New Eel Fishing Closed Season
The Environment Agency (EA) imposed the first ever close-season on eel fishing, earlier this month, as wild numbers continue to dwindle in UK waterways.
The six-month ban came into effect this month making it illegal to set nets to catch eels and elvers (young eels) as they migrate down rivers on their way to the Sargasso Sea to spawn.
As far as rod & line goes catches generally are made accidentally so you aren't breaking the law so long as you put it back as keeping it is also an offence.
The close season is for the licenced taking of Eels which the Environment Agency regulates.
From the Environment Agency Website:
Eels and elver (young eels) are present in most waters in Britain which are accessible from the sea. We licence the fishing of eels with both nets and traps and issue licences where eel stocks are adequate.
The close season for eel and elver fishing is 1 October to 31 March.
The licence the customer needs depends upon why they are catching eels.
Anyone catching eels for scientific research or for surveys will need to apply for a licence to fish with instruments in inland waters (other than a rod and line).
Anyone fishing for eels privately or commercially will need to apply for an eel fishing licence.