The River Eden and District Fisheries Association (REDFA) was formed following the demise of the Cumberland River Board in 1951 to represent and proclaim the interests of the River Eden’s anglers, clubs and riparian owners. REDFA held its first meeting in the Crown and Mitre Hotel, Carlisle in 1952 and has continuously fulfilled this role since then - with its original Association Members still representing the bulk of the fishing on the Eden. Download Constitution (pdf)

Realising the Eden's Angling Potential

Association Members

REDFA has garnered from the broader angling community a large number of individual anglers both locally and from throughout the United Kingdom, who recognise the need for a voice committed to protecting and enhancing fishing on the Eden.

In order that REDFA can serve its members interests in a changing world, it’s Constitution requires it to maintain a General Purposes Committee (GPC) which meets regularly throughout the year to address the multiplicity of matters that now seem to affect the Eden on an almost daily basis.

Throughout its existence, the GPC has striven to enable every committed and interested party to communicate with fellow travellers to create a reasoned collective view on matters which affect fishing and fisheries. This enables REDFA to co-operate with the national administrative and conservation bodies such as the Environment Agency and Eden Rivers Trust respectively.


26.07.18 REDFA Objects to the United Utilities application to vary its abstraction licence at Ullswater
Application increases the potential abstractions over a 6 month Drought Order period. This would permit water to be pumped to Haweswater Reservoir above a lake level of 145.05 metres and a River Eamont Hands off Flow of 95 Million litres/day - previously this was a HOF limit of 195 Ml/d for the River Eamont during the period June to October at which point abstraction stops.
Download document


Water Levels reached in May 2017 and July 2018 of Ullswater lake at 145 metres OS level providing approx. 95 million litres/day of River Eamont flow - equivalent to approx. 6" of river height flow measured at the Gauging station near to Pooley Bridge (right picture).

Scottish Government Inquiry into SALMON FARMING IN SCOTLAND
25.04.18 Submission from NWATFCC - North Angling Trust Fisheries Consultative Council
NWATFCC represents the west coast game fisheries of Cumbria & Lancashire, comprising 14 nationally monitored salmon rivers contributing 30% of the total English rod catch...…………...
Download document

17.04.18 National Salmon Byelaw objections & River Classification Evaluation Reports
REDFA has been directly involved in discussions with the EA and Angling Trust over the proposed National and separate Solway Salmon byelaws under consultation for implementation in 2018.

REDFA and its regional counterpart NWATFCC are opposed to Mandatory C & R measures being applied at a national or local level and have made requests to the Defra minister George Eustice concerning the National proposals requesting:

  • Suspension of the proposed National 2018 EA & NRW mandatory byelaw measures;
  • Agreed interim proposals to achieve minimum voluntary catch and release targets using refined river classifications;
  • Setting an agreed timetable to consult on and deliver within 3 years a new harmonised English & Welsh system of stock reporting, river classifications and catch and release measures and targets.

The Independent consultants Report commissioned by NWATFCC and supported by Eden, Border Esk, Derwent, Lune , Ribble & Welsh Fisheries concludes as follows and led to :-

  • REDFA letter to G. Eustice & R. Stewart calling for Inquiry into proposed Salmon Byelaws
    Download document (pdf)
  • Independent Evaluation of EA River Classification methodology - Qualified Statement
    Download document (pdf)
  • Independent Evaluation of EA River Classification methodology - Full Report
    Download document (pdf)
  • Angling Trust letter to Defra minister re NWATFCC request for suspension of 2018 proposed Salmon Byelaws & interim voluntary measures
    Download document (pdf)
  • REDFA Formal Objection to proposed National Salmon mandatory C & R Byelaws
    Download document (pdf)

17.02.18 National C & R Guidelines and Net Limitation Order & Byelaw proposals
“Why REDFA is opposing the 100% Mandatory C&R measures, Eden & Nationally”
With both the local Solway (Haaf net NLO and River Eden & Border Esk Byelaws) and National (England & Wales) Consultations taking place on migratory stocks some anglers and conservation bodies may have been surprised at why REDFA has taken such a strong position on opposing proposals for 100% Mandatory Catch & Release. Particularly as REDFA and many of its affiliated Clubs and rod fisheries have worked hard to introduce conservation codes to protect and improve stocks. REDFA has over the course of a protracted two and a half year Solway review taken account of much wider concerns as part of the whole restoration strategy of stocks in the catchment.

