Last edit: 30th November 2021

No To Farmed Atlantic Salmon

You’ve probably been giving some thought to what you will put on your table this Christmas. For many, this festive line-up typically includes farmed salmon. 

However, by making this choice you are supporting an industry that endangers wild salmon and sea trout and severely compromises the integrity of both the marine and freshwater ecosystems of Scotland.
Please support our Christmas Appeal and say no to open-net salmon farming this Christmas.MAKE A DONATIONWith every donation we get one step closer to protecting wild fish from open-net salmon farming practices.

Open-net Scottish farmed salmon is not “sustainable”. It might look appealing, but in eating farmed salmon you are supporting this damaging industry and helping to fuel its expansion, to the detriment of the Scottish environment.

Will you give wild fish and the environment a break by saying no to farmed salmon, including so-called “organic” salmon?

If you haven’t added your name yet, please join us and the many others who have pledged not to buysell or eat farmed salmon this festive season. 

DR GUY MAWLE BA, MSc, PhD, FIFM, CEnv to Sir David Henshaw, Chair, NRW Board

Report: The state of the river Usk – A dying river?

FAO Sir David Henshaw, Chair, NRW Board Dr. Guy Mawle

By email only:

15 November 2021

Dear Sir David,
Report: The state of the river Usk – A dying river?

I attach for your attention a report that I have just completed on the state of the river Usk, one of
Wales’ principal rivers and designated as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC). Please note that this
report has not been commissioned but produced out of personal interest. I have known the river Usk
for over forty years and was once its Fisheries, Conservation and Recreation Officer. In recent years,
I have observed a progressive degradation in its ecology and wished to have more factual
information. This report is the result.
You will see from the one-page summary that many aspects of the ecology of the river are
deteriorating, including protected habitat and species. There is also a chapter at the end with
suggested lessons for the Usk and other rivers.
The Senedd recently declared a Nature Emergency in Wales and rivers and streams are a ‘priority
habitat’ under the Environment (Wales) Act 2016. There are also legal duties under regulations
relating to SAC rivers. Regrettably, this report clearly shows that NRW is failing to deliver the
Sustainable Management of Natural Resources on the River Usk. Furthermore, neither NRW nor
others, such as Welsh Government and the Future Generations Commissioner, seem to be fully
aware of the degradation that has taken place. This reflects, in part, the limitations of NRW’s
monitoring and reporting. For example, the State of Natural Resources Report 2020 (SoNaRR) uses
some data that are now considerably out of date and therefore misleading.
Of particular concern, is the 2020 status of the otter. As reported in SoNaRR 2020, this was the only
SAC feature in ‘favourable status’ across Wales. It is no longer, neither in the Usk SAC nor in other
SACs. The otter relies on the general health of the river so it is not surprising that its status now
reflects those of other SAC features. The Future Generations Commissioner cited the recovery of the
otter as a ‘sign of hope’ in her 2020 report. It would seem that hope could be misplaced.
It is evident to me that the current management of our rivers, under NRW, is not up to the
challenges these now face. This is not a reflection on the commitment of staff on the ground. I
acknowledge that NRW needs more resources, and this needs urgently addressing by Government. I
also appreciate that there are couple of laudable projects about to start that, I hope, will achieve
significant improvements. But whatever they achieve will not be sustained without effective
regulation by NRW which has patently been lacking. There is much more that NRW should and could
be doing especially in relation to enforcement and monitoring.
I do not believe that the title of my report “The state of the River Usk – a dying river?” overstates the
case. Therefore, urgent action is required and I am writing to you as the Chair of the NRW Board to
provide the leadership needed to address the issues I have recorded in my report.
These thoughts and the report are offered in the spirit of positive criticism. I will be sharing both this
letter and the report with others, as indicated below. Thank you for your time.
Yours sincerely

Guy Mawle, BA, MSc, PhD, FIFM, CEnv

Cc: With report
Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd
Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner
Audit Wales
Prof. Steve Ormerod, Vice Chair
Clare Pillman, CEO
Steve Morgan, South East Wales Area
Jon Goldsworthy, South East Wales Area
Afonydd Cymru (with request to forward to Wales Environment Link members)
Wye & Usk Foundation
Gwent Wildlife Trust
Powys Wildlife Trust


Sign our petition to stop dolphin slaughter in the Faroe Islands

Click to go to the link


Support the Welsh Dee Trust and help the river: please.

