AnglingTrust The voice of Angling

Current Cases

Fish Legal has more than 65 cases ongoing, acting for Fish Legal members throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. We have listed below a selection, which is regularly updated. We are also dealing with hundreds of advice matters on behalf of our members on issues relating to angling and water law including: incorporation, bailiffing, canoeists, bulls in fields, excessive weed growth, loss of fishing rights, poaching and many, many more...

Current Cases

A selection of our current cases are detailed below:


River Devon - Fish Legal has initiated legal proceedings against Scottish Water for negligently causing 12,000 litres of sulphuric acid to spill into the River Devon in Clackmannanshire, killing an estimated 30,000 fish. Fish Legal is acting for its member fishing club the Devon Angling Association, whose high quality wild brown trout fishery downstream of the Glendevon Water Treatment plant was wiped out by the acid spill in 2011.

SIFT - Fish Legal worked with Scottish charity, the Sustainable Inshore Fisheries Trust (SIFT), to develop an ‘Aquaculture Information Pack’ for communities to better police their local salmon farms.  For more information about SIFT, their work to promote fisheries policies which conserve and restore the diversity of the Scottish marine ecosystem and for a copy of the updated guide to the aquaculture planning process click HERE.

Dalmarnock - Fish Legal investigated this case and found that Scottish Water was operating  the Dalmarnock WTW in breach of its obligations, which resulted in large amounts of sewage entering the Clyde and threatening its salmon fisheries.  Fish Legal took up case with SEPA to ensure that the outdated treatment works is operated to much higher standards.  We are monitoring this until the scheduled improvements are made to the plant improve its environmental performance.


Llyn Padarn - Fish Legal acted for the Seiont Gwyrfai & Llynfis Anglers Society in relation to the continuing discharges from Welsh Water’s sewage works into Llyn Padarn - a protected site of international importance due to its population of "Torgoch" or Arctic Char. Read more...

Llyn Brianne - Fish Legal is representing the Carmarthenshire Fishermans Federation and individual member clubs on the Towy in agreeing a new fisheries settlement with Dwr Cymru Welsh Water and the Environment Agency for the damage caused to the river as a result of the building of Lynne Brianne Dam back in the 1980s.

Swansea Bay Lagoon - Fish Legal is pushing for a proper assessment of the impacts on salmon and sea trout of a first-of-its-kind 10km2 'tidal lagoon hydro' project in Swansea Bay.  Read more...

Northern Ireland

Six Mile Water - Fish Legal has settled a claim against Northern Ireland Water, on behalf of the Ballynure Angling Club, following another pollution of the Six Mile Water.  Read more...

Inler - Fish Legal helped secure £7,000 for its member - the
Inler Angling Club - following a major spill of vegetable waste from a processing plant which resulted in the death of over 5,000 fish, in August 2013.  Read more...

Northern England

Red House Gill - Fish Legal acts for Chester-le-Street Angling Club in relation to sediment pollution on the River Wear. All precipitation falling on the car parks and roofs of a relatively new industrial and retail park on the outskirts of Durham is funnelled into the Red House Gill, a small tributary of the River Wear at Durham. This surface run-off scours the soft sides of the bank of the gill and transports huge amounts of silt and gravel as it descends to the main River Wear. The result is the deposition of a cobbled bar reaching halfway across the river channel and silty waters extending up to a mile downstream of the confluence. Angling becomes impossible following rainfall and the sediment deposits threaten to clog spawning gravels on the main river.

Witham - Fish Legal has secured a £36,000 settlement for its member club, Grantham Angling Association, from a farmer responsible for polluting the river Witham with 6,000 litres of liquid fertiliser. The fertiliser spill was estimated to have killed over 2,000 wild brown trout up to 4lb in weight and countless fish of other species. It spread over 13km of the river, causing the closure of four sections of the angling club’s waters.  Read more...

Willow Pool -  Fish Legal is assisting Tarporley & District Angling Club following a significant fish kill caused by poor slurry spreading operations.

Calder - Fish Legal acted on behalf of seven fishing clubs on the River Calder who lost fishing during the height of the salmon fishing season in autumn 2012 as a result of a water mains leak.

Southern England

Sussex Ouse - In late 2016 and early 2017, Plumpton College caused the release of slurry into the Plumpton Mill Stream, via which it entered the Bevern Stream –both are very important sea trout spawning tributaries of the Sussex Ouse. It is thought that the pollutions led to the total wipe-out of the stream which will have a severe knock on effect on the sea trout populations on the Ouse and Fish Legal’s member club for many years to come. The Environment Agency has still not released the full investigatory file and no decision has yet been made on whether there will be a prosecution.

Taw - Fish Legal’s member is representing its riparian member in a case against a local farmer for damage caused to a salmon and trout fishery at Chenson Bridge on the River Taw. The farmer now uses part of the fishery as a vehicle and cattle crossing and has straightened the river, digging out fishing pools. Unfortunately, the Environment Agency has not used its regulatory or enforcement powers despite receiving warnings from the member and Fish Legal. Fish Legal is therefore preparing a claim for damages and an injunction to prevent further environmental damage.

Wellow Brook - Fish Legal is acting for two of its member clubs following the pollution of the Wellow Brook in Somerset in early February 2013.

Ham Green Fishery -
  Fish Legal is advising a Bristol-based fishery owner whose lakes have been polluted with silt by Network Rail for around 8 years.

River Cam - Fish Legal is currently in correspondence with Anglian Water following a pollution of the river Cam with sewage including high levels of ammonia in 2013. Anglian Water denies that it caused a catastrophic fish kill and Fish Legal is now preparing to issue the case at court.

Wrasse - Wrasse are used as lump-sucker fish by the salmon farming industry in Scotland to remove lice infestations from farmed salmon. This approach is increasingly replacing the use of pellet-form medicines such as “Slice”. However, after exhausting the reefs around Scotland, the salmon farming industry is now paying fishermen to exploit the reefs of the South and South West including taking fish from Special Areas of Conservation without any real knowledge of how many fish there are and how it will impact the integrity of the sites.  Fish Legal is working on behalf of its general membership and the Angling Trust to investigate the issues and is now considering a potential legal challenge against the government for failing to carry out an appropriate assessment of the wrasse exploitation on the protected reefs.

Water Protection Zones - In 2015, Fish Legal, Angling Trust and WWF launched a judicial review challenge against Defra and the Environment Agency were failing to meet their Water Framework Directive obligations: crucial measures such as the use of “Water Protection Zones” or WPZs were not being taken to prevent agricultural pollution in protected sites. The legal challenge settled with Defra and the Environment Agency agreeing to put in place further investigations. But there have been more delays with no effective measures in place.  Fish Legal, the Angling Trust and its partner WWF are considering a further legal challenge.

Contact: Fish Legal - Eastwood House | 6 Rainbow Street | Leominster | HR6 8DQ | Tel: 01568 620447

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