Biosecurity for anglers Download this page in pdf format

Avoiding the spread of non-native species on the clothes and equipment of anglers

All anglers should follow the Check, Clean, Dry biosecurity procedures to help prevent the spread of problem non-native species. This guidance sets out simple instructions that can help prevent the accidental transfer of non-native species.

This guidance should be adopted by all anglers.


  • 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.
  • Adequate signage or guidance should be in place, making all anglers aware of the risk, and providing advice on how to prevent spread.
  • Ideally, all cleaning and inspection operations should be supervised by a volunteer or member of staff.
  • Ideally, access and egress for anglers should be limited, preferably to a single point. Anglers should log in and out, confirming that they have cleaned and inspected their equipment.
  • 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.
  • Risk can be reduced by reducing the contact time in which equipment is exposed to the water.
  • If possible, nets and drogues should be provided at the site and used in preference to personal angling equipment.
  • Bass bags should not be allowed in the water and thoroughly cleaned after use.

Check, Clean, Dry disinfection 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 hosed down or pressure-washed on site. 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). Where possible, clean equipment should be dipped in disinfectant solution (e.g. Virkon) to kill diseases, but note this is unlikely to kill non-native species.
  • 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 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.

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