The Welsh Dee Trust have commissioned a map of the salmon pools of the Dee. This has been compiled by Nigel Houldsworth who has completed maps of many other rivers. Beautifully illustrated and printed on quality paper each is  signed by Nigel. They cost £31 and are available from the Welsh Dee Trust shop All proceeds go towards restoration works on the river.

Advice on Pink salmon in Wales.

The purpose of this advice note is to ensure:

1. That all fishery stakeholders, including fishery managers, anglers and netsmen, are alert to the possibility of the return of pink salmon to Welsh rivers during 2021.

2. To ensure that fishery managers, anglers and netsmen know what to do should pink salmon be observed or captured in Wales.

Advice for anglers and netsmen

We are concerned about the state of our native Atlantic salmon stocks: this is why all  Atlantic salmon caught in Welsh waters must be returned alive and well. 

Pacific pink salmon are usually easily distinguished from Atlantic salmon, particularly when mature and in spawning condition.

·      If you are confident that you have caught a Pacific pink salmon, the fish should be humanely dispatched. Please report the capture as soon as possible to NRW on 0300 065 3000  (24 hours day) as this will enable the fish to be formally logged.

·      If you are not confident that you have caught a pink salmon, the fish should be released back to the river alive where it was captured, preferably having been photographed and later reported to NRW. This is to ensure that no Atlantic salmon are retained in error.

·      If you have found a fresh, dead pink salmon, please retain the fish is possible and report this to the Incident Hotline 0300 065 3000 (24 hours day)

Please consider distributing the briefing to your own fisheries contacts in Wales

Rivercide! Chris White's commentary

Chris White


I am sending this to you as can you please pass this on as I don’t have the email address for the person who now looks after the Conwy.

I am not sure if you saw the telecast by George Mobiot the other night if not this is now on YouTube (RIVERCIDE with George Monbiot & Charlotte Church – YouTube) this video is 1 hour long (you can skip the end as it is just Charlotte Church singing!). 

The video focuses on the pollution on the Wye, the potential causes of this pollution and the lack of action in controlling the sources of the pollution.  Lesley Griffiths was interviewed but the head of the EA did not respond. 

Whilst the focus was on the Wye it is applicable to all of our rivers.  I raise this as from what Rich White said the Conwy below Betws is Brown which probably indicates high levels of phosphate resulting in an explosion of diatoms.  The sewage treatment plant in Betws is known to release raw and treated sewage into the Llugwy and despite the promise from Welsh Water that they would sort this out it is still happening.  If you remember I also expressed concerns about the Chicken farm at Fron Bella and the spreading of the chicken manure on land above the Afon Nugg, there are also dairy farms on the upper Conwy and overgrazing of sheep to contend with.  The recent heavy rain may well have washed the manure into the feeder streams on the upper Conwy catchment. I doubt that there is anything we can do now as the stable door was left open a long time ago allowing this type of pollution to occur and we now probably just have to watch as the Conwy slowly goes into decline.  It would be interesting if NRW could carryout regular monitoring of phosphate levels in the river or more likely we will have to buy our own monitoring equipment and supply NRW with our findings.  It would be nice to think that NRW will be proactive but I doubt this will happen, as I pointed out at the Byelaw Inquiry it is not the anglers catching fish which is the problem it is the survival from egg to smolts which is the issue I.e. the mortality of fry and parr due to pollution resulting in fewer smolts going to sea.  Sadly despite the work the Trust carries out the source of the pollution is not being effectively addressed, Lesley Griffiths explained that she had introduced legislation but this is too little too late and wont be fully implemented for three years.


