Last update: 27th May 2016

What a real expert has to say about poaching in Wales

This is what the well known and equally well respected Emyr Roberts (Retired Environment Agency Officer) has to say about poaching in Wales and the way it is currently being addressed. If he isn’t an expert, then nobody is. Please take the time to read it and grateful thanks to Trout and Salmon Magazine for allowing us to publish this item from their April 2016 issue.


Click on:   Mike Handyside interview

Angling Trust Initiatives. Why none in Wales?


Friday, May 6th, 2016

Angling Trust & Fish Legal

Here’s the latest news from the Angling Trust & Fish Legal and Have you considered becoming a member of Angling Trust? Members receive some great special offers and adult membership costs just £25 per year. To find out more click HERE

Campaign to crackdown on illegal sea fishing

The Angling Trust has launched a new campaign to tackle the combined threats to sea fish and fishing of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

IUU fishing contributes to overfishing, undermines attempts to manage publicly-owned fish stocks sustainably, threatens the wider marine environment and damages livelihoods and businesses reliant on well-managed fish stocks.

> Read more about the campaign

Tributes to Angling Trust Ambassador Jan Porter

All at the Angling Trust was sad to hear that Jan Porter, one of angling’s most respected personalities, had passed away at the age of 60.

Jan, an ambassador not only for the Angling Trust but for the sport itself, always had a smile on his face and was an inspiration for thousands of anglers who enjoyed his TV and written work over four decades.

> Read more

Grant-writing workshops – book your place!

The Angling Trust has announced it will hold a further 13 grant-writing skills workshops across the country between now and February, 2017.

The free workshops are supported by the Environment Agency and are aimed at training angling clubs and fisheries on how to increase their chance of successfully bidding for funding to improve their facilities.

> Read more

‘Fish legally’ poster for bass anglers

The Angling Trust is calling on clubs, tackle shops and anglers to help spread the message about fishing legally for bass by displaying one of our ‘2016 Sea Bass Rules for Anglers’ posters.

For more information on bass fishing regulations in 2016 and to download a poster, click here

Download Riverfly Show For Fishermen

Fascinating riverfly life has been captured in a beautifully presented document by Dr Ueli Zellweger of the Anglers’ Riverfly Monitoring Initiative (ARMI).

The document also gives details on how to become a volunteer riverfly monitor to help protect rivers and streams.

> Read more

Have you got yours yet?

If you are due to get a rod licence go to our and click on “Buy A Rod Licence”. While you’re there check out river and weather conditions and “bookmark” your local fishing events, clubs, venues and tackle shops so you can find them quickly next time.

Free sessions to help protect waters

The Angling Trust is hosting six Fisheries Enforcement Workshops in the coming weeks across the whole of England.

With sessions from our Fisheries Enforcement Support Service, Environment Agency, Institute of Fisheries Management and the UK National Wildlife Crime Unit, these are fantastic opportunities for anyone wishing to learn more about how best to police and protect their waters. For more information, contact or check our Regions Facebook pages. Find yours here

Don’t forget to follow Facebook in your Region

We’ve launched new Facebook pages for the Angling Trust’s Regions providing information relevant to where you live to keep you updated on local meetings and forums, enforcement work, pollution issues, participation events and other news.

Click here to find a link to your Region’s page on the Angling Trust Facebook site – please follow any that are relevant to where you live or go fishing.

Help fix electronic waste mountain

The Angling Trust is supporting Restart in their campaign to build a DIY generation to fight the UK’s electronics waste mountain. Funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, the social enterprise has produced a 2-minute video highlighting the extent of the problem facing Britain and what we can do to help resolve it.

> Watch the video

> Find out more about Restart

Fish Legal News

You can read more Fish Legal news HERE

Shimna settlement may signal end of ‘serial’ pollutions

Fish Legal has obtained a £4,000 settlement for the Shimna Angling Club following a series of pollution events – which have now hopefully come to an end – on one of Northern Ireland’s most significant sea trout fisheries, the River Shimna.

The club intends to use the settlement money for salmon and sea trout habitat improvements following recommendations by the Wild Trout Trust.

> Read more

‘Trusting’ you are in good health…

Many fishing clubs are unincorporated associations, rather than limited companies, and have their fishing rights or land held by trustees on the club’s behalf. In the vast majority of cases these trustees have very little to do with either the property or the club on a regular basis.

