Last update: 13TH OCTOBER 2016

There is a new tab  ANGLING TRUST added to the site. Please look there to see the Angling Trusts updates and initiatives. This site was beginning to look like an Angling Trust advert. Not that that is an issue , we need the level of action in Wales that the Angling Trust is providing in England. See Newsletter tab. Know your river tab updated.  ANGLING TRUST IN PARTNERSHIP WITH CUMBRIA POLICE: SEE ANGLING TRUST TAB.

Success! Angling Trust representing Welsh Game Anglers


Fish Legal Media ReleaseTuesday, 11th October 2016  Displaying  Fish Legal


Angling Trust and Fish Legal help to see off controversial hydro scheme

Plans to build a controversial hydro scheme on the iconic Conwy Falls in the Snowdonia National Park have been withdrawn following strong objections submitted by the Angling Trust and Fish Legal, working with local member angling clubs and representatives of the ‘Save the Conwy’ campaign.

The applicant – Innogy Renewables UK Ltd – was faced with a barrage of objection from all quarters including conservationists, canoeists and anglers. The company announced that it was withdrawing its application for planning consent a week and a half after the consultation closed, stating that it had made the decision after being asked for further information late on.

The withdrawal means that the huge number of objections from people both locally and nationally will no longer have to be considered by the Snowdonia National Parks Authority.

The plans for the hydro scheme were originally submitted in 2015 but refused by the National Park planners due to a lack of key information. This re-submitted application therefore remains untested.

Geoff Hardy, advice lawyer with Fish Legal, said: “I was impressed at the amount of work put in from all quarters to see this misconceived project off. People seemed to concentrate on commenting on subjects they knew and cared passionately about. As a result, the objectors’ case, taken as a whole seemed to fit together like a well-cut jigsaw.”

He added: “The Angling Trust and Fish Legal are convinced that were this scheme to happen it would be a catastrophe for all fish on the Conwy but particularly the sea trout and salmon. I only hope the developer has seen sense and will now let this issue rest permanently.”

Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal, said: “Fish stocks face a huge range of threats including agricultural pollution, over-abstraction of water and commercial netting. The rush to grab generous subsidies for hydropower has been yet another problem for migratory fish populations throughout the country.

“These schemes generate irrelevant amounts of energy in the grand scheme of things but they can do untold damage to fish and other wildlife, and despoil the beauty of the landscape.

“The National Park should never have entertained the possibility of permitting power generation in such a special place.”
- ENDS -

Press enquiries:
Please email or contact our main office on 01568 620447.

Fairy Glen on the River Conwy at Betws-y-Coed. Hi-res images available.

Notes to Editors:
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.

Fish Legal was making representations on behalf of the Betws-y-Coed Anglers Club

For more information please visit the Fish Legal website:

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

At last: the potential for representation of Welsh Game Anglers. Support the Angling Trust

I urge you please to request that your committee approve your club joining the Angling Trust, you may also wish to join as an individual. This is the big chance for Welsh game anglers and Welsh game fisheries to get representation at the very highest level.

Angling Trust Media Release

Wednesday, 21st September, 2016

 Angling Trust Media Release Angling Trust Logo
Welsh anglers to have a new voiceThe Angling Trust announced today that it will extend its role representing its growing membership of individual anglers, angling clubs, fisheries, riparian owners and tackle shop owners in Wales; something which was until now restricted to England.The role will initially be limited to a short list of issues linked to ongoing campaigns that the Angling Trust is already running: salmon netting, agricultural pollution, unlawful canoe access, tidal lagoons, commercial over-exploitation of sea bass, cormorant and goosander predation, abstraction licensing and barriers to migration.However, if there is substantial growth in membership as a result of this move, the Trust will consider taking on a full representative role as it does in England, campaigning on scores of other issues. It would then appoint new staff based in Wales and form an Angling Trust Cymru Committee.Steffan Jones, angling guide and author, said: “Welsh angling, in all its forms, needs professional representation and the Angling Trust has proved that it can do this to a very high standard from its work over the past seven years since the English angling organisations unified. I believe that every angler, whatever they fish for, should be a member of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal.”A range of membership packages is available, starting at £29 a year for individuals. Angling club, fishery and riparian owner membership automatically includes a specially-designed public liability, employer’s and trustees’ insurance which is so competitive that it can save clubs and fisheries more than the cost of their membership subscription.

Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal, said: “Welsh angling faces some immediate and very severe threats with a widespread decline in many marine and freshwater fish stocks, the potential for legislation to impose unlimited canoe access and proposals for multiple tidal lagoons which could cause huge damage to marine and migratory fish populations. If these threats are to be fended off, anglers must have professional representation in Welsh government, as well as in Westminster and Brussels, where many decisions affecting fisheries are made. We are limited in what we can do at the moment by resources, but if lots of anglers join up, we could do much more to protect fish and fishing in England and Wales in the future.”

