Bass Anglers’ Sportfishing Society

Fighting for Bass and Bass Anglers’ since 1973

Netting threat to the Salcombe Estuary

The Devon and Severn IFCA have launched a public consultation on changes to the netting permit conditions for fishing within the idyllic Salcombe Estuary.

BASS are astonished that this proposal has made it to a public consultation given that the proposed change is for a new net fishery in a Bass Nursery Area that will result in high mortality of juvenile and spawning sized bass and which would be of low financial gain.

  • The proposal is to allow fixed nets to be set within the Salcombe/Kingsbridge estuary which is currently an important bass nursery area. The estuary is known to hold bass throughout 12 months of the year.
  • This fishery proposed is to be active for a 6 month period during the winter months. Due to byelaws and closed season, Bass can only be retained for 1 month (January).
  • During netting trials it was found that the bass mortality rate was just short of 20% and is deemed acceptable by D&S IFCA. We would expect that during the trials, the greatest of care would have been taken to achieve this rate. The reality is that during normal fishing conditions, the mortality rate will be much higher.
  • Proposed mesh size and unrealistic soak times will have major effects on local bass stocks through undersized discards and closed season restrictions.


Bass nursery areas are the only safe location for juvenile and breeding sized bass to find sanctuary. Say NO to more netting and let’s keep nets out of the BNA’s.

The consultation period ends 19th January 2024.

Note that the Angling Trust are hosting a forum on the 4th January to help anglers to respond to the consultation.  You can register for this event here.

Please find details of the proposal here and object in your own words by following the response instructions within.

Photo Credit: Marc Cowling South Devon Bass Guide