Thanks to The Angling Trust: looking after our rivers. Please consider joining, it is not expensive and they do much good work

View in browser | Media Release from Angling Trust & Fish Legal

Media Release July 7th, 2021Judge says Government’s promise to report on protected sites is legally binding A Judge at the High Court has ruled that a promise made by the Government in 2015 to provide reports on sensitive rivers and lakes is enforceable.

WWF, the Angling Trust and Fish Legal took Defra and the Environment Agency (EA) back to Court on 16th June for failing to publish the reports which are expected to detail the measures necessary to get sensitive rivers and lakes back to “favourable” condition after years of agricultural pollution. In 2015, Defra and the EA had said that they would provide the reports to include their investigations and details of the steps or “measures” to reverse their decline. However, almost six years later and with little of the work completed, the Government argued that they had “no legal obligation” to prepare the reports – even though the agreement was Court-approved. Binding and enforceable Mrs Justice Lang agreed with the environmental and angling groups that the promises made in 2015 were binding and enforceable. However, she said that the Government was able to take into account complexity, resources, Brexit and the Covid pandemic in deciding whether they had acted “as soon as reasonably practicable”, despite the delay. That meant that the Government was not in breach of the agreement. Deterioration Out of a list of 37 sites that Defra and the EA intended to report on, only five have final reports or “Diffuse Water Pollution Plans” (DWPPs). The handful of published DWPPs, including for Wensum, Lambourn, Minsmere & Walberswick and Wybunbury, show little improvement and some evidence of actual deterioration. Meanwhile, from what little is known about the other 32 sites, there are fears of irreversible decline.
Failing rivers Of the waters which haven’t yet had full reports carried out on them there are a number of serious concern to anglers due to their failing state. These include the Wye as well as the Yorkshire Derwent, the Derwent in Cumbria, the Eden, the Ehen, the Dee, the Camel, and the Tweed & Till.The Wye and its tributaries are under pressure from agricultural pollution which has caused algal blooms and damage to water quality, weed growth and salmon, including spawning gravels. Salmon are a flagship species for our rivers, a quintessential fish, deeply rooted in our heritage and culture. Large Wye salmon have declined by 54-88% since the 1970s.The Rivers Test and Itchen, two of the most famous chalkstream trout rivers in England, have been degraded by pollution from agriculture including fish farms and cress beds as well as excessive abstraction, exacerbating the effects of pollution.
Justin Neal of Fish Legal said: “The Court has now confirmed that the agreement set out in the Consent Order in 2015 is binding on the Government. Of course, we are concerned that the Court ruled that Defra and the Environment Agency can take into account resources in what is a binding contract as this is likely to further delay the production of the reports, and resulting improvements. We will be pressing Defra and the EA to hold to its agreement.
Mark Owen from the Angling Trust said:“ Whilst delighted that the Judge has upheld our claim that the Consent Order, and the actions required, are legally binding on the Government we are disappointed that a lack of resources allocated by Government can be used as an excuse for delay. The present state of our rivers is disgraceful and if urgent action is not taken now then further deterioration will take place. Time is not on the side of this Government to live up to its promises.
Editor’s Notes: Legal challenge from WWF, Angling Trust and Fish Legal In 2015, WWF, the Angling Trust and Fish Legal launched a judicial review against Defra and the Environment Agency because of their failure to stop the damage caused to some of the most precious rivers and wetlands in England by agricultural pollution. They argued that the Government was deliberately avoiding the use of a key “measure” – Water Protection Zones (WPZs) – to protect them. These sites need to meet stringent legal standards because of their unique characteristics and species. But despite this, they suffer from continued pollution from agriculture, including slurry and pesticides. However, at the High Court in November 2015, WWF, the Angling Trust and Fish Legal agreed to drop the legal action in return for promises that the Environment Agency and Defra would publish reports on the sites – called Diffuse Water Pollution Plans (DWPPs)  – “as soon as reasonably practicable”. These reports were meant to include details of investigations and actions to bring the sites back to “favourable status”, which could include WPZs. About Fish Legal Fish Legal is a membership association using the law to protect fish stocks and the rights of its members throughout the UK.  It is united in a collaborative relationship with the Angling Trust, the national representative and governing body for angling in England.  Joint membership packages with the Angling Trust are available for individuals, clubs, fisheries and other categories.
About the Angling Trust The Angling Trust is the national governing body representing all game, coarse and sea anglers and angling in England. They lobby government, campaign on environmental and angling issues and run national and international competitions. They fight pollution, commercial over-fishing at sea, over-abstraction, poaching, unlawful navigation, local bans and a host of other threats to angling.
For further information, additional content or to arrange an interview, please contact :Justin Neal, Fish Legal –   Tel: 07496 877006Mark Owen, Angling Trust –   Tel: 07545 733245Fish Legal is a membership association using the law to protect fish stocks and the rights of its members throughout the UK. It is united in a collaborative relationship with the Angling Trust, the national representative and governing body for angling in England. Joint membership packages with the Angling Trust are available for individuals, clubs, fisheries and other categories.
Click here for more information about membership Angling Trust & Fish Legal, Eastwood House, Rainbow Street, Leominster, HR6 8DQTelephone: 01568 620447View in browser | Unsubscribe

