Angling dignitary becomes Patron of the Kevin Green Angling Academy

KGAA's Martin Roessler welcomes Les Webber

KGAA's Martin Roessler welcomes Les Webber

Les Webber MBE, founder of award-winning Angling Projects and stalwart supporter of recruiting young people into angling, has accepted an invitation to become the Patron of the Kevin Green Angling Academy (KGAA).

The Academy was officially launched at Puddledock Farm Fishery, Upminster in August 2014, initially providing a number of National Fishing Month events and then going on to creating an education and training programme. It works with people with disabilities, including ex-Forces personnel suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, adults with learning disabilities, social inclusion projects for disadvantaged youngsters, youth offenders and children who have been excluded from school.

Kevin Green was the editor for the hugely successful Improve Your Coarse Fishing magazine before his untimely death at the age of 40. He also worked on television with Sky Sports on various programmes and had written a number of books. Kevin was an enthusiastic and charismatic angling coach and educator, and he gave a huge amount of support for National Fishing Month and other major coaching initiatives.

Martin Roessler, Chairman of KGAA, said: “The charity and its education programme have been set up in honour of Kevin’s love of our sport.  At every point we aim to put Kevin’s beliefs into action by promoting angling in a positive, inclusive manner through education, thereby providing angling opportunities for everyone.”

On agreeing to become the Patron, Les said: “It is an honour and a privilege to become the first Patron of the Academy. Kevin visited Angling Projects in Berkshire on several occasions during his short life, and he was an inspiration to everyone who met him. I wish the new Academy every success now and in their future endeavours.”

Les has also kindly donated a large amount of tackle to the KGAA projects on behalf of Angling Projects.

Martin added: ‘The donation of tackle by Les has been extremely generous and hugely appreciated.  It just shows how both charities (KGAA and Angling Projects) can work together to the benefit of young and would-be anglers. We are delighted that Les has agreed to come on board, and the Academy is looking forward to following Les’s examples of using angling to promote the wellbeing of others.’

For further information and details please email enquiries.kgaa@outlook.com or visit www.kgaas.co.uk

EA winning the war on destructive invasive fish

The Environment Agency has moved one step closer to winning the war against a destructive invasive fish which has been wreaking havoc in the country’s lakes and ponds. Topmouth gudgeon outcompete native fish for food and habitat, and spread disease.

At their peak, a decade ago, topmouth gudgeon had been found widely spread across the UK at 23 locations. But after today’s (17 February) operation, and through the Environment Agency’s targeted removal, there are now just three remaining sites in England.

This is not the first time that the Environment Agency has led the complete removal of an invasive species. The fathead minnow was eliminated in 2008 followed by the black bullhead catfish last year.

Smaller than an average thumb, what topmouth gudgeon (pseudorasbora parva) lack in size they make up for with quantity. They breed up to four times a year and as a result can form vast populations. 

Their sheer numbers mean that they impact native fish by outcompeting them for food and habitat. This in turn means fewer invertebrates available to other fish and wildlife and upsets the natural balance of a lake or pond. Topmouth gudgeon also eat the eggs of other fish and carry a parasite. 

Native to Asia, it is thought that they were introduced to Britain in the 1980s from mainland Europe and potentially spread through fish farm movements and the ornamental fish trade. 

Today expert fisheries officers, kitted out in specialist protective gear, were on-site for this latest operation at three ponds in Hackney, north London.

Sarah Chare, head of fisheries at the Environment Agency, said: “Invasive species pose a serious threat to our native wildlife and cost the UK economy a massive £1.8 billion a year. Topmouth gudgeon are on our hit list of the UK’s most damaging invasive species and despite only being tiny have devastating effects on fisheries and angling.

“While Britain’s rivers are the healthiest for more than 20 years, rivers and ponds that harbour non-native species can have their water quality and ecology affected and could fall short of tough EU targets.”

It is not certain how the topmouth gudgeon first found their way to the ponds in Hackney but experts believe it is likely that they were dumped illegally. The Environment Agency is urging people who own fish that the apparently harmless action of releasing unwanted fish into a local pond can have disastrous long-term effects on the environment and other animals within it.

