General Risks associated with Angling on a Chalkstream
Animals – Rats, Cattle, Horses, Sheep may be encountered. Cows – especially with calves and bulls can be unpredictable and hence dangerous – approach them with due caution.
Banks – Beware of undercuts in banks and take particular care when banks are wet and slippery.
Birds – Swans are rarely aggressive but are best left alone.
Casting – Always show consideration towards other people on the banks and ensure you have suitable eye protection and appropriate clothing.
Chalkstreams – can be deceptive in depth. What looks to be 2ft deep can be 6ft! Some areas will have deep pools.
Diseases – Wiels disease is transmitted in Rat and Cow urine. Never put wet line or equipment in your mouth. Wash your hands or use antiseptic wipes before eating or smoking. Use waterproof plasters on cuts or abrasions. Undesirable bacteria may be present in animal droppings and the river water – take suitable precautions.
Hypothermia – Ensure that suitable clothing, including waders, is worn.
Insects – Use insect repellent when necessary.
Lightning – You are ideally earthed when in the water or on a damp bank. Take cover well away from trees – a car is a good refuge!
Paths – Slips, trips and falls can be dangerous so only use obvious paths beside the river.
People – Be constantly on the look out for other people on the river bank.
Power Lines – Beware of walking or fishing under power lines and remember that electricity can travel over considerable distances. You are ideally earthed when in the water and graphite (rod?) is an excellent conductor!
Silting – Can cause concerns. Whilst there will be solid ground underneath the depth of silt cannot always be gauged
Sun – Suitable clothing, high factor sun screen and sun glasses are advised.
Trees – Fishing under trees can be unsafe in windy conditions. Beware of falling branches.
Wading – When wading do not get out of your depth, only wade where it is safe to do so and take great care in fast water and on stretches with a rocky river bed. Use a wading staff for stability and to test the depth of your next step. Wear correct soles for the conditions. If in doubt always wear an automatic lifejacket.
Weed growth – Can cause wading difficulties
Note: Dorchester Fishing Club accepts no liability of whatsoever nature arising from death or bodily injury or for loss of, or damage to, property of any kind.
The Club is a private one, founded in 1877, of approximately sixty-four members and six Town Rod subscribers. The Club’s waters consist of about 12 miles of wild brown trout & grayling fishing in the main River Frome, River Cerne and River Piddle, together with attendant carriers and side streams. The waters extend both above and below the town of Dorchester and the Club employs a part-time keeper.
Day Tickets are only available during the trout season and only on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays & Bank Holidays. (season 1st April – 14th October)
The Police have made it quite clear that poaching is a crime in progress covered by the 1968 Theft Act. Members should always call 999 to report it and not phone the keeper. Without a report the police will not be aware of the extent of a problem.
If possible note or photo vehicles.
Stress if you are vulnerable/elderly or at risk of intimidation..
In order to give the call handler an accurate location they recommend putting the “what3words” app on your smartphone. Click here…
Angling’s representative body, the Angling Trust, has a web site for anglers to record sightings of cormorants, goosanders and mergansers throughout the UK: www.cormorantwatch.com The site is easy to use and will gather vital data to help persuade government of the need for action to protect fisheries.
Invasive plants and animals can carry diseases that kill fish, block waterways and banks, interfering with fishing. They can be small and hard to spot, so are easily spread on damp clothing and equipment.
Protect the environment and fishing you enjoy, by keeping your kit free of invasive plants and animals.
To find out more please visit
the NNSS Website