The two links below will open up .pdf’s of the two pages from the North Wales Daily Post which contained an article outlining the continuing efforts of Chris White of the Conwy Valley Fisheries and Conservation Association. Chris has been a tireless campaigner for our fisheries for many years now and is to be applauded for his dedication and unstinting efforts. Let us hope that his efforts may persuade the Welsh Government to provide funding sufficient to protect our fisheries. Nice one Chris!
Page 1 When the image uploads, right click and select rotate clockwise
Page 2 When the image uploads, right click and select rotate clockwise
The following press release has been issued by Graeme Harris, which I am sure will be of great interest to those of us that participated in the scheme as well as all sea trout anglers. I sound fascinating.
To Welsh Fisheries Interests. The EU-Funded Celtic Sea Trout Project is now in its final stage of completion. Following similar events for stakeholders in Scotland (Dumfries) and Ireland (Drogheda) this autumn, we will be holding a final ‘Project Closure’ meeting for our Welsh Stakeholders in North Wales on January 8th 2014 when each of the leaders on the 6 separate Work Tasks will provide a short presentation outlining their principal findings relevant to the future management of sea trout stocks and fisheries in the Welsh region. A formal invitation, event programme and venue location map are attached to this covering note and we hope that either you or your representative(s) will be able to attend. Please forward this information to anyone else who you think may be interested in this important, ground-breaking study. Places will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis. Further background to the Project may be obtained at www.celticseatrout.com , but please contact Graeme Harris on 01874 731175 or at firstname.lastname@example.org for further any further information about these arrangements.
Please record your support on the accesscymru web site by clicking on the link below which is highlighted in red. Sending your club logo to add to the list of supported would also be good. We must show a united front so your signing up to show support really does matter. Other interested parties that wish this to go ahead are well organised and putting up a good show: we have to do better. click here
A broad-based coalition has been launched today (15th November 2013) with a website atwww.accesscymru.org to campaign for locally-managed access to the Welsh countryside and rivers to ensure that it is sustainable and does not impact on legitimate and economically-important activities such as farming and angling. The coalition is responding to an on-going consultation on access to the countryside by the Welsh Government, led by the Minister for Culture and Sport, John Griffiths AM, who refused to rule out the possibility of opening up access to all land and water without restrictions at a recent meeting with coalition members, which has incensed a wide range of people who make a living in the countryside.
A series of consultation events have been held with stakeholders at which landowners and angling bodies have expressed their concern about the impact on wildlife, livestock and property rights from the proposals. The coalition wants to see sensitive wildlife and fish spawning sites protected, members of the public kept safe from livestock, and to avoid conflict with legitimate users. They are very concerned about the potential legal liabilities and insurance costs that would be heaped onto rural businesses as a result of unfettered access to the countryside being imposed across the whole of Wales. Many livestock farmers, already under great economic pressure, have said that this would have a very damaging effect on the way that they farm, with concerns over dog controls and damage to crops. There are great fears that members of the public might be injured or killed by farm animals when straying off managed paths.
Angling clubs are extremely worried by proposals for universal access to water as they are already suffering the impacts of widespread illegal canoeing. Angling clubs and landowners have had great difficulties finalising voluntary access agreements because Canoe Wales has refused to allow its regional representatives to agree to any restrictions, insisting instead on access at all times and water heights.
A green paper consultation is expected before Christmas and the leaders of the organisations are holding a series of meetings with Assembly Members, Ministers and officials to make their views clear. The coalition of rural organisations has launched a call for funds to support the campaign, including the cost of legal advice on potential challenges to legislation. Details of where you can send your donations can be found at www.accesscymru.org where you can also sign up in support of the campaign.
Rachel Evans, Director of the Countryside Alliance in Wales said: “Wales has a vast network of footpaths and bridleways and large areas of National Park which are available to walkers, riders and mountain bikers. It is already difficult for farmers and landowners to manage their activities to keeppotentially dangerous livestock away from these paths. A free-for-all would create chaos in the countryside.”
