Other Articles

Fishing Days At Kennick With South West Fishing For Life

Submitted by Mandi on July 27, 2010 - 11:06am


       ****** South West Fishing For Life ******



South West Fishing For Life is delighted to announce the start of another group on a Kennick lake in Devon thanks to SWLakes Trust. The days at Kennick are the 2nd Sunday of the month starting at 2pm and finishing with a delicious tea provided by our lovely volunteers.









All our sessions at the lakes are free to people who have suffering or recovered from breast cancer, thanks to donations, fund raising events and    grants and the generosity of SWLakes Trust. We are now planning another club on a lake in Cornwall for next year. Please look at www.southwestfishingforlife.org.uk to read all about us and to see forth coming fund raising events or contact us. We look forward to hearing from you.


 Enquiries Please Contact:

  Gillian 01398 371244  Email: [email protected]

  Chris Hall  Email:   [email protected]



Legal Loophole Lets Poachers Off The Hook

Submitted by Mandi on July 27, 2010 - 10:05am


******** For immediate release Monday 26 July 2010 *********                                                                    

                    Legal Loophole Lets Poachers off the Hook

The Angling Trust has learnt that DEFRA and the Environment Agency (EA) last year accidentally abolished the law which created an offence of fishing in the close season. This will lead to poachers and illegal anglers caught in this spring’s coarse fishing close season getting away with lesser offences when their cases go to court. The EA has now proposed an emergency byelaw to correct the error. The announcement was tucked away behind an announcement about new byelaws relating to eels, presumably in the hope that no-one would notice. A single bullet point on the last page of a seven page document quietly proposes to: “create the offence for fishing during close seasons and close times” to correct this mistake. The eel byelaws are printed in full, but the close season byelaw is only provided on the Agency web site at http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/recreation/fishing/1...

The Marine & Coastal Access Act repealed Section 19 of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act. This was with the intention of allowing the Agency to regulate and enforce close seasons/close times entirely by byelaw. However, the repeal overlooked the fact that S.19 also contained the only offence of fishing during the close season and close times. Government lawyers had assumed the offence was included in national/regional byelaws, but these simply set out close season dates/times and do not include offences. As a result, while all the existing close seasons and times remain as set out in byelaws, there is now no active offence of fishing during the close season or close times.

The Angling Trust understands that 14 anglers have been successfully prosecuted for fishing in the close season and that their convictions will now have to be nullified. Over 90 other cases are pending. Prosecutions of Section 19 offences will have to be halted, but some offenders will be prosecuted for other offences (e.g. fishing without a licence or byelaw contravention).

In addition, Section 35 (subsection 2) of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act (1975) allows holders of a rod licence to require another angler to show his licence and give his name and address. Failure to produce a licence was an offence. This was a very useful tool for angling clubs and fisheries, in particular for fishery and club bailiffs or water-keepers. However, Section 220 (subsection 8) of the Marine and Coastal Access Act (2009) removed this authority, limiting it to Environment Agency enforcement officers and police officers only, by amending the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act to omit Section 35, Subsection 2.

Angling Trust will be seeking a reinstatement of this provision. In the meantime the Trust is issuing guidance to its member clubs about how to address this unwelcome change, which we are told is because the old legislation might raise issues regarding data protection requirements and the protection of young people. Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal said: “We are very concerned that such a major error could be made by the teams of lawyers involved in drafting new legislation. We also believe that the attempts to conceal the error were misconceived and that a full public statement should have been made once the error was discovered. The Trust will remain vigilant in ensuring that law-abiding anglers’ interests are protected, and that clubs and fisheries have the tools available to help police their fisheries.”

Anglers Demand Action As Rivers Dry Up

Submitted by Mandi on July 14, 2010 - 11:46am

******  For immediate release Wednesday 14 July 2010  *********                                                                                   


    Anglers Demand Action As Rivers Dry Up

Thousands of angling clubs, fishery owners and anglers are witnessing low river flows and water levels, which are threatening vital invertebrate life in rivers and fish stocks. Angling Trust is calling on the Government, the Environment Agency and water companies to address the issue by developing long term sustainable management strategies for water resources. Angling Trust and its legal arm Fish Legal have had reports from their members of problems on many rivers including the Eamont in the North West, the Teme in the West Midlands, the Usk in South Wales and the Teign in Devon. Most of the problems are caused by abstraction of water continuing as normal, in spite of the lowest spring and summer rainfall in a generation. The situation has even seen a hosepipe ban introduced in the North West, which is traditionally one of the wettest areas of the country. Low flows impact severely on the ecology of rivers and make them much more vulnerable to pollution because there is less dilution of pollutants and warm water holds less oxygen.

The reduced wetted area means that there is less space for invertebrates to live in, and therefore less food for fish. The Trust is also demanding that the new Government takes on board the recommendations contained in the Blueprint for Water, which was developed by the Angling Trust’s predecessors and 15 other organisations nearly four years ago.

The Blueprint set out a detailed strategy for tackling low flows and addressing water wastage: In summary:

• Reduce total consumption of water by 20% and from 180 litres per day per person to European average levels of 125 litres per day through education and metering.

• Tackle leakage in water company supply pipes.

• Introduce mandatory water efficiency standards in existing homes.

• Make all new-build homes water neutral in areas where water is scarce; developers would have to ensure that new water usage is offset by investment in efficiencies elsewhere.

• Amend or revoke damaging abstraction licences which damage river wildlife.

• Set out a plan for installing water meters in every home by 2020 to deter excessive use, with tariffs to protect vulnerable customers.

• Restore wetlands and halt development on floodplains to allow water to soak into the ground rather than disappear out to sea.

These measures would not only protect wildlife in our rivers, but they would also ensure security of supply for our growing population and reduce the significant energy use and carbon footprint involved in providing water. Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal said: “our members are fed up with seeing wildlife in the rivers they fish suffering as a result of a failure by Government, OFWAT, the Environment Agency and the Water Companies to develop coherent plans to reduce water use and wastage in the context of climate change and population growth. Rivers are vitally important for a whole host of wildlife and millions of anglers”.

