given on the relevant ‘Guest Permit Purchase and Guest Details’ topic on the forum. Failure to pay in advance for your guest may result in a member’s permit being revoked.
  9. Permit holders are personally responsible for their guest’s behaviour and as such must be made aware of all ABF and fishery rules prior to fishing. Any guest who contravenes ABF or fishery specific rules will be asked to leave and the host may have their permit revoked.
  10. On no account will guests be allowed onto the fishery without the permit holder being in attendance and must leave the fishery if the permit holder departs. If a guest leaves before the permit holder and access out of the fishery car park is locked, the permit holder must escort the guest out: under no circumstances must a guest be given the lock combination.
  11. Members may have one accompanying non-fishing guest but must take full responsibility for them with regards to behaviour, rules and health & safety.
  12. All fishing guests are accepted as members of the ABF throughout the tenure of their guest ticket.
  13. All new members to a fishery will be probationary members for their first year.

General :

  1. All members and their guests must fish in a responsible manner and only by the accepted method of rod and line. Any other methods are forbidden. Fish welfare is a priority so members must not leave rods unattended and risk fish becoming snagged. Unattended rods are regarded as rods beyond arms reach.
  2. All members should read, and ensure that they understand, the Health and Safety (H&S) Statement. Members accompanying guests must take responsibility for informing them of the existence of the statement and offering appropriate advice when necessary.
  3. When fishing ABF waters all members are encouraged to politely ascertain that those not known to them are fishing legally. Your own membership card should be offered for viewing whilst doing so. If the answer is negative or the angler refuses to show any documents, simply advise the angler that fishing in the area is restricted to members only or day ticket permits then withdraw. If you are comfortable with taking this further you should call 101 (free on mobiles) and report the issue to the local police centre and ask them to log it as Theft of Fishing Rights (Police Reference Code 116/11), they will respond if assets are available. You may also report the issue to the Environment Agency but this will be primarily for statistical data as they have no criminal jurisdiction, number is 03708 506 506, charged at land-line rates (free with inclusive minutes) on mobiles. It would also be beneficial to the ABF that any calls made to the Police are reported via email to with the outcome at your convenience.
  4. No fixed rigs to be used at any time, all leads and swimfeeders must be free running.
  5. All fish must be returned to the water alive.
  6. No Barbel to be retained in keepnets.
  7. Members to ensure all Barbel are fully recovered before release and that they are familiar with, and adhere to, the handling code prescribed by the Barbel Society.
  8. No bivvies or shelters to be placed on any public footpaths.
  9. No game or farm animal to be disturbed, nor damage to be done to crops or fences.
  10. All gates to be shut. Members and guests should walk by the river bank, where safe and practicable to do so, and on permitted paths only.
  11. No bank maintenance to be carried out unless part of an organised work party or to improve, for safety reasons, footholds in swims where they originally existed.
  12. The lighting of any fires or portable or disposable BBQ’s etc., on waters available to the Association is forbidden. (Working parties may be excepted if the appropriate permission has been given).
  13. No litter of any sort to be left on or near the river banks or car parks. Even if it’s not your rubbish, please take it away.
  14. Parking must only be in the designated car parks or areas. All car park entrances/exits to be kept clear at all times.
  15. No publicity including web forums (other than the ABF forum), social media, blogs and magazines/newspapers. This equally applies to members’ guests.
  16. Any matter not provided for in these rules shall be dealt with by the committee who shall be the sole authority for any interpretation of these rules.
  17. Any member who is alleged to have infringed the Association’s or the Environment Agency’s rules will be dealt with according to the ABF constitution.
  18. No member taking a guest should receive any form of financial re-numeration beyond the cost of a guest ticket.

-End of Fishery Rules-

Fishery Specific Rules


  1. No Parking at Hazelford weir car park.
  2. No fishing downstream of peg 1 or upstream of peg 85.
  3. All pegs booked for matches not to be fished the previous night.
  4. The car park gate should remain open at all times during daylight hours. It may be closed one hour after darkness (and must be opened one hour before dawn or when you leave) by ABF members for security reasons. The gate must never be left in a locked state if:

a. no other members are present when you leave,

b. the car park is empty,

c. other members who are fishing are unaware of the lock combination, or wish the   gate to remain open (you MUST check with them before locking the gate).

The padlock must be snapped shut and the dials turned to mask the combination every time it is used to either open or close the gate.

       5. Members must be in possession of their BDAAS book at all times when fishing.


1. Priority is to be given to clubs who have booked matches through the WDAA match booking secretary.

 -End of Fishery Specific Rules-