Other Articles

Casting For Recovery UK & Ireland

Submitted by Mandi on February 10, 2012 - 10:58am

 

Casting for Recovery UK & Ireland (CfR) is a registered charity which supports women who have or have had breast cancer. It provides an innovative outdoor programme, the first of its kind in this country, which combines fly fishing, counselling and education to promote mental and physical healing within a rural background. This innovative programme, the first of its kind in this country, provides an opportunity for women whose lives have been profoundly affected by breast cancer to gather in a beautiful setting and learn fly fishing whilst meeting new friends and having fun. Any lady who has, or has had breast cancer, is eligible to apply to attend one of our retreats which have brought rural and urban women from all over the UK and Ireland together and created some great new friendships. Part of the programme’s innovative nature is that it promotes the British countryside to all women, without boundaries. Any lady who has, or has had breast cancer is eligible to apply to attend a retreat. CfR is very simple: ladies apply to attend (with medical clearance) and, if they are successful (places are allocated by ballot), they are then taken away on a 2½ day retreat. CfR enjoys the backing of several donors including the Countryside Alliance, so retreats are at no cost to ladies taking part. All equipment is provided by Orvis UK. Anyone who fishes can tell you that the dynamics of fly fishing provide a healing connection to the natural world, relieving everyday stress and promoting a sense of calm. With that in mind it’s amazing that no one thought of this programme before now. Casting techniques provide a gentle exercise for joint and soft tissue mobility, and casting requires no strength so is perfectly safe and comfortable – ideal for those recovering from their illness. Participants are also taught the fundamentals of fly casting, entomology, knot-tying and equipment basics - but most importantly, the ladies spend time on the water practicing catch-and-release fishing. 40,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in England alone; a staggering and overwhelming number.

That number only accounts for those diagnosed, of course, but the numbers affected by the diagnoses; the families and friends, is far, far greater. We are not able to provide retreats for anywhere near that number, of course, as we are still a small charity, but we do have big plans, and our dreams of holding two retreats a month may take shape in the not too distant future. At present, seven retreats a year is our maximum, and that is a stretch on the funding and volunteer base we currently have. This means, with around 14 ladies per retreat (a small number to ensure an intimate and informal atmosphere) 100 ladies can be put through the programme every year. Not enough, not even close, but a start, and something to build on. The retreats themselves are professional, supportive and very welcoming to those attending. Many ladies arrive feeling overwhelmed at what they have let themselves in for, but they quickly learn they have nothing to worry about. There are trained facilitators at each retreat taken from a volunteer base of health care professionals (e.g. counsellors, specialist nurses and physiotherapists.) and qualified fly fishing instructors. One on one counselling is available at any time, and the focus is on supporting the ladies, encouraging them to take things at their own pace, doing as much or as little as they feel able. Everything is geared towards the ladies, and they are receptive and delighted by the retreat.Sally Pizzii coaching

All of our volunteers agree that the very nicest aspect of the retreat is the final morning, when each lady is assigned her volunteer guide for a morning’s guided fly fishing. From never having met before, by lunchtime they are firm friends and the banter is flowing. You would never believe the ladies and guides had only just met – such is the camaraderie, teasing and fun. In fact, many of the ladies get extremely competitive over who catches the first fish amongst the group, and the water tends to echo with shouts of delight or squeals of rage if a trout gets away! The UK and Ireland Programme Co-ordinator is Sue Hunter, who recovered from breast cancer (twice) to become an international gold medallist fly fisher, and 2008’s England Ladies National Champion. She runs CFR with the help of 2007’s national Champion Sue Shaw, and together they ensure that each retreat meets the exacting standards of beautiful location,supportive environment and huge fun. CfR has staged retreats at some of our most beautiful sporting hotels, including the Arundell Arms in Devon; Mount Falcon, Co Mayo ROI; and the Lake Vyrnwy Hotel in North Wales. In our five years of operation we have run 20 retreats and seen well over 250 ladies through the programme. CfR is growing gradually and strongly. In early 2010 we achieved charitable status and our ability to run more retreats is developing as more people hear about us, bringing us charitable donations from all over the country, as well as practical offers of help from fishing guides, counsellors, specialist nurses and physios.

 

  For more information on taking part in one of our activities please contact us:

  Tel: 0207 840 9223

  Email: [email protected]

  or visit our web site : www.castingforrecovery.org.uk

 

 

 

Environment Agency - Report Of Anging Participation Events & Collaborative Projects 2011

Submitted by Mandi on January 19, 2012 - 9:51am

REPORT OF ANGLING PARTICIPATION EVENTS AND COLLABORATIVE PROJECTS 2011 – By Sally Gallop

Agency run days

Family Trout Fishing day 7th August at Siblyback Lakes

The weather was unsure but we were lucky not to get too wet. Good numbers of people arrived despite traffic and weather and two very lucky Liverpool supporters caught fish on the day. Great atmosphere and a great day.

Family Coarse fishing day 13th August Bake Lakes, Trerulefoot.

Again this event did not disappoint so much interest that we split the day into two sessions, everyone caught fish and the parents and guardians all got involved
This event brings down Danny Williamson and Paul Power for extra help along with my normal coaches Bob Tetley and Jerry Clarke and as usual it was a delight to work with them. These days are full of laughter and fun, but also an awful lot of information is passed on to the participants who learn a lot about fishing.

Family Coarse fishing day 17th August Higher Shorston Lakes

The first time we have used this venue and what a lovely place, everyone caught a good size fish and countless small ones. Definitely would like to use this place again in the future.
Coarse fishing junior days.

3rd June Bake Lakes Trerulefoot

As always the venue fished very well, all participants learnt a lot and many fish were landed. Parents who stayed also learnt about the basics of fishing.

3rd August Threemilestone Angling Club Lake, Threemilestone..

As always a warm welcome awaited us from Ken Hart (Chairman) at Threemilestone, and although the fish were slightly reluctant to show themselves a good day’s tuition was had by all. A large carp caught was the icing on the cake and ended the day in fine fashion.

