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Best Practice Guidlines

Handling Fish

  • Use tackle adequate to bring a fish to hand or net quickly.
  • Keep the fish in the water whilst unhooking if at all possible.
  • If a photo is to be taken do so quickly, making sure your hands are wet when handling the fish.
  • When releasing the fish, support it facing upstream until it has fully recovered and swims away. This is particularly important for grayling, and in warmer temperatures.

Biosecurity for anglers: Check, clean, dry disinfection procedure.

Please be aware that our Peak District waters contain signal crayfish, an invasive non-native species which carries the crayfish plague, a fungal disease which has devastated populations of native white clawed crayfish. The following information is taken from the GB Non-Native Species Secretariat. More information can be found on their website at
  • Check - All clothing and equipment should be thoroughly inspected and any visible debris (mud, plant or animal matter) should be removed and left at the water body where it was found. Particular attention must be paid to the seams and seals of boots and waders. Any pockets of pooled water should be emptied.
  • Clean - Equipment should be hosed down or pressure-washed on site. If facilities are not available equipment should be carefully contained, e.g. in plastic bags, until they can be found. Washings should be left at the water body where the equipment was used, or contained and not allowed to enter any other watercourse or drainage system (i.e. do not put them down the drain or sink). Where possible, clean equipment should be dipped in disinfectant solution (e.g. Virkon) to kill diseases, but note this is unlikely to kill non-native species.
  • Dry - Thoroughly drying is the best method for disinfecting clothing and equipment. Boots and nets should be hung-up to dry. Equipment should be thoroughly dry for 48 hours before it is used elsewhere. Some non-native species can survive for as many as 15 days in damp conditions and up to 2 days in dry conditions, so the drying process must be thorough.

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