As a spring resolution, Fish Legal are suggesting that clubs get in touch with their trustees, tell them that you are grateful for their services and more importantly check that they are in good health and happy to carry on with their role. This simple move can help prevent real difficulties, such as a trustee being too infirm to act or being untraceable for any number of reasons. A brand new factsheet on trusts and trustees is available for Fish Legal members.

Email for your copy.

The Sun is Out! Get Fishing with the Angling Trust
We’ve just listed over 100 angling events where you, friends and family can find fishing days throughout England. Our Get Into Angling, Let’s Go Family Fishing, Get Back Into Angling and Family Fishing events have something for everyone – whether you are a regular angler who wants to introduce a friend or family member, or even if you just know someone who hasn’t been for a couple of years and needs a hand getting to grips with the latest kit and methods. Check out the events on or theAngling Trust Regions Facebook page near where you live or go fishing.

Get Back Into Angling

If you know someone who wants to start angling again, but has been too busy with work, family or any other reason, here’s the ideal opportunity to help them get back into angling!

Please forward them this email.

Let’s Go Family Fishing

Come and get the whole family to try something new at our quality assured angling sessions. These events are a great way to show kids new skills in the outdoors – best of all it won’t cost you a penny! For families of all ages and experience levels – complete newcomers really welcome. Parents and grandparents – just bring the kids along and have a go yourself!

Find your nearest Let’s Go Family Fishing dates HERE

Get Into Angling

We’re providing free coaching to 11-25 year-olds who don’t know where, how or who to go fishing with and need tackle to get into angling. Participants can work towards a personal angling challenge and then be supported to keep going fishing. Look out for these events as they are added toFacebook in the next weeks…

Family Fishing

Do you fancy a day out with the family with lots of different fun activities? Want to introduce a member of your family or a friend to fishing? Are you a beginner, an existing angler or returner who would like to be introduced to fishing, learn a new tactic or brush up on forgotten skills?

If the answer is ‘Yes’ then why not come along to one of ourFamily Fishing Fun Days!

‘Family Fishing’ is a partnership between the charity, ‘Get Hooked on Fishing’and The Angling Trust.

National Fishing Month – 22nd July to 29th August 2016

National Fishing Month aims to encourage every family member to have a go at fishing. It doesn’t matter what age you are, or what previous experience you have. Nor does it matter which cultural or social background you may be from. Fishing is for everyone! Please take this opportunity to encourage someone you know to have a go at this wonderful sport. Find National Fishing Month Events

Competition News
Read all the latest Angling Trust Competition news HERE

Unchanged squad to fish for Spanish gold

An unchanged England squad has been named for this year’s FIPSed Ladies’ World Championships in Merida, Spain from 27-29th August.

The venue is the Guadiana River which was used in 2012 for the Euro Championships when England’s men finished in silver medal position.

> Read more

Stillwater title is off to Barnsley

Drennan Barnsley Blacks emerged as winners of the Angling Trust’s top Stillwater event at Garbolino Lindholme Lakes.

The wildly fluctuating weather in the days leading up to the Championship caused problems for the 28 teams competing, although the top ten anglers still managed to bag weights over 25 kilos.

> Read more

Great Offers for New Angling Trust Members

Angling Trust members get lots of great special offers and discounts. Check out all our membership benefits on the Angling Trust website. To access these offers you will need a membership number soplease join and support our campaigns for fish and fishing.

Super discounts on your new-look Angling Times

Here’s a great offer for readers of the Angling Times! It recently relaunched as an easy-to-read glossy magazine with fresh new content, bigger sections, trusted experts, greater depth to stories and tackle reviews.

Readers can claim a 20% discount on a subscription or try out the new Angling Times for just £4 for 4 issues!

But if you’re an Angling Trust member you can claim an EXTRA 15% OFF the discounted price. Find out more HERE

Special offer: 25% off Game Fair tickets at Ragley Hall

A special discounted rate of £15 per adult day-ticket is available to Angling Trust members visiting The Game Fair at Ragley Hall this summer. To access this discount, simply clickHERE and enter your Angling Trust membership number (printed on your membership card).

You’ll benefit from The Game Fair’s plans to make the event as inclusive as possible for all visitors to Ragley Hall plus members of the Angling Trust will have access to privileged rates and services as well as discounts on packages including have-a-go sessions.

> All the latest news from The Game Fair

Save £30 on VIP tickets for UK Game Fair, Stoneleigh

Angling Trust members can get an extra special deal on VIP Tickets to the UK Game Fair at Stoneleigh, Warwickshire on 22-24 July. Your VIP ticket  includes fast track car parking and entry, teas and coffees, private catering, lunch with glass of wine or soft drink, complimentary glass of bubbly, free cloakroom plus lots more.

