Broadwater Bye-laws

Effective from 6th April 2019



1. No Groundbait, Bread, or Nuts to be used in any form.  It is permissible to use bait samples to attract fish to a baited area, but this is limited to 2kg. dry weight over a 12 hour period, with the exception of maggots and casters for which there is no restriction.  The use of PVA bags / mesh / string for introducing bait samples is acceptable. Method-feeders and open-end feeders can be used only in conjunction with trout or carp pellets, or soil. No other binding materials may be used.  The use of live fish as bait is not permitted.  Please co-operate with our bailiffs on this important matter, and if in doubt about a particular bait or method, consult with our bailiffs before using it. The future quality of our fishing depends upon you. 

2. This water is open all year. 

3. A levy of £20 will be made for the recovery of rods lost in the lake. 

4. No surface baits of any kind may be used.  Buoyant bait (pop-ups) may be used at a maximum of 2 inches (50 mm) from the lake bottom. 

5. No carp are to be retained in keep-nets or sacks whatsoever, at Broadwater Lake, other than in authorised competitions. 

6. Members must not cause damage to banks, trees, or shrubs.  No fishing from the island and CAMPING IS NOT ALLOWED. 

7. No tents or bivvies allowed; only umbrellas and fully open-fronted shelters are permitted.  A shelter will be classed as a bivvy if it has a roll-up or zip up front or sides.  An umbrella or shelter will be classified as a tent if it has any form of over-wrap, drape or secondary cover. 

8. Fishing is prohibited in the wild fowl feeding area.

9. NIGHT FISHING. No member may fish for more than two nights in any seven nights, and these must not be consecutive. 

10. Junior members under the age of ten must be accompanied by a responsible adult when fishing Broadwater lake. 

11. At Broadwater, Juniors may use only one rod. But, Juniors aged 12 and over may use two rods during the period from 1st October to 31st March. 

12. The lake will be closed two hours before a day match and will remain closed until one hour after the stated finish time in the match fixture list ( see General Bye-law 14 ).  For evening matches the lake will be closed from 3pm until 10pm.  Note: for the Junior Night Match the water will be closed as for a day match.  

13 Notification of line breakages at Broadwater Lake must be posted in the boat-store letter box. 

14. Members may not use motorised vehicles around the lake, other than on authorised Society business. 

15. No cooking allowed, except for the preparation of beverages. 

16. No member may occupy a swim whilst sleeping. Bed-chairs and sleeping bags are not permitted. 

17. Fishing weights are restricted to a maximum of 2ozs. 

Note :  You may be asked by officials from Waverley Borough Council for your proof of membership and you must comply with this request.


Broadwater- A history of the rules that apply at Broadwater Lake and our relationship with Waverley Borough Council.

Why are the rules at Broadwater so different and more restrictive than our other carp waters? 

Part of the answer is that the lake is situated in a public park and is currently leased from Waverley Borough Council. They control the activities of our members through the lease which states that the rules may not be materially altered without their permission. And the rules have always had to be orientated towards ensuring that the face of angling that the public see, is strictly controlled to avoid any conflict with bird lovers, nature lovers, dog owners, children and the general public that use the park. 

In 1972 several members through carelessness, hooked a number of wildfowl usually whilst using floating crust at night or by leaving unattended rods and as the hooks were barbed the birds were usually badly injured, the worst case being a cygnet that did not survive its injuries.  There were also accusations that our members used the surrounds as a toilet and left an inordinate amount of rubbish in the bamboos and bushes.

All of this resulted in adverse publicity in the local paper the Surrey Advertiser, with several letters detrimental to the Society appearing in the letter columns of the paper from a previous officer of the Society and one or two other members with their own agenda. 

In order to resolve the issues at the time and ensure the good name of Godalming Angling Society rules which were agreed with Waverley Borough Council.  Below are examples of some of the rules introduced at the time and since in order to preserve the good working relationship with our landlords (since 1974 this was Waverley Borough Council) and ensure that members of the public continue to  see the lake as a valuable local amenity enhanced by Godalming Angling Society 

  • Floating baits were banned (To avoid hooking wildfowl)
  • No fishing would be allowed in the lily pads (To avoid leaving broken line and hooks, again a danger to wildfowl.) We hope one day it will be possible to reintroduce lily pads to the lake and that this rule will once again be valid.
  • There would be no sleeping at the lake.
  • No baited rod to be left unattended, in or out of the water. (There were no EA fishery bylaws banning this at the time)
  • All line breakages at Broadwater must be notified in writing and placed in the boat store letterbox.  This enables recovery of the line quickly before wildlife is entangled in it.
  • Members are not permitted to take alcoholic drinks to any Society water, or drink alcohol whilst fishing these waters.  Some people over indulge…
  • No tents or bivvies allowed.  No Camping allowed and is written into our lease.
  • Fishing weights are restricted to 2 ozs.  Some angelrs were using up to 4oz leads and the island became strewn with cracked off leads and line causing issues to wildlife.  This was also considered dangerous, especially in a public area.
  • No cooking on Broadwater, the exception being the preparation of beverages.  Brought in after multiple complaints from members and the public about discarded food and grease thrown in the bushes. Even today Broadwater has a rat problem so this rule remains in place.