10th August Whalesborough Bude Canal AA

Cracking venue and a chance for the Agency to use the all access pegs we funded last year. The lake fish extremely well and in future years we will hopefully use the lake to its full potential and have a family day there.
Junior Trout fishing

April 18th Stithians
April 20th Siblyback
April 22nd Treemeadow

Well after choosing the dates carefully at the beginning of the year to increase the chances of catching a trout we had a heat wave ! Still the one thing I can not control is the weather.
The temperature made things tricky for our beginners. But as always the ones that got away were the talk of the day.
PROJECTS

Cornwall Blind Association

Cornwall Blind Association is a local independent charity and company limited by guarantee, providing services, support and advice to visually impaired people in Cornwall. It has served the Cornish community for many years, being established in 1856.
Services are delivered throughout Cornwall with Sight Centres located in Truro and Penwith. Further local services are being developed during 2009 in North Cornwall and Caradon. Cornwall Blind Association aims to provide services to people of all ages and backgrounds...
For the third year we have arranged for Cornwall blind to have three days trout fishing along with the use of the Wheelyboat. This has always been a challenge to our instructor’s one which they have relished and the joy for the participants is immeasurable.

Cornwall Federation of Womans Institutes

The Federation made contact at The Royal Cornwall Show and following this we arranged for one days fly fishing down at Stithians, the interest was immense. So much so that a second project had been set up incorporating sites all over Cornwall, this project will run throughout 2012 and will see the WI have numerous fishing days throughout the county.. Watch this space for a WI fishing club..

Penaire School

14 pupils (including pupils with special needs) attended Stithians Lakes for five days during activities week. With the Agency paying for the instructors the school was able to reduce the cost to the pupils to only the transport fees. This opened up the week to less well off pupils.

From: Gillian Truen
Sent: 27 September 2011 14:43
To: 'Mitchell, Sally'
Subject: RE: Fly fishing

Dear Sally
My comments on the project Most of the boys had not fished before and therefore learned a lot from Gary and Annie Champion. Gary and Annie are dedicated to passing on their wealth of experience to young people of all abilities. The boys responded readily to this and some wanted to take fly fishing up as a hobby. The boys also enjoyed bug dipping in the marshy area, watching the dragon flies and going out on the lake in the boat to fish. Most of them caught at least one to take home and cook.

A.S.K 4ALL

Ask4all is a support group set up by parents of disabled children, they provide support, information and activities.

Our initial two days of fishing were so successful we have funded another five days fishing for members of the group.

Dear Sally
A BIG thank you to you for getting the funding for our days at Bake Lakes. Everyone had a brilliant time and Bob and his helpers were really great, making sure that everyone got the most out of their session. If there is any chance of us having another day sometime we would definitely be interested.
Many thanks
Theresa Burt

Echo Physical Disability Resource Centre
The Echo Centre is a purpose-built, multi-functional resource centre that offers a wide range
of services and activities to people with physical disabilities living in the Caradon area of
Cornwall. The centre's aim is to provide a quality service that promotes independence, social
inclusion, empowerment and rehabilitation and offers carers a break.
ECHO facilitates opportunities and experiences for people with physical disabilities,
encouraging personal fulfilment, self-worth and reintegration into the community.

We have funded the centre for the third year to enable five days coarse fishing at Bake Lakes.
The enjoyment that the people get is un-measurable.

Salmon Prepare To Spawn As Wet Weather Helps Restore Flows In South West Rivers December 2011

Submitted by Mandi on January 5, 2012 - 11:39am

      
         

                                  ********** News Release **********

 

  December 19th 2011

Salmon prepare to spawn as wet weather helps restore flows in south west rivers The wet weather has been bad news for Christmas shoppers, but couldn’t have come at a better time for salmon and sea trout returning to the region’s rivers. After one of the driest years on record, flows in many of the region’s rivers have been exceptionally low making it difficult for salmon and sea trout to migrate upstream to spawn. Thankfully, the recent wet spell has co-incided with the time of year when the Atlantic Salmon has only one thing on its mind – sex! Throughout December adult fish battle their way upstream to reach spawning grounds in the headwaters of our rivers. On arrival, female salmon lay their eggs in riverbed gravels known as ‘redds’ where the eggs are immediately fertilised by a male fish. These spawning grounds are carefully monitored by the Environment Agency to gauge the breeding success of salmon on rivers including the Fowey and Camel in Cornwall, Tamar, Dart, Exe and Teign in Devon and the Avon, Frome and Stour in Dorset.

The Agency and its partners help boost salmon and sea trout stocks by installing fish passes and removing barriers and obstacles on rivers to make it easier for salmon to make their annual migration upstream. It recently carried out a ‘Dam Buster’ operation on Dartmoor to remove a weir that had been a serious obstruction to salmon migrating to the headwaters of the River Taw. Normal dismantling methods were ruled out because of the remote location and difficulty getting heavy equipment to the site, so the weir was removed in a controlled explosion. The scheme was carried out by the Agency in partnership with the Westcountry Rivers Trust. The Agency also recently completed a new fish pass at Wire Hatches near Salisbury. The improvement means it is now possible for salmon to spawn in two separate branches of the Hampshire Avon. Previously they could only migrate up one.

Leaping Salmon

Pictured is a fine male salmon leaping over a weir on the Hampshire Avon. The fish, weighing around 18lb, was photographed by Environment Agency fisheries officer Chris Gardner, who was checking local rivers for signs of fish movement when he captured this stunning image. ‘I noticed a lot of fish jumping at one particular fish pass so picked up my camera and took a series of photos in quick succession. One shot caught the moment a large salmon came leaping up over the pass. It was a spectacular sight,’ said Chris. ‘Conditions have become difficult for migratory fish because it has been so dry.

 

The recent rain has arrived just in time and given the fish a temporary reprieve. It is very satisfying to see mature salmon migrating up a river to spawn and know we are helping them on their journey by removing obstacles and putting in fish passes.’ ‘Salmon and sea trout are important species in the South West and are indicators of good water quality. They help us monitor the health of our rivers and make a very welcome and valuable contribution to the local economy,’ said Simon Toms, the Agency’s Senior Fisheries Technical Specialist for the region. Salmon are especially vulnerable to poachers at this time of the year.

Anyone seeing suspicious activities on our rivers is advised to call the free Environment Agency 24-hour hotline Tel: 0800 80 70 60.