The package is normally worth £75 but Angling Trust members pay just £45 per ticket – a saving of 40%!

> Claim your VIP ticket discount now!

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Federation of Welsh Game Anglers: update

May I thank all of you that were kind enough to respond to my request for support for the proposed Federation. My thanks also to those we met and who contributed meaningfully to our discussions and proposals. The intention was to set up a body to represent Welsh game anglers to try to combat the current apparent contempt with which we considered by so may. To be truly representative, we had to establish a consensus, a basis upon which to progress. Unfortunately, this proved impossible and so:

It with more than a little regret that we have to inform you, that, following considerable consultation, we intend to cease our efforts to form the Federation of Welsh Game Anglers and give all the support we can to the Angling Trust and its efforts to expand its sphere of influence to Wales.

We were invited to set up the Welsh Federation of Game Anglers by Angling Cymru. We started the process with enthusiasm and the best of intentions, however it quickly became clear that whilst there is widespread support for the formation of an organisation to represent Welsh game anglers, there is also widespread confusion about just who or which organisation(s) does so at present. So for clarity, the overarching responsibility for Welsh anglers in terms of the Welsh Government perception currently rests with Angling Cymru, albeit that many thought the Welsh Salmon and Trout Angling Association were fulfilling that role.

Under the Angling Cymru umbrella, The Federation of Welsh Coarse Anglers and The Federation of Welsh Sea Anglers look after the interests of their respective branches of angling. Following the withdrawal of WSTAA from their association with Angling Cymru there is currently no representation within Angling Cymru for Welsh game anglers. This goes some way to explain the gross lack of interest in Welsh game angling at any level likely to be in a position to effectively fight for our cause.

We were also disappointed that, at the time of being asked to set up the Federation of Welsh Game Anglers, it was not disclosed to us that the Angling Trust had recently submitted a proposal to Angling Cymru presenting a number of options for models of organisations which would involve greater collaboration and rationalisation of angling representation and would all result in the Angling Trust representing all Welsh anglers at government level. We were provided with confirmation of the approach from Angling Trust when we directly asked Angling Cymru for details but also advised that it had been dismissed out of hand.

Those of you that have supported the Campaign for the Protection of Welsh Fisheries over the years will have noticed that much of the “good news” on the website has related to the efforts of the Angling Trust in England, where they seem to be making significant progress, whilst anglers in Wales seem to be being treated with contempt. The Angling Trust has made great efforts in England over the last seven years and we need that level of commitment to be made here in Wales. Three of our major river systems, the Rivers Wye, Severn and Dee at least in part flow through both countries and are broadly overseen by the Environment Agency with input from the NRW in Wales although DEFRA bears the legal responsibility for English and Welsh rivers.

The one commonality shared by all parties with whom we have consulted, is that there is a desperate need for Welsh game anglers to be represented at the highest level. The Angling Trust, with its sister organisation Fish Legal, has shown what can be done for angling in general and for game angling in particular with organisation, determination and a sense of purpose, currently shown by the English Government’s commitment to the Trust’s “Save our Salmon” campaign.

There is an old maxim “divide to rule” and currently Welsh game anglers are divided and consequently those that “rule over us” do so with impunity. This has to stop.

Support the Angling Trust and help us to fight for a broadening of their sphere of influence to include at least Welsh game angling if not all Welsh angling!






Click the tab to the right to read more: we have to be united.    Email:


Angling on the telly. Another English initiative.

England leading the way: AGAIN

This is beginning to feel like the Angling Trust website.

I see the visit Wales adverts are making a big issue of canoeing in Wales: still no mention of the great fishing. Has somebody in the Welsh Government got it in for angling in Wales?



Angling Trust Media ReleaseTuesday, March 22nd, 2016 Angling Trust Logo
Angling is back on telly as Trust’s Rob Hughes announces mega TV deal with BT SportWell known angler and presenter Rob Hughes has been signed up by BT Sport in a mega deal that will see angling taken into the homes of millions of viewers.The broadcasting giants have thrown their support behind a host of new angling shows which will include both competition highlights and a ‘Top Gear-style’ fun and entertaining fishing show.Hughes, Angling Promotion Officer with the Angling Trust, said: “I’m over the moon to be working with  BT Sport and all the brilliant energy and creativity that comes with it. Our sport is magnificent and we are one of the leaders on the international competition scene.”As anglers we need to see more of the big events televised and the wider public needs to know just how good England are as an angling nation.”Hughes, who has already revolutionised angling event coverage and himself has netted two world titles in carp fishing, added: “Part of my role with the Angling Trust and Sport England is to promote participation within our sport and I aim to do exactly that.

