1. The Hungerford Fishery is administered by, and is under the control of, the Trustees of the Town & Manor of Hungerford.
2. Fishing permissions are given to Rods on payment of Fees, Commoners based on rights of access granted, and Guests at the discretion of the Water Keeper.
3. Water Bailiffs, who are Commoner members of the Fishery Committee, have the authority to examine licences, baskets and flies to ensure conformance with the rules.
4. Rod subscriptions and Guest tickets are issued subject to the Commoners’ right of fishing on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays throughout the season.
5. Day tickets for guests of Rods and Commoners are available by application to the Hungerford Fishery Office. The annual number of guest tickets per Rod and the number of tickets issued per day are limited at the discretion of the Water Keeper. As the number of available tickets is restricted, Rods are recommended to apply well in advance, and are asked to give notice of cancellation as early as possible, at the latest on the eve of the nominated day, otherwise they will be charged.
6. Car parking space is available through the five-bar gate opposite the Shell Garage on the A4 and also at Denford, between the River Kennet Bridge and the River Dun. Rods wishing to fish Harvey’s Meadow may park in the lay-by on the A4. For access to the River Dun on Freeman’s Marsh there is space for a few cars on the roadside at the western access to Freeman’s Marsh opposite Cobbs Farm Shop.
7. Wild Brown Trout (WBT) are key in the development of the Fishery. We are encouraged by the rise in our protected WBT population, and we wish Rods and Commoners to join in our efforts by returning WBT to the water where possible throughout the Fishery. Freeman’s Marsh is an SSSI, (Site of Special Scientific Interest), where the objective is to man,age the River Dun specifically as a WBT River, thereby protecting and increasing the biodiversity of the River Dun corridor, thus increasing the populations of Brown Trout and Grayling.
Brown trout in Hungerford waters
8. Fishing for Grayling should be selective; shoals of Grayling should be targeted, please note that general fishing is not permitted. Grayling fishing is only allowed in clear water conditions.
9. Dogs may accompany their owners on sufferance but it is preferred that fishermen do not bring them to the riverbank. If they are brought along, they must be kept under strict control and not allowed to dig, hunt or enter the water. Dogs must not be taken into Dun Mill or Eddington Mill.
10. Safety considerations for fishermen and their guests. The Hungerford Fishery takes the safety of fishermen and their guests very seriously, and your attention is drawn to our safety statement. Please can you supply the Safety Statement so that I can attach it to this link
11. Public Liability; All Rods, Commoners and their guests acknowledge that the Trustees of the Town & Manor of Hungerford accept no responsibility for personal injuries received whilst on the Fishery or elsewhere on the Town & Manor’s proper, nor for any loss or damage to private or personal property. By exercising their fishing rights, Rods, Commoners and Guests acknowledge that they have read and accept the Rules and the Safety Statement (which contains useful co-ordinates for the emergency services, should you need their help).
Rules of Hungerford Fishery
1. The Trout and Grayling Fishing Season on the Hungerford Fishery opens 1st May, Trout fishing closes on the 30th September, whilst Grayling fishing closes on 31st December. No fishing is permitted before 9 o’clock in the morning or later than one hour after sunset.
2. A valid Environment Agency Fishing Licence must be held and on the person of all Rods, Commoners and their guests.
3. Guest tickets may only be obtained from the Hungerford Fishery Office. They are not transferable and are valid only on the specified day.
4. The Rules must be adhered to by all Rods and Commoners whose responsibility it is to ensure that their respective Guests are also familiar with the rules prior to fishing the Hungerford Fishery. Infringement of any of the Rules may lead to the withdrawal of fishing rights without compensation. The Honorary Secretary and the Trustees of the Town & Manor of Hungerford reserve the right to cancel any Rod Subscription or ticket without explanation.
5. An accompanied Guest may be allowed by Rods (but not Commoners) to fish in their stead not more than once a month, and subject to prior notification to the Water Keeper at the Fishery Office. Non-fishing Guests may accompany Fishermen, but may not enter Dun Mill or Eddington Mill.
6. Fishing is upstream only with a dry-fly. Nymph fishing is only permitted from 1st July.
7. Wet flies, Lures or Goldheads may not be used, and no hook is permitted larger than size 12 with a maximum shank length of 20mm (3/4”).
8. Barbless hooks shall be used at all times when fishing Freeman’s Marsh and when fishing for Grayling after the close of Trout fishing season. Any Rod, Commoner or Guest who does not intend to keep fish, should use barbless hooks.
9. Wading is not permitted, except on Freeman’s Marsh.
10. The maximum catch in any one day is four Brown or Rainbow Trout of Catchable size, i.e. 13” in length or 14oz in weight, whether returned or kept. Only two Trout can be taken from any one beat, except for the beat known as ‘Lower Meadow’. Any undersized Trout should be returned to the water as quickly as possible if undamaged and likely to survive. Undersized Trout and Grayling do not count towards the daily limit of four fish. Fishermen should leave the river after catching their daily limit.
11. Catch returns: To assist in effective restocking of the river, all Fishermen must complete, before leaving the fishery, an entry in the fishing log (nil returns included) on the river bank adjoining the A4 car park. It is the responsibility of Rods and Commoners to ensure that Guests’ returns are listed. In the event that a Fisherman forgets to complete the log, they are asked to contact the Water Keeper and provide a record of their day. For clarity it is requested that the entries are PRINTED clearly.
12. Fishing Restrictions
- Cleared paths on the riverside should be used by Fishermen and Guests only; where a bank has not been cleared it is out of bounds.
- Where access paths exist they should be used both when on the way to the river and when leaving it.
- Freeman’s Marsh is considered to be one beat, see Rule 8 above re: use of barbless hooks.
