Fyke Net | Gear | Seafish Fishing Gear Database

Fyke Net


A fyke net is a type of fish trap. It consists of long cylindrical netting bag usually with several netting cones fitted inside the netting cylinder to make entry easy and exit difficult. This net is then mounted on rigid rings or other rigid framework and fixed on the sea bed by anchors, ballast or stakes It also has wings or leaders to help guide the fish towards the entrance of the bag. They are commonly used in estuaries or inshore shallow water.

Net fixed into the seabed by stakes
A simple net staked out between three poles driven into the seabed.

Environmental impact

There is very little environmental impact with this gear as it is usually done on a small scale. The only seabed impact would be the interaction between the stakes or anchors with the seabed. These are usually in areas of fairly mobile sea beds being tidal or intertidal where any impact is quickly dissipated by the tidal movements. By-catch is minimal and any unwanted by-catch can usually be released alive.

Other information

The fish are herded towards the mouth of the gear by the wings of the net. These are usually not more than several metres in length. As the fish travels down the cylinder of netting it is guided into the wide end of the cones of netting and out through the smaller end and into the next chamber. The easiest way out of this chamber is through the next cone of netting and eventually into the enclosed bag at the end of the gar. Escape from this section is difficult so the fish are usually retained here until the gear is hauled by the fishermen.

Fyke nets are generally operated in shallow coastal waters, such as estuaries and sheltered bays. They are usually set in contact to the bottom, in areas with strong tidal currents and hauled or checked for catch on a daily basis of even every tide (12 hours).

Gear classification

Main target species (UK)

  • Any demersal species
  • Common Eel
  • Flounder
  • Plaice
  • Salmon
  • Sea Trout
  • Skates

Possible bycatch

  • Any demersal species
  • Very little bycatch