Health & Safety


WEIL’S DISEASE is a bacterial infection carried in rat’s urine which contaminates water and the banks of lakes, rivers, canals and ponds. It is a serious disease in human beings that requires hospital treatment.

The early symptoms are similar to those of flu and normally start three to 19 days after exposure to contaminated water. Every year people die from this disease which is unnecessary because it is easily treated if diagnosed in time.

There are a number of precautions you can take:

  • Cover any cuts, sores or scratches with waterproof plasters or gloves.

  • Disinfect any wounds that occur at the waterside.

  • Wash your hands (in clean water) of cover food with a wrapper before you eat.

  • Do not put your hand(s) in your mouth after immersing in fishery water and never place bait of fishing line in your mouth.

  • Do not touch dead animals, especially rats.

If you develop flu-like symptoms that persist, tell your doctor that you may have been exposed to Leptospirosis so that he or she can consider it in the diagnosis.

Do not leave food, groundbait or bait on the bankside which will attract rats.



Several people have died and others have been seriously injured whilst using carbon fibre rod and poles near overhead power lines. The following advice is designed to prevent these events happening.

  1. Because rods and poles containing carbon fibre conduct electricity, they are particularly dangerous when used near overhead electric power lines. Remember that electricity can jump gaps and a rod does not even have to touch an electric line to cause a lethal current to flow.

  2.  Many overhead electric power lines are supported by wood poles which could be mistaken for telegraph poles. These overhead lines may carry electricity up to 132,000 volts.

  3.  The height of high voltage overhead power lines can be as low as 17ft and they are therefore within easy reach of carbon fibre rod or pole. Remember that overhead lines may not be readily visible from the ground. They may be concealed by hedges or by a dark background. Make sure you “look out” and “look up” to check for overhead lines before fishing begins.

  4.  In general, the minimum safe fishing distance from an overhead electric power line is two rod/pole lengths from the overhead line (measured along the ground).

  5.  When pegging out for matches or competitions, organisers and competitors should, in general, ensure that no peg is nearer to an overhead electric power line than 30 metres (measured along the ground).

  6.  For further advice on safe fishing at specific locations please contact your local Electricity Board.

  7.  Finally, remember that is dangerous for any object to get too close to overhead electric power lines, particularly if they object is an electrical conductor, eg a lead cored fishing line or damp fishing line or rod.

Published by the Electricity Council in consultation with Electricity Boards, Angling Trade Association, National Federation of Anglers, Water Authorities Associations and British Waterways Board.


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