River Taw Fisheries & Conservation Association Home Page

Good Practice Guide


Catching the fish
Use appropriate tackle. Rod and line should be strong enough to bring the fish to net swiftly. The use of barbless single or double hooks is recommended. Barbed hooks can be rendered barbless by pinching with pliers.

Catch and Release
RTFCA strongly recommends that you practise catch and release whenever possible.

Playing the fish
When playing a fish do not play it to exhaustion but land it as quickly as is possible.

Landing the fish
Always carry with you and use a fine knotless meshed landing net. No gaffs or tailers may be used. Ensure the fish remains in the water at all times.
Do not beach or tail a fish.

Handling the fish
Do not remove from the water. Leave the fish in the net to be unhooked. Aways use wet hands if need to hold the fish and hold the fish lightly making sure you do not squeeze it. The less a fish is handled the better the chances of survival.

Removing the hook
Remove the hook gently, using forceps or a hook disgorger.
Should the fish be deep-hooked cut the line as near to the hook as possible.

Recording the fish
Do not weigh the fish, but calculate its length and subsequently use a length/weight conversion chart (see below) to find the weight. Suitable length marks on rod or wading-stick can be helpful.
Photographs of the fish should only be taken while the fish is in the water. Please do not photograph your catch laying on grass, rocks or being held out of the water.

Reviving and releasing fish
Support the fish with both hands in a gentle current and facing upstream.
Allow time for the fish to regain its strength and be able to swim away on its own.

Salmon Smolts
If you encounter/start catching smolts, stop fishing in that location.

Shad are being caught on the system and are a fully protected endangered species, these fish cannot even be targeted by anglers. Do not remove from the water.

To guard against disease that can damage our fish stocks fishermen are directed to the Environment Agency's website for "Guidance on Disinfecting Fishing Tackle".

Important contact numbers for reporting any serious environmental incident such as illegal fishing, pollution, poaching, or fish in distress is the Environmental Agency Incident Hotline 0800 807060 for the river and the IFCA Incident Hotline 07740 175479 for the estuary.

Salmon weight/length conversion chart



Approx. wt.

Approx. wt.

6023.62.395  4
6525.63.036  11
7027.63.778  5   Max after 31st July

7529.54.6310  3
8031.55.6112  6
8533.56.7114  13
9035.47.9517  8
9537.49.3320  9
10039.410.8623  15
10541.312.5527  11
10942.914.0230  14

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