- War Memorial and Bridges: Fishing from the War Memorial site in Bridge Street or from any bridge carrying a public highway is prohibited.
- Mill Hatch: Only Commoners may fish from the Mill Hatch lawn.
- Dun Mill: Only Commoners may fish from the east side of Duffer’s Pool Bridge downstream to the Denford Road bridge.
- Harvey’s Stream: Only Rods and their Guests may fish this stream.
- Fishing Lodge: Fishing is not permitted from the north bank directly in front of the new fishing lodge.
13. Access Restrictions
- There is no right of access accorded during the close season.
- Eddington Mill: Fishermen should use the south bank of the Kennet above Eddington Bridge and the footbridge crossing the side-stream at Eddington Lake to gain access to the Draughts. If using the north bank route, the sign-posted pathway around the back of Eddington Mill and Eddington Lake must be carefully followed.
- Dun Mill: The right of way through Dun Mill from the Black Ditch to the Lower Meadow is not to be used on Sundays.
- Lower Meadow: Keys to the gates that provide access to the River Dun, for those unable to climb over the stiles, can be obtained from the Water Keeper.
- The private drives to Eddington Mill and Dun Mill are out-of-bounds to all cars; there is no right of way for fishermen along the drive to Eddington Mill. Vehicles are not permitted on to the Lower Meadow.
14. Public Liability All Rods, Commoners and their guests acknowledge that the Trustees of the Town & Manor of Hungerford accept no responsibility for personal injuries received whilst on the Fishery or elsewhere on the Town & Manor’s property, nor for any loss or damage to private or personal property. By exercising their fishing rights, Rods, Commoners and Guests acknowledge that they have read and accept the Rules and the Safety Statement (which contains useful co-ordinates for the emergency services, should you need their help).
Etiquette on Chalk Stream Fishing
By the late Donald Macey – Honorary Fishery Manager 1974, 1988-1993
The basic rules and practices for chalk stream fishing are essential and should be understood and accepted by all, but agreement on the positive practices applicable to this fishing should be considered to be of more importance than rules forbidding certain practices. It is suggested that these positive practices are contained in the following sequence:
- The spotting of a fish feeding or liable to feed by its rise or by direct view.
- The decision whether it is a worthy quarry.
- The stalking of the fish so that it is not disturbed.
- The presentation of the fly or nymph so that it deceives the individual fish into thinking it is natural food.
- The removal of the fly or nymph, if not taken by the fish, as soon as it has passed the quarry.
All these apply equally to dry fly and to nymph fishing.
Consideration for other fellow fishermen
Enjoyment of fishing by us all can well be spoilt by thoughtless and selfish behaviour. The main causes are:
- Excessive crowding, cutting in upstream and hustling from below. A distance of at least 50 yards/45m upstream and 50 yards/45m downstream must be observed. When moving from one part of the river to another, please always use the access paths. If there are none, please keep as far away as possible from the water’s edge to avoid disturbing the fish, and always give maximum consideration to the activities of other fishermen.
- Walking up and down river casting blindly and repetitively, either nymph or fly, is not chalk stream fishing and should be reserved for other waters. Such fishing usually does little more than frighten and disturb the fish, and is totally banned on this fishery. Please fish selectively.
- Allowing Guests, Children and Partners who have no idea either of the rules or how to fish, to ‘have a go’ is against the rules and detrimental to the fishing of everyone else. Rods and Commoners are responsible for the behaviour of their Guests and only Guests of acceptable competence and experience are permitted. In no circumstances may the banks of the river be used as a playground.
The rules and the remarks written above are intended solely for the benefit of all of those who fish on the Hungerford Fishery. Please therefore respect and obey them without reservation.
It’s always worthwhile pausing to remember that the length of chalk stream fishing in Britain, and indeed the World, is very limited, and it must be considered a unique privilege to fish any chalk stream. In Fact, 90% of the world’s chalk streams are within 50 miles of Hungerford, as reported by the WWF. The Hungerford Fishery is perhaps one of the greatest, and is dedicated to the traditional recognised practices of chalk stream fishing, and to the belief that there’s a great deal more to the enjoyment of fishing than the catching of fish.
The Town & Manor of Hungerford takes the safety of all fishermen (including Rods, Commoners and Guests) and Workers very seriously, and carries out regular risk assessments.
- There is always a risk when undertaking any activity near water, so we ask anyone using the fishery paths,stiles and bridges to take care, the risk of slipping will be greater after rain.
- Please do not fish within 30 metres of any power cables.
- Always wear eye protection when casting a fly or nymph, and be aware of others walking behind you, particularly if fishing on or near a public footpath.
- If case of a serious medical condition, please carry a mobile phone with the emergency numbers and the OS co-ordinates of where you intend to fish. This is important as, for example, the Emergency Services will not know where the ‘Wine Cellar Bridge’ is!
- We recommend that your tetanus protection is up-to-date and that you add a small first aid kit toyour tackle bag, so that minor cuts and abrasions can be covered, minimising the risk of Weils’ disease, which can be caught through open wounds.
- These recommendations are for your safety. Please remember that safety is largely a matter of common sense andawareness of one’s own surroundings.
- If you see anything of concern regarding health and safety on the Hungerford Fishery, please report it to the Water Keeper or Fishery Manager immediately, so that we may deal with it appropriately.
Emergency phone numbers
Rob Starr (Water Keeper)
Mob 07747 866075
Home 1488 683114
Peter Joseph (Fishery Manager)
Mob 07500 331800
Fishery office 01488 685039
Town & Manor Office
Hungerford Doctors Surgery
Tel 01488 682036
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The risk assessment policy is held by the Clerk at the Town Hall, with a copy held by the Water Keeper, should you wish to read it in full.
Download the General Information, Rules, Etiquette and Safety Statement for Commoners, Rods & Guests