Rules AND BYE-LAWS

See tabs below for all rules and byelaws associated with the TWAPS fishing society.

Introduction

The Rother Firshery Association‘s Rules can be found on the RFA Rules & General Notes page (opens in a new window).

Document version 1.4. Last updated 24th April 2024

Upon joining every member of the Society agrees to the Society’s rules and bye-laws, as well as the those of the Rother Fishery Association. TWAPS Rules and Bye-laws may be periodically updated from time to time.

For your convenience you can download a copy of the TWAPS rules and bye-laws (see PDF tab).

If you are a member and fishing one of the Society waters, remember that you must either have a printed copy of the rules and bye-laws, or have them accessible from, or downloaded on, a hand held device (eg. a smart phone) that you have with you at all times.

You must always carry your ID card, membership card and rules whilst at Society waters, as well as the RFA waters. Even if you are just visiting. This can be in the paper form as issued or an electronic version on your mobile, tablet, etc. All documents must be available to view when requested by a current member, on production of their documents, or a Society Bailiff, who only needs to produce their Bailiff identity card.

If you have any queries, or need clarification, please ask a Bailiff, or Committee member (see Club Information page), or use the Contact form.

1. General Fishing Rules

1.1 No Member may fish or be present at any Society fishery without having on their person a current membership card, identity card, valid rod licence and access to a copy of the rules, even if only visiting. This can be in the paper form as issued or an electronic version on a mobile telephone or tablet etc. All documents must be available to view when requested by a current Member, on production of their documents, or a Society Bailiff exhibiting their Bailiff identity card.

1.2 At all times each Member must have, assembled and ready to use, a landing net and handle large enough for the targeted species, an unhooking mat of suitable size and fish care equipment. All fishing must be confined to the individual’s swim.

1.3 No Members rods are to occupy more than 1.5 metres of bank space.

1.4 Only one angler is permitted in any individual swim with the exception that juniors are permitted to fish with an adult Member.

1.5 Fishing is only permitted from recognised swims or pegs. Stalking is prohibited. No fishing or feeding from areas that are out of bounds.

1.6 A maximum of two rods at any time are in permitted in any single swim, subject to any bye-laws specific to individual fisheries.

1.7 All Junior and Intermediate Members must be accompanied by an Adult Member (i.e. any Member aged 18 or over) at all times. Shorne Country Park excepted. Junior Members must share the adults allocation of two rods and neither angler may fish with more than one rod. Intermediate Members may fish with up to two rods and line at any one time but must be in an adjacent swim to the adult Member or at a distance that the adult can safely and effectively be in control of the intermediate Member.

1.8 Only one hook to be used with each rod and line except when fishing for pike.

1.9 Any angler leaving their swim must remove their lines from the water and remove bait from the hooks. They will be deemed to have vacated the swim if gone for more than 45 minutes.

1.10 All fish to be carefully handled and returned to the water dead or alive. A caught fish should be held at or below knee height and have an unhooking mat directly below the fish at all times until returned to the water.

1.11 Fixed or bolt rigs, leaders or any kind or braid mainline is prohibited except where specific fishery rules permit and for pike fishing. Rig tubing must be used when fishing with leads and must be at least 12 inches in length. Braid line is permitted for spod and marker rods.

1.12 Line strength is limited to a maximum of 15lb on all waters except where specified in specific fishery bye-laws.

1.13 Sacking or retention of fish is prohibited. Extra care should be taken during low water levels. Keepnets may only be used on Society river venues.

1.14 Prohibited on all fisheries:

▪ Barbed hooks (barbless or micro barbed excepted).

▪ Boating and netting, except for fishery maintenance.

▪ Bait boats, (subject to each waters separate bye-laws).

▪ Swimming or wading.

▪ Firearms.

▪ Hand lines.

1.15 Pike / perch fishing is permitted subject to the following:

▪ Pike Fishing:

▪ Pike fishing is limited to an annual season from 1st November to 31st March inclusive at all fisheries. No deliberate fishing for pike is permitted at any other time.

▪ Braid line must be used with a minimum of 50lb breaking strain. Mono is prohibited.

▪ Lures must be a minimum of 60mm in length with barbless hooks (crushed barbs will be permitted).

▪ Barbless treble hooks with a single barbed hook for attaching deadbait are permitted.

▪ Wire traces to be limited to 18” maximum.

▪ Lure fishing for perch is permitted. Lures must be of a maximum length of 30mm.

1.16 The following baits are prohibited at all Society fisheries:

▪ Nuts, peas beans or pulses of any description.

1.17 Responsible surface free baiting is permitted on all Society waters.

1.18 The following baits are allowed at all Society fisheries:

▪ Maggots, caster and worms. No restrictions.