Crimestoppers - Angling Under Threat

Submitted by Mandi on December 2, 2011 - 2:02pm

 

 

  Angling Under Threat

Illegal imports of live fish generate more comment than any other facet of angling. Most anglers believe illegal imports damage angling and should be stopped. Others feel that foreign fish should be allowed onto secure enclosed, licensed sites. A few in the angling fraternity feel that movements of live fish should be de-regulated, and that fishery owners should be allowed to introduce whatever species they like, irrespective of origin. Some angling media display a mixed stance: one minute fighting against illegal imports and the next publishing articles that are slyly supportive. The long-term ecological and environmental impact of foreign fish is unknown. We know that Spring Viraemia of Carp (SVC), Koi Herpesvirus (KHV) and exotic varieties of parasites have been found on previous illegal imports and movements, and many of our fish may have died as a result. Even healthy looking fish can carry viruses. One infected fish can wipe out all healthy stock – years’ worth of good management lost by one cheap fish. Diseases can only be destroyed by complete drain-downs, the slaughter of stock and disinfection. Even then, there is often no guarantee of complete eradication. For this reason, laws exist to stop the spread of disease. All imports of live fish into Great Britain must be accompanied by a movement document declaring the fish are free of disease. These documents are only issued by the veterinary authorities in the country of origin. Also, prior notice of the import must be provided to Cefas. Any import that fails to meet these criteria is illegal. A sensible solution is for the angling fraternity to work together with regulators – such as the Fish Health Inspectorate, based at Cefas and the Environment Agency – before irreversible damage is caused.

Illegal Importation and Movements – Why Smuggle Fish?

 

Fish caught illegaly

 

Put simply: to make huge amounts of money. Latest police intelligence suggests organised crime groups now view illegally importing fish, and particularly carp, as a lucrative business opportunity with low risks.
An illegal 50lb carp from Europe is worth up to £20,000 in the UK. And carp can be bought cheaply from non-approved sites on the Continent.
Smuggling has spread to England and Wales. People are now moving fish illegally without applying for permission from the Environment Agency. This has the potential to destroy wild waters through the spread of disease and also non-native or invasive species.

 Fish & Tackle Theft

Thieves remove specimen fish from waters, depriving anglers of their sport. These fish often take years to grow and are invaluable to our fisheries. Even migratory salmonid stocks are under pressure. In many rivers they are being taken out of season, sometimes through illegal methods.
Tackle theft is also increasing at an alarming rate, as reports in the angling press and comments on internet angling forums attests. In spite of that, many anglers don’t give security a second thought. Some anglers store thousands of pounds worth of fishing tackle in flimsy garden sheds – only secured by a cheap padlock. In addition, people have been known to be followed home from matches only to find their gear has been stolen after the fact. Thieves can easily break into poorly secured sheds and garages. Thieves and organised criminals with knowledge of angling dispose of stolen tackle through the internet and car boot sales, selling it at a fraction of its true value. So security on the riverbank, just as at home, is important. Keep your gear close by and be vigilant at all times. If you see any suspicious activities, report it to your venue staff. If you witness a crime, call the police.

 Who Can Stop This?

crimestoppers

 

 

 

 

 

 Fortunately, there are only a small number of individuals and groups involved in such known criminal activity. These criminals ensure that other people are implicated in these crimes, through hiring a driver, and often a vehicle, to take all the risk.
You can help to combat these crimes by taking more responsibility for your sport and providing information on illegal activity. With your help we can then target the right people: the ring leaders, the organisers, the individuals who stand to make the biggest profits – those with no care or interest in your sport or the welfare of the animals.
It couldn’t be easier to help. Through a new partnership with Crimestoppers you can now leave information completely anonymously: either online or by telephone on 0800 555 111.
•    You won’t be asked your name.
•    There is no 1471 facility.
•    Calls are not recorded.
•    You will speak to an experienced operator.
•    No personal details are recorded, e.g. age, gender, ethnic origin.
•    You will never be asked to attend a police station, make a statement or attend court.

You can trust Crimestoppers: it has never broken its promise about anonymity in more than 23 years since the initiative began.

Throop Fisheries Enhancement at Glen’s Weir August 2011

Submitted by Mandi on November 9, 2011 - 2:25pm

Throop Fisheries Enhancement at Glen’s Weir August 2011
Dorset Stour at Holdenhurst

For the ninth year in a row the Fisheries Recreation & Biodiversity Team at
Blandford combined with the Avon & Stour Ops Delivery Field Team, has now
successfully completed the latest enhancement works on the Dorset Stour.
The works were at Throop Fishery and the project aims were the following
which will contribute to the lower Stour achieving good ecological status under
the Water Framework Directive:

• Increase flow and natural scouring effect over gravels allowing self
cleaning and mobilisation
• Enhance existing spawning areas and increase potential spawning
habitat upstream and downstream of Glens Weir
• Increase parr and juvenile barbel habitat
• Re-instate collapsed banks and re-profile weir pool to increase weir
pool habitat and dynamics
• Provide fry refuge areas
• Swim creation, modification and reduced cattle poaching

Project Background

Extensive dredging work in the 1970’s removed thousands of tonnes of gravel
from the lower Stour for flood risk purposes leaving a featureless linear
channel. The removal of these gravels eliminated miles of spawning habitat
for coarse species such as barbel, chub and salmonid species such as brown
trout, sea trout and salmon. These works contributed to the collapse of the
Dorset Stour as a salmon fishery and also impacted on species such as
barbel, which need varying flows and associated habitats to complete their
lifecycle successfully. Although in places the river has re-naturalised to some
degree, routine dredging works still take place further downstream for flood
risk purposes, as maintenance of the Christchurch flood alleviation scheme.
These past and ongoing works restrict the opportunity for these heavily
modified areas of river to naturalise.

The project was aimed at restoring and enhancing instream habitat in a
previously dredged area providing new spawning habitat, fry refuge areas and
juvenile habitat for multiple fish species. Species benefiting from these works
such as Barbel once reaching adulthood, can migrate up for 20km into
different areas upstream and downstream utilising different habitats before
returning in May to spawning areas. Projects such as this one contribute not
only to local habitat but to the whole biodiversity of the river itself.