To read full REDFA Objection: Download document

02.11.17 Eden Autumn News
A round up of things that have happened ...... happening...... or progressing: Download Report (PDF)


16.06.17 Eden News update
Dalston Hydro Planning application

The prospect of a relatively small 40kw Hydro scheme being constructed at Buckabank Weir on the lower River Caldew is causing considerable concern to rod fisheries and conservation bodies. If built, the proposed scheme will run parallel to the fish pass and is of national interest as it lies within the Eden SAC (Special Area of Conservation) and is a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest). This application will be a test case and demonstrate the resolve of regulatory bodies to protect internationally recognised habitats and species. The concerns are for the rivers vulnerable migratory species – Atlantic salmon, sea trout, lamprey and eels in this important lower Eden tributary. The scheme predicts 23% of annual river flows will be diverted from the combined flow to the Fish pass, Weir and Leat diminishing what are already long periods of low flows in summer migration periods.

REDFA & CAA have made strong written objections to the planning and abstraction applications, supported by the Angling Trust/fish Legal with separate representation from ERT.

The objections being made are that the developer proposals do not present adequate historic fish data, make questionable claims to improving ecological status using unproven hydro technology and are contrary to national and Eden restoration objectives to remove man made obstructions and improve migration.

We understand the Planning application will be considered at full Committee on 7th July, when REDFA & CAA will speak for rod fisheries interests.

NLO - Eden & Esk Byelaw changes - National C&R
The Environment Agency are now in the later stages of preparing recommended proposals for changes to Rod & Net Fisheries as part of reviewing and revising the Solway Firth Net Limitation Order, which define the number of licensed Haff & Heave nets that can operate in a restricted area of the Firth. These NLO proposals will go out for public consultation later this summer, before expiry of the current order on 13th Nov 2017.

To compliment this, proposed changes for River Eden and Solway Firth Time Limited Byelaws setting out the Rod & Line periods and salmon and migratory trout catch limits on the Rivers Eden & Esk will be published as part of wider fisheries consultations. The current time limited Byelaws expire on 12th Nov 2017.

In the background further national conservation measures are being brought forward this summer, again as a consultation for fisheries which are intended to frame Voluntary rod C & R codes and tighter net restrictions for individual fisheries based on their assessment and status of salmon stocks.

2017 Eden Voluntary Tagging and C & R codes – effective 16th June
Please be aware that with the intended changes to Solway Firth NLO and River Eden Byelaws not completed, the 2016 Voluntary rod Tagging scheme and C & R for rods is extended for the 2017 season and comes into effect from the 16th June.

The voluntary measures and Eden rod catch data have provided strong evidence that Eden Fisheries has taken appropriate steps to manage threatened stocks.

The 2016 C & R rate on a reported rod catch of 1009 salmon is 88%.

Links to the recent Atlantic Salmon Trust - Angling Trust - Fishpal short films on C & R techniques

Part 1 tackle:

Part 2 Planning:

Part 3 Catch & release

The Gift – Part 3 Catch and Release - Atlantic Salmon Trust, FishPal and Angling Trust is a step by step instructional video of how to play, handle and release an Atlantic Salmon. Dr. Ken Whelan explains the do's and do not's in this lovely collaborative piece all for the benefit of the mighty Atlantic Salmon.

2017 Eden Voluntary Angler Migratory Codes

Download document

23.01.17 Eden News update
Strong objections were lodged by REDFA, Carlisle Angling Association and the Angling Trust to the proposed Dalston - River Caldew Hydro scheme at Buckabank Weir. REDFA objections are contained in the documents section. Carlisle City Council is to make a planning decision w/c 23.01.17. REDFA & CAA received excellent assistance from the Angling Trust, Fish Legal and the Wild Trout Trust.

REDFA AGM is to held on 9th February - invitations to Members have been forwarded today 23.01.17 with the evening incorporating an informal pub venue with food, presentations and a chance to catch up with colleagues. Details in the document section.

Well attended Salmon Forum event in Lancaster on 21st January at which discussions centred on national Salmon - Rod fisheries options being presented to the EA Board on 7th February, one of which is the AT /rod fisheries guidelines on C&R. If this option is preferred this would go out to consultation this spring/summer.

