Biosecurity for anglers

Anglers play an important role in the prevention and detection of both freshwater and riparian INNS. INNS can prevent access to sites, prevent casting, reduce water quality, alter the ecosystem and therefore have significant effects on fish health, fish stocks and spawning grounds. The advice given here will aid anglers to prevent the introduction and spread of INNS.


  • While most anglers are vigilant about the risk of spreading non-native species and diseases, there is a real risk that those that aren’t could accidentally spread these organisms, harming the environment and potentially damaging the reputation of the sport.
  • Non-native species could be spread in any water or material. Anglers should take care to avoid moving these between water bodies.


  • Anglers should make themselves aware of some of the priority non-native species.
  • Any site may have invasive non-native species and diseases that can be spread by contaminated clothes and equipment, so good biosecurity is always important. Remember: everyone, every time, everywhere.
  • If you are visiting a site where an invasive non-native species is known to be present, you must ensure you don’t spread it. Failure to do so risks prosecution under the Wildlife & Countryside Act, 1981.

The Check-Clean-Dry Procedure

  • Check All clothing and equipment should be thoroughly inspected and any visible debris (mud, plant or animal matter) should be removed and left at the water body where it was found. Particular attention must be paid to the seams and seals of boots and waders. Any pockets of pooled water should be emptied.
  • Clean Equipment should be washed down on site with tap water. If facilities are not available, equipment should be carefully contained, e.g. in plastic bags, until they can be found. Washings should be left at the water body where the equipment was used, or contained and not allowed to enter any other watercourse or drainage system (i.e. do not put them down the drain or sink).
  • Dry Thoroughly drying is the best method for disinfecting clothing and equipment. Boots and nets should be hung-up to dry. Equipment should be thoroughly dry for 48 hours before it is used elsewhere. Some invasive non-native species can survive for as many as 15 days in damp conditions and up to 2 days in dry conditions, so the drying process must be thorough.