The Environment Agency worked in partnership with The Barbel Society and
Ringwood & District Angling Association (RDAA) to gather data and highlight
areas where river restoration could take place on the lower Stour. Glen’s weir
at Throop Fishery was identified as a great opportunity not only to improve a
known spawning area for the local barbel population, but also to improve and
create further spawning area’s downstream, improve weir pool habitat and
provide fry refuge areas for multiple species. Pre-enhancement monitoring
work was completed (a separate report is available from the EA) and further
post project monitoring is taking place in partnership with RDAA and the
Barbel Society through angler catch data, electric fishing and redd count data.

The project was completed with the use of a 50’ 360 reach machine digger in
the expert hands of craftsman ‘Midge’ together with a 360 tracked dumper
driven by Mike Clements from Ops delivery. Nearly 600 tonnes of Portland
stone were placed into the collapsed bank, old weir and in channel as flow
deflectors together with gravel re-instatement and re-profiling. Fry refuge
areas were also created behind flow deflectors diversifying habitat for juvenile
and adult fish species. The area was then fenced off to prevent cattle
poaching and angler access into this area has been retained by installation of
a gate into the enhancement area.

The end result has lead to increased flows over a known spawning area by
placing of a block stone deflector above Glen’s weir, created a 30m riffle and
shallow glide downstream of the weir by re-using gravels previously dredged
from the bank side, and installation of another block stone deflector at the
tailrace of the weir pool. These combined works together with re-profiling of
the weir itself have increased flows over these spawning and juvenile habitat
areas and created holding features for larger adult species within the weir
pool itself. As flows are now concentrated in the middle of the channel, less
scouring of the bank will occur retaining clean gravels throughout the year.

“I am extremely happy with the finished result as over 100m of river habitat
has been restored for a multitude of fish species benefiting the whole reach at
Throop. I fully expect to see salmon spawning in these areas this winter and
in late spring, barbel and chub spawning over the newly re-profiled gravels.
Adult Salmon have already been seen lying in the re-profiled weir pool and
good catches of Barbel have already been taken from the tail race.”

“The Dorset Stour is often looked at as second best compared to
neighbouring rivers, but in terms of its biodiversity this is not the case. Slowly
but surely it is returning back into a fantastic river. My special thanks go to
Ops Delivery again as they have completed a grade ‘A’ job, also Chris Allport
and Brian Wilson from RDAA and Pete Reading from the Barbel Society for
their continued support and significant funding contribution. It has been a
fantastic collaborative project.”

Fisheries Courses at Bridgwater College October 2011

Submitted by Mandi on October 31, 2011 - 3:09pm

 

*********  Fisheries Courses At Bridgwater College *********

October 2011

course area- fish management

Study for an Extended Diploma in Fishery Management or Diploma in Fish Husbandry and get the skills you need to join this exciting and rapidly growing industry. These courses take place at Bridgwater College's Cannington Centre for Land-based studies which has excellent specialist facilities, including an on-site fishery.

Fish management encompasses fish breeding and production, river fisheries management, fish population, water quality fish biology fish behaviour and other related subjects. Over 3 million angers take part in fishing activities. These Fish Management and Fish Husbandry courses are ideal for those seeking jobs in this growing sector. Using our excellent on-site facilities and the fantastic local fisheries, our courses offer you the best.

Please contact Bridgwater College for further details on Tel: 01278 441216 or for more information

Explosives Used To Remove Weir From Dartmoor River - October 2011

Submitted by Mandi on October 26, 2011 - 11:54am

 

 

  25th October 2011

Salmon and sea trout can migrate more easily up the River Taw thanks to a ‘Dam Buster’ operation carried out by the Environment Agency and West Country Rivers Trust. The weir near the Dartmoor village of Belstone was a serious obstruction to fish trying to spawn on the headwaters of the Taw. Dating from the 1960’s, the structure at Taw Marsh was part of an old abstraction point once used by South West Water. Normal dismantling methods were ruled out because of the remote location and difficulty getting heavy plant and equipment to the site. The weir was also situated within a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) containing rare mosses and lichens that could be easily damaged. Before work could start the Environment Agency had to obtain the permission of South West Water, the Duchy of Cornwall, Natural England, Dartmoor National Park Authority and the Belstone Commoners.

Belstone Weir

 

On the day of reckoning, a 250 metre exclusion zone was established around the site and specialist contractors brought in to remove the weir in a controlled explosion. ‘The operation was a success and it will now be much easier for fish to reach some pristine spawning grounds high on the Moor. We’ve previously used explosives to prepare sites prior to construction, but this was the first time we’ve used them to demolish a structure. We had to be careful we didn’t damage an old gauging station located nearby,’ said Bob Collett for the Environment Agency. Under the European Water Framework Directive, rivers are required to meet a standard known as ‘Good Ecological Status’. The upper Taw has been identified as falling short of this standard. The removal of the weir at Belstone is just one of several improvements to improve access for fish and help the upper Taw achieve ‘Good Ecological Status.’ The Agency had earlier moved boulders from around its gauging weir at Sticklepath to create a deeper downstream pool making it easier for salmon and sea trout to migrate upstream.

 

Belstone Weir After

 

This work was carried out by the Agency’s Operations Delivery staff. Plans are also underway to improve a weir that serves as a water intake for Finches Foundry in Sticklepath. In a joint project with the West Country Rivers Trust, the Agency is seeking to carry out work next spring to reduce the height of the weir to help fish reach their spawning grounds.

 

 

 

 

 

Some before and after photos of the weir at Belstone are available from the Environment Agency’s regional press office on 01392 442008.

Wessex Chalk Stream & Rivers Trust

Submitted by Mandi on September 26, 2011 - 11:31am

WCSRT is a charity, dedicated to the guardianship, protection, enhancement and maintenance of healthy, functioning ecosystems within the river corridors and catchments of the Wessex region.

Our vision is of healthy rivers which are valued and nurtured by the community and which exhibit:

  • Sustainable and naturally abundant wildlife
  • High water quality and sustained natural flows
  • Fully functioning ecosystems which link the rivers with their valleys
  • Resilience to climate change and future stresses associated with social and economic development.