“Taking angling to a wider audience is exactly what we need and showing the public how good we are, and also the fantastic benefits of angling, are vitally important to the future of our sport.”

The agreement will see 27 new programmes being made for BT Sport made up of 15 event highlights shows to be broadcast shortly after the event, and a magazine-style series of 12 programmes covering all disciplines of the sport, and featuring star guests, fun challenges and a look into some of the conservation and environmental benefits of angling.

Events to be included are UK Champs, British Carp Champs, Match This, Parkdean Masters, World Predator Classic, World Carp Classic, World Feeders, Floats, Carp and Lure Championships plus two other events made especially for TV.

The first of the competition highlights shows will be broadcast in May with the magazine show airing in late autumn.


Further information:

Rob Hughes:   07495 433630

Angling Trust:

The Angling Trust is the national representative and governing body for angling in England. It is united in a collaborative relationship with Fish Legal, a separate membership association using the law to protect fish stocks and the rights of its members throughout the UK.

Find out all about the Angling Trust and its work or call us on 01568 620447

Three MPs lend their political support to help save three fish species


Why are the English so proactive in supporting such initiatives?

Why is the Welsh Assembly apparently failing to show even the slightest interest?

Angling Trust Media Release

3 March 2016. Immediate Release

Angling Trust Logo

Charles Walker MP, Salmon Species Champion, with David Mitchell, Marine Campaigns Manager of the Angling Trust

Salmon, eels and bass get new champions in Parliament

Three MPs lend their political support to help save three fish species

Charles Walker MP (Broxbourne, Atlantic salmon), Jon Cruddas MP (Dagenham and Rainham, European eel) and Scott Mann MP (North Cornwall, sea bass) have become three of the first MP ‘Species Champions’ in England after lending their political support to protection and restoration of threatened stocks of fish.

Iconic and threatened English species are being ‘adopted’ by MPs across England, who are acting as ‘Species Champions’ to help improve the future of these species.  From the smooth snake to the nightingale, 20 English species currently facing significant threats have been identified and put up for adoption.

The Angling Trust proposed these three fish species as a contribution to the initiative because they are among the most threatened of all fish.

The initiative was launched this month by a coalition of organisations including RSPB, Buglife and the Angling Trust.  This follows a successful model in Scotland, and a trial in the South West of England in 2014.

Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar): Salmon were once abundant and widespread in English rivers but in 2014, of England’s 42 principal salmon rivers 10 were assessed as being ‘at risk’ of not achieving their conservation limits in at least four out of five years, 28 ‘probably at risk’ and 10 ‘at risk’.  None was deemed to be ‘not at risk’.

European eel (Anguilla anguilla): Recent official advice by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) to the EU is that whilst there has been a slight increase in glass eel recruitment, the status of stocks remains critical.  ICES advice is for all human-caused mortality (e.g. recreational and commercial fishing, hydropower, and pollution) to be reduced to as close to zero as possible until there is clear evidence of a continued increase in both recruitment and the adult stock.

Sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax): over-fishing, increasing fishing effort, targeting of spawning and juvenile aggregations and successive years of recruitment failure have led to the stock reaching its lowest-ever recorded level.  In December 2015 the EU Council of Ministers agreed a package of conservation measures for 2016 which is estimated to result in reported landings of bass in 2016 of 1,660tonnes – over three times the amount advised by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES).

Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal said:

“We are very grateful to our MPs for agreeing to champion the cause of these three iconic species in Parliament.  The Angling Trust has provided them all with detailed briefings about their species and what they can do to encourage decisions in parliament to help restore healthy populations.  We hope that this initiative will provide a brighter future for salmon, eels and bass, by increasing understanding in the political community of the challenges these fish face.”


Contact: or 07973 468198.

Download the Atlantic salmon species sheet

Download the European eel species sheet

Download the European bass species sheet

Voluntary Bailiff Service to tackle illegal fishing now live in the Midlands

Another English initiative. Come on NRW surely you can do something similar? Are Welsh anglers second class anglers or have NRW a more pro active initiative to bring forward?

Angling Trust Media Release

Friday, 26th February, 2016

Angling Trust Logo
Voluntary Bailiff Service to tackle illegal fishing now live in the Midlands

The Angling Trust and Environment Agency partnership has now made possible the keenly anticipated national roll-out of the Voluntary Bailiff Service (VBS), following a pilot project in the South East.