The Eden & Esk NLO/Byelaw Review is delayed because of the EA`s proposed 5 Point Plan national framework guidelines which includes Netting considerations and the revised timetable for the River Eden is anticipated to be implementation in 2018

The REDFA & NWATFCC formed Motion to be carried to NASCO for Cessation of Open Cage Salmon Farming operations in Scottish waters was heard at the England & Wales Fisheries Group meeting on Friday and was unanimously backed by all NGO`s, including AT, S&TCUK, AST, G&WCT and RT. This will be presented by Paul Knight the CEO of S&TCUK who is the groups representative at the next NASCO meeting. The Motion is viewable in the documents section.

September 2016. Presentation by Paul Knight CEO of the Salmon and Trout Conservation UK on the Health of our Game Rivers
REDFA invite Members and guests, Eden Riverfly volunteers and Eden Fisheries Plan partners to an evening presentation from Paul Knight CEO of the Salmon and Trout Conservation UK on the Health of our Game Rivers featuring case studies on the Eden Riverfly as part of 12 English rivers in the 2015 Riverfly Census Report with contributions by Dr Nick Everall of Aquascience, Dr Nick Measham and Stuart Croft.

  • Thursday 29th September - 7.00 for 7.30pm start
  • Stoneybeck Inn, Bowscar, Penrith CA11 8RP (half a mile east of J41)
  • Ullswater suite with large screen and bar facilities

We expect a good deal of interest to what will be a lively and open presentation and discussion throwing new light on our rivers, invertebrate health and fish stocks so please confirm your place with myself by 24th Sept.
Mike Ashwin tel 01768 879047 mob 07926 489764 email

Download document (pdf)

May 2016. River Eden 2016 Migratory Angler Codes
Conservation Measures and Salmon Carcass Tagging Scheme
Update on Improved 2015 rod catch and Eden & Esk NLO/Byelaw review
In 2015 the reported rod fishery catch for the 17 principal salmon fisheries on the lower & middle Eden showed an encouraging upturn on the previous two years. 902 fish were reported caught, 97 of which were retained – a 89% C & R continuing the year on year trend of more anglers returning spawning stock. This is a welcome development and indication that rods are taking a longer term view to protect their fishery.

Less welcome was the delay and postponement of discussions taking place between Solway Salmon steering group stakeholders with the intention of reaching agreement over bringing forward recommendations that would go out for public consultation in the lead up to the review of the Net Limitation Order (licensing of the Haaf Net Fishery) and Eden & Esk Byelaws.

Progress from the first two rounds of meetings in Oct and Dec were interrupted by major announcements South and North of the Border which effectively raised questions over when and if the Steering group could conclude the timetable for bringing forward proposals. These concerns followed the November national Salmon Summit statements and Environment Agency 5 Point Plan to restore Salmon stocks. North of the border the introduction of new Salmon licensing regulations and new Conservation measures imposed on rivers that are listed as not reaching Conservation status affected all Scottish Solway rivers and directly the exploitation of Eden and Esk stocks passing through those fisheries. Consequently the 2015 Voluntary rod Conservation measures and Tagging scheme have been extended for the 2016 season and can be viewed or printed as follows...

Download document (pdf)

With the exceptional winter floods experienced in the catchment which displaced juveniles and washed out spawning redds, anglers are once again requested to observe restraint on killing fish.

Tagging Scheme – how it works
Any angler wishing or intending to take a salmon within existing permitted Byelaw periods must register for and use their own tags. Tags are available at two Eden outlets :-

John Norris of Penrith & The Carlisle Tourist information Centre

They are non transferable and cannot be reused. Each tag is numbered, with river of origin and colour coded for year of use. We recommend that each angler considers carrying at least one tag in the event of a fish which is unable to recover and has to be killed due to exhaustion or bleeding during permitted takeable periods.

The Carcass tags are inserted via the mouth and out by the gill cover and secured by a cable tie type fastening. Similar schemes have been deployed successfully on other river systems.

Registration and distribution of tags will be coordinated by REDFA through each outlet and any special circumstances or concerns that anglers or fisheries have can be dealt with.