River Pollution: River Clywedog, Wrexham

Please follow the link below to read the BBC News item

The North Atlantic Salmon: A film

The life of the North Atlantic Salmon, a film by Highplains

Chris White: The Wye proposals: Anglers beware

I think the term ‘here we go again’ just about sums up the proposals on the Wye which will undoubtedly spill over to the rest of England and Wales as per the spring byelaws.  They are of course clutching at straws and are finding excuses for why despite 24 years of controls on the Wye the salmon numbers have continued to decline despite the millions that have been spent on habitat improvement.  It now seems that the excuse is worm fishers are preventing the recovery.  This of course plays into NRW’s hands who will claim that any byelaw changes are due to requests from anglers, this was why the spring byelaws were introduced and then in 2012 the 100% C&R on the Wye.  Those who fish the premier beats on the Wye/Usk care little for North Wales rivers which they consider not worth fishing and have left these small spate rivers for the locals to fish.  They now seem hell bent of imposing restrictions which will be the death knell for many clubs who fish North Wales rivers, restrictions may well start on the Wye but will be coming to a river near you in the future!

John Eardley 9th February 2021

Chris Bainger – Fisheries Technical Specialist – West Midlands

By email to

Copies to:

Jamie Cook – CEO Angling Trust

Mark Owen – Head of Freshwater Angling Trust

Dear Mr Bainger,

I have recently been informed by colleagues that a consultation into proposed new byelaws for the River Severn is imminent, although as angling stakeholders in Wales we have yet to receive any formal notification. Could you please confirm that this is indeed the case and if so when will we be formally notified of what is contained within the proposals? Can I also request that in the interests of a level playing field we are given notice well in advance of the consultation start date and not simply notified at the time of its start date as that would immediately set us on the back foot and could be perceived as giving the impression of bias.

Angling stakeholders have justifiable concerns that although the EA will have the lead on this cross-border consultation, there will be considerable pressure from NRW to implement byelaws that are closely aligned with what is already in place in the rest of Wales. The timing of the Severn Emergency Byelaw, a mere 2 days in advance of when it would have still been legal for an angler to take a salmon on a Welsh river, together with significant corrections to underestimated 2015-18 stock estimates, does nothing to allay our concerns.

Whilst I have no wish to prejudge the Severn Consultation, I have been heavily involved in 2 consultations involving NRW, firstly the closure of hatcheries and ending of third party stocking and latterly the All Wales Byelaws, and you would be hard pressed to find anyone in Wales who would regard either of these as anything other than “tick box exercises”, i.e. consultations in name only. The Oxford Dictionary defines a consultation as “the act of discussing something with someone or with a group of people before making a decision about it”. What reassurance can you provide to angling stakeholders, many of whom have led the conservation agenda within their own organisations, that their input will be valued and form part of proposals that are fit for purpose in securing the future of the River Severn salmon?

