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Angling Trust reminds Water Minister of government promises to protect our rivers

The Angling Trust has written to the recently appointed Water Minister, Dr Thérèse Coffey MP, to urge her to fulfil promises from previous Ministers to reform the water abstraction licensing system and afford better protection to our precious rivers.

The Angling Trust, alongside conservation and fisheries NGOs, has been calling for a reform of abstraction licensing policy for several years and the government announced last December its intention to do this, but there has been little or no progress subsequently and there are worrying indications that the promise to act is going to be broken.

The current regime, which is the national system that approves water being taken from the environment for use by the public, businesses and farms, was formally created by the Water Act of 1963, by amalgamating previous licences into a single permitting regime.

At the time, this was done with little or no consideration of what level of abstraction our water bodies could actually supply without causing harm to wildlife. Today, a third of river catchments in England and Wales are either ‘over-licensed’ or ‘over-abstracted’ according to Environment Agency figures, with more water taken out than the environment can sustain. Furthermore, around 600 water bodies are at risk of failing to meet EU Water Framework Directive standards due to low flows resulting from abstraction.

There are some promising indications of change. Earlier this year the government consulted on proposals to bring a raft of damaging abstractions into the licensing system that were previously exempt from any control, under the banner of New Authorisations. This will include highly damaging trickle irrigation, water transfers between water bodies, and dewatering of mines, quarries and engineering works.
However, a far more fundamental change is required if the UK is […]

By |November 30th, 2016|News|Comments Off on Angling Trust reminds Water Minister of government promises to protect our rivers|

Regional Roundup – Midshires Region

Mid-shires region started the season off with two fish-ins, at our glorious Bransford fishery, on the river Teme. Thankfully, the weather was kind to us on both weekends – it was summer after all but I would not be surprised if snow turns up these days.

We banked just shy of ten barbel upto 9lbs, over both weekends, and around five hundred thousand bait robbin’ chub. So with the BBQ and sunshine added for good measure, fun was had all round.

We are yet to confirm dates, but we will be holding another Bransford summer fish-in for 2017, so please keep an eye on your inbox and the BS forums for updates coming very soon.

The same goes for a last minute regional winter fish-in, we’re just waiting on confirmation from a local angling club, but it will most likely be around the end of February so that we don’t interfere with anyones end of season angling plans.

The river Severn has been fishing relatively well for those putting in the time, there have been some tremendous multiple catch sessions from Shrewsbury through to Worcester – especially for those using the float and rolling baits. 10-15 barbel is very doable in the right areas. Upwards of 20 fish was recently taken at Sydney Avenue, Shrewsbury, on the float (Shropshire Anglers Federation). Knowle Sands/Danery on the Birmingham Anglers Association can be very prolific when caught right, and there are some very good middle Severn specimens lurking around too.
Pop into Bewdley Tackle & Leisure if you’re in the area and Adam Sheriff will put on the fish. BS members get 10% of everything also!

Hopefully see a few of you down Pixham before the season ends, it’s due a […]

By |November 25th, 2016|News|Comments Off on Regional Roundup – Midshires Region|

Regional Roundup – Staffordshire Region

2016 started off with a new regional organiser (me, Andy Degville). My first regional meeting was held on April 2nd, at the Doveridge Club. I gave an introduction talk regarding myself, providing a brief fishing history, with particular emphasis on my recent barbel exploits. Paul Floyd, who gave a great insight into his fishing roots, all the way from Australia, and his more recent successes regarding barbel fishing, provided the main talk. As always, we had a raffle with some great prizes, plus the Hook Bait company and Specimen Angling attended with a selection of their wares.

November 20th was the date of the second meeting for 2016, at the same venue, again with the Hook Bait Company and Specimen Angling in attendance. The format was slightly different; instead of two talks, we had one talk and a fishing discussion. Simon Asbury gave the talk, a really interesting and thought provoking presentation, with some excellent under water footage. I facilitated a fishing discussion, which involved some good audience participation, with some very experienced barbel anglers sharing some of their ‘ways of fishing’.

A couple of clubs worth a mention with plenty of good waters within the Staffordshire Region are the Burton Mutual Angling Association & the Stoke Angling Society. The BMAA have nine miles of rivers to fish, including the River Dove and the Upper Trent. Some very big fish have come out of the BMAA stretches on the Dove; including the current river record at 18lb 6oz. Barbel Society committee member Simon Asbury had a 15lb 1oz Barbel from the Dove in 2016.

Though not as prolific as the lower Trent, there are still some very good fish in the BMAA Trent waters. I know of […]

By |November 25th, 2016|News|Comments Off on Regional Roundup – Staffordshire Region|

Regional Roundup – South London Region

As some of you may have noticed I am the new RO for that particularly salubrious but slightly run down part of the Metropolis. As this is where I live with my half Italian partner; who due to this dual nationality makes the lovely Julie, always permanently furious about one thing or another! Especially with me when in her words ‘you’re not disappearing off to that fishing/Jolly again’ (this has been edited for the sake of children reading this missive).

