A catch and release digital guide produced by the Foundation in conjunction with Natural Resources Wales, Environment Agency and the Angling Trust are available in English and Welsh.

Catch and release is a vital part of salmon management to protect future stocks. Research has shown that anglers can avoid unwanted salmon deaths but it does require a responsible level of care to achieve this. Good technique means more salmon spawning and more fish to catch in the future.

To see your fish swim off strongly adds to the elation of landing a salmon but seeing it die after release is a terrible comedown.

If you handle a salmon poorly, it may die later when you can't see it, from exhaustion, internal damage or infection. Catch and release technique is important.

Other Species

All fish species require careful handling, especially in low, warm water conditions. Although illegal to deliberately target them, Shad are often caught by accident in May and June in both rivers by salmon and trout anglers. These fish do not respond well to being handled and must be returned to the water immediately.

The main salmon smolt run on both rivers takes place in April and May and they are often caught by trout anglers fishing wet flies and nymphs. Once in their silver sea livery, smolts are very delicate and easily lose their scales if handled, leaving them susceptible to infection. These fish have a very tough journey facing them so please give them every chance of survival by only using barbless hooks and by not handling them. If you hold the fly quite often they will wriggle free on their own accord. Salmon parr are not shy and are often caught by trout anglers too. Again, please use barbless hooks so that these precious creatures can be returned to the river as quickly as possible.

All fish species take longer to recover in low, warm conditions due to the water’s reduced dissolved oxygen capacity. If fishing in summer please ensure that all fish (game & coarse) are not taken out of the water and are only released when fully recovered.

For advice on salmon C&R, please click on the link to our leaflet above. For other species-specific handling codes please see the following websites. We urge all anglers to follow the advice given on these excellent sites:

Barbel A Twaite shad from the Wye. Shad do not respond well to handling and must be released as quickly as possible.