To ensure the continued success of this work, the Environment Agency is asking members of the public to report any sightings of topmouth gudgeon, or other invasive fish, species to its incident hotline on 03708 506506, via email at: non-natives@environment-agency.gov.uk or via the AquaInvaders app downloadable at: http://naturelocator.org/aquainvaders.html

Everyone can do their bit to help prevent the spread of invasive species by following the principles of the ‘Be Plantwise’ campaign and not dumping aquatic plants in the wild and always disposing of old plants and pond material responsibly, and by composting or using a green waste bin. By following the tips of the ‘Check, Clean, Dry’ campaign, anglers, boaters and canoeists can help prevent the spread of invasive species between waterways.

Environment Agency angling for a long-term partnership

The Environment Agency is looking for an organisation to help it deliver the National Angling Strategy for the next 4 years.

The Environment Agency is looking for an organisation to help it encourage more people to give fishing a go, improve fisheries and crack down on illegal fishing for the next 4 years.

Key elements of the contract include:

  • providing expert advice to clubs and fishery owners on how to identify and secure additional funding;
  • improving fisheries’ facilities for anglers;
  • encouraging take-up among junior anglers and in so doing address the recent decline in this age group;
  • retaining and recruiting more anglers to participate in fishing;
  • developing the volunteer bailiff scheme; and
  • working with enforcement partners and fishery owners to clamp down on rural crime and poaching.

Sarah Chare, Environment Agency head of fisheries, biodiversity and geomorphology, said:

These are challenging yet exciting times. Protecting and recovering income to fund our fisheries service is one of our highest priorities. We received more than £21.5 million from rod licence sales last year. But we want to see this figure grow and new people picking up a rod.

Our goal is for angling to be recognised for its role in improving the nation’s health and wellbeing, increasing educational attainment and reducing crime and anti-social behaviour. We look forward to receiving applications for this ambitious contract.

The contract, to deliver the broad aims of the ‘National Angling Strategy’, will run for up to 4 years and is currently worth £600,000 per year, although the value of the future contract may increase over time.

Advertised through the Official Journal of the European Union, interested organisations have until 9 March 2015 to express an interest. These applicants will then be asked to complete a pre-qualification form to ensure they are suitable to be formally invited to tender for the work.

It is expected the new contract will be in place with the successful organisation(s) by July.

Currently this work is being carried out by The Angling Trust.

More details on the contract and how to apply are on the Official Journal of the European Union

Anglers Celebrate As EU Bans Trawling For Bass

Trawling for bass during the spawning period has been banned in a historic set of emergency measures aimed at averting a total collapse of Europe’s bass stocks.

The ban on pelagic trawling – which accounts for 25 per cent of the impact on the stock and includes the controversial method of pair trawling – will begin immediately in the Channel, Celtic sea, Irish Sea and Southern North Sea and run until April 30th during which time adult bass aggregate to reproduce and are most vulnerable.

The EU is putting forward further measures to deal with the impact on bass stocks of recreational and other commercial fishing methods. For recreational bass angling the proposals include a three fish a day bag limit and an increase in the legal minimum size of bass from 36cm to 42cm.

The European Commission is also proposing limiting catches for other commercial bass fisheries and is working on a proposal with member states which will be taken to the Council of fisheries ministers as soon as possible.

The emergency measures have been introduced following scientific advice in June 2014 that recommended an 80 per cent cut in catches from the previous year and confirmation that continued fishing pressure was leading to serious harm to the reproductive capacity of the stock.

This is the first time that Article 12 of the reformed Common Fisheries Policy has been invoked due to, 'A serious threat to the conservation of marine biological resources..'.

The Angling Trust and our partners at the Bass Anglers Sportfishing Society (B.A.S.S.) and (European Anglers Alliance) have been campaigning tirelessly for the introduction of conservation measures for bass – a crucially important recreational species and one that generates hundreds of millions of pounds and supports tens of thousands of jobs across Europe. In 2012 the Angling Trust organised a delegation to the then Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon to press the case for bass conservation measures in the face of evidence demonstrating that stocks were in trouble.

The Angling Trust will be continuing to work with the UK and the Commission to ensure that the measures to limit other commercial bass fisheries are in proportion to the new bag limit and minimum size being proposed for recreational catches. In addition the Trust will be working with the UK to agree on what additional measures the UK can take to restore the UK bass fishery.

David Mitchell, the Angling Trust’s Marine Campaigns Manager, said:

'Emergency measures such as this, can last for a maximum of 12 months so it is crucial that the Commission and member states now follow through on the commitment to develop a long term bass management plan which the Angling Trust and our partners will play a key role in helping to develop. This is an historic decision for recreational fishing and hopefully represents a sea change in public policy towards marine conservation. However, there's a long way to go yet to achieve what is needed for a truly sustainable fishery.'

Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust, said:

'Bass anglers have been calling for action to protect stocks for nearly a decade and it seems that the UK government and European Commission have at last acted, in the face of undeniable scientific evidence and a concerted campaign by the Angling Trust and BASS.  The immediate emergency measures that have been confirmed are very welcome and the intention to follow these up with further restrictions on commercial exploitation is encouraging.'

Nigel Horsman, of the Bass Anglers Sportfishing Society, said:

'This is a great day for Dicentrarchus Labrax, the fabulous European Sea Bass, and what we have been working so hard and waiting so long for.  We also look forward to the production of a long term management plan for bass, which will lead to healthy stocks of all sizes of bass for the benefit of everyone who uses this stock sustainably.

I would like to pay tribute to the fantastic work of everyone in the Bass Anglers Sportfishing Society (BASS) and the Angling Trust who campaigned for this for many years. The strength and breadth of that support has been invaluable in achieving this amazing result. 

We know that recruitment to the adult stock will be weak for the next few years, but I hope these measures will ensure that the current stock remains broadly stable until environmental conditions allow a full stock recovery, which we can cherish and then enjoy great British Bass fishing for many years to come.'

Anglers Welcome Fracking Climbdown

The Angling Trust has given a warm welcome to this week's climbdown by the Government which means that fracking will no longer be permitted in National Parks or in water sensitive areas covered by SSSI's or other special protections.

The fracking companies will also be forced to carry out environmental impact studies before any permission can be granted to drill through the water aquifer for oil and gas. The changes followed amendments to the Infrastructure Bill promoted by the Angling Trust and other wildlife groups which were adopted by the Opposition and eventually conceded by the Government.

Back in March last year the Angling Trust co- authored the report Fit to Frack? in partnership with the CPRE, National Trust, RSPB, Salmon and Trout Association, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust and the Wildlife Trusts.

The report highlighted a lack of regulation around shale gas exploitation which could cause serious impacts for a range of threatened species including birds, salmon and other wildlife.  It also raised serious concerns about the impact of drilling and water contamination on some of our most precious natural habitats such as chalk streams.  These crystal clear waterways are highly prized by anglers for the quality of their fishing and known to wildlife-lovers as 'England’s coral reefs'. Some 85% of the world’s chalk streams are found in Southern and Eastern England.

Fit to Frack? called for all protected wildlife areas, nature reserves and national parks to be frack-free zones, for full environmental assessments to be carried out for each drilling proposal, and for the shale gas industry to pay the costs of its regulation and any pollution clean-ups.

Martin Salter, National Campaigns Coordinator for the Angling Trust said:

'We spent a lot of time talking to our sister organisations in America where fracking was allowed to proceed with minimal controls and caused some worrying incidents of pollution and contamination. The message from across the pond was crystal clear and we have been lobbying furiously for a proper regulation to protect vulnerable rivers and groundwater sources. These new protections are hard won but vital in ensuring the future health of the environment upon which angling depends.'

A spokesperson from the coalition for the Fit to Frack report, said: 

'These amendments to the Infrastructure Bill will help safeguard our nation's wildlife, habitats and landscapes from the environmental risks associated with fracking, but there is still work to be done to ensure a robust regulatory system is established to offer protection for places still vulnerable to this largely untested technology.'

Trust Launches A New Fund For Fishery Improvements

The Angling Trust is delighted to launch a new ‘Fishery Improvement Fund’. The funding comes from the Environment Agency from some of the proceeds of rod licence sales.

The £65,000 Fund will make awards of up to £5,000 to eligible organisations for buying equipment, to make habitat improvements or for projects that get people fishing and support the aims of the National Angling Strategy ‘Fishing for Life’.

Importantly, applications to the Fund from commercial fisheries are welcome and clubs and organisations do not need to be members or be Angling Trust affiliated to apply.

Potential applicants are invited to visit the National Angling Strategy page at the Angling Trust website, where they can download a copy of the application form, eligibility criteria and additional guidance.

Applications must be posted or emailed to reach the Angling Trust by Tuesday 17th February 2015, and successful organisations must be able to spend the award by no later than the end of March.

Sarah Chare, Head of Fisheries at the Environment Agency, said:

'This fund is just one way we spend rod licence income with partners to support anglers.  I am looking forward to see the great results these projects will bring.'

Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive, Angling Trust said:

'I am delighted that these funds are being made available from rod licence sales to help angling clubs and commercial fisheries improve their facilities for the benefit of fish and fishing.  Because of unavoidable delays to the announcement of the fund, we urge applicants to get in touch as soon as possible.  We will work very hard to respond rapidly after the deadline for applications so that people can get on with spending the money in preparation for the new season.'

For full details on how to apply please visit: www.anglingtrust.net/nationalanglingstrategy

Crucian project video goes live

The National Crucian Carp Project has this week launched a new information video aimed at encouraging angling and fishery interests to embrace crucian conservation and draw up plans for more crucian waters in their areas. The video is also part of a new episode of the Fishing Britain series produced by the YouTube channel FieldsportsChannel.tv and features the Angling Trust's Martin Salter as a guest presenter.

The National Crucian Conservation Project group was launched in 2014 following widespread concerns about the loss of crucian habitat and the threat to the species through hybridisation caused by inappropriate stocking practices. It aims to: 'Promote the conservation of the species and its habitat and to encourage the development of well managed crucian fisheries.'

Plans include:

  • A regional network of growing on centres to increase the availability of wild crucian stocks to compliment increased crucian stockings
  • A ‘pure’ crucian accreditation scheme
  • Factsheets on creating and managing waters, avoiding hybridisation and a crucian ID guide
  • Courses or events for fishery owners and managers

The video, which features scenes from Catching the Impossible, was filmed at waters belonging to Newbury and Godalming angling associations and shows crucians from the Environment Agency's fish farm at Calverton being stocked into new waters that will be developed as future Crucian fisheries.

Angling Artist Chris Turnbull, one of the projects founding members said: 'In what seems like almost no time at all the National Crucian Conservation Project has really taken off and is attracting great support from clubs and private fisheries all around the country. People are waking up to the fact that crucian carp are a fabulous species that needs all the help it can get. Just two years ago we could see a time when crucians might be on the verge of disappearing altogether, whereas today more, new, bespoke crucian fisheries are being created. Not only does this offer hope for a bright future for crucians, it also shows anglers can be a strong force for conservation when they put their minds to it.'

Angling Trust Campaign Chief Martin Salter added: 'It's been great to have the support and assistance from the guys at Fishing Britain and to be able to use quality footage from renowned wildlife film maker Hugh Miles in our quest to create better prospects for this wonderful little fish. We hope that many more angling clubs and fishery owners will be inspired to create more diverse stillwater fisheries rather than simply stocking to the rafters with king carp and all manner of ghastly hybrids and ornamentals.'

Water company pay out after sewage spillage

Fish Legal has secured a £10,000 pay-out for the Tenterden and District Angling and Preservation Association, one of its member clubs, following sewage pollution in 2011 of the New Mill Channel near Tenterden, Kent.  Ammonia and sewage sludge were spilled over a five day period into the channel due to the apparent negligent management of Southern Water’s treatment facilities, resulting in fish deaths and a long term loss of amenity for the club.

The Environment Agency advised the club not to fish the waters, and prosecuted Southern Water.  However, it failed to conduct a complete or accurate fish kill survey, or involve its own fishery officers in the investigation and, as a result, only recorded five dead fish in its incident report.  Club officials had seen first hand that there were much greater losses than that. In fact, the channel was so badly affected that they had to take on a lease at another fishery to maintain membership numbers.  Fish Legal, who specialise in bringing claims against polluters on behalf of its angler members, went on to successfully negotiate a £10,000 compensation payment on the club’s behalf.

Having obtained disclosure of the prosecution case file it was clear that a piece of plastic pipework on the sludge recirculation pump had burst causing the spill of sewage sludge.  This had resulted from a valve being left closed after maintenance, causing a build-up of pressure which burst the pipe and caused the toxic spill.

Despite refusing to accept liability for the pollution, Southern Water did say, when enclosing the cheque, that:

'Southern Water does as a policy seek to adopt a ‘good neighbour’ approach to its operational sites and where third party damage has occurred because of fault on SWS’s part, seeks to compensate promptly and in full.'

Penelope Gane, at Fish Legal, who conducted the case said:

'Given Southern Water’s poor pollution record, highlighted in a recent Environment Agency report which found that their 'incidents performance and permit compliance need to improve', Fish Legal welcomes the company’s assurances that in future it will fully compensate our members.'

