‘Wild Food’, a reminder to permit holders

‘Wild Food’ On The Society’s Fisheries. A Reminder.

A landowner has told the Society that he found evidence that ‘wild’ food has been removed from land he owns. This is a reminder to all permit holders that taking ‘wild’ food such as fruit and fungi is theft and will not be tolerated by the Society.

The following rule is taken from the Society’s Information Pack that all permit holders receive each year with their annual permit…


In previous years, the Society had incidents of a few things, including fruit, being taken from private land without permission by individuals claiming to be with O.A.P.S.  Should any permit holders, or those accompanying them, be identified as being involved in this sort of thing, the Society will have no option but to take action that may include banning those concerned from fishing on our waters.

Be aware that this behaviour will not be tolerated!


A Rules Reminder

An Important Rules Reminder…

The Society’s car park at the Mills is accessed through a combination padlocked gate to provide adequate parking space for permit holders. It is vital that this gate is kept shut and padlocked after both entering and leaving the car park to keep out all but our own permit holders.

Our rules require the gate to remain shut and padlocked and most permit holders follow this rule. For those who don’t, breaking this rule will result in the Committee taking action against those identified as responsible.

Coronavirus (Covid-19) and its impact


Sea Trout Guest Permits for 2020

Ouse Angling Preservation Society is reviewing the sale of guest permits to 2020 Sea Trout permit holders. Further information will be added here as soon as it becomes available.

Re-opening of the O.A.P.S. Fishery

Following the Government’s recent announcement that angling may resume with effect from Wednesday 13th May and guidance issued by the Angling Trust the Society’s waters are now open to permit holders.

We have reopened the river to sea trout fishing for sea trout permit holders, subject to the following Covid-19 restrictions (see below), the Society’s own rules also continue to apply. The Copthorne and District Angling Society is also opening its lakes to coarse fishing, please refer to it’s website for specific information.

Covid-19 current restrictions…

  1. Travel should be based only on what is allowed by current Government guidelines.
  2. You should only travel to the OAPS fishery on your own or with members of your household and abide by current guidelines on social distancing.
  3. You can fish with members of your household or one person outside your household – but stick to Government social distancing guidelines.
  4. A distance of at least 15m from other anglers should be maintained whilst fishing.
  5. Hand sanitiser must be used before and after touching padlocks, gate and stiles etc. As well as providing access for anglers to the river, these may be used by others including landowners and farm workers. Disposable gloves are also recommended.
  6. When parking in the designated parking areas, leave as much space as practical from other vehicles.
  7. No sharing of fishing positions, except by members of the same household.
  8. No keepnets (applicable to coarse angling once the season opens on the river on 16th June).
  9. No sharing of fishing tackle or other items.
  10. Do not travel to the fishery if you have symptoms of Covid-19 and follow Government advice on isolation.
  11. Pay careful attention to the Society’s notices and signs – if issues arise requiring specific additional measures to be taken, we may erect appropriate signage.

Bailiffing will continue on the Society’s waters and permits and day tickets will continue to be inspected in a manner consistent with social distancing.

Current Government guidance is that tackle shops, which normally sell our coarse fishing permits and day tickets, must remain closed and it is unknown when they will reopen. Prior to the opening of the coarse season we will evaluate options for anglers to purchase permits and tickets, and will provide an update here.

As the situation is a constantly developing one, and there is a possibility of Government restrictions being tightened again, or the Society having to impose its own restrictions, we advise anglers to check the Society’s website before travelling to fish. We also recommend referring to the Angling Trust’s website.

16th May 2020


Updates and Reminders

The Angling Trust has recently published its submission to Government, making the case for opening up angling. There is no indication at present that angling will be allowed to resume in the near future.

SEA TROUT: Today sees the start of the Sea Trout season and the OAPS fishery remains closed. As Sea Trout permit applicants are aware, permits will not be issued until a decision is made about the resumption of angling.

COARSE: The start of the Coarse season is getting closer. Permits, normally on sale before the end of April, and Day Tickets will, like Sea Trout permits, be unavailable until we know when angling can be resumed. All anglers should be aware that there is no access allowed to any part of our fishery without a permit to identify them when on private land (the Anchor east bank field from the farm bridge down to the boundary of that field and the river downstream of Barcombe Mills road bridge.)

The Society’s committee has banned all pre-season activities until permits have been bought. Public access to the banks at the Pool, and the non-tidal river between the Barcombe Mills Old Toll Road and the boundary next to the reservoir intake is allowed under The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020  Regulation 6 1(b) “to take exercise either alone or with other members of their household”. Activities associated with angling are not allowed.

Any prospective permit holder that ignores the requirement to have a permit before accessing the fishery will be dealt with severely by the OAPS committee.

1st May 2020


Covid-19 – Sea Trout and Coarse Permits – Information

The Society’s permit period starts on 1st May each year. It appears that Covid-19 will impact on the start of the Sea Trout season if, as looks highly likely, an extension to the current three week ‘lockdown’ period goes ahead.

Our permits will be printed before the end of April but, with no indication yet of when fishing will be restored as an acceptable activity, the Society will not be making those permits available to any anglers until fishing is allowed again.

With May being a traditionally quiet month for Sea Trout fishing on the river we would hope that the Covid-19 ‘lockdown’ will have been relaxed enough to allow fishing to be restored before the beginning of June in which case the Coarse river fishing season would not be affected.

