Hot Weather Fishing Warning
With the extremely hot weather set to continue for the next few days at least, we urge freshwater anglers in Wales to take extra care while fishing to help protect vulnerable fish stocks. Some Welsh rivers and lakes have seen temperatures of 24 degrees recorded this week, far too high for the safe return of many freshwater species!
The prolonged hot weather is causing problems in Welsh rivers, lakes and canals due to low oxygen levels, low river flows and elevated water temperatures, which combined with algal blooms can lead to increased levels of stress on fish populations. Catching fish in these conditions often leads to mortality, even after a careful release.
When water temperatures are over 20 degrees then many popular fish species are likely to die after capture. A thermometer reading can help you assess whether you should fish or not, but if in doubt don’t!
A number of Welsh organisations, fisheries and clubs – river and stillwater – have decided to suspend fishing temporarily (week of 19/07/2021) These include The Fishing Passport, Angling Dreams, Pant-y-Bedw, Garnffrwd, Gwent Angling Society and Merthyr Tydfil AA (R. Usk beats). Check their social media pages and websites for details of when they will re-open.
Upland areas in Wales are generally cooler; heavily shaded mountain rivers, streams, high wild lakes and deep reservoirs in mountainous elevations may be OK, especially if fished early or late when temperatures are at their lowest. If in doubt contact the fishery or club you are intending to visit before traveling.
Salmon, all trout species, sewin (sea trout), grayling, large chub, barbel and pike are especially susceptible to warm water and low oxygen levels. For more information on fish handling guidance and best practise, check out our blog here.
What can I fish for safely in freshwater?
Carp are a hardy fish and cope well in high water temperatures. As do grass carp, tench, bream and other cyprinid fish.
Why not go sea fishing
Sea fishing can be productive and very enjoyable in hot weather, with sea temperatures being generally much cooler than those found on land. Sea species are also generally more resilient to being captured. Species to target at this time of year include smooth-hound, rays, tope, mackerel, wrasse, bass and mullet.