There is an opportunity here to, at the very least, trial a voluntary solution, in accordance with NASCO policy, which would have the backing of both the Angling Trust and angling organisations along the river and which would avoid the disastrous situation which now exists in Wales. Anyone who has the best interests of the River Severn at heart will recognise that we all need to work together and that cannot be achieved if a confrontational approach is pursued. Sadly experiences in Wales highlights that failure to do that will be disastrous, not only for future relationships between angling stakeholders and the EA, but most importantly for the future of the Severn Salmon.

Yours sincerely

John Eardley – Strategy Officer, Campaign for the Protection of Welsh Fisheries

John Eardley's reply to Ruth Jenkins

Strategy Officer
John Eardley
Ty Newydd
4, Little Moss Lane
Scholar Green

CPWF has the support of freshwater and sea anglers in Wales.
Visit our website at

5th February 2021
Ruth Jenkins – Head of Natural Resource Management Policy, Natural Resources Wales
By email to

Dear Ruth,
Thank you for your letter Ref: CX21-007 (RJ) dated 26th January regarding the Prof. Ian G. Cowx report on the “Review of Evidence of Interactions between Beavers and Fish and Fisheries in England and Wales” and its relevance to:
 Application for the release of up to 6 beavers to be held in an enclosure at Cors Dyfi
Nature reserve (S086266)
 Application for a 5-year pilot to release beavers into the wild on the Dyfi (S087504).

Angling stakeholders continue to have grave concerns about the initial application (S086266) to release beavers into the enclosure at Cors Dyfi. Whilst you are correct to point bout that there is unlikely to be any impact on fish migration within the reserve itself, the problems will occur when, not if, some of the beavers escape and move elsewhere within the catchment. The very nature of the immediate surrounding area, “reed beds, bog and wet woodland scrub”, makes recapture nigh on impossible no matter how impressive the “updated and standalone escape, recapture and fence maintenance plan” may appear on paper. Furthermore this environment is subject to extreme conditions when low pressure
storm surges, spring tides and high rivers levels coincide to provide the perfect conditions to pile dead reed stems and other flood debris against the enclosure and in the process create a ready-made escape ramp. The most recent floods would have provided the perfect conditions for most of the beavers in the enclosure to escape. On that basis alone it is hard to regard
escape from the enclosure as an “unlikely event”. We also find it difficult to understand why “NRW are lawfully required to issue the licence” and cannot simply refuse at this stage, particularly when 35 farmers and landowners in the Dyfi Valley have signed a petition stating quite categorically that they do not want beavers on their property. There is no shortage of evidence from both Scotland and Europe that beaver dams block drainage ditches resulting in flooded fields as well as crops being
targeted as a food supply and farmers are right to be concerned. It is highly likely that compensation would be sought from those responsible for permitting the introduction of beavers in the first place.
What also concerns us is that the beavers destined for the enclosure are the offspring of illegal introductions into the River Tay system, so called “beaver bombing”. That in itself seems to send a clear message to those intent on further illegal introductions that they are unlikely to be held to account for breaking the law, something that is all the more ironic to
law abiding anglers who have witnessed third party stocking of salmonids outlawed in Wales on the spurious grounds of genetic integrity.
The application for a 5-year pilot to release beavers into the wild on the Dyfi (S087504) is presumably to facilitate the release of beavers born within the Cors Dyfi compound into the main river system, in which case the compound could be perceived as little more than a beaver hatchery. It also seems strange that there is any need for a pilot study when NRW is fully aware of the beaver activity on the tidal Dyfi downstream of Machynlleth,
even to the extent of installing a surveillance camera in the area. Could you please let us know what NRW has learned so far from its monitoring of the beavers at this location and how this might influence future decisions?
Angling stakeholders have very real concerns about the long term impact of beavers on the salmonid population of the Afon Dyfi and sadly, yet again, find themselves on the wrong end of the NRW decision making process.