The Midlands was the third VBS region to go ‘live’ on Saturday, 20th February. This region includes Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire, with 33 successful applicants attending the inaugural mandatory induction day held near Bromsgrove, Worcestershire.

The event was jointly hosted by Angling Trust Midlands Regional Enforcement Manager Kevin Pearson, a retired West Midlands Police inspector, and Environment Agency VBS Project Manager Adrian Brightley.

Kevin Pearson said: “This was a fantastic day for angling in the Midlands with 33 volunteers joining Phase 1 Voluntary Bailiff Service and offering their support to the Environment Agency and the Police in tackling poaching and all angling-related crime. I am very optimistic about the future and already have more volunteers ready to join at the next induction later in the year.”

The event was attended and supported by the Environment Agency together with Chief Inspector Martin Sims, Head of the UK National Wildlife Crime Unit, and PC Paul Lambon from West Mercia Constabulary.

PC Lambon, a key-player in Operation Leviathan, a high profile multi-agency, multi-force, operation focussing on illegal fishing and fish theft, said: “From a policing perspective I am extremely pleased the Voluntary Bailiff Service is now up and running in our area. It’s early days and we shouldn’t expect to see huge changes overnight, but by working together we will make a difference: we are stronger together.”

Environment Agency Fisheries Enforcement Officer Chris Ponsford contributed to training at the induction and said: “The Environment Agency welcomes the opportunity to work with enthusiastic volunteers to help us in our continuing crackdown on illegal fishing and those that cheat angling by not buying a licence.

“We take illegal fishing very seriously. Anyone fishing illegally can expect to be prosecuted and face a substantial fine. The Volunteer Bailiff Service is an additional resource we can call on in the fight against evasion and illegal fishing.”

Angling Trust National Enforcement Manager Dilip Sarkar MBE said: “Protecting fish and fisheries is surely important to all anglers and it is great to see freshwater rod licence income being constructively spent in this way.

“Some find it hard to understand why Phase 1 Volunteer Bailiffs have no power – this is because Phase 1 volunteers fulfil a crucial role: reporting information and evidence for the police and Environment Agency to act upon. This is because the entire system is ‘intelligence-led’ – meaning that such reports, and those from anglers and the wider public, are absolutely essential.

“Our volunteers are trained to make reports to a high evidential standard, and help raise awareness. Policing methods have changed, so to properly support the Environment Agency in particular, we have to respond to this.”

Sarah Chare, Deputy Director for Fisheries, Biodiversity and Geomorphology at the Environment Agency said; “I really welcome our partnership with the Angling Trust volunteers, which is funded entirely by anglers’ rod licence fees, and the support given by the police. This will make a huge contribution to our efforts to reduce illegal fishing and rod licence evasion.”

By 12th March, similar inductions will have been held in all six regions across England – meaning that Operation Clamp Down 4, the annual multi-agency initiative focussing on illegal fishing during the coarse close season, will be a national operation for the first time.

England looking after its fisheries: what is Wales doing? 2

Angling Trust Media ReleaseWednesday, 17th February, 2016 Angling Trust Logo
North West Voluntary Bailiff Service Launch and InductionThe Angling Trust and Environment Agency partnership has now made possible the long-awaited national roll-out of the Voluntary Bailiff Service (VBS), which has been a pilot project for four years in the South East.The North West was the first of five new VBS regions to go ‘live’ on Saturday, 13 February, 2016. This region includes Cheshire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cumbria, with 22 successful applicants attending the inaugural mandatory induction day held in Manchester.

The event was jointly hosted by Angling Trust NW Regional Enforcement Manager Dave Lees, a retired Greater Manchester Police officer, and Environment Agency VBS Project Manager Adrian Brightley.

Dave Lees said: “This was a very significant day, being the birth of the VBS for North West England. All candidates have been closely vetted. The quality, enthusiasm and knowledge of our volunteers, combined with professional training, will greatly support and assist the Environment Agency and police in protecting fish and fisheries in this region. This is just the start: recruitment is a constant process, with another induction being held next autumn.”

The event was attended and supported by the Environment Agency together with Chief Inspector Martin Sims, Head of the UK National Wildlife Crime Unit, Wildlife Crime Officers from Lancashire Constabulary, and Lorraine Ellwood, the force’s Rural & Wildlife Crime Coordinator, who said: “This was a great opportunity to meet Angling Trust volunteer bailiffs and EA partners, and understand their role. Networking is key and training essential – this was an opportunity for both!  This has opened up new lines of discussion between the police, EA and the Angling Trust which will lead to improved partnership working.”

