Dear Ms Pillman,

12th October 2019

Clare Pillman – Chief Executive, Natural Resources Wales By email to

Dear Ms Pillman,

Thank you for your letter Ref: CX19-187 dated 8th October. Whilst your response makes further correspondence seem rather futile there are nevertheless certain points that cannot go unchallenged.

There has been a clear failure on the part of NRW to recognise that a voluntary solution is a realistic and sustainable solution to any threat to our salmon stocks. That option has never been discussed in any meaningful way and is conspicuous by its absence in any of the board papers leading to the byelaws decision. You will also be aware from other correspondence that there is considerable variation in stocks of both salmon and sea trout across Wales. The picture is not one of universal decline.

You refer to the “urgency of the situation in which we now find ourselves” yet the reality is that the situation is already being dealt with voluntarily. Analysis of the recently released “Salmonid and Freshwater Fisheries Statistics for England and Wales, 2018”, produced jointly by NRW & EA, reveals that the voluntary release rate has risen yet again and now stands at 88% across Wales. Furthermore 100% of the salmon were voluntarily released on 8 of the 22 principal salmon rivers with a further 2, Dee (94%) and Conwy (91%), being fully compliant with NASCO Policy.

Most significantly you state that those anglers who release all of the fish they catch “will note little difference under the new regime”. This is not true. A significant number of anglers, local and visiting alike, no longer fish when Mandatory Catch & Release is introduced and as a result clubs lose both members and revenue. As a result they can no longer afford to rent some of their waters and those who wish to continue fishing “under the new regime” are denied access. The very future of smaller community based angling clubs is under threat.

Unless the above issues are recognised and addressed there is little prospect of constructive dialogue. Yours sincerely

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

Dr Robin Parry – Chair, Gwynedd Local Fisheries Advisory Group

Mervyn Williams – Chair, Dee Local Fisheries Advisory Group

On behalf of:

Bangor on Dee Salmon Angling Association

Campaign for the Protection of Welsh Fisheries

Capenhurst Angling Club

Chirk Syndicate

Clwyd Federation of Angling Clubs

Corwen and District Angling Club

Dee Fisheries Association

Dolgellau Angling Association

Dolwyddelan Angling Association

Llanbrynmair Angling Association

Llangollen Maelor Angling

Llyn Guides

New Dovey Fishery Association (1929) Ltd

Ogwen Valley Angling Association

Penrhyn Fishing Club

Prince Albert Angling Society

Rhagatt Estate

Rhyl & St. Asaph Angling Association

Rossett and Gresford Fly Fishers

Seiont Gwyrfai & Llyfni Fishing Society

Vale of Clwyd Angling Club

Wirral Game Fishing Club

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