  For More information:


Tel: 0844 7700616

Media enquiries: Mark Lloyd, 07973 468198

South West RFERAC June Report

Submitted by Mandi on July 8, 2010 - 10:02am

South West RFERAC
Regional Report June
The following report was presented to the Regional Fisheries Ecology and Recreation Advisory Committee at it's meeting on 25 June 2010 at the Environment Agency's Regional Offices in Exeter.
Regional Issues
Communicating with anglers
We have produced another regional fisheries magazine, partly as a mechanism for encouraging anglers to renew their rod licence. This was run as a national project which reduced regional and area workload whilst still using local stories and issues. Sending a reminder, such as the magazine, has proved to be very successful in the past in encouraging significant extra licence sales.
Licence income
In 2009/10, we received the following income from South West licence holders;

£0.01m from salmon net licences

£0.18m from salmon rod licences

£1.8m from coarse and trout licences
Salmon rod and net licence money, therefore, pays for around three to four staff members, including essential items such as boats, night vision equipment and vehicles. The remainder of our salmon work is funded by Government grant-in-aid.
Fish kills
Following the national funding paper at the last meeting, members queried whether the national figure of 14% spent on fish kills was similar in South West Region. There were 62 incidents in 08/09 (the same period as that covered by the national statistics) and, even if we attended them all, would have only taken up a maximum of 100 mandays and probably much fewer than that. This equates to around 1% of our South West fisheries time. We recharged polluters around £12k for fisheries incidents where we could identify a source. Many of these reports were of fish in ponds and lakes rather than in the ‘natural’ environment. We can give more details of the south west incidents if requested by members.
Enforcement & Regulation
In the 2009/10 season, our legal action for rod and line offences resulted in fines of £12,015 and costs of £6,620. Interesting cases include what must be a record fine of £700 for an angler who was found guilty of two charges of fishing in the close season and failing to produce a licence. Another case included a charge of causing harassment alarm or distress, (Sect 5 Public Order Act).
We are progressing the issue of catfish illegally introduced within the Avon Valley lakes. We are at the stage of knowing the size and nature of the issue, but just need to work out a sensible approach to their control.
Elver fishing season has been busy near Bridgwater on the Parrett system. As the season draws to an end, bailiffs have seized just under 50 illegal nets. 30 of these have been huge flow nets More people have been caught operating flow nets this year than ever before, with court action planned against 10 fishermen. One flow net was removed from the river and found to contain 15 kilos of elvers, having been fishing for about an hour. The value of the catch was in the region of £3500. The elvers were returned to the river upstream above Oath Lock.
Devon & Cornwall
We continue to find anglers fishing without an appropriate licence. An angler was fined £90 plus £75 costs for rod fishing without a correct licence in December last year. He was fishing in the Wainsford stretch of the Fowey. He did have a valid non migratory trout and coarse licence but not a migratory salmon & sea trout licence.
An angler was fined £115 with £127 costs for fishing without a licence and for giving a false name to an officer in November last year. He was fishing in the Liskeard Angling Club's section of the Fowey.
Two men pleaded guilty to using a drift net in contravention of the SW1 Byelaw in the Fowey Estuary in October last year. They were discovered during a joint “Operation Jetsam” patrol with the Police. The net was 400 metres in length and stretched from one side of the Pont Pill creek to the other (picture a, appendix one). The skipper, who owned the vessel, was fined £215 and his net was confiscated. The other man was given a twelve month conditional discharge.
The links with Devon & Cornwall Police are continuing to gather strength and Operation Jetsam, the routine fisheries / anti marine crime patrols, have begun for this season. On the first patrol, one stolen boat was recovered and two suspected illegal fishermen were stopped and questioned on the Fowey Estuary.
During the winter months, when netting restrictions are relaxed in the Fowey and Camel, spot checks and surveillance revealed that fishermen were abiding by the rules. Day and night patrols, specifically on the Camel, used staff from all four of the Environment Management teams. These patrols underlined our presence to the fishermen.
There were 10 coastal and estuarine net seizures in areas relevant to the Tamar, Lynher, Tavy, Plym and Yealm catchments from April 2009 to March 2010. Any live salmon or sea trout found within the nets were released. All the nets were destroyed and we are pursuing enforcement action in connection with some of these seizures. We continue to work with our enforcement partners in the freshwater, estuarine and coastal areas, with the Ministry of Defence Police providing important assistance.
By December 2009, there had been 43 “Buyer beware” visits, warning outlets about the need to deal only in legally caught salmon and sea trout. Many of these were in the Plymouth and southeast Cornwall area.
Officers have been observing an increase of awareness of licensing requirements from the public. North Devon fisheries staff assisted with elver patrols on the River Parrett with the Wessex staff - very useful patrols with 15 sets of illegal gear being removed during three nights.
Monitoring & Data
In the light of large numbers of eels and elvers using Greylake eel passes, we’re trialling an automated elver counting device that counts, weighs and gives an image of all eels using it. The CCTV video monitoring will continue to audit the counter's performance. We normally expect to see around 40,000 eels use the passes here.
It is hoped to submit several otoliths, (ear stones), to the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquacultures Science (CEFAS) then Southampton University for micro analysis for strontium and calcium analysis. The ratio of these two elements gives us a view of the life history of the eel in terms of the amount of time spent in freshwater vs saltwater and everything inbetween. This will be important in establishing our compliance with the European target of 40% escapement for silver eels.
During 2009, over 1100 eels were electronically counted escaping the Huntspill, with a peak of activity in November, amounting to a biomass of 341kg. Taking a very difficult upstream wetted area estimate and various sources of uncertainty into account, this equates to a range between 0.6 to 5.7 kg/ha/yr. This range appears consistent with findings from the other monitoring locations in the Severn catchment. These data have been reported in accordance with our Eel Management Plan commitments. For 2010, a repeat deployment is planned to cover the period from October to December and allow for a comparison of results with the previous year’s data.
The results of a novel eel-specific electric fishing technique have been assessed using data collected between 2007 and 2009. These have shown that standard electric-fishing surveys under-estimate the number of eels present by between 15% and 45% depending on a range of environmental variables and river conditions. The method allows for the collection of multi-species data suitable for Water Framework Directive classifications.
In Blandford, we’ve begun the annual electric-fishing monitoring programme starting with coarse fish surveys on the lower Stour. On the Hants Avon, the fish counter has recorded a comparatively slow start to the spring run of salmon, and we hope this is down to low water temperatures. However there have been some notable catches of salmon in the last few weeks with a 24 ½lb fish and an estimated 33lb fish being caught. Not to be outdone, the Dorset Frome has also produced a salmon of around 30lb. All of these fish were returned safely to carry on their journey.
Devon & Cornwall
An electric-fishing survey in May 2010 recorded salmon on the River Par for the first time. A single salmon parr was recorded in the lower river adjacent to the A3092 road bridge.
Over 20 pike were removed from Par duckpond during an Agency initiative to improve brown trout stocks in the river and restore the natural fish population of the pond.
2009 saw the highest sea trout run on the Tamar for many years. We estimate that over 17,000 sea trout ran into the river. This is the best recorded run since 1996. The salmon run recorded was about the average. In collaboration with Cornwall County Council, we surveyed the fish populations in Bude Marshes. This area is a nature reserve used for education. Brown trout, bass, mullet, stickleback, eels, tench, roach and rudd were recorded. A survey of the marsh pools created by the Agency at Sladesbridge on the Camel revealed a diverse fish fauna. Some of the ponds supported coarse fish, whilst others were used by estuarine fish species such as grey mullet. We recorded a gilthead bream during a WFD survey on the Fal near Tresillian. This is the first time we have caught giltheads on this highly diverse estuary. It was a surprise to see this species so far up the estuary at such low salinity.
In Devon, we have just began our fish survey season. There will be over 115 fish surveys carried out this year on the range of habitats in Devon. 37 of these surveys will be for Water Framework Directive sites to assess waterbodies for their fish status.
Projects & Data
Since the last update in November, fishing projects have been delivered including part-funding of otter-proof fencing to Taunton AA’s Maunsell Ponds fishery, floating islands at Henleaze angling lakes and Walrow Ponds, improved all ability access at Bridgwater AA’s Combwich Lake and improved access at Bristol’s Amalgamated Fisheries lakes in Calne.
We funded 4 Bridgwater AA and 8 Clevedon AA members to be trained as Level 1 angling coaches which will help future Club Mark accreditation and angling coaching. In February, Wessex (Bridgwater) put on a well-attended Coarse Fisheries Management Seminar at Cannington College.
Nationally, in 2009/10 we installed 108 eel passes/easements. This year we have a great selection of eel pass/easement projects in the south west, 17 candidates, most of which should go ahead depending on the funding available (we’re waiting for a Defra announcement). We have £35K already from the Coarse, Trout and Eels (CTE) budget. The local rivers trust are likely to be match funded to help with delivering these obligations under the new regulations and also delivering our actions in the South West Eel Management Plan.
Locally we have developed a modular eel pass system which uses standardized channel and substrate to make purchase and installation as simple and cost effective as possible. This system has proved very popular and has been used by many other Regions. The channel costs £120 per 2.4 m length. There are two product types which cater for gravity fed and pump fed systems.
This year we have secured project funds for a number of coarse and trout projects. In Blandford, these projects are focusing on improvement habitat on the Lower Stour, Wylye and Dorset Frome. We will also be working very closely with Water Level Management Plan colleagues as they move forward with river restoration on the Hants Avon and Dorset Frome. We have also recently completed an eel pass on Baggs Mill at the bottom of the River Piddle and a low cost baffle fish pass at Jessop’s Avenue on the River Asker, to aid sea trout migration into this river.
Over the next few months we have a number of angling participation events planned with local angling clubs. With the Angling Development Board, we are also continuing angling development by increasing the pool of local coaches within angling clubs.
Devon & Cornwall
Work has been completed on a new fish pass on a tributary of the River Lew. Combebow pipe bridge previously caused a major problem for salmon and seatrout migrating to spawning grounds upstream. The small pipes and long downstream sill made upstream migration rarely possible.
The Environment Agency Operation Delivery team removed the central two pipes and replaced them with a large box section, providing much improved migration access and an increased flow capacity. The village residents requiring access via the bridge managed with a temporary bridge during construction and were happy with this short-term arrangement to enable us install these fisheries improvements.
Operations Delivery staff did a fantastic job despite the very cold weather and at times had to use a blow torch to remove gravel that had frozen to the walling stone that they were using. Lesley Newport, Project Manager said, "the team worked very hard in difficult conditions to get the job done well and now fish can migrate freely under all flows".
Approximately 10km of riverine bankside habitat was protected by stock fencing on the River Tamar in 2009. The organisation and running of this work has been completed in partnership with local landowners and farmers. Future benefits of this work include reduced siltation inputs, reduced diffuse runoff and significantly enhanced riparian vegetation leading to cleaner rivers and improved fish stocks.
We have continued to use the gravel screening bucket, (purchased last year), on the upper Tamar.
Eight spawning areas at Tetcott and five at Luffincott were cleaned using this apparatus. The larger cleaned gravels were returned to the river creating improvements to these spawning sites.
The Whalesborough elver pass was installed this spring using Defra funds and follows on from the elver pass placed on the tidal weir at Bude, some 3km downstream. This now allows access to 25km of catchment.
This now completes the fish passage work at Whalesborough weir which includes an “Alaskan A” fishpass for sea trout installed on the weir in 2009.
RFERAC Regional Report
June 2010