▪ Hemp. 1 pint maximum.

▪ Luncheon meat or similar. 300 grams (1 tin).

▪ Pellets. 1 kilogram bag.

▪ Sweetcorn. 340 grams (1 tin).

▪ Ground bait. 1 kilo bag and boilies in moderation.

▪ All particle baits must be correctly prepared. Any other baits not specifically mentioned may be used on the hook but not used as a free offering. All unused bait to be taken home. Please do not abuse the above otherwise they could be revoked.

▪ Any bait purchased in tinned form should be transferred to a safe container.

1.19 Alteration of any swim including cutting of bankside vegetation, shrubs, trees etc. is prohibited unless authorised by the Committee.

1.20 For Members who are not on probation, a 24hr temporary membership is available. These are limited to 4 instances per Member per season at a cost of ten pounds for seniors and five pounds for juniors. Temporary Members must be accompanied by a full adult Member when fishing and Temporary Members must use the nearest adjacent vacant swim to the accompanying full adult Member at all times subject to the rules concerning junior and intermediate Members (rule 1.7). Temporary Members will remain the responsibility of the full presiding Member. When applying for temporary membership, the presiding Member must produce all their documents at the time of application.

1.21 Bailiffs have the right to inspect tackle and bait being used and any request to do so must be complied with.

1.22 All rubbish must be removed from the fishery and disposed of appropriately and responsibly. It is the arriving Member’s responsibility to clear any refuse found in the swim on arrival.

1.23 Where provided, dip tanks must be used to dip landing nets (cradles etc.), weigh slings and keepnets before placing nets in the water or starting fishing.

1.24 Anything not provided for in the foregoing rules/bye-laws will be dealt with by the Committee who shall be empowered to make new and amend or remove existing rules/bye-laws. These to have effect from the date of making thereof, so long as they are not contrary to the terms of the foregoing rules/bye-laws or those of the Environment Agency (EA) or its replacement body.

2. Site Specific Rules & Bye-laws

2.1 Cobham

All General bye-laws will apply with the following additions:-

▪ The estate speed restrictions must be observed at all times. Any breach of these regulations will be deemed to be Serious Misconduct.

▪ Parking is limited to the fenced car park area only and vehicles should be parked between the yellow markings.

▪ Access shall be by the route permitted by the estate and no vehicle shall drive on any grassed area unless authorised by the Committee.

▪ Night fishing is restricted to one night per session, no return within 24hrs.

▪ Members must stay within the Society’s controlled area.

▪ Line strength is limited to a maximum of 8lb. Leads and feeders are limited to a maximum weight of 1oz or 30g. Hook size is limited to a maximum of size 12.

▪ Only ONE (1) rod is allowed to be used at any time on the entire fishery.

2.2 Shorne Country Park

All General bye-laws will apply with the following additions:-

▪ Vehicles are not permitted at the bankside other than with permission of the Committee or Park Management.

▪ Night fishing is prohibited unless specifically authorised by the Committee.

▪ Juniors do not need to be accompanied by an adult but it is recommended.

▪ Juniors are only allowed to fish with one rod.

▪ Line strength is limited to 12lb maximum.

▪ Naked flames are not permitted, including portable and camping stoves.

2.3 Paddock Wood

All General bye-laws will apply with the following additions:-

▪ Access is via locked gates. These must be kept locked at all times outside quarry working hours. The code for the combination lock is the same as indicated on the membership card.

▪ A key for the gate can be obtained on loan from TWAPS by contacting Phil Townsend on 07879 854030 to make the necessary arrangements. Please allow 24 hours notice. Note: keys are loaned for a period of 14 days, if a loaned key is not returned within 3 days after the loan period, the Member’s fishing permit will be suspended until the key is returned.

▪ Parking is limited to the designated area only as identified within the map on the website.

▪ Night fishing is permitted.

▪ For access to the River Medway please refer to the website map.

2.4 Inn on the Lake

All General bye-laws will apply with the following additions:-

▪ Night fishing is permitted on all lakes. Care must be taken to ensure that lights do not disturb hotel residents. The maximum continuous session at the fishery is 72 hours and there is no return for at least 24 hours following any night session.

▪ Access to the lake is via a locked gate. The lock code is on the membership card. This gate must be kept locked at all times.

▪ Members may use the hotel facilities. Please remember clean footwear only.

▪ Bivvies at swim 19 must be behind the fence within the swim confines. Access to the gate and path must be kept clear at all times. A bivvy blocking access will be moved, day or night.

