Magnet Fishing Laws – Is It Legal?

Is Magnet Fishing Legal?

Magnet fishing is becoming very popular and has been getting a lot of attention in recent years. Since this is a relatively new hobby, explicit magnet fishing laws have not yet been created but there are still general rules for people to follow when engaging in this activity.

As more people try the hobby, you will get a few who would put themselves and others in danger. For example, don’t be the couple that takes a WW2 grenade found when magnet fishing to a Taco Bell. These type of news may scare people and alerts authorities to do something about it which usually leads to them banning the activity entirely. 

Magnet Fishing Laws In The USA

For our friends in the USA, there are currently no laws and restrictions that we know of that bans magnet fishing.

Magnet Fishing Laws In The UK

For our friends in the UK, if you ask the Canal & River Trust (formerly British Waterways until 2012), they will tell you that they “don’t allow magnet fishing as it can be extremely dangerous.”

The trust’s General Canal Byelaws of 1965 states that, “No person unless authorised by the Board in that behalf or otherwise legally entitled so to do shall: (d) Dredge or remove coal or other material from any canal.

Here’s a snippet from the referenced Byelaws:

Magnet Fishing Laws General Canal Byelaws 1965
So our take on the magnet fishing laws in the UK is that it is only legal if the activity is done on private property and with authorisation. It is not allowed on property controlled by the Canal & River Trust.

Reminders To Stay On The Right Side Of The Law

Just remember the following points to make sure that you’re enjoying the hobby without breaking any laws:

  • Safety first for you and other people
  • Guns, ammo, grenades, bombs, and other weapons should be reported to the police
  • Be kind to the environment – clean up rubbish, and take your finds with you
  • Get authorization first before going magnet fishing on private property
  • Follow the laws
  • Use good common sense