Environment Agency - Where does my licence money go?

Submitted by Mandi on June 18, 2010 - 11:05am


For those keen anglers who fish in England, Scotland or Wales and always pay their annual rod licence, you probably have wondered what happens to all of that money? Especially when in 2008 over 1.3 million were sold, a record sale. Well in this exclusive show we have brought you some answers. The Environment Agency has teamed up with OnlineFishing.tv to bring you a fantastic new and exclusive programme about where your licence money is spent.

The show takes you to the EA fish laboratory at Brampton and to the Calverton fish farm to show you some of the hard work that goes into the scientific research which is important in keeping the fish alive and healthy. We also head out and about on various rivers across the country with some of the Environment Agency teams, including a barbel refuge, the flood refuge scheme and electrofishing operation to see how they keep fisheries stocked and maintained.

We then spend a day in the life of the EA enforcement officers and learn about how important their job is and what they do to keep people from doing things they shouldn't be.

Angling Trust Newscast 11th June 2010

Submitted by Mandi on June 16, 2010 - 10:46am

More than 60 of our members travelled from all over the country to attend the historic first AGMs of the
Angling Trust and Fish Legal at Stoneleigh Park last weekend. Presentations by the Chairmen of each
organisation and by the joint Chief Executive were well received and there was a unanimous vote for
the nomination of the existing Board of Directors of AT and the Committee of Fish Legal, along with
the nomination of John Amery, David Kent, and Robert Dyer as new Directors of AT. Of more than 950
proxy votes received before the meeting, about 85% were in favour of the candidates. A full report of
the meeting will be posted on the noticeboard on the web site in the next fortnight.
The meeting went very well, and the Directors and staff were very grateful to the many members who
came to make their views heard and give useful advice to make the Angling Trust even more
successful. There were many constructive suggestions, including greater transparency, better
communication of the extensive work of both organisations and more benefits for junior members. We
will take all these and the others on board.
Fred French MBE, probably the longest-standing supporter of angling unity in the country and our first
life member, was sadly unable to attend for health reasons. Everyone at the meeting sent Fred their
best wishes.
The new Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon MP also sent his apologies, but has offered to meet the
Board as soon as possible to discuss marine and freshwater issues. This meeting is being arranged.
Calling all clubs & fisheries
Enclosed with the latest newsletter was a form for member clubs if they would like to join Angling Trust
in exhibiting for a reduced rate at the CLA Game Fair from 23rd to 25th July. Please fill these in and
send them direct to the Game Fair by the end of next week. We can e-mail forms to you if you have
mislaid yours. Individual members also received a £6-off voucher for entry to the Game Fair.
Win £1,000 Cash!
The Angling Trust, in conjunction with The CLA Game Fair, is honouring Fred J Taylor’s memory with
an annual award for environmental stewardship of water habitats in England.. The award includes
£1,000 to help continue the work and a certificate and trophy. We want to use this award to promote
all the valuable things that anglers do to look after both the marine and freshwater environment.
Details of how to apply can be found HERE and applications close on Friday 25 June.
Environmental campaigns update
Mark Owen has completed the first phase of removal of the weirs on the Sussex Ouse and has
succeeded in securing tighter environmental protection standards on the River Tame which will reduce
the chance of last year's fish kills being repeated. David Mitchell is investigating three candidate
marine environmental campaigns; please e-mail him if there are problems which we might be able to
help solve. Angling Trust and Fish Legal continue to work closely together on our judicial review of
Defra regarding the inadequate River Basin Management Plans.
Legal advice matters
Fish Legal has been inundated with requests for legal advice recently. It is our busiest time of year,
with the start of the new river coarse fishing season just around the corner and pollution and fish
health problems made worse by summer weather. It would help us help you in the most efficient way if
you could submit requests for advice in writing, with full details of the problem you face.
Report fish crime
Angling Trust is working with CEFAS Fish Health Inspectorate (FHI) and other partners to sponsor a
new initiative with crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers that targets the theft and illegal importation of
fish and the theft of expensive angling equipment. Please phone 0800 555 111 or visit
www.crimestoppers-uk.org to pass on information about crime anonymously.
We need lots of lots
Angling Trust and Fish Legal are holding an auction in the autumn newsletter and we are looking for
donations of fishing, books, tackle, experiences, hotel stays and anything else of any value to help us
raise money for the work that we do. There are more details about what we need to know in the paper
newsletter we sent recently or from Will Smith in our membership department.
In the meantime, we encourage people to bid generously to support Breast Cancer Care, a registered
charity, for a day’s fishing with Martin Bowler for two anglers either summer fishing for tench on an
Oxford estate lake or for a day on the Wye fishing for barbel this Autumn. Bids close on June 16th.
More information is available HERE
With all best wishes from everyone at Angling Trust and Fish Legal for a good summer’s fishing.