Environment Agency Fisheries Enforcement Officer Ian Wood contributed to training at the induction and said: “On meeting the Angling Trust’s new volunteer bailiffs for the first time, I was extremely impressed by their enthusiasm. It is heart-warming to meet to such a like-minded group of true anglers – who obviously care passionately enough about fishing and the environment to step forward and volunteer. Each volunteer was genuinely eager to make their own real contribution to better targeted enforcement, conserving wildlife and protecting fish stocks.”

Angling Trust National Enforcement Manager Dilip Sarkar MBE said: “Protecting fish and fisheries is surely important to all anglers and it is great to see freshwater rod licence income being constructively spent in this way. Some find it hard to understand why at Phase 1 VBS has no power, however – but this is because Phase 1 volunteers fulfil a crucial role: reporting information and evidence for the police and Environment Agency to act upon. This is because the entire system is ‘intelligence-led’ – meaning that such reports, and those from anglers and the wider public, are absolutely essential. Our volunteers are trained to make reports to a high evidential standard and help raise awareness. Policing methods have changed, so to properly support the Environment Agency in particular, we have to respond to this.”

By 12 March 2016, similar inductions will have been held in all six regions across England – meaning that Operation Clamp Down 4, the annual multi-agency initiative focussing on illegal fishing during the coarse close season, will be a national operation for the first time.

The English protecting their fisheries. What about ours NRW?

Angling Trust Media Release

Tuesday, 16th November, 2016

Angling Trust Logo
Joint effort to tackle fisheries-related crime in North East

The Angling Trust says it is looking forward to a further crackdown on fisheries-related crime, which will help to protect fish across North East England.

Representatives of four police forces – NorthumbriaDurham,Cleveland and North Yorkshire – and senior fisheries officers from the Environment AgencyNorthumbrian Water, the Tyne Rivers Trust, the Wear Rivers Trust and the Angling Trust have agreed to work together to help tackle the problem.

It follows a meeting in Newcastle upon Tyne co-ordinated by Giles Evans, Angling Trust’s Regional Enforcement Manager for the North East, highlighting the link between fisheries-related crimes and other forms of crime, such as wildlife, rural, business, organised and hate.

Giles explained how multi-agency partnership work involving the Fisheries Enforcement Support Service and the Voluntary Bailiff Service was making a difference in other parts of the country. These initiatives form part of a contract from the Environment Agency won by the Angling Trust and funded by the income from angling rod licences.

The new partnership in the North East will extend Operation Traverse – a multi-agency agreement already operating in East Anglia and East Midlands to clamp down on illegal fishing, poaching and other fisheries-related crime – and will formally be rolled out before April 1st.

Dilip Sarkar MBE, Angling Trust’s National Enforcement Manager, said: “This is excellent work to build on the existing partnership approach in the North East  that is also happening elsewhere in England.

“This is all about a shared responsibility and working together with a bigger picture very much in mind. Building on the success of the Environment Agency local enforcement team and partners, this is an exciting development, further protecting fish and fisheries in North East England, contributing to both the Rural Crime Strategy and the UK National Wildlife Crime Unit’s ‘Project Poacher’, aimed at raising awareness of the wider criminality connected with poaching in all its forms.

“The Angling Trust and the Environment Agency very much welcome the support of our partners and look forward to working together on Operation Traverse in particular.”

Chief Inspector Martin Sims, Head of the UK National Wildlife Crime Unit, added that “with an increasing amount of stakeholders working together on a more coordinated basis, there is a real chance that fishery crime, poaching, wildlife crime and other related criminal activity has more chance of being tackled effectively. I look forward to the on-going collaboration arising from this very positive energy.”

Giles Evans said: “I am really pleased that Operation Traverse will be rolled out in the North East. There was genuine desire among everyone involved to make this a success.”

Dave Edwardson, Environment Agency Enforcement Team Leader, added: “We have enjoyed considerable success working with police and others over the years to combat illegal fishing. This new initiative is very welcome, reinforcing and extending the partnership approach and securing ongoing protection for our freshwater fisheries.”

