Rules and Etiquette

Rules and Etiquette

General Conduct Expected of Anglers.

We do not have pages of rules, we would rather appeal to people’s better nature and rely on them to behave sensibly and appropriately so please repay the trust placed in you. The rules/recommendations below are the minimum standards that all anglers should aspire to achieve. Please note that due to persistent problems with poaching we now require anglers fishing overnight to inform our loch keeper of the intention to do so. River Tweed bailiffs now patrol the loch at night if you are found fishing without a permit the consequences will be significant.

Please take your litter home with you. If anyone is seen littering immediate action will be taken. We have now implemented a policy of zero tolerance with regard to littering.


Fishing in Both lochs is Catch and Release ONLY

The fish indigenous to the lochs are Salmon, Sea Trout, Brown Trout, Pike, Perch, Eel, and 3 Spined Sticklebacks. If an angler catches anything other than the above it must be humanely dispatched please phone/text 07412659569 (John) for instruction on how to proceed.

Fishing for EELS is strictly banned in Scotland under The Freshwater Fish Conservation (Prohibition on Fishing for Eels) (Scotland) Regulations 2008 if one is accidentally caught while fishing, please put them back without harm.

Do not kill fish needlessly, if you catch a fish that you are not fishing for RETURN IT TO THE WATER UNHARMED, both lochs are now completely natural stock and we wish to allow fish to thrive for years to come. Please handle all fish with care

Pike anglers must use a minimum of 20lbs monofilament or 50lbs braid due to the many snags in both lochs. Fluorocarbon-covered monofilament is a good choice.

Pike anglers are limited to a maximum of 4 rods no more than 20 Metres apart, with NO rods to be left unattended at any point. This will allow you to have 3 bait rods and 1 spinner/maggot rod, for example. Refusing to do this will see your rights to fish removed and you will be asked to leave. 

If Pike fishing, you may use Treble hooks but please keep these to Semi-Barbless or Barbless to help protect the stock within the Lochs.

To minimise the incidence of illegal fishing all permit holders are encouraged to politely ask any anglers that they do not know if they have a valid permit. All anglers must show their permit whenever asked to do so.

No Live Baiting


You may have a SMALL fire for cooking purposes on the shingle banks of the lochs. This must be with the use of a Firepit that is raised off the ground that you can take home again in the morning. Disposable BBQs should never be brought to the loch.

No large fires are allowed, and fires on grassed areas and close to plantations are forbidden! Do NOT desecrate the trees in the area, in the interests of safety this rule will be strictly enforced! 


Boat anglers should give bank anglers a 100-metre arc of fishing space. 

Do not anchor your boat to the sailing club buoys.

Boats that can be carried are allowed under law to launch that boat on our waters. If however, that boat has motorised assistance electric or petrol you must apply in writing to our riparian owners. Boats that are launched may not be used for the purposes of fishing only club boats may be used!

The club takes a very serious view of non-compliance with the above and contravention of these common-sense rules will invariably lead to your right to fish being withdrawn.

Parking and general Etiquette

We are essentially invited guests of the riparian owners when fishing on the lochs so please respect their property. 

Fishing at Riskinhope (the top of the Lowes). - Anglers intent on fishing this area should in all cases contact our loch keeper.

No parking is permitted on the Bowerhope road.

No Fishing is allowed at Rodono House Hotel Private Grounds.

If parking at Village Hall, please leave your permit in the window of your vehicle and also park at the rear of the hall.

No dogs are allowed in areas containing livestock. No fouling!

Under no circumstances are anglers permitted to drive vehicles onto private ground if in doubt don’t do it and ask a committee member, or phone/text 07412659569 (John) / 07414591455 (Karren). We have good relations with all riparian owners, we want to keep it that way!

Please park your vehicle sensibly and safely. There have been a few accidents over recent years with the road used heavily for Trucks.

There are other users of the lochs mainly the loch Sailing Club, we have good relations with this club but if any sailing club members or other individuals disrupt your sport please report the matter to a committee member as soon as possible.