April 2016. Eden Fisheries Plan
Download document (pdf)
The Eden Fisheries Plan was born out of a wide recognition that we need to coordinate and prioritise our resources available for protecting and improving the Eden’s wild fisheries and environment. Importantly, the plan will give the angling community a voice on issues affecting the Eden at a catchment scale.The Eden Fisheries Plan will strive to both protect and develop wild, self-sustaining fish populations that can be nurtured by ahealthy catchment and continue to be enjoyed by future generations of people.

From the early stage, the development of this plan has taken into account the concerns of local fisheries stakeholders and combined them with wider national statutory requirements. Socio-economic research on the Eden as a fishery was also conducted, which has helped shape some of the targets in this plan. A steering group, made up of: River Eden District Fisheries Association (REDFA), Eden Rivers Trust, Environment Agency (EA) and Natural England, was formed to further develop this plan with financial support from the EA and Eden Rivers Trust.

This plan accepts that it can’t directly address all perceived threats to our wild fish stocks. Such areas of concern include: threats at sea, and wider water quality and land management issues. It must link and work with other initiatives happening in the catchment and beyond. Above all else, the plan aims to set ambitious yet achievable targets that will directly benefit the Eden wild fish populations and angling community. The plan will be regularly reviewed by the steering group, tracking progress on prescribed actions and considering new targets if and when appropriate. This plan acknowledges the support and input from the wider angling community and all four plan partners. The opportunity to make real improvements to our river for the benefit of people and its wild fish populations is both exciting and heart-warming.

December 2015. Eden News Update
Download document (pdf)
Skitwath Beck pollution incident 8th September
This incident was the most significant farm related pollution, since the major Ploughlands fertilizer incident that affected 20 miles of the mainstem Eden back in the 1990s. The Skitwath incident itself was first witnessed and reported to the EA by a Riverfly volunteer and its immediate impact spread from a point half a mile from its source, downstream a further 3 miles to its confluence with Dacre Beck. Several thousands of fish were estimated to have been killed from what is known to be a farm slurry leakage.

The EA are in Due Process and proceeding with a case for prosecution and so further details cannot be released. Fish Legal (Legal arm of the Angling Trust) are advising two Clubs holding waters downstream on Dacre and Eamont as to whether there is a case for damages or compensation.

EA fisheries teams collected dead fish and deployed oxygenation equipment in an attempt to minimise the impact but it is evident that all fish – salmon & trout fry/parr and adult trout up to 10” have been wiped out. There was concern that Dacre would be affected with high levels of contamination present 30 hours after the report.

REDFA carried out its own investigations following the incident. Reports, statements and evidence have been taken and are held pending the EA prosecution.

A Freedom of Information request was made to the EA by a third party asking for a log of reported pollution incidents in the area and this highlighted a significant number of farm related events over a number of years.

A number of recommendations have been made by REDFA to the EA concerning improvements that need to be put in place to improve failings in communications and speed of response.

Judicial Review of EA over Agricultural pollution
The following statement was released by the Angling Trust on 19th November, the eve of the case concerning Agricultural pollution in areas like the River Eden which is a Special Area of Conservation. A link to the outcome of this case can be accessed below the statement.

Why we are taking the government to court
The Angling Trust, Fish Legal and WWF-UK are in the High Court today fighting a judicial review of the government’s failure to stop agricultural pollution degrading 44 rivers, lakes and estuaries which are specially protected areas in England. We believe that the government was required by the EU’s Water Framework Directive to stop this ongoing pollution in these sites by 2015. They haven’t done this and so we’re taking them to court. Link

Salmon Summit developments – as some members will know REDFA pressed and lobbied the Angling Trust hard (AT represented angling interests at the Summit) for a number of concerns and initiatives to be heard. These were communicated to Defra (EA/NE) who regulate and assess migratory stocks and the national conservation bodies (NGO`s) who were present at the Summit. The introductory paragraph of the EA`s press release is below with a link to the full communiqué at the bottom of the paragraph

November 2015. Communiqué: England Salmon Summit
1. Purpose of the Salmon Summit
In 2014, England’s 42 principal salmon rivers were assessed to be at the lowest levels on record with no rivers classified as ‘not at risk’. In response, the Environment Agency hosted the Salmon Summit in Defra’s offices in London on 19 November 2015, to raise awareness about the state of England’s salmon stocks and to bring together influential leaders, policy makers, delivery bodies and NGOs to discuss and agree how we can collectively protect and enhance England’s salmon stocks.
This communiqué is a summary record of the different sessions at the summit for delegates to share within their organisations and/or the interest groups they represent. At this stage it does not constituteany commitments to action. They will come from the Environment Agency’s five point approach :- relaunch in the New Year once funded commitments have been secured from all parties.

