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Thursday, 19 July 2012

Gone Fishing...

I had to remind myself recently of the law relating to fishing rights.

Anyone can fish in the sea and tidal waters, provided they have access.

But with inland rivers and other waterways the law can be quite complex and derives from ancient manorial laws of sporting rights, or “profits a prendre”.

For instance, the owner of land alongside a river – the riparian owner – is usually presumed to own the river bed up to the mid-point of the stream if the opposite bank is owned by someone else.

This would usually give you the right to fish from your river bank as well.

Fishing rights however can be transferred to someone else (sold usually) – and can therefore exist independently of the ownership of the land.

Fishing rights can be exclusive, or they can be owned in common with the owner of the land.

If someone else owns the fishing rights, they automatically have a right to come on to your land and fish.

Not only that, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, the law presumes that the owner of the fishery also includes ownership the bed of the river or stream – so the usual presumption of ownership of the river bed is overturned.

Told you it was complicated – and I haven’t even got on to incorporeal and corporeal profits and whether they exist in gross or not, acquiring prescriptive rights, close seasons, rod licences etc etc

Don’t worry, I’m not going to either...for this is just a long-winded way of saying I’ll be taking a break from Digging the Dirt for a few weeks.

Enjoy the summer, when it arrives, and of course the games we can’t advertise – in spite of my typically British carping (those pesky fish again), I’m sure they’ll be a treat and hopefully a triumph!

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