Please remember that there is no guarantee of how and when fishing will be allowed to resume but rest assured that, once we get the go ahead to start, Sea Trout permits will be mailed out and Coarse permits will be distributed to our usual outlets.

16th April 2020


Fishery Closure

Following this week’s announcements by the government about coronavirus (COVID-19) and the ‘lockdown’ of the UK, the Angling Trust has issued a statement that angling cannot continue for the foreseeable future. Many angling clubs have already shut down access to their waters and announcements are expected that remaining clubs will follow suit.

Although it’s possible that the ‘lockdown’ could be lifted before the start of the sea trout fishing season, Ouse Angling Preservation Society (OAPS) considers it highly likely that the start of the sea trout season will be delayed this year and the coarse season probably delayed as well depending on how the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19) progresses.

Copthorne & District Angling Society (CDAS) has already announced closure of its stillwaters.

As further information becomes available it will be added at the top of this post so please visit regularly. 

24th March 2020


Sussex Ouse Barcombe Mills Pikes Lock Snow

2020-2021 Winter Permits

The Society’s Winter Permits are now available from all of our outlets at a cost of £50.00.

These permits cover the period from 1st November until the following 30th April and include the waters that we share with Copthorne & District AS (CDAS), including their stillwaters at Piltdown Pond near Newick and Rowfant between Copthorne and Turners Hill near Gatwick.

The closed season for river coarse fishing, starting on 15th March 2021, applies to holders of all of our winter permits, but fishing continues on CDAS stillwaters until 30th April.

Click here for details of where to purchase your permit.

Permit Secretary Mobile Phone Problems

Contacting the Permit Secretary – PROBLEM RESOLVED

The Society’s mobile phone had been sending calls to voicemail for the last 6 weeks or so without alerting the Permit Secretary. The service provider has dealt with the problem and phone calls are now routed to the phone.

If you have been waiting for a reply and are not contacted in the next few days, call again and please accept our apologies for failing to respond to your earlier call(s).


2020-2021 Coarse Season

Coarse Fishing Annual Permits – 2020-2021 & Covid-19
With the Covid-19 crisis still present and June 16th only a month away, it is still not clear whether tackle shops will be open in time for the start of the season or not.  Please check here regularly for news on how and when coarse permits will be available.


Coarse Fishing Day Tickets – 2020-2021
Day tickets will NOT be available on O.A.P.S. waters during the period of the Covid-19 crisis.
Any changes to this position during the coming season will be shown here.


ALL Permit Holder News – 2020-2021

Bevern Stream remains unavailable for fishing.
The Bevern Stream remains closed for the 2020/2021 season to all Ouse Angling Preservation Society permit holders while work continues on assessing the ongoing damage to the fishery caused by the Plumpton Mill Stream pollution during the winter of 2016-2017.


Car parking on the OAPS fishery
Permit holders wishing to fish the river in the vicinity of the Anchor Inn are probably aware that there were “difficulties” last season in accessing the ONLY designated anglers’ parking for this part of the river, in the field on the left hand side of the road just before the Anchor Inn.
At the present time permit holders cannot rely on this parking being available. Unfortunately, this means that the nearest viable ‘official’ parking for this part of the river is in the Society’s car park at Barcombe Mills with access to the Anchor Inn stretch of river via…

a) the farm track that takes you to the Old Mill Farm site where it joins the Ouse Valley Way footpath – this is a ‘Restricted Byway’ that forms part of the end of a footpath that crosses the old railway bed to the north, or
b) the Ouse Valley Way footpath alongside the river that you join next to the hump-back bridge near the Pool

Further information will be shown here as and when it becomes available.


Guest ticket clarification.
Guest tickets do not allow permit holders to take their guest to any of the Copthorne and District A.S. stillwaters, including Piltdown Pond.


Canoeing and Swimming on Our Fishery
OAPS anglers will be aware that waters we control on the non-tidal river at Barcombe Mills are used from time to time by local companies that advertise commercial canoe trips on the river, individual ‘paddlers’ and also by so-called “wildswimmers”.
The Society advises anglers to avoid any sort of confrontation, including swearing, with these groups. The Society would appreciate any photographic or video evidence anglers can collect of either of these groups interfering with their enjoyment of the river.

2020 Sea Trout Season

2020 Sea Trout Season

Changes to OAPS Bank Transfer Details

Ouse Angling Preservation Society has recently changed banks and the details for making Bank Transfer payments are still being set up.

Any Sea Trout anglers wanting to pay for this year’s permit via BACS bank transfer should contact David Pennington (see below).

Please contact David Pennington our Permit Secretary either by email (see bottom left – ‘Contact Us’)  or telephone on 07899 245680 if you want to make a bank transfer payment

Jim Smith.

Jim (The Fish) Smith – 31.07.1944 to 27.12 2019

It is with great sadness that we have to report the passing of this, one of the Society’s great and much loved characters who, for over 60 years poured his heart and soul into the society and river interests – to the extent that many years ago the committee, being concerned about labour laws, decided he must have one day a week off and a set holiday! This was only achieved after much persuasion and heaving up of his trousers!

In addition to his role with the society, Jim put an equal amount of enthusiasm into his work with the Ouse and Adur Rivers Trust and the local parish council, together with interests in the Trout and Salmon Association and other rural organisations.

Jim learned his trade from the previous bailiff, Mac, with whom he spent much time as a boy, and, as we all know, he went on to accumulate a vast knowledge of the Ouse, its catchment and nature generally, with an enthusiasm which, over the many years, never diminished.

Jim will be sadly missed but well remembered by all who knew him.