Commenting on the advantages of being a member of Fish Legal, Paul Locks, Chairman of the Tenterden and District Angling and Preservation Association, said:

'I appreciated that as a relatively small angling club we needed the support of legal representation to fight for compensation against a large company. Any angling club who is a member of Fish Legal and who experiences pollution on their waters should not hesitate to seek their guidance.'

The club plan to invest the compensation back into the fishery.

Illegal fishing and fish theft

Operation TRAVERSE - Targeting illegal fishing and fish theft

 

Operation TRAVERSE - Targeting illegal fishing and fish theft
Press Call: Lincolnshire Police Headquarters
Midday, Wednesday 12 November 2014

Poaching and fish theft are of increasing concern to anglers and in addressing this issue the Angling Trust has achieved support from the Association of Chief Police Officers and National Wildlife Crime Unit. Currently Project Trespass aims to provide a coordinated response to poaching and raise awareness of this issue amongst police forces.

Under the umbrella of Project Trespass, Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire Police - in partnership with the Angling Trust, Environment Agency (EA) and Fish Health Inspectorate (FHI) - are launching Operation TRAVERSE to target illegal fishing and fish theft in Fenland.

One problem in this part of England - historically famous for predator fishing in winter - is the issue of migrant anglers from Eastern Europe sometimes not understanding British angling law and our conservation-based approach to angling. Here, National Byelaws limit the size and numbers of fish that can be retained, and removing fish from enclosed waters without the owner's consent is theft.

To help deal with this problem the Angling Trust's 'Building Bridges Project' aims to educate and integrate migrant anglers.

In June 2014 key Angling Trust enforcement staff visited Poland and forged a partnership with its PSR government fisheries department and voluntary fisheries enforcement organisations.

Angling Trust enforcement staff with PSR officers in Koszalin, Poland, June 2014

Angling Trust enforcement staff with PSR officers in Koszalin, Poland, June 2014

As a result of this visit, information is now passed to the British authorities about those prosecuted in Poland who are likely to travel to England and details of offenders here are provided to the PSR. This process and exchange of information has now been adopted by other Eastern European countries.

As part of their participation in Operation TRAVERSE and the sharing of best practice and intelligence, PSR officers are meeting with British enforcement partners this month.

Press Call:
Press are invited to meet participating PSR officers, Police, EA, FHI, Angling Trust staff and other partners at Lincolnshire Police Headquarters, LN2 2LT at 12 mid-day on Wednesday 12 November 2014. A PDF map can be found HERE.

Angling Trust National Enforcement Manager, Dilip Sarkar MBE, said: 'This is a really important operation aimed at raising awareness of this serious issue and emphasising the partnership approach now being taken. It is essential that anglers contribute to this process by reporting incidents and information to the police on 101 or EA on 0800 80 70 60, quoting Operation TRAVERSE. The Fenland 'River Watch' initiative has a key role to play in this process and we commend those involved for their ongoing efforts and support'.

Sergeant Dave Robinson of Lincolnshire Police said: 'Poaching fits within the much bigger picture of Rural & Wildlife Crime, which we are keen to address, not least because of the wider criminality frequently involved and the negative impact upon livelihoods. We very much welcome therefore, the opportunity to play a key role in TRAVERSE and work with all our partners to achieve the required result through raising awareness, education and positive enforcement'.

Adrian Saunders, EA Fisheries Enforcement Campaigns Manager, said: 'We fully support TRAVERSE and look forward to this multi-agency approach - and especially to meeting and sharing Best Practice with the PSR'.

Angling Trust 'Building Bridges' Project Manager, Rado Papiewski, said: 'We are most grateful not only to the police, EA and FHI but equally the PSR, for travelling to England and assisting us. We hope that this will increase awareness throughout the migrant community of the severity of this issue, and help educate more migrant anglers regarding the law and catch and release rules and culture'.

Jon Hulland from Cefas FHI said: 'We also welcome TRAVERSE, which provides an excellent opportunity to raise awareness and address this issue through all-important partnership working'.

Pike Anglers' Club Chairman and Angling Trust Ambassador Neville Fickling said: 'This has been an ongoing problem for some time, and we are delighted to see that some joined up thinking and working will now help address it. Reporting incidents is clearly crucial to the success of TRAVERSE and I would urge anglers and the public to report incidents and information accordingly'.

Successful show

Angling Trust Get Quality ‘Buy In’ at Tackle & Gun Show 

Following a successful Tackle and Gun Show, yet more well known fishing tackle brands, including Gardner, Veniard, Shimano Normark, Tronix UK, Nisa Feeders, Reuben Heaton and Fulling Mill, have joined the growing ranks of Angling Trust Trade Members. Existing members already include a variety of tackle shops, manufacturers, publishers and retailers who have pledged their support to help grow the membership, reputation and influence of the Angling Trust as the sport’s national governing and representative body and its work fighting for fishing.