Night fishing is permitted if cleared with the loch keeper.

Follow the countryside code.

Please comply with the rules printed on your permit and if you are given an instruction by the Estate gamekeeper or club official please carry out the request given to you.

Catch Returns

Anglers are required to fill in a catch return for all Trout Perch, Eels and Pike (Tagged or not) caught. Returns can be submitted using the following form:

We require Trout returns for any submission we may make to the Tweed Commission or Scottish National Heritage, and Perch Eel and Pike returns for our advertising programme and club records (please include tag number if any, weight, time caught, were caught, and bait/lure used). In addition, day ticket anglers can submit their returns on the rear of the actual permit.

Any big fish caught within our lochs be it Pike, Trout or Perch, we would be appreciative if you could take scale samples and submit them to our loch keeper. Scale samples can help us with not only species identification but also its life history. This would be of great help to the club and the Tweed Foundation. This would allow us to keep a history of any large fish caught and keep a measure of the health of the loch. It would be of great benefit if you obtained: –

Unusual fish e.g. a suspected alien fish should not be returned to the lochs but humanely killed and put in a freezer until we can get it to the tweed foundation for forensic examination. This would likely include any coarse fish not indigenous in the loch and humpbacked salmon. All Rainbow Trout should be dispatched with no examination necessary. Although a Picture submitted to the blog or Lochkeeper would be appreciated to make us aware.

Permits are available from our Loch Keeper's

Mobile – 07412659569 (John)

or if you prefer Email-

Permits are also available from the following locations, Please mention the website when booking:

Glen Café

St Mary’s Loch Yarrow Valley


TD7 5

Permits Available 7 days a week, 10-6 (weather dependant, and except some Tuesdays)

Fishers Direct in Penicuik

9 John Street



EH26 8HN

01968 672877

The Gordon Arms Hotel

Yarrow Valley



PHONE: 01750 82261

Permitted Areas to Fish

The image below will show where you are permitted to fish around both Lochs. Please make sure you follow these guidelines when setting up. Any areas of Livestock are also OFF limits to camping overnight.

The images below will focus into the restricted areas.

The area above marked in Blue is for Members Only. All visitors may Fish this area, but must park in the Cark Park marked above.

The area marked above is Restricted Grounds to Bowerhope Farm. Please do NOT camp overnight here. Fishing is allowed from the Banks, but more accessible via Boat.

The area above is Rodono House Hotel Private Grounds and can NOT be bank fished, there is also no Camping allowed here.

The two areas marked above are Tibbie Shiels and St Mary's Loch Sailing Club. Both areas are out of bounds when it comes to Bank Fishing. Boat anglers can NOT moor a boat anywhere around these areas. The area around Tibbie Shiels includes the banking of the river up to the bridge that runs across. Please stick to the Yellow marked area when fishing here.

Trout Season Close

Please note the following updated rules for lure fishing:

Between April 1st and September 30th, you are permitted to use any legal lure on the lochs at your discretion.

Between October 1st and March 31st, no lure fishing is allowed within 100 yards of the mouth of both the Meggat River and the Regulator Area. However, all other areas of the loch are available for lure fishing, provided you use a lure that is 5 inches or larger.

The areas marked in red on the map are strictly off-limits for lure fishing during the Trout Close Season. These areas are designated as spawning grounds for the trout and must be respected. However, you are still allowed to fish for Pike in all other areas, as long as you comply with the regulations and use a lure that is 5 inches or larger.

If you encounter any difficulties with the maps or regulations, please do not hesitate to contact me. 

St Mary’s Loch and Loch o' the Lowes are protected waters under the Rivers Tweed and Eye Protection Order 1980. You must obtain a permit prior to fishing.

Anyone fishing without a permit will be liable to prosecution by St Mary's Angling club or the River Tweed Commission!

Please read all of the rules thoroughly

“I didn’t know”

will not be considered an acceptable excuse!