Pressure from agricultural, aquaculture, transport and housing development in the region has placed significant strain on the river environment over the last half-century or so. River channels have become degraded through dredging for agricultural ‘improvement’ and engineering for flood management. Flows have been impaired by abstraction for public water supply. Water quality continues to be impacted by agricultural run-off, pesticides, discharges from watercress beds, fish farms, sewerage systems, and septic tanks. Spawning gravels continue to be affected by siltation. Aquatic fly life has seriously declined. The numbers of salmon running to spawn are gravely depleted. Native Crayfish have been virtually wiped out and non-native species are threatening the integrity of the habitat.

Quiet moment fishing

Predictions of future climate change and population growth suggest that environmental stresses will increase significantly over the next 50 years, particularly those associated with river flows, and water quality.

The Wessex Chalk Stream and Rivers Trust was formed by a group of like-minded people from organisations with an interest in protecting these fragile river habitats. They recognised that many of the environmental challenges faced are common across the region and that in most cases addressing them demands a catchment based perspective, which considers all aspects of the ecosystem together. These organisations included the Wiltshire Fishery Association, the Avon and Stour Association, the Test and Itchen Association, the Wessex Salmon and Rivers Trust, the National Trust, the Hampshire Wildlife Trust and the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust.

The rivers of the Trust region stretch from the delightful little River Meon in the east, to the Dorset Stour in the west. They include the River Itchen with its headwater streams the Candover, Alre and Tichborne; the River Test including the Bourne Rivulet, Dever, Wallop and Dun.
The Hampshire Avon rises from the chalk of the Salisbury Plain and includes the Wiltshire Bourne and the Rivers Wylye, Nadder and Ebble.
It winds its serpentine way south through north Wiltshire into Hampshire where it collects the acid waters of the New Forest Streams such as Hucklesbrook, Dockens Water and Lynbrook.

These are important sea trout spawning streams. Eventually it meets the River Stour at Christchurch in Dorset to run into the sea at Mudeford.
Most of these rivers are ‘chalk streams’ and as such are internationally unique, only occurring in Southern Britain and northern France, but they also include important non-chalk rivers such as the Dorset Stour rising in Dorset and the upper part of the River Nadder running off the blue clay. They are of outstanding conservation value as habitat for rare, important and sometimes endangered species such as the Southern Damsel Fly, Atlantic salmon, sea trout, Eels, Otters, Lamprey, Brown Trout and the tiny Desmoulin’s Whorl Snail. Two carry the highest level of European protection, as ‘Special Areas of Conservation’ (SAC) designation and three are designated ‘Sites of Special Scientific Interest’. They are of national and international important, even iconic, recreational and environmental value to many thousands of anglers, naturalists and conservationists, both local and visitors.

wessex chalk streamThe Test is arguably the birthplace of fly fishing for trout and, to this day, is one of the most important river trout fisheries in southern England. It is also host to improving runs of North Atlantic salmon. These are much sought after by local and visiting sporting anglers happy to return their quarry after the joy of the catch. Come winter and the superb grayling fishing comes to the fore with specimen fish caught every year.
A few miles to the east is the River Itchen, smaller than its neighbour but as important and rewarding to the sporting angler seeking superb trout fishing in pristine surroundings. This river too, in their season has salmon and the grayling ever present to reward the skilled angler.
The SAC River Hampshire Avon, for thus it is named, whilst spending much of its time in Wiltshire and Dorset, is a bigger river than either the Test or Itchen. The ‘five rivers’ that are the source support well managed trout and grayling fisheries largely conserved and managed by a number of clubs and associations.
Below Salisbury it is renowned for the quality and diversity of the miles of coarse fishing available throughout the length to the famous Royalty Fishery at Christchurch.

Every year one or two barbel of fourteen pounds are reported, a rare roach of three pounds and chub in excess of seven pounds are not too unusual.
The many lakes in the catchment, largely mature gravel workings, produce numerous carp, up to 40 pounds in one or two cases, tench and the fittest of bream. This river is host to a tremendous roach restoration project, the brainchild of Budgie Price and Trevor Harrop, who introduce hundreds of thousands of juvenile Avon fish, that they have raised, throughout the river annually.
Avon salmon were once prolific and often huge, sometimes over 40 pounds at the turn of the century and the early 1900’s ,and thousands of fish entered the river at Mudeford Harbour. Sadly, in keeping with salmon rivers as a whole, the numbers are slow to recover. Fighting fit, if infrequent, two and three winter fish continue to enter the river. A fish estimated at 30+ pounds was caught last year and a few fish in the high twenties have been caught in February and March of this year.

The River Stour, rising in Dorset and joining the Avon at Christchurch, also offers superb coarse fishing throughout the length. Sadly the once famous salmon run is no more with a very few fish being seen now.
Much of this superb angling is managed by Christchurch Angling Club. (www.christchurchac.org.uk) and Ringwood and District AC (www.ringwoodfishing.co.uk)

Fishing is available to the visiting angler with day tickets available from tackle shops in the areas, for example: Avon Angling, (www.avonangling.co.uk) and Ringwood Tackle in Ringwood (www.ringwoodtackle.co.uk), Davis Tackle, (www.davistackle.co.uk) in Christchurch and others.

The Wheelyboat Trust

Submitted by Mandi on September 23, 2011 - 11:29am

 

The Wheelyboat Trust is a small national charity dedicated to providing disabled people with hassle-free and independent access to waterborne activities such as angling, pleasure boating and nature watching.  Formed in 1985 as The Handicapped Anglers Trust, it has so far supplied 145 specially designed wheelchair accessible Wheelyboats to fisheries, water parks and other venues open to the public all over the UK.

There are 13 Wheelyboats available for disabled anglers to use in the South West providing access to coarse, sea and game fishing.  The latest to be launched (April 2011) was a Mk III Wheelyboat on Tamar Lakes near Bude.  This boat is also available for pleasure boating and nature watching and was jointly funded by the Environment Agency and the South West Countryside Mobility Project.  Wheelyboats are self-operated and can be helmed by the disabled angler.  They all have bow doors that lower to provide roll on, roll off wheelchair access either from the bank or slipway. They drift well, especially with a drogue, or can be fished at anchor.  Booking is essential and it is recommended 24 hours notice is given.  Lifejackets must be worn and are provided free of charge by the fishery.