Download Communiqué: England Salmon Summit, 19 November 2015 (pdf)

2017 brought forward Net Limitation Order and Migratory Byelaw changes
REDFA representing Eden fisheries has been engaged at the invitation of the EA in a number of recent preliminary meetings between stakeholders in the Eden & Esk catchments to consider recommendations for changes to management of migratory stocks.

This is a brought forward review process that would have taken place in Nov 2017 to review the re-licensing of Haaf nets in the Solway (The current Order permits 105 licences of which 55 were actively renewed in 2015) and also any relevant and appropriate recommendations for changes to Rod & Net Byelaws.
The earlier review has been precipitated by reduced rod catches of 2013 & 14 requiring the EA and NE to undertake a full review of the failed status of stocks which are now deemed to be At Risk.

REDFA is representing Eden Fisheries, Esk & Liddle FA representing the Esk, Solway Net representatives for netting interests and Natural England, ERT and the Dumfries & Dumfries Galloway Council (Annan Stake Nets) will be present also.

Stewart Mounsey, EA Chairman of the Solway Steering Group explained at the last meeting on the 5th November that the review is likely to be delayed by developments and outcomes from the Salmon Summit discussions and that their own proposals for the Eden & Esk will be reviewed in the light of this.

River Eden 2015 Conservation Measures & Carcass Tagging
Download document (pdf)

June, August 2015. Promoting Young Anglers and Eden Fishing
Borderlines of Carlisle and sponsors James Norris of Penrith combined with AAPGAI instructors, Angling clubs and exhibitors to host two days of fishing activities and demonstrations at the Lowther Castle country fair. REDFA also ran its second successful Junior event in June by kind permission of the Bousefields, Holme Farm, on its AAA waters. The event was supported by Appleby, Kirkby Stephen and Penrith Angling Associations. We greatly appreciate the backing John Norris of Penrith provided, and the professional and friendly approach of Borderlines of Carlisle who coordinated the day`s activities with enthusiastic instruction provided by Chris Bowman, Glyn Freeman, Geoff Johnson and Derek Kelly. The photos capture the enjoyment of youngsters and the many parents who stayed for the day. The river was low, weather glorious and we all left with the impression that this would lead to a number of youngsters interested enough to take up our sport.



Contact REDFA

Secretary: Mike Ashwin
Chairman: Paul Davidson
Web Design: Troutfly Internet



Membership of REDFA is open to individuals and organisations. In return for a small annual subscription REDFA will help represent any concerns you may have about the River Eden and its environment and keep you informed of the issues which affect fishing.

Subscriptions 2017
£10.00 Individuals
£250.00 Riparian owners (Scale A)
£150.00 Riparian owners (Scale B)
£100.00 Riparian owners (Scale C)
£5.00 per FT member. Clubs with salmon, sea trout & trout waters
£3.00 per FT member. Clubs with trout & occasional migratory species
Donation. Associated commercial activity

New members are welcome – please complete the subscription form (pdf).



Meetings are held at 7.30pm ERT, Dunmail Building, Newton Rigg College, Penrith unless otherwise stated.
Meetings 2017
Jan 17 (gpc)
Feb 9 (agm) evening meal
April 11 (gpc. election of officers)
July 18 (gpc)
Oct 17 (gpc)
Agendas and minutes can be found in the Members Only section which is password protected. REDFA members can obtain a username and password from the secretary.



REDFA has consistently represented the interests of members over many years at local and national level. Details of these activities including annual reports and project reports can be found in Documents.



REDFA works closely with other organisations that have an interest in fishing, protection or conservation of the River Eden and its catchment.
Environment Agency
There is an established working agreement between REDFA and the Environment Agency.
Eden Rivers Trust
Supports conservation and improvements in the Eden catchment area.
Grayling Society
Promotes grayling fishing.
Salmon and Trout Association
Game anglers influencing national decision makers over the management and protection of salmon, trout and sea trout, the conservation of water and the diverse environments upon which all aquatic life depends.
Wild Trout Trust
Supports the protection of wild trout by protection and restoration of their habitats.