There are currently three separate governing bodies for angling in Wales: the Welsh Salmon and Trout Angling Association, the Welsh Federation of Sea Anglers and the Welsh Federation of Coarse Anglers. There is also an umbrella body called Angling Cymru. The Angling Trust has offered to work closely with all of these organisations, which are principally involved in running Welsh angling teams and angling development, to ensure that there is a united voice for all anglers.

Media contact:
Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust and Fish legal.   07973 468 198

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 at or call us on 01568 620447.

Join the Angling Trust online at or call us on 01568 620447.
For more information about where to fish in England and Wales, visit

Welsh Salmon stocks threatened by decline in fry numbers

PLease see follow the link below to see the latest BBC WALES NEWS  item on this topic.


Then pop to the ANGLING TRUST tab and see what the Environment Agency, police and Angling Trust are doing to protect English fisheries.

I despair!

salmon head shot photo salmon heads_zpsb1spiusc.png


Angling Trust looking after anglers in England. Who is doing the same in Wales?

Angling Trust Media Release

Thursday 28 July. Immediate Release. Angling Trust Logo

Angling Trust Represents Fish and Fishing in Post-Brexit Debate


The Angling Trust’s Campaigns Chief Martin Salter joined environmental NGOs including the RSPB, WWF, Wildlife Trust, Marine Conservation Society and the National Trust at a special EU referendum workshop organised by Wildlife and Countryside Link on Tuesday 26th July at the Cass Business School in London. The purpose of the workshop was to explore the implications of Brexit for wildlife and the environment given that many of the protections currently in place derive from EU law and Directives. A panel of expert speakers went through the steps that need to be taken to ensure that threatened species can continue to be protected and how fisheries and the marine environment can be managed sustainably once the decision to leave the European Union is enacted.

The Angling Trust also recently organised an Angling Summit with Fisheries and Farming Minister George Eustice, who kept his post in the recent reshuffle, and Brexit was at the top of the agenda. The Minister indicated that Directives and regulations would continue in the short term, but that they might be modified to make them more relevant to domestic needs over time, and that international commitments such as the Bern Convention would remain in place. He made some welcome indications of his intentions to rationalise the farming subsidy regime to make payments conditional on protection of the water environment. There was also a discussion about marine fisheries and the possibility for more domestic regulation of inshore fisheries, despite the UK probably remaining involved in the Common Fisheries Policy.

Martin Salter said:

“This is an uncertain time in politics and the Angling Trust is working hard with our partner organisations in fisheries and the wider environmental field to ensure that the important protections that we currently enjoy through our membership of the EU are not lost once the UK leaves. We are also co-ordinating the production of a discussion paper, with input from several fisheries conservation organisations, setting out the challenges and opportunities arising from Brexit, which we will be sending to the new Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom in the next fortnight.”

Mark Lloyd, Angling Trust Chief Executive added:

“The impending prospect of Brexit clearly has a number of risks for fish, fishing and the environment which will need to be managed carefully, but at the same time there could be some significant opportunities. There is the possibility of new policies which could reduce red tape for farmers and fishery managers while getting better outcomes for the water environment, and fish in particular, but that will very much depend on the political will of Theresa May’s new government. The Angling Trust is leading the way in setting the agenda and co-ordinating a response from the large constituency of anglers. It’s now more important than ever that fish and fishing have a strong, united voice in the corridors of power; decisions made over the next few years could shape the future of our sport for the next two generations.”

Notes to Editors

Pictured: from left to right: Dominic Dyer from the Badger Trust; Dr Elaine King, Director of Wildlife and Countryside Link, which represents organisations with a combined membership of more than 8 million people; Martin Salter from the Angling Trust; Kate Jennings from the RSPB.

Link to Mark Lloyd’s Brexit blog: HERE

Contact: Mark Lloyd 07973468198 or Martin Salter 07976946033

Poachers put sewin at real risk!!!

Please have a look at this BBC News item about poaching.  NRW is being starved of funds by the Welsh Government

E petition re potential catch and release.

Somebody has started a petition about the possibility of compulsory catch and release of salmon and possibly sea trout in Wales. At the time of posting this there have been 428 signatories to the petition. If it carries on at this rate and so few are prepared to sign it, this risks giving the Welsh Government free hand to tread all over us. For goodness sake please click on the link and sign the petition. It can be a bit awkward to complete the thing but please persist: it really matters. This is the link click on it and please sign the petition.                                
13th September and still only 689 have signed 

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.