The first Wheelyboat in the UK that can be used for sea fishing was launched at Golant on the River Fowey estuary in 2010.  (The location of this Wheelyboat means that trips are always accompanied by a helmsman).  The estuary holds a good head of bass, mullet and flounder and you can fish bait, spin or fly depending on the species targeted.

New Wheelyboats are being launched all the time.  For the latest list of all UK venues and for more information on the work of the Trust, visit the website or contact the Director.  The Wheelyboat Trust is a registered charity and relies upon the generosity of charitable organisations, companies and individuals to enable it to continue providing this important service on behalf of disabled people.  Donations can be made via the Trust’s website.

Contacts:
Andy Beadsley, Director. North Lodge, Burton Park, Petworth, West Sussex, GU28 0JT,
Tel/fax 01798 342222
Rex Harpham, SW Regional Coordinator.
22 Chollacott Close, Whitchurch Road, Tavistock, PL19 9BW. Tel 01822 615953
www.wheelyboats.org

Wheelyboat venues in the region...
Avon
Chew Valley Lake, Chew Magna 01275 332339    Trout fishing    www.bristol-water.co.uk

Cornwall
River Fowey, Golant            Sea fishing, nature watching    0845 5195261
Siblyback Reservoir, Liskeard 01209 860301    Trout fishing, nature watching    www.swlakestrust.org.uk
Stithians Reservoir, Redruth 01209 860301    Trout fishing, nature watching    www.swlakestrust.org.uk

Devon
Kennick Reservoir, Bovey Tracey 01647 277587    Trout fishing        www.swlakestrust.org.uk
Roadford Lake, Okehampton 01409 211514    Trout fishing, nature watching    www.swlakestrust.org.uk
Tamar Lakes, Bude 01288 321712        Coarse fishing, nature watching    www.swlakestrust.org.uk
Wistlandpound Reservoir, Barnstaple 01598 763221    Trout fishing, nature watching    www.swlakestrust.org.uk

Dorset
River Frome, Wareham 01929 550688        Coarse fishing, pleasure boating        www.warehamboathire.co.uk

Gloucs
Bushyleaze Trout Fishery, Lechlade 01367 253266    Trout fishing    www.lechladetrout.co.uk

Somerset
Clatworthy Reservoir, Taunton 01984 624658     Trout fishing        www.wessexwater.co.uk
Sutton Bingham Reservoir, Yeovil 01935 872389      Trout fishing, nature watching    www.wessexwater.co.uk
Wimbleball Reservoir, Brompton Regis 01398 371372    Trout fishing, nature watching    www.swlakestrust.org.uk

The Salmon & Trout Association

Submitted by Mandi on September 23, 2011 - 11:06am

 

The Salmon & Trout Association (S&TA) was established in 1903 to address the damage done to our rivers by the polluting effects of the Industrial Revolution. For 108 years, the Association has worked to protect fisheries, fish stocks and the wider aquatic environment on behalf of game angling and fisheries. In 2008, the Association was granted charitable status, primarily because it was able to show that its work had historically been for a much wider benefit than just its immediate membership. S&TA’s charitable objectives empower it to address all issues affecting fish and the aquatic environment, supported by robust scientific evidence from its scientific network. Its charitable status enables it to take the widest possible remit in protecting fish stocks and the aquatic environment upon which they depend.

Charitable Objectives

S&TA's objectives are straightforward:

Kayak Fishing

Submitted by Mandi on September 22, 2011 - 10:19am

Probably the oldest recorded use of kayaks for fishing is the Inuit People who used the predecessor to our modern sea kayaks for hunting and fishing. Today there are 3 main types of boat that can be used for fishing. Canoe (open boat single blade paddle), Closed Cockpit Kayaks and SOTs (sit on tops), the latter is by far the most popular. The main advantages of the SOT over the other two are its inherent stability, ease of paddling and, should you happen to fall off, with the proper practice and training you can get back on board easily without the need to empty out any water.
There are several things you need to consider prior to parting with your hard earned cash. The type of fishing you want to do, your size and build and where you intend to use the SOT.

kayak

 

The best advice we can give is to find a good quality outlet that can give appropriate advice and, quite often, even let you try out a few different models before you buy. Most people neglect one of the most important pieces of equipment - the paddle! You could do several thousand paddle strokes through the course of a day so a heavy or wrong sizes paddle could be a real disadvantage, leading to excess fatigue and even injury.
You should also never forget your own safety and a correctly sized and fitted buoyancy aid is a must. These come in many forms, from the very basic to one with loads of pockets for all your gear. Depending on where you are paddling you should also consider taking further safety kit appropriate to the environment. It’s best not to paddle alone but if you must then make sure someone knows where you are going and what time you should be back.
So you have all the gear so where can you go fishing?
In the South West we are surrounded by the sea and generally there is no restriction to taking you kayak afloat and going fishing. At some locations you may be required to pay a launch fee but usually this is a fairly modest amount.
Within the South West there are numerous inland lakes and reservoirs, most of which allow fishing and a lot also now allow kayak fishing. One of the more proactive ones, South West Lakes Trust (www.swlakestrust.org.uk), have organised Flyyak (Fly fishing from kayaks) events which have proved a great success. Access to inland rivers is much more restricted and you would need to gain the permission of the relevant owner/authority prior to kayak fishing on these waters.
If you require further advice there are several places you could turn to:
For advice on training and safety visit Canoe England at www.canoe-england.org.uk
A useful forum at: www.anglersafloat.co.uk

The Angling Trust now provides a kayak - specific membership which includes insurance and much more at www.anglingtrust.net

If You Can’t See It How Can You Count It?

Submitted by Mandi on September 21, 2011 - 3:46pm

Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust
Salmon & Trout Research Centre
East Stoke
Wareham
Dorset
BH20 6BB

Fish have one very large disadvantage for those who study them – it is very difficult and often impossible to see them! Fishery scientists therefore often resort to a wide range of methods and technological wizardry that help overcome this problem. On the river Frome at East Stoke in Dorset scientists have developed one of the most technologically advanced Atlantic salmon monitoring facilities in Europe. The river Frome is the most westerly chalk stream in England and hosts a large variety of wildlife. Historically it was also renowned as a good river for catching large 20-40 lb salmon. In the early 1970’s it was chosen as a site to test new and developing technology for counting adult salmon when they go up rivers to spawn. The most successful of these methods was a resistivity fish counter. In this, electronics measure the electrical resistance of an area of water. When a fish crosses this area the resistance of the water is changed and thus the fish is detected and counted. In various forms this system has been used at East Stoke to count the adult salmon since 1973.