Anyway, a bit about me would be in order I guess. I caught my first fish, a Bleak, on the Thames at Windsor when I was about 10 years old. And like most of us have developed a lifelong obsession and passion for all things angling.

Moving on, I met my first Barbel at about 14 years old fishing in a fur and feather match with the Bermondsey and District Angling Club (do these still happen I wonder?). On a flooded River Thames again at Windsor, it weighed 5lb 2oz in old money. Tactics being homemade swim feeder one of the older blokes showed me how to make fished in a slack under a bush and a lot of luck. Bit like I do now really but with a swim feeder that costs an arm and leg.

Been a passionate Barbel angler from then on I guess. Fishing most if not all rivers that contain or even rumoured to contain our friends.

I was a member of the Association of Barbel Enthusiasts back in the day and met such fine people as Steve Pope, Steve Smith, John Founds, Don, Gordon and the wonderful Fred through the ABE. When this morphed into the Barbel Society I helped run […]

By |November 25th, 2016|News|Comments Off on Regional Roundup – South London Region|

Regional Roundup – Anglian Region

Well this is proving to be a tough years fishing for the Anglian Region. Undoubtedly not helped by the low clear river conditions, and now as the New Year starts the very unsettled cold weather. Without doubt the Nene (fish to 18lb), Lea (fish to 16lb) and Ouse (fish to 15 lb) have fished better than other rivers in the region such as the Stour, Yare and Waveney.

Further 90% of the fish seem to have come to 10% of our members. Blanks have been the norm for many … but ‘perseverance’ is the key. That said, some, understandably, have no doubt kept their captures quiet. A sign of the times with the circuses that can turn up overnight. One notable capture however, was that of Gary Johnson’s 19lb 4oz fish which has been accepted by the BS as the new river record for the Nene. Congratulations Gary.

Three fish-ins have taken place on three different rivers. Our idea (John and Chris) was to offer members a choice around the Region. The first was on the Nene, 21st August, and is fully described by John in Barbel Fisher Issue 42. The second was on the Ouse, 15th October. Sadly, following a change in weather we only had a single Pike to show for our efforts. The third was on Kings Weir in early December but following some severe frosts again the weather was against any Barbel being put on the bank. However, members were offered a variety of venues throughout 2016, some taking advantage to fish new venues and the all-important banter between attendees made up for the lack of fish. Further, the bacon butties and tea was well received: thanks Chris. Our thanks go to […]

By |November 25th, 2016|News|Comments Off on Regional Roundup – Anglian Region|

Kings Weir River Lea by Chris Jones

Well late summer and autumn has been kind to anglers at Kings Weir. Loads of different fish have been making an appearance on the bank. Whilst a tough period with the water low and clear, as many other rivers have been around the country, it has been a period of many venue personal best’s.

Twelve of the best include:

Chris Jones 11lb 12oz

Ray Kent 14lb 0oz

Tony Chillingford 11lb 0oz

Jerry Brown 14lb 9oz

Mr B 16lb 9oz

Mark Ellis 13lb 8oz

Andy Tredgett 14lb 13oz

Big Steve 14lb 11oz

Phil Buckingham 16lb 0oz

Not forgetting the youngsters, this lad was made up, look at the smile, Connor Libby-Newton 6lb 6oz

Amusingly it was only in early November that I sat with Andy Tredgett musing over the absence of the Chub. Excuse the inclusion of these Chevin, but the following have graced anglers nets in the last four weeks:

Mr B 7lb 12oz

Chris Jones 7lb 4oz

Andy Tredgett 7lb 1oz

Mike Staines 7lb 0oz

For now, tight lines to everyone from Kings Weir

By |November 25th, 2016|News|Comments Off on Kings Weir River Lea by Chris Jones|

Regional Roundup – South West & Wilts Region

Well here’s an update for a region which has not seen much action at all, for some years now.

I have been corresponding with Des Richardson (Former R.O) and we are hoping to “liven-up” the region for 2017.

I have been touching base with our local Environment Agency representatives, Bristol Avon Rivers Trust, some of our local angling clubs, and attending our local area Angling Trust meetings.

I am especially interested in the Research & Conservation element of our Society, and it`s work for the preservation of our rivers, and the angling we all love. I am also keen that we all can share our knowledge, experience, and common ground, through meeting up socially.

There will be a meeting/R&C fundraiser to come (details to follow) which will be the first chance for many new members & local non-members to get together.

We are all aware that many of the few Barbel rivers we have in the region have all been affected with lower Barbel numbers. But, on a positive note, there is much work (and research funding) going into this from the societies perspective, and also from that of those other organisations we are working with. So the future for the region is looking much brighter than perhaps four years ago!

To all those who fall into this region or would like to pay the area a visit, or give any input, please do not hesitate to make contact, and we shall be able to make arrangements. And for those Society members (Countrywide) who wish to contribute or share anything, the same truly does apply.