▪ From 1st October to 31st March inclusive, up to three rods can be used on the Main Lake only, subject to the Member having the appropriate EA rod licences.

2.4.1 Stock Pond specific rules

▪ Line strength is limited to 8lb maximum.

▪ Weight of leads and feeders is limited to a maximum of 1oz or 30g.

▪ Only one (1) rod per angler.

▪ Hook size is limited to a maximum of size 12.

2.5 Blue Lake

All General bye-laws will apply with the following additions:-

▪ Access is via locked gates which must be kept locked at all times.

▪ Entry to the lake is via the gates only. Any other entry is strictly prohibited.

▪ Parking is allowed in two areas. Parking is to the left or right upon entry through the main gate. There is also limited parking at the pump house on the railway side of the lake.

▪ No fishing from the cliff area.

▪ Bait boats are allowed on this water.

▪ A maximum of four rods may be used providing the correct number of E.A. licences are held.

▪ Braid mainline is allowed on this water only.

2.6 River Medway

All General bye-laws will apply with the following additions:-

▪ Close season rules apply. No fishing between 15th March and 15th June inclusive.

▪ Parking is within the designated areas only.

▪ Gates on all Society river fisheries must be kept locked at all times.

▪ Keepnets are permitted.

2.7 Campanile Lake

All General bye-laws will apply with the following additions:-

▪ Parking is in the Campanile hotel car park in the marked bays. Vehicles must be parked between the white lines defining the marked bay. The vehicle must be registered with the hotel reception before fishing. If a Member wishes to fish overnight they must register as an overnight guest as daytime car park registration is limited to 24hrs, from 12am to 11-59pm.

▪ Access to the lake from the car park is via the pathways at each end of the hotel and not across the grassed areas.

▪ Fishing is limited to a maximum of 48 hours per session with no return for 24hrs.

▪ Fishing from designated swims only.

▪ Hotel facilities are available to Members. Clean footwear only please.

3. Code of Conduct

All members of the Society are expected to maintain a standard of behaviour:

▪ Consideration should be given to the public and other Members present at all times.

▪ Abusive or offensive language in any form will not be tolerated.

▪ Threats of, or actual, violence or other acts against another person will be considered as Gross Misconduct.

▪ Possession or consumption of alcoholic or other intoxicant or illegal substances is prohibited on all fisheries and will be considered Serious or Gross Misconduct.

▪ Loud music or any behaviour that causes a disturbance is prohibited.

▪ No dogs are permitted except registered assistant dogs unless otherwise stated in the individual fishery bye-laws.

▪ Fires and Barbecues of any description are not permitted on any Society fishery. Portable stoves are permitted with the exception of Shorne Country Park where no naked flames are permitted. Heaters where permitted must be filled and refilled off site.

▪ Where a lock or gate is provided, Members must ensure they are secured or closed behind them when entering or leaving the fishery.

▪ Transferring of fish between the lakes (except at the discretion of the Committee) is forbidden. Fish not to be held above knee height at any time.

▪ All wildlife to be given full consideration at all times.

▪ Any act that places a Member or other person at risk of injury or death will be considered Serious or Gross Misconduct.

▪ Any act that presents a risk to or causes damage to Society or Fishery property will be considered Gross Misconduct.

The TWAPS Match Rules can be found here.

Disciplinary Procedure

Document version 1.1. Last updated 28th February 2024

1 General Disciplinary Process

1.1 Minor faults or shortcomings in behaviour should normally be dealt with informally by a Committee Member or appointed Bailiff with a view to reaching agreement on the improvement required.

1.2 Informal warnings will not form part of the Disciplinary Procedure.

1.3 The Disciplinary Procedure is intended to provide a formal framework to deal with the situation where an individual’s conduct falls below acceptable standards and to ensure fair and consistent treatment of all members in such circumstances

2 Discipline in the field

Where a Society Bailiff finds a member infringing the Society Rules or Bye-laws, the following actions will apply:

2.1 If an offence is deemed to be unintentional or not serious enough to warrant a written warning, the Bailiff may issue a verbal warning. Further offences following a verbal warning may result in a written warning being issued.

2.2 If a rule or bye-law infringement is deemed severe enough to warrant more than a verbal warning, the following process will result.

2.2.1 For a first offence which is deemed to warrant a formal warning, the Bailiff will clip the membership card once. Where the member’s documentation is in electronic form, the Bailiff will document the event and report the offence to Head Bailiff.

2.2.2 For subsequent offences or where the offence is deemed to be more serious, the membership card will be clipped a second time. Where the member’s documentation is in electronic form the Bailiff will inform the member of the severity of the offence, which will then be documented and reported to the Head Bailiff.