Ben Underwood, Director of the Country Land and Business Association in Wales said: “We have put forward a range of proposals to improve access legislation to remove some of the bureaucratic red tape and to reach agreements more rapidly at a local level so that local people and visitors alike can explore the Welsh countryside safely, but without damaging the interests of thousands of rural businesses who make their living from the land, and are major employers. We would strongly resist any blanket proposals that did not take into account local diversity.
Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust & Fish Legal said: “On several rivers, such as the Wye, Usk, Dee, Conwy and Teifi, agreements have been drawn up to allow canoes and other boats access at certain times of the year to avoid conflict with anglers and/or spawning fish. These agreements have worked well in many places, but in others they have not progressed because Canoe Wales has resisted agreements which do not allow unfettered access for everyone at all times. The canoeing governing bodies have also created confusion in Wales and the rest of the UK by suggesting that there might be some uncertainty about the law regarding navigation, which there is not.”
Tony Rees, Chairman of Angling Cymru said: “Officials have shown an interest in replicating the right to roam arrangements in Scotland, but this is not a good comparison. There have been significant problems in areas close to major urban centres in Scotland and angling businesses on rivers such as the Tay have lost a huge amount of visiting anglers because of an influx of commercial rafting companies that make fishing impossible. Wales is in easy access of Liverpool, Manchester, the West Midlands conurbation and Bristol; unregulated access to rivers could impact very significantly on tens of thousands of people in Wales who are members of local angling clubs. Angling Cymru has always promoted voluntary access agreements as the preferred way forward and its members are committed to this end.”
George Barron, Chairman of the Welsh Salmon and Trout Angling Association said: “I feel that the new legislation being proposed by John Griffiths AM is basically the ‘Nationalisation’ of all Welsh waters and land. If unrestricted blanket access goes ahead, all farmers, landowners and most certainly angling clubs, may no longer have control or be able to manage effectively the assets presently under their control. Any new access legislation must be agreed locally by all the User Groups, they must be regulated and endorse similar codes of conduct as expected of the landowners and angling clubs. Given that enforcement by the NRW will be a major concern, particularly on the waterways, all User Groups should also share the cost of improved bailiffing and enforcement on a pro rata basis.”
· Please direct all e-mails via the link on the SACC website
· The Welsh version of the website will be available in the next ten days
· This is a copy of the press release sent to all media
Fish Legal takes its battle against sewage pollution to the High Court after Natural Resources Wales (NRW) let Dwr Cymru / Welsh Water (DCWW) “off-the-hook” for damage caused to Llyn Padarn; a precious glacial lake in North Wales, containing a unique sub-species of arctic char found nowhere else in the world.
In February 2012, Fish Legal formally notified NRW of damage to the lake under the Environmental Damage Regulations, triggering a 17 month investigation. The eventual report released in June this year did identify DCWW as responsible for causing environmental damage, but crucially, the regulator failed to require measures to stop the threat of future damage, from the regular discharge of untreated sewage into the lake.
Fish Legal believes the decisions taken by the newly-formed environmental regulator “Natural Resources Wales” to be legally flawed, and in an effort to save the fishery has applied to court for judicial review. NRW must now explain its decisions to a judge.
Acting on behalf of its member club the Seiont, Gwyrfai and Llyfni Angling Society, Fish Legal has campaigned for many years against damage caused by sewage to Llyn Padarn and its rare fish.
The once pure waters of this Site of Special Scientific Interest (or SSSI) have been contaminated for decades by sewage discharges from DCWW facilities, leading to a toxic algal bloom in 2009. A protected species of fish (an ice-age relic sub-species of arctic char) found only at this lake continues its decline towards extinction.
William Rundle, Head Solicitor at Fish Legal, said: “In our ongoing fight to save the char, we have used new laws implemented in 2009 to force regulatory action. Unfortunately, but perhaps unsurprisingly given the history of this case, the resulting investigation report has proved a major disappointment. A clear opportunity to safeguard the lake and protect the future of this unique fish has almost been lost. We believe the decisions taken are fundamentally wrong and so we have sought judicial review. We want a judge to quash these decisions and direct the regulator to reconsider its position lawfully.”