Wheelyboat Trust Spring 2010 Newsletter

Submitted by Mandi on June 10, 2010 - 3:13pm

THIS YEAR The Wheelyboat Trust turns 25 years old and what better way to celebrate than
with our busiest year so far with 16 new Wheelyboats due to be launched on waters
throughout the UK and Ireland. Three have already been delivered (Lake Windermere,
Eyebrook Trout Fishery and Lough Carrigavantra) with two more for Upper Tamar
Lake and Rudyard Lake currently at our boatbuilder’s. Other projects include Blithfield
Reservoir, Grafham Water, Bewl Water, Hull’s East Park Lake, Rollesby Broad,
Creggan Country Park, Tiverton Canal, River Tay and Loch Awe. There is a good mix
of projects, multi-purpose usage as well as angling, concurrent with our Wheelyboats For All
aims. The most exciting project underway and a new development for the Trust is the
joint-venture with Bristol Sailability to provide them with a 21’ 12 seater—our new Mk IV
and latest Wheelyboat model to join the fleet.Back in 1985 we were The Handicapped Anglers Trust, our principal beneficiaries being disabled trout
anglers, and our solution to their access difficulties was the original (Mk I) Wheelyboat model. The first ever
Wheelyboat venue was Barn Elms Reservoir in London followed soon after by Bewl Water in Kent. Currently,
Wheelyboat number 134 (a Mk III for Rudyard Lake) is being built and as well as angling it will be used for
pleasure boating and nature watching. This project perfectly illustrates the objectives of the Trust today—
open access for disabled people on waters everywhere via a range of Wheelyboat models to meet everyone’s
The Mk III is our most versatile Wheelyboat to date and has done more than any other model to help the
Trust broaden the use and availability of Wheelyboats beyond the fishing lake. Helping disabled anglers is still
a primary aim, however, and to ensure their needs are fully met we developed the Coulam 15 and 16
Wheelyboats for angling on rivers and stillwaters.
We now supply four distinct models of Wheelyboat (as well as refurbished Mk Is and Mk IIs) each suited to
different activities and the needs of their users. We have come a very long way since the days of our onesize-
fits-all Mk I and, as a result, are helping many more disabled people all over the UK participate in
waterborne activities and thus experience the thrill, challenge, adventure and freedom they provide.Back in 1985 we were The Handicapped Anglers Trust, our principal beneficiaries being disabled trout
anglers, and our solution to their access difficulties was the original (Mk I) Wheelyboat model. The first ever
Wheelyboat venue was Barn Elms Reservoir in London followed soon after by Bewl Water in Kent. Currently,
Wheelyboat number 134 (a Mk III for Rudyard Lake) is being built and as well as angling it will be used for
pleasure boating and nature watching. This project perfectly illustrates the objectives of the Trust today—
open access for disabled people on waters everywhere via a range of Wheelyboat models to meet everyone’s
The Mk III is our most versatile Wheelyboat to date and has done more than any other model to help the
Trust broaden the use and availability of Wheelyboats beyond the fishing lake. Helping disabled anglers is still
a primary aim, however, and to ensure their needs are fully met we developed the Coulam 15 and 16
Wheelyboats for angling on rivers and stillwaters.
We now supply four distinct models of Wheelyboat (as well as refurbished Mk Is and Mk IIs) each suited to
different activities and the needs of their users. We have come a very long way since the days of our onesize-
fits-all Mk I and, as a result, are helping many more disabled people all over the UK participate in
waterborne activities and thus experience the thrill, challenge, adventure and freedom they provide.

Fish 'O' Mania Qualifier Stafford Moor Fishery

Submitted by Mandi on May 19, 2010 - 11:28am

******** For immediate release Saturday 8th May 2010 ********

Fish 'O' Mania Qualifier Stafford Moor Fishery 


The Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifiers reached the halfway stage on Saturday at the highly regarded Stafford Moor Fishery in North Devon. Tim Bull (Dynamite Baits) aged 39 years, a Business Development Manager from Leamington is the eighth qualifier to join the line up for the Fish ‘O’ Mania final with a winning weight of 138-8-0 of Carp from Tanners 2. Tim picked up some useful information at Stafford Moor before the match and was told that Tanners would be the lake to draw as favourite in the conditions.

Unfortunately for Tim it was not plain sailing as he had quite a steady start catching smaller carp of around the 3 lb mark in the first hour or more, using a straight three/eighth ounce bomb with an 11 ml Dynamite XL pellet lassoed on his basic rig. Tim cast about 40 yards towards the far bank but the big key was to pick his moments when the wind died down to feed. As he went into the second hour the carp got bigger, but there were longer intervals between the bites. However, with careful feeding and fish of around the 7 lb mark he was building up a good weight. At the end of five hours Tim had around twenty-eight carp for his win and produced the biggest margin victory of all the qualifiers, this year, to date. After a few years of trying Tim has been very close on a couple of occasions but he will be competing in the final at Cudmore in July for the first time where he obviously hopes to emulate his brother the top commercial angler, Mick Bull who won the Fish 'O' Mania final in 2008. Winner Tim Bull

With Tanners dominating this event local angler Mark Hayman (Stafford Moor) used his experience on the venue to make the most of his peg Tanners 34 draw, catching carp to 10 lb in his 84-2-0 of carp, with tactics being bomb and pellet. In third place from Tanners 6 was Trevor Senior (Vespe Army) from Salisbury with a weight of 76-4-0. Harry Marsh (Maver Farnborough) from Reading took fourth place from last year’s winning peg Tanners 18 with a weight of 73-2-0. In fifth place from peg Woodpecker 21 with 70-1-0 was one of last year’s finalists Andy Power (Preston Innovations Thatchers) from Wells Somerset. 

