Hot Weather Fishing Warning
With the extremely hot and dry weather set to continue for the next week 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 recently, far too high for the safe return of many freshwater species.
The prolonged hot and dry weather is causing problems in Welsh rivers, lakes and canals due to low oxygen levels, low river flows and elevated water temperatures 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 closed or are considering closing bookings for fishing and all angling activity. Before fishing it is advisable to check through their social media pages and websites to see if angling activity has been suspended.
As of 27/07/2022 most clubs, organisations and fisheries affected by warm water and low flows have now re-opened, with summer temperatures nearer normal levels. However, we’d recommend contacting the fishery or club you are intending to visit before fishing, to confirm if they are now open again.
Upland areas in Wales are generally cooler; heavily shaded mountain rivers, small 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, grayling and pike are especially vulnerable to angling pressure in warm water conditions with low oxygen levels. Chub and barbel also can be susceptible in extreme heat, especially if not rested well before release. 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 most 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.