He further said:
“Environmental regulators must end the practice of dumping untreated sewage into lakes, rivers and coastal areas, and this could be a significant step towards achieving that vision at this important conservation site. This case will also help clarify how these regulations should be used to protect the environment elsewhere in the UK.”
Huw Hughes, experienced angler and Club Secretary, said:“Due to continuing sewage pollution of Lake Padarn, fishing in both lake and river Seiont continues to decline. Natural Resources Wales estimate that relatively few adult charr remain, an insufficient number to ensure a healthy breeding population. However, if strict regulatory action is adopted immediately there is still hope that this tragic situation can be reversed”
Putting Poachers in their place – Launch of PROJECT TRESPASS
Project Trespass – a new initiative to provide a coordinated response to poaching will be launched on (1st October 2013) by the England and Wales Poaching Priority Delivery Group, which includes the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) in its membership.
Tackling poaching is one of the UK’s wildlife crime priorities. It blights the countryside and affects farmers, landowners and others living and working there. Poaching increases across England and Wales during late autumn following the harvest and as the hours of darkness increase.
44% of all wildlife crime reports from across the UK provided to the NWCU relate to ‘poaching intelligence’ including the poaching of deer, fish and game and hare coursing.
Nevin Hunter head of the NWCU said: “Poaching is a criminal activity – all poachers are trespassers and analysis by the NWCU over the past two years shows that given an opportunity poachers have diversified into thefts, burglaries, assaults and other rural crimes. Many police forces are developing rural crime strategies where the tackling of all wildlife crime and particularly poaching is a priority. Project Trespass will help in the effort to coordinate intelligence and responses to reports of crime.”
PROJECT TRESPASS aims to coordinate action across England and Wales through -
Prevention – offering best advice to farmers, landowners, gamekeepers, shooting and land management organisations regarding measures to put in place to prevent poaching and disruption mechanisms.
Intelligence – to allow the police to target offenders.
Enforcement – with good intelligence the police can target poachers through the various rural and poaching based operations run throughout England and Wales.
Reassurance – by working together and by publicising resulting actions such as activity, arrests, seizures and convictions.
Dilip Sarkar, Fisheries Enforcement Manager for the Angling Trust said: “Anglers reporting incidents to the police should refer to both Project TRESPASS and our Elementary Guide to Angling Law & Fisheries Enforcement which is available to all officers on the Police Online Knowledge Area. In the event of Angling Trust members not receiving an appropriate level of service from the police they should contact me with details; I will then notify Detective Inspector Nevin Hunter at the NWCU who can take up the matter with the force concerned.
This is all part of our strategy to educate police officers that poaching and fish theft are criminal offences and that offenders are often involved in wider patterns of offending – including firearms and drugs.”
The post below must have seemed a bit dramatic to say the least: well it was supposed to attract your attention because we face a serious “issue” with the Welsh Government, who are, we believe, intent upon legislation which will potentially open up the whole of the Welsh countryside to unrestricted “freedom to roam”, including all waters: rivers and lakes. This will of course exclude anglers who will be restricted as they are currently.
We have now added a new forum to the web site, so old users will have to register again. The forum requires users to prove that they are human by asking you to copy details from the screen to a registration box. This should prevent access by hackers. You will recall we were getting thousands of applications for membership daily which made managing the forum impossible.
We are opening the forum as the centre for discussion between all interested parties, but will not permit inappropriate posting, so please refrain from personal insults, bad language or the like. This is a free country where freedom of speech is quite acceptable. Freedom to abuse or insult is not.
We are pleased to announce that we are now back in action, however, the new forum is not quite ready, so we are delaying a really important campaign which is about to start. Our fishing is at risk! Seriously we believe the Welsh Government is determined to bring in legislation which will allow free access to all Welsh water: rivers and lakes. The details of our reactions and our future intentions will be announced here and soon. SO PLEASE WATCH THIS SPACE. This really a very serious matter with real implications for our fishing.
Here at the campaign team, we are happy to announce, the continuation of the Season Extension Trials for the Rivers Clwyd and Seiont for 2013.
Anglers may ONLY apply for the season extension by registering on this website or by supplying their name, address and license number via the contact point for each river (as described on the registration page) to register on their behalf and by the appropriate closing date.