Yours sincerely
John Eardley – Strategy Officer, Campaign for the Protection of Welsh Fisheries

Fisheries bulletin

Clwyd Concwest easements

During 2020 two easements have been carried out on the Afon Concwest. These were carried out by the North Wales Rivers Trust, with funding from NRW. These easements have opened an additional 4km of spawning habitat to migratory fish.

The Concwest has suffered several pollution incidents during recent years and no juvenile salmonids have been recorded in the catchment since 2015. Following the work two large redds have already been seen above the historic barriers so this work will help to re- populate the Concwest with salmonids.

Prior to 2003 the upper Clywedog was not accessible to migratory fish due to the Bontuchel weir. The installation of the fish pass at Bontuchel, and easements on the Clywedog and Concwest, have opened the whole upper Clywedog catchment to migratory salmonids.

Conwy – Know Your River board updates

Information boards were placed on the Conwy catchment in 2010 to highlight possible impacts on spawning and redds from river users. These boards have recently been updated, still highlighting the possible impact from river users, but also giving the general public some interesting salmon and sea trout details, plus some local catchment specific facts.

Juvenile salmonid monitoring programme

2020 was a difficult year for us all, and NRW’s ability to carry out monitoring work was no exception. Due to problems with social distancing, it was decided that electro-fishing with generators would not go ahead, but the use of backpack gear could. However, trials in safety meant that the national programme wasn’t carried out, but parts of the Dee juvenile index monitoring could be completed.

Thirty-five of the Dee juvenile index monitoring program sites were completed. Salmon (and in most cases trout) juvenile stocks were much lower in 2020 than that seen in 2019, however the data could have been impacted by the surveys being carried out much later in the year than usual. We expect to have full coverage of North Wales in 2021, however the survey method is still questionable with current covid restrictions.

Conwy – Nant y Gwryd restoration

In September, together with our partners the National Trust, we began re-profiling the steep banks and re-positioning some large boulders in a previously modified section of the river.

We are already starting to see some changes, with the river shifting from a straight glide (like a canal) to developing sections of pools (deep water) and riffles (fast flowing areas), with gravel shoals forming around the boulders. This creates a greater variety of features within the river and improves the habitat for spawning fish, such as brown trout and birds such as kingfisher, common sandpiper and dipper.

Seiont – Llyn Padarn Arctic Char stocking

Due to declining numbers of Arctic char in Llyn Padarn, a limited programme of stocking has been  in  place  since  2009.                             The aim is to enhance and protect Arctic Char numbers. During 2020 around 7500 juvenile Char, reared in Natural Resources Wales’ (NRW) Cynrig Hatchery, have been released into their native lake in Llanberis, Gwynedd. In December 2019, NRW collected Arctic Char eggs from Afon y Bala, which flows into Llyn Padarn. Now, after ten months of care and hard work, the young Char have been released into the lake.

Work has been done over many years to improve water quality in Llyn Padarn, Wales’ only designated inland bathing water, which is now graded as excellent. This work is paying dividends, helping to conserve and enhance these enigmatic fish. We will continue to build on this work so that wildlife continues to thrive in and around Llyn Padarn.

Dee – LIFE Dee river project

The LIFE Dee river project is an ambitious, multi-million- pound river restoration project to transform the River Dee and its surroundings, to help improve declining fish populations and rare wildlife in the area. The £6.8 million, cross-border project will bring multiple benefits to the environment, particularly improving the numbers of salmon, lamprey and freshwater pearl mussels, helping them become more sustainable in the future.

The project was officially online in September 2020, with over 150 attendees, and included presentations and messages of support from Clare Pillman, NRW Chief Executive; Sir David Henshaw, NRW Chair; Hannah Blythyn MS, Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government; Will Millard, Angling Author and TV Presenter, and Joel Rees-Jones, LIFE Dee River Project Manager.

Dee – Tryweryn LIFE Dee weir removal

Only a couple of days after launching the project, the team were straight to work and successfully completed their first major milestone, a weir removal on the Afon Tryweryn; a tributary of the River Dee.