This monitoring has shown that the adults suffered a dramatic 75% decline in the early 1990’s. This dramatic reduction was also found in most of the fisheries in the North Atlantic, indicating that the marine survival of the fish was becoming a major problem. Attempting to manage and conserve the salmon at sea is an impossible task; however, it is possible to manage the juvenile fish while they are growing in the rivers. To understand the pressures on these juvenile fish, in the mid 1990’s the scientists began trying to estimate the number of smolts that go out to sea. The task of counting these small fish seemed at first impossible. They are only about 12 cm long and often migrate when the river is in a spring spate. Once again cutting edge technology came to the rescue in the form of small Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags. These tags (about the size of a grain of rice), each having a unique id code, are harmlessly implanted into the fish in the autumn. Then in spring they are detected and recorded by sophisticated electronic detectors at East Stoke.

A great Salmon on the Frome

Two years ago this unique research facility looked like it would close. Fortunately the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust took on the management of the research and the staff and therefore the groundbreaking research is continuing. It allows the scientists to assess the numbers of juvenile salmon present in the autumn, both count the smolts that survive from these autumn fish and determine what parts of the river are good (or bad) for juvenile survival. The work then completes the cycle by counting the returning adult fish. This research will help identify where survival of salmon in the river can be improved and help offset the problems that the fish encounter in the marine environment. The results will be applicable to a wide range of rivers in the UK and will enable targeted intelligent management of salmon populations and will give vital information on factors influencing the life history characteristics of this species with a view to halting the decline and restoring salmon populations to former levels.

An annual report detailing the salmon numbers and the research carried out at the Salmon & Trout Research Centre at East Stoke can be found on the GWCT web site: www.gwct.org.uk

Gloves Off: Scientists Chart Chinese Mitten Crab Invasion

Submitted by Mandi on September 19, 2011 - 12:03pm

Press release 19 September 2011


Gloves off: Scientists Chart Chinese Mitten Crab Invasion

Become a nature detective and record the invasion of the alien Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis) in rivers of England and Wales. Scientists from a number of UK research institutes, including London's Natural History Museum are calling for the public to become nature detectives this autumn to better understand the full extent of the Chinese mitten crab invasion and the threat these crustaceans pose to our rivers and waterways. Anglers, waterway workers, boating enthusiasts and other nature lovers to identify and record any sightings of the alien species via an online survey. The recordings will be used by scientists to clarify the full distribution of the exotic crabs in English and Welsh rivers.

Mitten Crab

 

 

 

 

 

Chinese mitten crabs are now one of the most notorious aquatic invasive species featuring in the international list of the world’s 100 worst invasive species. They are regarded as a pest because they cause damage to fishing gear and unprotected river banks, block water systems as well as compete with native species for food and habitat. Current records show that mitten crabs have established populations in the Thames, Medway, Ouse Washes, Humber and the Dee Estuary. Sightings from all rivers and watersheds will be useful but researchers are particularly interested in any from:

• The Thames west of Windsor to beyond Reading

• Tyne, Tees and Wear in the North East

• Dee and Merseyside and the

• Severn Estuary to the Isle of Wight in the South West.

Nature lovers can report their finds by phone, email or online and upload their photographs by visiting www.mittencrabs.org.uk. For more information please contact the following:

London and the South East:

Claire Gilby, Natural History Museum Press Office, 0207 942 5654, [email protected] Sophia Haque, Royal Holloway University London Press Office, 01784 44 3552, [email protected]
Tyneside and the North East:

Louella Houldcroft, Newcastle University Press Office, 0191 222 5108, [email protected]

North West England and Wales:

Bran Devey, Countryside Council for Wales Press Office, 02920 77 2403, [email protected]

South West England: Guy Baker, Marine Biological Association Press Office, 01752 633 244, [email protected]

• For more information about mitten crabs and the survey visit www.nhm.ac.uk/nature-online/life/other-invertebrates/chinese-mitten-crabs/ and www.marlin.ac.uk/marine_aliens

• The consortium of UK research institutes working on the project are:

• The Natural History Museum, London • Newcastle University

• Royal Holloway University of London

• The Countryside Council for Wales

• Marine Biological Association

• All records will be archived by DASSH, the UK archive for marine biodiversity data and will be available online via the project website www.mittencrabs.org.uk and the National Biodiversity Network (www.searchnbn.net ).

• Nature detectives can report their records by telephone or email in the following way:

• Sightings from the Isle of Wight to the Humber estuary can be logged with the Natural History Museum, 0207 942 6170, [email protected]

• Sightings from the Humber estuary to the Scottish border on the east coast and Scottish border to Blackpool on the West coast can be logged with Newcastle University, 0191 222 5345, [email protected]

• Sightings from NW England from the Mersey to the Dee Estuary and the whole of Wales to the Severn estuary, can be logged with the Countryside Council for Wales, 0845 1306 229, [email protected]

• Sightings from the Severn Estuary, Cornwall to Isle of Wight can be logged with the Marine Biological Association, 01752 633291, [email protected]

• The Chinese mitten crab, (Eriocheir sinensis) originates from the Far East, with a native distribution from the Province of Fukien, China. It spread throughout northern Europe following its accidental introduction into Germany in 1912 from ships’ ballast water.

• Chinese mitten crabs are currently found throughout Europe from Kemi, Finland in the north, through Sweden, Russia, Poland, Germany, Czech Republic (Prague), Netherlands, Belgium and England to France and the Atlantic coast Portugal and Spain.

• Mitten crabs feature in the IUCN-ISGG database of the world’s 100 worst invasive species.