ENDS ———————————————————————

N R W Fisheries bulletin: February 2016

Please click on the link below to view a copy of the above bulletin. Highlighted are the mitigation works both current and planned for the Welsh Dee,  Afon Mynach, Afon Wygyr Afon Angell, Afon Mawddach and Afon Seiont, together with other news items of interest to anglers.

fisheries bulletin Feb 16        Takes a few seconds to upload

Coed y Brenin Fishing conference

NRW have kindly let me have copies of the presentation that took place at the above. They are well worth a look, particularly salmon survival at sea and the Celtic Sea Trout reports.

celtic sea trout             Takes a few seconds to upload

salmon at sea        Takes a few seconds to upload

Forest, fisheries and water workshop

A workshop was held to bring together representatives from the forestry, fisheries and water sectors to discuss topics relevant to these groups. To see teh presentations and other documents used as part of the various presentation. click on the highlighted link here.

Workshop 20th March 2013

The Gateway Centre, Shrewsbury

A workshop was held to bring together representatives from the forestry, fisheries and water sectors to discuss topics relevant to these groups.

The workshop had good attendance and was welcomed as a productive way to discuss the topics under consideration. A series of introductory presentations were followed by consideration of sustainable forest management, fisheries and water from each sector. Two specific topics were then introduced followed by question and answer sessions: managing forests in acid sensitive catchments and the use of cypermethrin in forestry.

For more information contact: Michelle Van-Velzen:

The legal position about canoe access


Angling Trust Members News

Monday 18 January 2016

Angling Trust Logo
Update to SACC supporters from Angling Trust & Fish Legal regarding the legal position about canoe access

Last year, Fish Legal, working closely with the Angling Trust, challenged the Canoe Governing Bodies (British Canoe Union/British Canoeing, Canoe England and Canoe Wales) to get them to change the information that they were publishing suggesting that the law regarding rights of access to rivers is unclear in England and Wales.  This included reference to the academic works of Rev Dr Douglas Caffyn.  We felt that this information was contributing to a widespread increase in unlawful canoeing.  We have spent many months of work and several thousands of pounds on this legal case and we are making slow but significant progress. This included commissioning an eminent QC to advise on the legal position and review the works of Rev Dr Caffyn.  The QC’s Advice is very clear.  The summary of the Advice is set out below and we aim to publish the full document (which runs to 19 pages) in the coming weeks after further discussion with the Canoeing Governing Bodies.
Thank you very much for your support of the Sustainable Access Campaign Cymru, which has made a contribution to the costs of commissioning this Advice.
Advice Summary
1. There is no general Public Right of Navigation (PRN) on English and Welsh non-tidal rivers for canoeists.
2. A PRN can only be established by long use of vessels on the relevant stretch of river, fulfilling all of the criteria below.
3. That use must have been regular and habitual, and must have made the river of substantial practical value as a channel of communication or transport.
4. The time for which that use must be established is “time immemorial.”
5. The law is entirely clear on the above issues.
6. The law is, however, not absolutely clear on how long is required to establish “time immemorial”, but it is likely that between 60 to 80 years of use needs to be established by those who assert a PRN.
7. Additionally, the use must also not have been under protest from the riparian owners, or by permission from them. On the contrary, use cannot be established unless it is shown that the owners have acquiesced with the passage of canoeists or other vessels throughout the period of use.
8. A PRN, if established, does not entitle paddlers to walk on the soil of the river bed or indeed go onto the river banks, again unless long usage of either has been established as against the owners.
9. In the absence of a PRN established by use, and assuming there is no agreed access, express dedication, or a statutory PRN, canoeists will be trespassing when they paddle in non-tidal waters.
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Atlantic Salmon Trust Annual Review

Please note that in teh paragraph headed Environment Agency Salmon Summit, there is reference to Scotland and England taking the salmon issue seriously. Why no mention or NRW or Wales?

Atlantic Salmon Trust Annual Review

New Leadership for AST

A new Chairman, Executive Director and refreshed Board of Directors were appointed at the December 2015 AGM at Fishmongers Hall following the retirement of current post-holders. The announcement of Robbie Douglas-Miller as Chairman, and Sarah Bayley Slater as Executive Director, has been made separately. There is more about the new appointments at the end of this message.

A Declining Species, but Grounds for Optimism?

2015 was the year when worries about salmon survival prompted measures to be taken to find ways of reducing marine mortality. The emphasis on migration mapping and research comes at a time when there are some grounds for optimism over things that can be done to increase numbers of returning adult salmon. Any optimism, however, should be seen in the context of the continuing decline of salmon and grilse, especially in their southern range. The fragility of southern European multi-sea-winter stocks, which includes all UK and Irish rivers, is of concern, as is poor survival of maturing one-sea-winter fish (grilse) and post smolts.

