Fish and fishing

Fast-flowing water over gravel beds, quiet backwaters, deeper pools, a mixture of plants and shading trees mean that, across the city, Oxford’s waterways offer some of the finest fisheries on the River Thames. They provide habitats for common species such as roach, chub and dace, but also rarer fish like barbel and brown trout. The waterways are also home to a rich biodiversity of plants, insects and invertebrates.

(Tim Wiseman, Oxford Waterways Coordinator)

To fish (or trap crayfish) in the river waterways, anyone over 13 must have a rod (or trap) licence. Native crayfish are a protected species and must not be trapped. The close season for coarse fishing is 15 March–15 June, and for trout and salmon 1 October–31 March. The fishing byelaws are here:

The Canal and River Trust prohibits fishing on the Oxford Canal.

To report illegal fishing to the Environment Agency call 0800 807060.