At this year's tackle extravaganza, Angling Trust trade membership administrator and keen coarse match angler Ian Shepherd made sure he found time away from viewing the mouth-watering displays of cutting edge fishing kit to touch-base with the leading lights in the tackle business. By the end of the weekend Ian had received offers of support from over 20 leading firms including Fox, Taska, Richard Wheatley, Maver UK and signed up 10 of these into full Trade Membership of the Angling Trust.

Ian Shepherd said:
'At the Angling Trust we always look forward to attending the Tackle and Gun Show because, as Britain's only shooting and fishing trade show, this is the ideal opportunity for the Trust to catch up with the key-players in the fishing industry and update them on our work to protect fish and fishing. We also get the time to explain how our angling participation and development programmes continue to exceed targets on introducing newcomers to the sport - the next generation of anglers and the tackle trade's future customers.'

Angling Trust Trade membership only costs £30 a year and includes great membership benefits which include free advertising opportunities, a free listing on our online search map at www.anglingtrust.net, exposure to our email database, an Angling Trust Trade Member window sticker, membership certificate and posters to show that the member supports its sport’s governing body.

The Angling Trust needs more Trade Members to lend weight to our campaigns and to help us get more people fishing more often.

To sign up as a Trade Member now, contact Ian Shepherd on 01568 620 447 or email ian.shepherd@anglingtrust.net

Angling Trust Trade members include: Angling Publications, Aquaculture Equipment , Coch y Bonddu Books, Delkim, Fieldsports Magazine, Frenzee, Gardner Tackle, Halkon-Hunt Design, Hart Flyshop , Medlar Press, Merlin Unwin Books, Nisa Feeders, Predator Publications, Quest Baits, Range Baits, Reuben Heaton, Shimano Normark, St Leger Custom Fishing Rods, The Pike Shop, Tronix UK, Veniard, WSB Tackle, Yateley Angling Centre, Bait-Tech, David Hall Publishing, Drennan International, Fly Fishing & Fly Tying Magazine, Korda, Preston Innovations, Selectafly, Sensas, Birmingham Angling Centre, Chapmans Angling, Fishing Republic, Fosters of Birmingham, Ted Carter And Son Fishing Tackle, Andrew Field Floats...

 

Tackle & Guns logo used with kind permission of David Hall Publishing

Review of multiple rod licence

Angling Trust and Environment Agency Launch Review of Multiple Rod Licence

The Angling Trust has begun discussions with the Environment Agency on the controversial issue of the coarse angling licence for the use of multiple rods, which has been a longstanding complaint of many carp and specimen anglers who feel aggrieved at having to buy two separate rod licences.

The strength of feeling on this subject has once again been illustrated in the Angling Trust's current angling survey, which is still open until October 31st, and in regular representations to both the Trust and carp fishing magazines and organisations.

The Trust has been very encouraged by the willingness of Sarah Chare, the new Head of Fisheries at the EA, to consider this and other possible reforms of the rod licence regime. Any changes could not be implemented until April 2016 at the earliest however, because of the constraints of the commercial rod licence contract.

The Angling Trust believes that the current arrangements need to change as they don't seem fair to carp and other specimen anglers using three rods, but being charged for four. On the other hand any changes must not reduce the funds available to the EA for the restocking of waters, tackling fish health issues and delivering fisheries improvement and habitat restoration works, particularly at a time when the government is cutting grant funding to the Agency.

Other issues under discussion will include the possibility of abolishing the junior licence in order to encourage more youngsters to take up fishing and introducing a 365 day rolling licence rather than the current 31st March end date.

Angling Trust Campaigns Chief Martin Salter said:

'Even tench and barbel anglers like myself, who usually fish with either one or two rods at a time, would sometimes like to use a third rod to switch quickly to a new method or to stalk a fish showing in the margins or well away from our baited areas. Whilst many anglers I know won't buy two separate licences at the moment, they would be happy to pay a fair price to occasionally use a third rod. Personally, I wouldn't mind paying a bit more for my own licence if it meant that more juniors under 16 could fish for free, because anything that attracts youngsters into our sport has to be good for the future of angling.'

The moves by the Angling Trust and the Environment Agency have been welcomed by leading figures in the carp world.