I don’t know about you, but I am becoming increasingly concerned about the plethora of telephone contacts we need to keep track of to enable us to report incidents effecting either the poaching on our rivers or pollution poisoning them. Well, here is yet another: Sewage pollution! Is the responsibility of Dwr Cymru,Welsh Water, and they are keen to set up a self reporting system to earn themselves ‘brownie points’ by reporting all their spillages or polluting incidents direct to Natural Resource Wales. If you report sewage pollution to them they have a set of performance targets to meet, which means they will send somebody out to investigate: and quickly. We are hoping to be able to provide a direct link on the site soon, so watch this spot. The number, as above, is 0800 085 3968
Below is a copy of the itinerary for the North Wales Local Fisheries Advisory Group Conference held this year at Trawsfynidd visitors Centre. As you can see, at the request of the LFAG, the whole thing was based around training and how to get youngsters involved in angling for the morning session whilst the afternoon was devoted to poaching, enforcement and environmental crime. There was also a rather nice buffet lunch for all that attended, which unhappily was probably about half those that attended last year. I have no idea why, I thought the event was well publicised well worth effort of getting there.You missed a good day.
The speakers all acquitted themselves well, the police were represented by Constable Eryl Lloyd and Sgt Rob Taylor, Eryl having been seconded to the EAW (as was) for several years and Sergeant Rob Taylor being the Environmental Crime supervising officer for those under his charge based in North and Central Wales. We were all pleased to hear him announce that two additional police officers have been added to the Bangor team as part of the Enforcement Team. Whilst I have the greatest of respect for our Police Force, without them we would really be in a sorry mess, I am concerned that poaching and other illegal fisheries activity may be about to be classified as Environmental Crime, which it surely is, and be classified and pursued in the same way, at the expense of losing the Bailiffs team or there being swallowed by the general Environmental Crime Unit. If it happens we have nobody to blame but ourselves.
The campaign in partnership with the EAW (now Natural Resources Wales) has been hosting a REPORT AN INCIDENT tab for some years now it allows anglers to confirm having dialled the 0800 80 70 60 number to record what they reported. It also allows angler to report any illegal fisheries activity when they:
See suspicious evidence such as fish heads or guts near or on the riverbank
See post fixed in the bank side to hold nets.
See nets in the river. PLEASE do not remove them, even if they have live fish in. Leave them and report them.
Hear about poaching having taken place.
Hear of poaching being planned.
Anything to give the bailiff and fisheries team a clue as to what is going on.
The Welsh Assembly Government has given us the opportunity to establish objectively, in partnership with Natural Resources Wales, exactly what the level of poaching and illegal fisheries is. If you were to ask me, on the evidence you have provided, how much poaching is going on I would have to say very little. I suspect that is not the case, but suspicion is no good: we need documentary evidence, records of reports and the like. They have not been forthcoming.
The opportunity must not be lost, we have this year to provide the evidence Over to you!!
Cynhadledd Pysgodfeydd Gogledd Cymru
Cyrraedd a phaned / Arrive and Coffee
Welcome & introduction
Angling Cymru – Training members to be coaches and what AC can offer clubs
Ken Parry and Nick Massey
Fishing Wales – How to promote your fishery to all
Triploids – Exploring and dispelling the myths
Discussions with stands
Cinio / lunch
Enforcement – How we work together
The Campaign for the Protection of Welsh Fisheries -
We have to be consist in reporting illegal fisheries activities and why
Enforcement – Rural crime and how fishery owners can help
Eryl Lloyd and Sgt Rob Taylor
Enforcement – Real life cases and equipment demonstration
Next: please confirm the details of the call via this web site. (see directly below)
Report An Incident
Here at our anonymous online reporting facility. It links directly to the Environment Agency's internal reporting systems.:
Please tell us about absolutely anything you may have seen, it's ALL important to us.
Click the buttons below to view the various river water levels information:
Welsh River Levels:
English River Levels:
If you have any concerns, questions or require any information, please do not hesitate to contact us. Any communications will be dealt with asap and will be completely confidential.