The conditions on the day were not ideal, cold and overcast with rain forecast for later in the day. The weather played a big part in the results, with many anglers who were catching from the start seeing their swims die after a few hours as the wind moved the fish around and pushed them on to the pegs that had not had such a good start. In the end the result was a close run thing, all through the day the predictions were changing from one peg to another and into the final hour it could have gone either way between the top 5 anglers. Tim made the most of his peg and took his chances to leap ahead and win as it turned out quite comfortably, with the other four places separated by 4 or 5 fish.

Local Man Wins Fish O Mania Qualifer At Viaduct Fishery

Submitted by Mandi on April 16, 2010 - 4:04pm



 ****** For immediate release Thursday 15 April 2010 *******


 First Fish ‘O’ Mania 2010 Qualifier at Viaduct Won by Local Man  

Local Somerton estate agent manager Ray Hayward (Carps AC/Team Viaduct) undoubtedly had the shortest journey of all the 130-entry in the first of the sixteen Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifiers. Ray’s house virtually overlooks his favourite fishery at Viaduct and his experience showed as he went on to win the event. With the weather rapidly warming up and plenty of carp visible on the lakes the talk was for a draw on the prolific Campbells Lake. After several weeks of cold and icy conditions, tactics were quite open and it really was anyone’s guess as to where the winner would come from and what tactics he would use. Ray drew on Spring Lake peg 22, at the other end to Campbells and ironically he was in two minds about whether to fish or not as he really didn’t fancy the shallow swim.

However, ‘in for a penny’ Ray gave it a go and received a little more impetus when the angler drawn next to him didn’t show up to his peg! Word soon got around that they were catching well on the other lakes while Ray landed his first carp after a quarter of an hour, albeit a large one, on waggler, with an 8 ml banded pellet fished well out. He stuck with the rod and line and waggler approach while he catapulted pellets down the margins towards the vacant peg, occasionally looking for any fish activity in that vicinity. On the three hours mark he had caught just three carp on the waggler and he thought he was really out of the match when he spotted a tail swirl on his inside line. A quick switch to the pole saw him land nine more lumpy carp, twelve in all, scaling a fantastic 136-3-0.

Ray had three carp in between 18 and 19 lb in his haul. Despite some big weights from the other pools, Ray was declared the winner. It is the second time that the 49-year old has reached the final; he last did so in 2003 after winning the qualifier at Barford Lakes. Ray also won the Wednesday Open with a similar weight at Viaduct and on Thursday his mate Keith Massheder (Langport) did likewise with a double ton. To keep things even more local Keith, who works for the Royal Navy, came second in the Fish ’O’ Mania with another dozen carp, again on pellet, for 127-6-0 from Lodge Lake. Myles Levy (Basingstoke) and Brett Cooper (Eastleigh) were the pick of the other huge weights with their third and fourth scores of 111-14-0 and 110-3-0 respectively.

Qualifier number two will be at Tunnel Barn Farm in Warwickshire this Saturday when the next finalist will be decided. Angling Trust Competitions & Events Manager, Sandra Drew said: “This year there has yet again been a huge demand for tickets for this very prestigious event which is managed by Matchroom Sports and administered by Angling Trust. Fish O Mania is considered one of the biggest and most exciting matches in all angling. Congratulations to Ray for his superb win at Viaduct, making him the first to qualify in 2010. Anglers all over the country will be watching eagerly to see who will join Ray for the 16-angler final in July at Cudmore”.

Do You Want To Fish For England?

Submitted by Mandi on April 12, 2010 - 11:46am

 ******** For immediate release Friday 9 April 2010 *********                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Do You Want to Fish for England?

Angling Trust is seeking nominations for the England team for Anglers with Disabilities and for the Veterans England team. Successful applicants will represent Team England in this year’s World Championships taking place on the 7th & 8th August in France for Anglers with Disabilities, and in Belgium on the 10th & 11th July 2010 for the Veterans. England Team Manager Joe Roberts has arranged for two separate trials to take place to identify anglers of international calibre who are experienced in fishing with bloodworm and joker.

Both trials will be fished to FIPSed international rules, and fishing to 11 ½ metre limit on pole for roach and skimmers. Fishing will take place from 11.00am-3.00pm for both trials. The trials will take place at Packington Somers Fisheries, Somers Road, Meriden. CV7 7PL. The first trial will be held for Anglers with Disabilities on Saturday 22nd May. The trial for the Veterans is for anyone who is 60 and over at the date of the trial on Sunday 23rd May. .

The venue, Packington Somers, is considered one of the most successful and varied commercial coarse fisheries in the Midlands, if not the UK. Any angler who would like to take part in the trails are requested to contact Sandra Drew, Competitions & Events Manager, Angling Trust on 0115 9061 301 or email [email protected] by no later than 10th May 2010 with their nomination.

Joe Roberts, England Team Manager believes that after last year’s qualification rounds that the teams were very successful in gaining medals in both categories and this year the teams will be looking to go one better and win gold. Dick Clegg, OBE, International Coarse Events Manager stated that “I support Joe’s decision to hold these trials and it is an opportunity to find some of the highest quality anglers in the country to compete at international level in the World Championships.

Anglers who represent Angling Trust in the World Championships work exceptionally well together, and I am sure they will have an excellent chance of coming away with a medal”.

Sea Trout Protection and Preservation

Submitted by Mandi on March 31, 2010 - 11:16am

What is a Sea Trout?
English and Welsh rivers were colonised by sea trout at the end of the last Ice Age, and their descendents are the populations of brown trout and sea trout we know today (both Salmo trutta). Resident and migratory characteristics have developed within individual catchments, so that some fish now remain permanently resident (brown trout), some always migrate (sea trout) and others can do either, depending on circumstances. It is believed that both genetics and environmental issues, such as habitat and available food, play a part in whether or not a trout migrates to sea.

Why do Sea Trout require Protection?
At the 1st International Sea Trout Symposium at Cardiff University in July 2004, four key issues emerged as being vital to the future of our sea trout stocks:

Sea trout utilise tiny spawning streams, but these are the very habitats most at threat from unsympathetic land use and agriculture.

Finnish sea trout stocks have been savaged by fish being accidentally caught in the coastal white fish gill-net fishery. The UK's coastal waters are exploited by bass gill-netters, and the potential threat to sea trout is obvious.