Let’s look forward to a new year in Barbel fishing for our region, together with the Barbel Society!

Tight Lines,
Shaun Nurse.

By |November 25th, 2016|News|Comments Off on Regional Roundup – South West & Wilts Region|

Rod licence income helps fund over 50 projects to benefit fish and fishing

Another 54 angling projects have benefitted from a share of £200,000 from the Angling Improvement Fund (AIF).

Administered by the Angling Trust in partnership with the Environment Agency, the AIF reinvests income from rod licence sales into ventures that aid freshwater fishing nationwide.

With every project also attracting financial or in-kind support through match-funding, it means that schemes totaling over half-a-million pounds have benefitted from the fund.

The latest winning applications include projects to protect fisheries from predation, encourage more people to go fishing, improve facilities at clubs and fisheries, and to safeguard venues. They were awarded under the following four themes:

Otter-proof fencing:

Unsustainable predation by otters can have a devastating effect on angling venues and has become an issue of major concern to anglers. Applications from commercial fisheries and clubs for otter-proof fencing projects were invited and eight projects have been selected for funding (bringing to 11 the total number supported through the AIF) and will share awards worth £31,926. Fencing projects are an expensive undertaking and the match funding secured by these projects, worth more than £158,000, is critically important.

Best unfunded proposals from previous rounds:

More than 300 applications were submitted to the first two rounds of the AIF, many more than could be funded. Aware of the large number of good projects it had to decline, the judging panel reviewed past entries and awarded funds totalling £77,931 to 21 projects, including 17 focused on junior angling. Most of the winning projects are now in place or are close to completion and the amount of match funding secured by the applicants totalled over £81,000 in this category.

Community waters:

As a key part of making fishing much more accessible to those new to the sport, funding was allocated to […]

By |September 21st, 2016|News|Comments Off on Rod licence income helps fund over 50 projects to benefit fish and fishing|

Native Crayfish Deaths: Environment Agency Information

Crayfish deaths in watercourses in our area, and increased biosecurity

The Environment Agency is investigating the deaths of our rare protected native white clawed Crayfish in three locations across the Severn and Wye river catchment. It is expected that the cause of this will be confirmed as Crayfish Plague which is very infectious for Crayfish.

White clawed Crayfish look like miniature lobsters, they hide away under rocks and logs during the day, and emerge during the night to eat. They are our largest freshwater invertebrate and the few remaining populations are very vulnerable to this disease and face local extinction. Crayfish Plague is a species specific disease and has no implications for human or other animal health. It is a water mold (fungus) that is carried mainly by American Signal Crayfish and it’s spores can be easily transported and transferred from infected waters by people and animals.

Dead white clawed Crayfish have been seen in the following catchments:

• Nailsworth Stream, Gloucestershire
• Dowles Brook, Wyre Forest
• The River Redlake, Shropshire

White Clawed Crayfish maybe infected, but apparently healthy, and continue to die for several weeks in these locations therefore an outbreak of Crayfish Plague can last for several weeks. The disease can be transferred to White Clawed Crayfish via water and mud on damp clothes, footwear, bike tyres, fishing or boating equipment or any machinery. The Crayfish Plague pathogens can live for 22 days on damp clothes or equipment.

We are asking the public to stay out of watercourses in these areas. If you are using equipment in any river, to stop the spread of the Plague, other infectious diseases or invasive species, please follow these steps:

• Clean off any mud or vegetation and remove any standing water.
• Either thoroughly […]

By |September 16th, 2016|News|Comments Off on Native Crayfish Deaths: Environment Agency Information|

Midlands Fundraiser 2016 – Saturday 8th October

The Barbel Society
Midlands’ Rivers Annual Research & Conservation Fundraiser 2016

Fellow Angler,
Our first event proved to be a great success with the Society raising just shy of £3000. All proceeds were put towards the Teme PHD project and radio tracking the movement of barbel within the river system.
We aim to build on this project year on year and as time goes on, The Barbel Society will face a growing list of habitat restoration projects and enhancement schemes that will not only benefit the barbel but all species, as well as improving habitat for all wildlife along the way.

 

Our second instalment of the Midlands rivers fundraiser event will be held on the 8th October 2016 and consist of a friendly fishing competition taking place in the day over three prolific fisheries on the river Severn and Teme (car permits and maps will be issued to all guests prior to event), followed by a fantastic 3-course meal and auction in the evening at The Fownes Hotel in the heart of Worcester city centre. Our guest speaker for the evening will be none other than Des Taylor.

A cost of £50 per head will include your entry to the fishing match, dinner at the hotel in the evening and a chance to bid on some fantastic lots in the auction.

For those of you intending on an overnight stay at the hotel, you will need to book early to avoid disappointment as we only have a certain amount of rooms reserved for the event. All details and references for bookings will be provided with each application. Alternative accommodation in and around the malvern hills can be provided upon request.

If you would like to receive an invitation to this years event […]

By |September 5th, 2016|News|Comments Off on Midlands Fundraiser 2016 – Saturday 8th October|