Changes to rules for salmon have been delayed to save confusion.

The implementation of the laws, which include restrictions on fishing methods to help the survival of released fish and reduced net fishing seasons, are currently being considered by Welsh Assembly Government, will now be postponed until the 2019 fishing season.

Dave Mee, senior fisheries advisor for National Resources Wales (NRW), said: “At the moment timescales for a decision are uncertain, so we are proposing that introduction of any new measures should be postponed until the beginning of the 2019 rod and net seasons.

“We hope this will help clarify the situation for anglers, netsmen, fishery owners and clubs and associations.”

The procedures for introducing new bylaws are protracted and NRW wishes to avoid uncertainty for fishermen by delaying implementation of approved new measures until the 2019 fishing season.

However, Welsh salmon stocks remain in a perilous condition.

Although catch and release proposals have proved unpopular with anglers, the bylaws are a vital measure to ensure the survival of the prized fish along with tackling agricultural pollution, improving water quality and managing the potential threats from predators.

Despite deferring mandatory catch and release, fishermen are still being urged to practice full restraint and ensure conservation of fish stocks by voluntarily releasing all the salmon this season.

Peter Gough, principal fisheries advisor for NRW said: “This delay is a pragmatic solution to resolving current uncertainty.

“Protection of the breeding resources of these wonderful fish is a fundamental part of our work to manage this important natural resource sustainably,”