Larger female sea trout are often multiple repeat spawners with a potential to deposit many eggs over their lifetime, so maximising their contribution to local stocks. They have proven their fitness to survive in both the river and the sea and so contain important genes to pass on to their progeny. Protection of larger fish is therefore vital.

Some scientific opinion suggests that salmon are on the edge of their viable range in the southern half of England and Wales. If our climate becomes warmer, as is widely predicted through global warming, sea trout will also be vulnerable to the resulting environmental pressures, such as droughts, abnormal winter flows, inevitable changes to their growth/life history and, weakened by sub-lethal levels of pollution while in rivers, they might be unable to survive the additional stress of migrating from freshwater into the marine environment.

What can you do to help?
Policies to protect spawning habitat and the control of coastal netting are matters best dealt with at national level by influencing legislation and byelaws. Joining a national organisation is an excellent way of helping this work (see organisations on back page).

Locally, you can help by supporting the work of Rivers Trusts - contact the Association of Rivers Trusts or Afonydd Cymru for further information.

Anglers can help conserve sea trout stocks by showing restraint in the number of fish they kill. A 'large' sea trout will vary from river to river but as a rule, we believe that all fish over 5 lbs are best released unharmed to the water, and this size limit should be reduced in areas where smaller sea trout are the norm.

Finally, if you see a pollution incident, or anything else which you feel could be detrimental to fish stocks in rivers or lakes, contact the Environment Agency Emergency number: 0800 807060

Sporting Value
Sea trout are superb sporting fish, highly prized by game anglers throughout England and Wales. Whereas many rivers have seen a decline in salmon runs, sea trout populations have generally fared rather better and, in several areas, their value to anglers and the local economy now exceeds that of salmon. However, warning signs have recently appeared which suggest that sea trout are also under pressure. Therefore, protective measures taken now might avert a future collapse in stocks.

How do you safely release a Sea Trout?
Most importantly, use single, barbless hooks and as strong a tippet as feasible. Play the sea trout quickly and, wherever possible, net the fish in water deep enough to avoid contact with river bed or bank. Handle the fish sparingly (this is where barbless hooks will greatly assist), using tweezers or pliers to remove the hook, and then release from the net. However, where a sea trout has been played to exhaustion, it will be necessary to carefully hold the fish facing the current until it regains sufficient strength to swim away from the hand. Take extra care during the summer months when water temperatures are high and fish can take longer to recover.

Habitat improvement
This example shows how the creation of buffer zones reduces impact from farm stock and quickly returns a stretch of river to a more natural state.

Don't forget to report your catch!
Catch statistics are a vital tool in determining the local and national trends in sea trout populations. Don't forget to fill in the returns (for both killed and returned fish) on the back of your Environment Agency Migratory Fish Licence and send back to the address supplied. This should also include nil returns, as fishing effort plays an important part in the Environment Agency's current methodology for sea trout stock assessment, as it is based on trends in catch per licence day.

Based on the latest available rod catch and effort data, all rivers would benefit from increased catch and release of sea trout, although those under particular pressure include:
South West: Otter, Dart, Fowey, Torridge, Camel
North West: Ribble, Lune, Cumbrian Esk, Derwent, Border Esk, Eden
Wales: Tawe, Teifi, Dwyfawr, Tywi, Ogmore, Loughor, Ogwen

Finally, several sea trout projects are now underway, including the Celtic Sea Trout Project (www.celticseatrout.com). Some of these may require anglers to contribute scale samples and, although this will be on a voluntary basis, your assistance wherever possible would be greatly appreciated.

Further information
Salmon & Trout Association www.salmon-trout.org
Welsh Salmon and Trout Angling Association www.wstaa.org
Environment Agency www.environment-agency.gov.uk
Association of Rivers Trusts www.associationofriverstrusts.org.uk
Afonydd Cymru www.afonyddcymru.org