2.2.3 For a third offence that is deemed to warrant a written warning, or where the offence is deemed to be gross misconduct the offender’s Membership Card will be clipped three times. The bailiff will confiscate the offender’s membership card and ID card and the member will be advised that they are suspended subject to the formal Disciplinary Process. Where the member’s documentation is in electronic form the offender will be advised of the severity of the offence and that their membership is suspended pending the formal Disciplinary Process. The offence will then be documented, the member will be required to sign acknowledgement of the written report, and the Bailiff will send the report to the Head Bailiff

2.2.4 Upon receipt of a report of misconduct resulting in a formal warning, the Head Bailiff may, at their discretion, advise all Bailiffs of the warning and it’s severity.

2.2.5 In the event of gross misconduct, the formal Disciplinary Process will be instigated.

2.3 For all infringements, the Bailiff will be required, at the time of the offence(s), to record the event and to inform the member which rules or bye-laws have been transgressed.

3 General principles for the operation of the formal Disciplinary Process

  • Formal disciplinary action should not be taken until the matter has been investigated
  • Where an allegation of misconduct is made against a member, the member may be suspended from all Society activities while an investigation is carried out. The member should be informed that suspension is a neutral act, that it is not a disciplinary penalty and does not imply guilt.
  • The member should be advised of the allegations against them and have an opportunity to state their case before any formal disciplinary decision is made
  • The member should be provided, with any written copies of evidence and relevant witness statements in advance of a disciplinary meeting
  • At every stage of the formal disciplinary procedure, the member will have a right to be accompanied at any disciplinary meeting by another Society member
  • A member should not be dismissed for a first breach of the Rules and Bye-laws subject to the discretion of the Committee
  • The member concerned will have the right to appeal against any formal disciplinary penalty

4 Formal Disciplinary Process

4.1 The Committee should set out in writing to the member, the alleged conduct or other circumstances which have led the Committee to contemplate formal action and the member should be invited to a meeting to discuss the matter.

4.2 Disciplinary meeting

  • The meeting should not take place until the member has been informed of the basis for the grounds given in the original notice of formal action and the member has had a reasonable opportunity to consider their response to such information.
  • At the meeting the Committee should explain the complaint against the member concerned and go through the evidence that has been gathered.
  • The member must take all reasonable steps to attend the meeting. In the event of their non-attendance, the matter will be dealt with in their absence.
  • After the meeting the member will be informed in writing of the Committee’s decision.
  • At any meeting under the Disciplinary Procedure the member concerned should be given the right to be accompanied by another Society member to act in a supporting capacity but such companion may not usually answer questions on behalf of the member subject to the procedure.
  • The member concerned has the right to call witnesses or ask questions of any witnesses called by the Committee

4.3 Right of Appeal

  • If the member wishes to appeal they should inform the Society Secretary in writing within the time frame stated in the decision notice. The member should set out specific reasons for the appeal.
  • Where appropriate the appeal may be referred to the next Annual General Meeting of the Society to which the member will have the right to attend. Following such an appeal, the member shall be informed in writing of the final decision as determined at the General Meeting.

5 Disciplinary Sanctions

As part of any disciplinary procedure, where the Committee considers it appropriate to do so, they may impose a disciplinary sanction or penalty appropriate to the severity

5.1 Verbal warning

If the member’s conduct does not meet acceptable standards, they may be given a formal verbal warning.

5.2 Written warning

If the offence is more serious or if there is insufficient improvement after a verbal warning a written warning may be given. This will set out the nature of the misconduct.

5.3 Ban, Suspension or Termination of Membership

Where there is continued misconduct, or the offence is considered to be Gross Misconduct, the Disciplinary Process may result in the member receiving a ban for a specified period or being expelled from the Society.

5.3.1 Matters which may be considered Gross Misconduct may include, but not be limited to:

  • dishonesty, theft and fraud from the Society or its members and or others
  • deception, for example making untrue statements in membership applications or falsifying expenses incurred on behalf of the Society, etc.
  • vandalism or sabotage of Society equipment and property
  • fighting, or seriously disruptive behaviour or offensive or abusive language
  • serious misuse by of computer, email and internet systems, including posting to Society websites or social media.
  • misuse of Society financial or other confidential Society information
  • acts of bullying, harassment or discrimination
  • being in possession of or under the influence of alcoholic drinks, illegal drugs or other intoxicants
  • misconduct which may bring the Society into disrepute
  • serious breaches of the Societies policies, procedures and safety rules
  • deliberate or serious damage to property or causing loss, damage or injury through serious negligence
  • deliberate actions or use of equipment that is likely to cause serious risk to fish, flora and fauna