Fishing Licences and Leases

August 2017

Leases and Licences of Fishing Rights  

Owners of rural land that includes a river or lake may wish to allow members of the public to fish there. Our new Fishing Licences and Leases allow landowners to grant rights to individual anglers and angling clubs.

What are Fishing Rights?

In general, the owner of land containing a lake or abutting a non-tidal river or stream will own the soil beneath the water and therefore own the fishing rights.

If another person owns the land on the other side of the river, each owner will own the riverbed up to the centre line of the water.

It may be that fishing rights have been acquired by another person, however, and landowners should check their title deeds to establish the ownership of the fishing rights before granting any licence or lease.

Fishing Licences and Leases

Our new Fishing Licence templates can be used to grant fishing rights to individual anglers or to the trustees of an angling club. The licence is granted for a specified licence period and a licence fee is payable annually. The landowner can limit the days on which and hours during which the fishing rights may be exercised. The licensee must comply with relevant laws and byelaws and exercise the fishing rights in a sportsmanlike manner.

The Fishing Leases can be granted to an angling club. They grant a lease of a clubhouse and give the club exclusive rights to fish in the river, lake or pond. The leases are designed for longer term or larger scale arrangements than the licences, and/or can be used where the club is to have the use of a building. The lease templates have similar covenants to the licence templates but are more comprehensive.

The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific legal matter.

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