Simon Crow, editor of Carp-Talk with over twenty years' experience working in the carp fishing trade, added:

'The majority of fisheries up and down the country allow carp anglers to use a maximum of three rods. It therefore seems a waste that we need to buy two two-rod licences to cater for this. It would be so much more user friendly if a single rod licence was introduced to cater for this.'

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

'We welcome the willingness of Sarah Chare to listen to the views of the angling community and to consider carefully taking action to make the licence system fairer for carp and specimen anglers. One of the most important parts of the Angling Trust's job is to represent the views of anglers to the Environment Agency and government. We need to find a workable way forward that is fairer to carp and specimen anglers without impacting significantly on the funds that pay for the vital work of the Agency's fisheries department.'

Sarah Chare, Deputy Director of Fisheries, Biodiversity and Geomorphology from the Environment Agency added:

'The Environment Agency is starting a review of rod licence arrangements that will not come into effect until April 2016. This review may also affect the cost of rod licences, which have remained at the same level for the last 5 years. As part of this review we are talking with the Angling Trust and other partners to understand the views of the angling groups they represent. Within government rules we will be seeking the fairest deal for anglers that secures the best future for angling through the services the Environment Agency delivers both directly and through the partners we fund.'

New appointments at AT and Fish Legal

New Appointments to Angling Trust Board of Directors and Fish Legal Committee

At the AGM of the Angling Trust earlier in October, and at the AGM of Fish Legal on the same day, the members of each organisation respectively voted almost unanimously to appoint two new Directors to the Angling Trust Board, one new Trustee to the Fish Legal Committee and to support changes to the rules of both organisations.  Nigel Haywood and Tim Macpherson have been appointed to the Angling Trust Board, while Tim Goode has joined the Fish Legal Committee (biographies below).

Jim Glasspool, Mike Heylin, David Moore and Terry Fell all retired as Angling Trust Board members at the AGM, but were appointed as Vice Presidents of the Angling Trust to reflect the unique role that they all played in bringing together the many founding organisations as part of the unification of angling that happened in 2009 to form the Angling Trust & Fish Legal.  Terry Fell has also stepped down as a Fish Legal Committee member.

George Stephenson, Chairman of the Angling Trust said: 'The vision, enthusiasm and bloody-minded determination of the Angling Trust’s founding Directors to succeed created a very impressive platform from which we can hopefully expand and improve the world of fish and fishing in our country.  I’m delighted that they will become the inaugural Vice Presidents of the Angling Trust, and we will no doubt continue to seek their wisdom and advice.  On behalf of the members of the Angling Trust I would like to thank them unconditionally for all they have done to unify angling, as unpaid volunteers, over the past years.'

Dick Vincent, Chairman of Fish Legal said: 'I am very pleased that Tim Goode has been elected by the members to the Fish Legal Committee.  I’m sure that his skills and experience will be very valuable to us, particularly with regard to management of investment funds.  He joins a Committee which comprises a number of very committed and knowledgeable volunteers who support the work of Fish Legal.  I would like to thank Terry Fell for his distinguished service on the Committee since 2009 and wish him all the best for his retirement!'

The short biographies of the new Directors and Committee Members are provided below.


Biographies

NIGEL HAYWOOD (Angling Trust)

Retired after 30 years in the Diplomatic Service, most recently serving as Ambassador to Estonia; Consul-General in Basra; and Governor of the Falkland Islands. He has negotiated effectively at the highest political levels and has broad media experience.

Nigel has been a sea, coarse and game angler for more than 50 years, and a life member of the ACA/Angling Trust for nearly 30 years, serving on the ACA Council from 1989 to 1996. He has written for a variety of angling publications, both print and online, and contributed to Merlin Unwin’s 'The One that Got Away'.

A keen saltwater fly fisherman, Nigel is also a member of various trout syndicates as well as BASS, the Wild Trout Trust, the Civil Service Angling Society and the Frome, Piddle and West Dorset Fisheries Association. Nigel is the Honorary President of the Golden Scale Club.


TIM MACPHERSON (Angling Trust)

Has 15 years’ experience as a senior executive in two major media companies, as a profit centre head, publisher, event director and company director. His experience covers PR, marketing, event organising, advertising, digital media, design, sales and advertising across digital and print media.

Tim runs digital publishing outlets for anglers, creating and delivering content for anglers in Sussex including newsletters, web content, video and other assets.