NASCO’s International Salmon Summit in 2011 concluded that climate change is the underlying driver of salmon decline. Ocean warming affects cold-water prey species, forcing salmon to find new feeding areas. In fresh water some rivers are now subject to extreme summer low-water and high temperature conditions, in which both adult and juvenile salmon struggle to survive. Some people feel that little can be done in these circumstances; but there is also a growing awareness that human exploitation of salmon, and manmade obstructions in fresh and saltwater environments, can be reduced to increase numbers of returning adult fish. AST’s involvement in leading, coordinating or supporting research into risks to survival in coastal waters and open seas are the basis of the Trust’s new strategy.

The Scottish Government Takes Action

The elimination of Scottish coastal netting is a huge step forward in protecting returning adult fish, as is the commitment of the angling community to catch and release. Both measures will guarantee that more wild Atlantic salmon spawn successfully. Mixed stocks netting in England, with Northeast drift nets and T&J coastal nets, needs to be addressed too. Now we must protect outgoing smolts as well as the incoming adults.

Salmon Farming: the Next Challenge

The single outstanding issue, which probably damages salmon and sea trout migrations far more than realised to date, is the impact of open-cage salmon farming on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. AST has been at the forefront of encouraging the industry to develop sustainable production by adopting new technologies and practices, including closed containment. The salmon farming issue will be addressed in a special session at the next international meeting of NASCO in June 2016. Action is long overdue.

What are the Risks to our Post-Smolts?

The fate of smolts in lower rivers, estuaries and coastal waters also needs to be better understood, and remedial actions taken. The same applies to accidental killing of salmon at sea by pelagic trawlers. AST is involved in these areas, with the following examples of work:

Acoustic Tracking — Salmon and Sea Trout

AST is encouraging post smolt tracking programmes by Salmon Fishery Boards and Trusts. Pilot work on the Dee will be carried out in close co-operation with Marine Scotland. The forthcoming AST & Dee Trust Seminar / Workshop in Aberdeen, in mid-February, should provide an ideal opportunity for those interested in co-operating in a more closely co-ordinated programme of work, to plan how to achieve this..

Innovative use of eDNA – Impacts of the Pelagic Fisheries on Salmon Post-Smolts

Work is progressing well in assessing the efficacy of a new Atlantic salmon eDNA probe, which is being tested as part of an AST funded research project in University College Dublin. The probe has been field tested on samples from the 2015 salmon fishery along the west coast of Ireland and on remnant salmon DNA material collected from the Burrishoole salmon index site. It is planned to use the probe to test water from holds, nets and storage tanks of pelagic boats fishing along the migration pathways of post-smolts in spring 2016.

Follow-up to the Sea Trout Symposium 2015 at Dundalk, Ireland

AST was central in organising this event as a follow-up to the ground-breaking conference in 2004. Following that event we recognised that sea trout were a neglected species. Publication of Sea Trout Facts was followed by a portfolio of research projects designed to build knowledge and improve management of these polymorphic fish. The focus on sea trout led AST’s work towards an emphasis on estuaries and the coastal zone which is also crucially important to salmon. The 2015 Dundalk Symposium encouraged us to refresh, fund and initiate a new sea trout research programme and provided useful guidance for future work on sea trout, which will remain an important priority for AST.

Environment Agency Salmon Summit

AST is closely involved with policies emerging from the November 2015 Summit. Both Ken Whelan, AST’s Research Director, and Ivor Llewelyn, AST Director for England and Wales, attended the event, as a result of which AST has been invited to lead on key outcomes. It is encouraging that in England, as well as Scotland, governments are now taking the plight of salmon seriously. The EA is committed to producing a five-point plan, and NGOs, including AST, will be fully involved in developing and implementing it. These levels of commitment throughout the UK will be severely tested in 2016 and beyond because, as well as political support, there will also be a requirement for significant resources.

AST’s Work Across the Atlantic Ocean

At the 2015 AGM of the Atlantic Salmon Federation in New York I made the following statement at the end of a presentation to ASF directors. “Salmon use all of the North Atlantic Ocean. To conserve them we must work ‘wherever the salmon swims’: together in the Big Picture, and in the smallest detail. The salmon knows no boundaries, nor should we”.

New Appointments

There are big changes taking place at the Atlantic Salmon Trust in the New Year with the appointment of a new Chairman, and a new Executive Director and Administrator following the retirements of Melfort Campbell, Tony Andrews and Marjorie Hunter.

At the December AGM, held as always in the sumptuous surroundings of Fishmongers Hall in London, AST’s Council of Members elected Robbie Douglas Miller as the new chairman of the board of directors.