• The first record from the Thames catchment was captured on the intake screens of Lots Road Power Station at Chelsea in 1935 with a second from Southfields Reservoir, near Castleford, Yorkshire, 1948. Three male crabs were found in 1976 at the West Thurrock power station, located approximately 36 km downstream of the City of London. An ovigerous (egg carrying) crab was collected at Southend-on-Sea in 1979 and a further 20 specimens were noted again from West Thurrock in 1982.

• During the late eighties the mitten crab population increased dramatically in the Thames as demonstrated by a survey conducted by the Museum funded by the Environment Agency in 1996. The most westerly sighting being the River Colne at Staines with reports of mitten crabs from almost every Thames tributary eastwards of this point. In October 2007 a mitten crab was caught on rod and line near Boveney Loch, Windsor Racecourse which suggests mitten crab are gradually spreading westward.

• Project sponsors include the Welsh Government; Environment Agency; Countryside Council for Wales; Non-Native Species Secretariat; Fishmongers’ Hall, London Bridge; and Tyne Rivers Trust.

• Winner of Visit London’s 2010 Evening Standard’s Peoples Choice Best London for Free Experience Award and Best Family Fun Award the Natural History Museum is also a world-leading science research centre. Through its collections and scientific expertise, the Museum is helping to conserve the extraordinary richness and diversity of the natural world with groundbreaking projects in more than 70 countries.

• Royal Holloway, University of London is one of the UK’s leading teaching and research university institutions, ranked in the top 20 for research in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise. One of the larger colleges of the University of London, Royal Holloway has a strong profile across the sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities. Its 8,000 students work with internationally-renowned scholars in 18 academic departments. Over 20% of students are postgraduates and 22% come from 130 different countries. Renowned for its iconic Founder’s Building, Royal Holloway is situated on an extensive parkland campus in Egham, Surrey, only 40 minutes from central London.

• The Marine Biological Association (MBA) is a professional body for marine scientists with some 1200 members world-wide. Since 1884 the MBA has established itself as a leading marine biological research organization contributing to the work of several Nobel Laureates and over 170 Fellows of the Royal Society. The MBA is a founder member of the Plymouth Marine Sciences Partnership.

Fishing At Siblyback With South West Fishing For Life

Submitted by Mandi on August 26, 2011 - 10:08am

 

 

 

 

 

South West Fishing For Life launched their 3rd group in Cornwall in April The group has just 4 members at the moment but will grow as people hear about what fun and therapy fishing can be, in a beautiful location.

   As one member said “a soul healing experience”

We have lovely qualified coaches who run the days and ladies who meet and greet and provide refreshments.

Fishing at Siblyback

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 This group meets on the 3rd Sunday of the month from 2 pm – 4pm

 To find out more information about SWFFL please look at our web site www.southwestfishingforlife.org.uk

If you would like to see what we do on our days please contact:

Gillian
Holworhthy Farm
Brompton Regis
Dulverton
Somerset
TA22 9NY
Tel: 01398 371244

or email [email protected]

Chew Valley Lake wins 2011 Alan Faulkner Memorial Award

Submitted by Mandi on August 17, 2011 - 10:24am

 

 

 Suzuki way of life logo

 

 

*Press Release* Press Release* Press Release* Press Release*

Chew Valley Lake wins 2011 Alan Faulkner Memorial Award

On behalf of The Wheelyboat Trust, veteran actor and passionate angler Bernard Cribbins presented Steve Taylor from Bristol Water’s Chew Valley Lake with this year’s Alan Faulkner Memorial Award. The presentation took place on Friday, 22nd July at the CLA Game Fair. The main prize was a 4hp outboard motor provided by the award’s sponsors, Suzuki GB. Created in memory of the Trust’s Founder President, the award is presented annually to the game fishery that provides disabled anglers with the most outstanding service, facilities, opportunities and access. Previous winners include Eyebrook Trout Fishery, Grafham Water, Lake of Menteith and Toft Newton. Chew Valley Lake is Bristol Water’s largest reservoir at over 1,000 acres and was built in the 1950s. It is one of the country’s finest trout fisheries and is renowned for its ‘top of the water’ sport owing to its relatively shallow depth, fertile water and abundant fly life. It is a fly only water and is stocked annually with 50,000 brown and rainbow trout. It also has a healthy population of pike that are of increasing interest to game anglers, many of whom are turning their attention to this large predator – fly fishing for pike is now a well-established and popular activity on the lake. Chew was the first UK water to acquire the then new Mk III Wheelyboat model in 2006 to help it celebrate the 50th anniversary of its opening by HM Queen Elizabeth II.

 

Alan Faulkner Memorial Award Picture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo caption (left to right): Steven Foy (Sales Manager Suzuki GB), Steve Taylor (Assistant Fishery Manager, Chew Valley Lake), Bernard Cribbins, Andy Beadsley (Director, The Wheelyboat Trust)

The award’s judges were very impressed with Chew’s commitment to disabled anglers: the facilities there are first class, all are wheelchair accessible and the staff are helpful and courteous – essential requirements for a hassle-free day’s fishing in the Wheelyboat. As well as being a fitting memorial to The Wheelyboat Trust’s Founder President who conceived the idea of the wheelchair accessible boat, the ‘Wheelyboat’, the award is intended to highlight the needs of disabled anglers and encourage fisheries to ensure those needs are accommodated. The Trust is delighted that Suzuki GB sponsored the award again this year with the main prize of a 4hp 4-stroke outboard. Without their support and appreciation of the award’s aims, it would not be the sought after title it has now become. The Suzuki small outboard range, from 4 to 15 horsepower, has attracted a strong following amongst anglers, due to the quiet running, low emissions and 4-stroke fuel economy. In common with the rest of the 2hp to 300hp range, they offer excellent value for money. Background The Wheelyboat Trust is a registered charity that promotes and provides the wheelchair accessible Wheelyboat to fisheries and other waters open to the public all over the UK. It has now supplied 147 Wheelyboats since the Trust began work in 1985. It offers four different types of Wheelyboat to suit different activities - two of these have been designed specifically for fishing. This is the eighth year that Suzuki GB have sponsored the Alan Faulkner Memorial Award. The Wheelyboat Trust (reg charity no 292216) - Andy Beadsley, Director North Lodge, Burton Park, Petworth, West Sussex, GU28 0JT Telephone 01798 342222, 07860 650023 [email protected], www.wheelyboats.org

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