Environment Agency - 2009 RFERAC Cornwall Fisheries Report

Submitted by Mandi on December 2, 2009 - 4:37pm

Environment Agency - 2009 RFERAC Cornwall Fisheries Report
We've had a number of high profile enforcement
successes, several of which have led to
widespread media coverage. In June, a
Wadebridge man was found guilty of the illegal
capture of a salmon from the River Camel. A
fishmonger was also found guilty of the illegal
purchase and sale of the same fish.
In July, three men were found guilty of setting
illegal gill nets between Rock and Polzeath. In
August, a Padstow man was found guilty of setting
an illegal net in the estuary near Little Petherick.
Three illegal nets have been seized and destroyed
from Plymouth Sound, Polhawn and Millendreath.
Data from the River Tamar trap and fish counter
suggest that, although there have been
reasonable numbers of multi-sea winter salmon
returning, grilse numbers have been unusually
Angling participation events
We have had another great year with seven junior
events, five adult events and a hugely successful
family day. In total, we’ve coached around 300
people. Alongside the routine angling
participation events, we also ran some
collaborative projects that increase angling
participation and also improve access to fisheries.
Kerrier Pupil Referral Unit
This project was a collaboration with SW Lakes
Trust who gave us free use of Stithians. We were
able to run five days for pupils from the school.
This enabled 80 students a chance to try a days
Cornwall Blind Association
We have funded this charity to enable them to run
six introduction days for five people. A lower ratio
of students to teachers was obviously required
but, even so, 30 people have been given the
chance to try fishing. This did prove a challenge to
our coaches Bob and Jerry, one that they
wholeheartedly embraced and the feedback has
been excellent. We hope to continue to work with
Echo Physical Disability Centre
With a free venue provided by SW Lakes Trust, we
were able to run five days of fishing using the
wheelyboat at Siblyback, coaching 45 people.
Bere Alston & 29th Plymouth Scout Groups
Our contribution to these groups enabled them
each to run five days of fishing for 160 people. The
scouts were tremendously well organised and the
days ran like clockwork.
South West Prisons Angling Association
We have recently made contact with this new club
and are planning to fund them in the near future.
Club Brunel
Access to Sillaton Lakes for the less able members
will be improved by stabilising the access paths
using better surface drainage. Also, improvements
will be carried out to the fishing pegs to enable
people of all abilities to fish.
Whalesborough Fish Pass Project (Stat and Neet)
An Alaskan A fish pass has been installed at
Whalesborough. The project was funded by
Environment Agency regional money and by North
Cornwall District Council. The fish pass will enable
sea trout and eels to gain access to over 25km of
the Rivers Neet and Strat. These rivers are
currently classed as 'Poor' for fish populations
under the Water Framework Directive. This is great
news, as Whalesborough weir has been a barrier
to sea trout and eels for years.
Sky Tips erosion control
We now have agreement with the landowner to
trial straw bales to prevent sand run off from old
china clay tips into the River Warleggan.
7% of the salmon caught in the trap have had ‘red
vent’ syndrome, a condition linked to a parasitic
worm Anisakis sp. The condition causes necrosis
of the flesh around the vent which opens the fish
up to secondary bacterial infections and may
potentially affect spawning success.
The fish counter and trap at Gunnislake also
recorded large numbers of sea lamprey
(Petromyzon marinus) returning to spawn in 2009
with more than 300 counted between April and
August. As well as recording biological
information, fin clips were taken from some of the
sea lamprey as part of a genetic study. The study
is investigating the genetic distinctness of
European sea lamprey populations to see if each
country, region or river has its own genetically
distinct population. This would have important
implications for their conservation and
Fish runs on the Fowey have shown a 13%
decrease in salmon/large sea trout numbers and a
48% increase in sea trout numbers compared to
this time last year.
Trophy Partnership
(Torpoint Rame Outdoor Pastimes & Hobbies for
This project seeks to involve young people in
outdoor pursuits in an effort to divert them from
anti social behaviour. We were delighted to work
with Police Community Support Officer John
Riggall and coach Bob Tetley to sponsor two days
of fishing. The uptake was great and saw 30
people receiving coaching.
The Zone - Youth Enquiry Service
Working with the Plymouth based youth group, we
enabled 80 children to sample coarse fishing over
five days.
Combebow Fish Pass (Tamar catchment)
A tributary of the River Lew is affected by a pipe
bridge as the pipes are too small to allow easy
migration of fish through them. Access to
significant salmon and sea-trout spawning
upstream will be improved. We will be replacing
three smaller pipes with a large culvert. The
culvert has been ordered and installation is
expected to start in the next few weeks.
Trenant Stream Gravel work (Fowey catchment)
The Fowey River Association are key partners in a
project with SWW funding to improve spawning
gravels in the Trenant Stream near Park Pit. The
work will start in the next few weeks.
Tamar gravel work
The cleaning and creation of 14 gravel spawning
areas has been completed at Tetcott and Luffincott
on the River Tamar using the gravel cleaning
bucket. The cleaning of natural gravels is
considered better than importing stone, a method
previously used.
Piall restoration (River Yealm)
Agreement has been reached with Imerys over the
works to be carried out including: reinstatement of
250m of natural channel, creation of in-stream
habitat to improve biodiversity and fish passage
improvements. The work will be carried out this
Hill Bridge, River Tavy - fish screen and fish pass
Work is now complete on this large environmental
improvement project, including the placing of
boulders for a secondary migration route in high
flows. A new fish pass and intake screens have
been installed by South West Hydro to make their
hydrogeneration stations more sustainable.
Evans Weir
Interim improvements have been made to the
existing fish pass where timbers had been lost
and leaks had made the pool fish pass
impassable in most flows. We have secured Defra
funding for design work for a new Larinier fish
pass, hopefully to be installed next summer.
Cotehele (Tamar Catchment)
Through negotiation with the National Trust we
have secured agreement for significant
improvement of the Cotehele fish pass on the
Morden Stream.
Knotweed control (River Tavy)
Roger Round from Tavy Walkham and Plym Fishing
Club is again tackling knotweed on the Tavy with
the assistance of Environment Agency funding and
Salmon Tributary Project (Tamar, Tavy, Lynher,
Yealm, Plym)
Over 6,112 metres of fencing has been installed
with more lined up to do (2,900 metres). This has
been done in partnership with local farmers in
order to protect the riverbanks from erosion and to
encourage riparian growth.

Environment Agency - 2009 RFERAC Devon Fisheries Report

Submitted by Mandi on December 2, 2009 - 4:16pm

Environment Agency - 2009 RFERAC Devon Fisheries Report
There have been several seizures of illegal fishing
equipment on the Axe, Otter and Sid
catchments. These included a small stop net set in
a back water on the estuary at high tide to prevent
fish moving back into the main channel as the
water receded. It was aimed most probably at
mullet where the poachers’ intention was to spear
the fish with bow and arrow. A net was set across
the River Axe by poachers who were apprehended
with eight sea trout. A case file has been
completed and submitted to the legal team with a
prosecution being recommended.
Changes to live fish movement process
New Barn Angling Centre in Paignton became the
first fishery to trial the new Live Fish Permit. This
was a useful exercise to see where improvements
to the new system could be made before it comes
into force.
Changes to live fish movement process
New Barn Angling Centre in Paignton became the
first fishery to trial the new Live Fish Permit. This
was a useful exercise to see where improvements
to the new system could be made before it comes
into force.
Exeter Lake Project
Contractors, Bridge Civil Engineering,
conducted an initial archaeology survey of the site
at the end of August . This revealed medieval field
boundaries which were recorded before work
on the lakes could begin. The two lakes and
wetland took about a month to excavate during a
welcome dry spell. Ramped access points from the
canal bank, paths and platforms are now being
installed. Once completed, the lake will be
allowed to fill and the site will be landscaped and
left to naturalise before being opened to the
public. The lakes will be managed by Exeter &
District AA who are keen to make the venue a
junior angling Centre of Excellence.
Fisheries monitoring programme
In total 127 fish surveys were conducted this year.
The programme comprises 52 sites on the Exe, 11
on the Lyn and 64 annual sites on the Avon, Axe,
Dart, Erme, Taw, Teign and Torridge.
Data is currently being collated and results should
be available in December. We have also
completed the annual Transitional and Coastal
Waters (TraC) monitoring survey on the
Taw/Torridge estuary. This required five sites
within the estuary to be netted. The fish are
identified, measured and counted. Over the past
three years a total of 15 different species of fish
have been recorded during this operation.
Under the new Aquatic Animal Health Directive all
fisheries that wish to stock or remove fish must
now be registered with the Centre for Environment,
Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS).
Despite an awareness campaign many fisheries
are still applying for Section 30 consent without
being registered and this is causing a delay in
their application. The registration process requires
a named person to be responsible for the fishery
and all stocking activity at the site. It also requires
that all fish species present are recorded. This has
revealed a number of fisheries holding species
restricted under the Import of Live Fish Act without
the necessary licences.
Angling participation events
Good weather helped another good year of events.
There was greater interest than in previous years,
especially the game angling sessions at Kennick
reservoir. Exeter & District Angling Association and
Newton Abbot Fisheries Association both ran
evening junior teaching sessions which were well
attended. Clubs also got involved with local
schools' activity weeks and with running sessions
for people with learning difficulties.
Other news
Coarse fish seminar
A seminar is planned for 14 November at Exeter
University. Topics covered will include the new
Live Fish movement process, stocking barbel to
stillwaters, fisheries management techniques and
using invertebrates as an indicator of good water
quality. All stillwater coarse fishery owners and
clubs are welcome to attend. There is no charge
for the seminar and lunch and refreshments will
be provided. Anyone wanting to attend should
contact Chris Carter on 01392 316 182 before
31 October to book a place.