Work to dismantle the redundant weir on the Tryweryn was carried out by experienced local contractors, in conjunction with NRW’s technical specialists, to remove the man-made structure and help improve access for fish. Boulders from the weir were redistributed to provide important habitat and spawning areas for the variety of species that live in the river, and were also used to stabilise the riverbed.

Mawddach – Afon Wen Boulder removal

This scheme has improved fish migration on the Afon Wen, a tributary of the Afon Mawddach, and was completed by NRW contractors. This project aimed to remove a boulder which had plugged a natural obstruction during a 100-year flood           event           in           2001.           The           boulder           was preventing salmon from migrating upstream to spawn, which was confirmed by electro fishing in the area.

Historically salmon had migrated to the upper reaches of the Afon Wen, where they had been caught by anglers, and spawning had been witnessed by locals and National Rivers

Authority staff. This piece of work has re-opened 4km of spawning habitat for salmon, and we hope to see salmon recolonise the upper Wen over the coming year.

Fisheries habitat restoration surveys

NRW are working with Afonydd Cymru, the North Wales Rivers Trust and the Welsh Dee Trust to undertake habitat restoration survey works on several catchments within North Wales. These include the Glaslyn, Dyfi,  Dee,  Conwy  and  various  Anglesey  catchments. The aim of the surveys is to identify where habitat for fish can be improved.

This will provide the relevant information for NRW or partners to be able undertake projects, subject to funding availability, that will improve the quality and quantity of habitat in these rivers for fish.

Mawddach – Afon Eden Llyn Cloc weir removal

Llyn Cloc was a concrete hydrology weir on the Afon Eden, part of the Mawddach catchment. The historic structure was owned by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), and was part of the Ardudwy leat scheme, monitoring water abstraction from the Eden’s tributaries in the 1960’s.

This partial river obstruction was a priority for NRW to remove as it would improve salmon, sea trout and eel migration. Having been given permission by the NDA to demolish the structure, we worked in partnership with the North Wales Rivers Trust to deliver the scheme, funded by Afonydd Cymru.

Increased disabled access for anglers at Llyn Trawsfynnydd

Prysor Angling Association, working with NRW, are aiming to improve access to fishing on Llyn Trawsfynnydd for less able anglers. As part of a suite of improvements, they are undertaking a project that will include improved parking facilities for disabled anglers and purchase of a wheely boat (from the Wheely Boat Trust) that allows full participation of angling from the water.

Mawddach – Afon Gamlan gravel traps

With funding from Sustainable Funding Programme (SFP) two large gravel traps were constructed by NRW’s contractors on the Afon Gamlan, a tributary of the Mawddach catchment. NRW’s fisheries team, along with the Mawddach Trust, have been improving in-river fish habitat by constructing log weirs in active channels to create

pools, cover for fish and create spawning habitat. This scheme was primarily to encourage salmon to spawn on the lower reaches of the Gamlan and involved using large boulders from the site and 70 tons of gravel from a local quarry.

Environmental Crime Officers (ECO’s):

Reducing illegal fishing, acting against environmental crime and illegal waste activity in North West Wales, including:

  • Illegal Fishing – land and sea
  • Illegal shellfish activity
  • Rod licence checks

Due to decreasing numbers of salmon returning to UK waters to spawn, new Wales Rod and Line (Salmon and Sea Trout) Byelaws 2017 are now in place to prevent active salmon fishing, and to ensure that any salmon caught by fishermen are released. Due to the pandemic and the series of lockdowns, fieldwork activity has necessarily been restricted in order to keep both staff and the public safe.

During 2020, ECO’s carried out visible patrols when conditions allowed, to prevent or minimise impacts from illegal bass netting on the Menai Straits, rod licence checks, gold panning and illegal cockling. We have jointly worked with local authorities, WG Sea Fisheries and the NWP Rural Crime team on our higher priority cases during this time in order to disrupt or prevent illegal activity from continuing wherever needed and was safely possible.

Officers will continue to prioritise and react to incidents reported us that require attention. We continue to be heavily reliant on the assistance of both anglers and other members of the public to help us identify offenders, locations and times that these offences are taking place.


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