Covid-19 Coronavirus

Recreational fishing restarts in Isle of Man

Friday, 1 May 2020

People in the Isle of Man will able to go fishing for recreation on Saturday for the first time since restrictions were put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

New regulations mean people will be allowed to fish alone or with members of their own household in the Island’s reservoirs and rivers when they come into force on 2 May. Anglers will also be able to fish from the sea-shore but cannot take their boats or kayaks to sea for fishing trips. Recreational fishing from within commercial premises or in a competition format is still not allowed.

The phased return of angling activities on the Island follows Public Health’s approval of risk assessments and control measures. Anglers must continue to follow social distancing rules, use good judgement and not take unnecessary risks to put demands on emergency services.

People displaying COVID-19 symptoms, sharing a house with someone displaying symptoms, or required to self-isolate will not be allowed to go fishing.

Anglers are urged to check the full guidelines before they plan their fishing trip.

Geoffrey Boot MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, said:

‘The regulations will allow a substantial part of the recreational fishing that occurs on the Island to restart, bringing significant benefits to health and wellbeing.’

‘They will help this Government’s goal of getting more people, more active, more often and demonstrate the progress the Island has made in controlling and preventing the spread of Coronavirus.’

Anyone fishing in reservoirs or rivers will require a fresh water licence which can be bought online at with the exception of the Reservoir Season Concession licence which can be bought at most Post Offices. If you’re unable to purchase online, you may arrange purchase of a licence by calling on weekdays at the Welcome Centre (tel. 686801, 8am to 6pm) or DEFA headquarters (tel. 685857, 9am to 5pm). If purchasing from DEFA, please allow two working days for licence to be issued.


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