Environment Agency - 2009 RFERAC Wessex Blandford Fisheries Report

Submitted by Mandi on December 2, 2009 - 2:43pm

Environment Agency - 2009 RFERAC Wessex Blandford Fisheries Report

We are continuing work with Bournemouth and
West Hants Water Company on the Christchurch
Enforcement Partnership. We also want to increase
enforcement in Poole Harbour by working in
partnership with other enforcement agencies and
using new surveillance technology.
We are investigating the illegal introduction of
wels catfish into a lake at Ringwood. Resolution of
the issue is likely to be difficult and we will be
working closely with the angling club.
Monitoring and data
Salmon on the River Avon
The spring salmon run on the Hampshire Avon was
similar to last year, with numbers being down on
the two years prior to that.
River Avon fish counter
A good number of grilse and sea trout arrived in
mid August and passed through the Turbine House
fish pass. We’re hoping for a good run of fish
when the autumn rains arrive. All hatches on the
Great Weir will be covered and will provide a more
accurate count for higher flow years. See
www.knappmill.co.uk for more information.
River Frome salmonid habitats
Works are currently underway to improve salmonid
habitats on the River Frome and the passage of
migratory salmonids on the River Asker and River
Cerne. Eel passage is also being improved on the
River Piddle. These projects are aimed at resolving
issues raised by the Water Framework Directive
and have been funded by Defra .
East Stoke - River Frome
The Environment Agency has been working closely
with the scientists in the fish labs at East Stoke
and is supporting salmonid science work at the
Reducing diffuse pollution on the River Till
Diffuse pollution running into the River Till was
affecting fisheries and the condition of the Site of
Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). We intercepted
the pathway of pollution to the river. Natural
England hope that the project will help to address
this problem in 35 hectares of the River Till SSSI.
This partnership involved landowners, Natural
England, the Wiltshire Council and the
Environment Agency.
Whitemill fisheries enhancement
We have teamed up with the National Trust and
completed works on the River Stour at Whitemill to
increase coarse fish flood refuge areas. These had
been identified as limiting fish stocks in this area.
This is phase one of the project with further works
planned for 2010.
Loud’s Mill Frome
Through monitoring at Louds Mill on the River
Frome we've shown the effectiveness of the
Larinier fish pass. Most of the tagged trout and
grayling ascended the pass within a few days.
Tagged salmon will continue to be monitored
during the autumn.
Managing River Avon water temperature
Higher temperatures in the River Avon are
adversely affecting salmon populations. Human
activity across the catchment is believed to be
influencing the temperature of the river. We are
working to establish ways to reduce the
temperature in the River Avon and to identify by
how much.
For general
Wessex Chalk Streams Project
We will be working with riparian landowners and
managers to promote wildlife-friendly river
enhancement and management of the River Avon
SSSI in Wiltshire, which includes the tributaries,
Wylye, Nadder, Till, and Bourne. It also focuses on
the River Ebble and associated wetlands as well
as areas suitable for wetland restoration.
Gravel cleaning
Gravel cleaning work on the spawning gravels on
the Hampshire Avon and River Frome is underway
and nearing conclusion.
Angling participation events
We've contributed £6,000 to partners who have
run many successful coaching events. Partners
have included Christchurch Angling club, Moors
Valley Country Park and Wessex Angling Scheme.
Coarse fish seminar
A successful coarse fish seminar was held by
Wiltshire Wildlife Trust at Langford Lakes. The
seminar included presentations on fish disease,
new legislation and partnership working. Funding
is still available for small coarse fisheries projects.
Interested parties should apply to D-J Gent in the
Blandford office by email: [email protected].

Environment Agency - 2009 RFERAC Wessex Bridgwater Fisheries Report

Submitted by Mandi on December 2, 2009 - 11:22am

Environment Agency - 2009 RFERAC Wessex Bridgwater Fisheries Report

Using new technology on the Huntspill we’re trying
to count eels leaving to go to sea and spawn. The
dual-frequency identification sonar (DIDSON) is
capable of recording high-resolution footage from
within the river. The EU's Eel Directive says we
must allow at least 40% of the silver eels, that
would occur in the absence of man’s influences,
to escape to the sea. It’s been possible to
produce a count of eel movements and to produce
a model to measure the net biomass of eel
The eel passes at Oath Lock (River Parrett) and
Greylake Sluice (King’s Sedgemoor Drain) continue
to yield good images on CCTV. The two Greylake
eel passes recorded 42,000 ascending eels last
year and 36,000 to date this year. They are now
seen as significant monitoring sites within Europe.
At Walrow Ponds, Highbridge, the club has put in
floating islands to provide refuge for fish with
spawning substrate. The islands also help to deter
anglers from casting towards residents’ gardens.
Up to 15 more eel passes (designed by Andy Don)
are being installed on tilting weirs throughout
Somerset contributing to the Eel Management Plan
and Water Framework Directive actions.
Fish kill response
Water quality monitoring stations are being
installed on the River Yeo and River Parrett in
Somerset to give early warning of water quality
problems. Fish kills on rivers and drains across the
Somerset Levels are associated with low oxygen
levels, algal blooms and floodwater.
The stations will automatically monitor dissolved
oxygen levels. Five sites have been identified as
part of a £45,000 pilot project. The equipment will
also help identify long term trends and changes in
the river environment. Data from each site is
sent to the Environment Agency at Bridgwater
where the data can be monitored around the
clock to allow an immediate response to a sudden
drop in oxygen levels. The project has started with
the most vulnerable sites where fish have been
killed in the past. If successful, the plan is to
create a network of sites across the Somerset
Wessex enforcement
The River Parrett elver fishery has around 150
licensed fishermen. Bailiffs seized 69 nets this
year, of which 25 were vastly oversized flow nets.
Angling participation events
Several angling participation events were held
over the summer resulting in the coaching of over
1,500 anglers. Events included one in Eastville,
Bristol and one in Bridgwater Docks at the
Somerset Water Festival.
A new angling club at a Leonard Cheshire home
near Bath has been supported with equipment
and fishing tackle.
In July, a Trout in the Classroom project culminated
in the release of brown trout fingerlings into the
North Petherton stream near Bridgwater. Both the
infant and the junior school raised trout from eggs
to fingerlings and released them into the local
Witch Lodge Lake, near Taunton, was officially
reopened having had dam repairs, de-silting and
new access created as part of an Environment
Agency supported Heritage Lottery project carried
out with the Forestry Commission.
We have at least 15 cases pending prosecution
and three guilty pleas have already been heard.
One case was for the use of an illegal flow net and
two related to dip nets being used in an illegal
way. All three cases have seen significant fines
but also the court has banned each of the
fishermen from holding a licence for three years.
Invasive weeds
Environment Agency staff have found that two
invasive weeds are now present in the King's
Sedgemoor Drain: water hyacinth (Eichhnoria
crassipes) and water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes).
Both of these are free-floating plants which can
have detrimental effects on native flora and fauna.
Please contact the Bridgwater office on 01278
484786 if you see any of these plants.