Trout Fishing

We extend a warm welcome to all trout anglers. The range of fishing we offer ensures excellent sport for all abilities. Our still water fisheries are among the best in the west and vary in size from around 50 to over 900 acres!

Our fisheries are picturesque and atmospheric lakes, including countless secluded bays, weedy shores and tree line margins to explore. We boast rainbows, browns and a large number of blues of the highest quality. Traditional fly fishing is the rule at our stocked fisheries, although other methods can be used at our free wilderness trout waters. 

Young People and Newcomers

We are working hard to encourage young people and newcomers to take up the sport. Under 12s may fish for free when sharing their parents’ bag limit. Throughout the season, we host open days and events where we offer free fly fishing tuition for all.

Boat Fishing

Boats are available at most of our waters which provide an alternative to bank angling. These may be pre-booked and we advise calling in advance to check availability at each fishery.

Access for All

Most of the waters benefit from facilities designed for disabled or wheelchair anglers, either by platforms or Wheelyboats. These boats must be booked at least 48 hours in advance.


A number of the fisheries have associated local clubs. These are a great way to meet fellow anglers, as well as participating in competitions and social events. We run four competitions during the season with two singles, one pairs and one team of four competition. More details of each of these are available on our competitions page.

Environment Agency Rod Licence

Anglers on all our waters must have a valid Environment Agency rod licence which are available from post offices or via the Environment Agency. The only exception may be when attending a bona fide course or a coaching session with a qualified coach – please check beforehand.

South West Lakes Trust

South West Lakes Trust is the managing charity of SW Lakes Fishing. The charity is a member of The Angling Trust. In 2014, the South West Lakes fisheries hosted the Commonwealth Fly Fishing Championships; Scotland took gold and England won silver. 

Reporting an Incident:

If you notice any incidents which may be of concern during your visit, including poaching, we would be very grateful if you could complete the short form at the following link, which will help us build a picture of incidents that impact on your fishing, enabling us to address them more effectively over time. Thank you.

Complete Form

Christchurch Harbour, Dorset

Set midway between the Solent and Poole Harbour, Christchurch Harbour is a scenic natural harbour and a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

The Harbour, Lower Avon, Lower Stour and Claypool are a sports fishery where all species are returned to the water. The location offers some of the best sea trout fishing in England, and even the occasional salmon!

The area is famous for specimen mullet and quality bass fishing. While the mullet fishing has declined in recent years, there are still plenty of good fish to be caught.

Southern Fisheries manage the area from Knapp Mill to the confluence of the two lower sections of the Avon. The Lower Avon and Lower Stour together with two thirds of Christchurch Harbour are managed by the Bournemouth Team of South West Lakes Trust and RDAA. The boundary of Bournemouth Waters ownership is marked by yellow buoys in the harbour.

Throop Fishery to Tuckton Bridge is for RDAA members only

Fishery Information

Fishing Seasons:

Sea trout fishing in season only: 15 April to 31 October

Salmon fishing in season only: 1 February to 31 August

No spinning during the period: 1 February to 14 May

Day Permits: Available from Davis Tackle, 75 Bargates, Christchurch

Season Permits: Bankside fishing from Tuckton Bridge to the boundary: Season Tickets can be purchased from the Bournemouth Team of South West Lakes Trust on 01202 581411 or from Davis Tackle, 75 Bargates, Christchurch

Season tickets cover a calendar year: 1 January – 31 December.

Boat Fishing from Tuckton Bridge to the boundary only by season ticket from the Bournemouth Team of South West Lakes Trust on 01202 581411 or from Davis Tackle, 75 Bargates, Christchurch

Contact: 01202 581411

Click here for Christchurch Harbour Rules

Click here for the Lower Stour and Harbour Prices and Application Form

Venue Records

2017 Fishery Report

Sea Trout – good all year – early season 2.5 to 4.5 lbs – late season 7 to 8 lbs

Mullet – 8lb 6oz Thick lipped 1991

Bass – good all year – early season 1 to 1.5 lb – late season 5 to 6 lbs average with reports of catches up to 9 lbs.


Whenever you leave the lakes, remember to Check, Clean, Dry

Invasive plants and animals can carry diseases that kill fish. Protect the environment and sport you enjoy by cleaning your kit before and after using the water.

Find out more here


Local facilities around the harbour include: toilets, car parking, disabled access and cafes.