Tim has been an angler, in all disciplines, from age 11 although he spends most of his time sea angling in Sussex and Cornwall. He is a member of four Sussex Angling Clubs and spent a brief time working for the Trust after it launched.


TIM GOODE (Fish Legal)

Has over 30 years’ experience in the banking and investment industry and has worked for a number of major banks. Over the past 12 years, Tim has established an FSA authorised boutique investment bank specializing in finance, debt covering and advisory matters for clients in the UK, Europe, the US and Asia.

Tim holds a number of Non-Executive roles including that as Chair of the North Atlantic Salmon Fund (UK),the UK arm of the global conservation coalition, through which he is involved in fundraising and negotiations with other parties including government.

Tim is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Corporate Treasurers and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Alien mussels!

Alien Quagga Mussels discovered in England 

Top Invasive Non-Native Species discovered in the Thames

A species identified by the Government as one of the most destructive invasive non-native species has been found at Wraysbury Reservoir and in the nearby River Colne system, a tributary of the River Thames.  Known to alter whole freshwater ecosystems, a mature adult can filter one or more litres of water a day, feeding on zooplankton which is the base of the food chain that all fish need to survive on and produce 1 million eggs in one season, so they can spread very rapidly. 

Quagga mussels (scientific name Dreissena bugensis) originate from the Caspian and Black Sea region which is the same part of the world as the Killer Shrimp and the Demon Shrimp which both arrived in the UK over the last 4 years.  The rapid breeding of the Quagga results in large numbers being established very quickly and has caused extensive damage in the areas it has already reached; The Great Lakes, Mississippi & Ohio rivers in America, Main river in Germany, the Netherlands and the Volga river in Russia.  Quagga mussels also have an impact on water supply and sewage infrastructure, canal lock gates, boat propellors and any other hard surfaces. 

Quagga mussel (Dreissena bugensis)

Quagga mussel (Dreissena bugensis)

There are no known methods for eradicating mussels once they have got into waterbodies.  The Angling Trust has called for concerted action by government and its agencies to stop this damaging species spreading to other rivers by alerting all water users and urging them to follow the Check, Clean, Dry guidelines for biosecurity and to report all sightings on the GB NNSS website at www.nonnativespecies.org

The EU Invasive Alien Species Regulation was approved finally by the European Council on Monday 29 September, which will require Member States to take action to prevent and eradicate invasive alien species of most concern.  The Angling Trust will be lobbying the UK government to ensure that these types of species are included in the lists.

Mark Owen, Head of Freshwater at the Angling Trust said: 'It’s vitally important that all water users, including anglers, take every possible precaution to stop this species spreading throughout the UK.  Quagga mussels could do untold damage to freshwater and estuarine environments if they are allowed to spread which could have a significant impact on marine and freshwater fish stocks.'

(http://www.nonnativespecies.org/checkcleandry).

Invite to flyfishers

Inspiring England’s next generation of Flyfishers 

The Angling Trust is inviting skilled, passionate and dedicated volunteers to support and inspire the next generation of England’s fly fishermen and women through direct involvement with England Youth Fly Fishing (AT EYF).

Angling Trust England Youth Fly Fishing is undertaking a transitional period following the departure of a number of key volunteers from the youth set up who have contributed significantly to the development and success of English Youth Fly Fishing for so many years. As a result a number of opportunities have arisen to join the AT EYF Committee; roles include Chairperson, Team Coordinator, Team Manager and Team Coach. Volunteers will receive support from the Angling Trust with coaching qualifications and other training opportunities.

Ben Thompson, Angling Trust Senior Competitions Manager said; ”English Youth Fly Fishing has prospered for so many years under the guidance of Chris McLeod and a fantastic team of volunteers. Their departure has left a huge void and they will be difficult to replace but with that comes the opportunity for new people to get involved, the opportunity to carry on the tremendous work of the previous team and ensure a bright future for English Youth Fly Fishing in this country.”

Role descriptions, person specification and adverts can be found on the Angling Trust website www.anglingtrust.net/vacancies and closing date for applications is Friday 31st October 2014. Interviews will be carried out at various locations around the country from week beginning 10th November 2014.

Further information can be obtained through Ben Thompson (Senior Competitions & Talent Development Manager) on 07854 240177.

How to Apply
Applicants should complete an application form and diversity monitoring form available at www.anglingtrust.net/vacancies and send them marked “Personal” to;-

David Compton
Angling Trust
Strelley Hall
Strelley
Nottingham
NG8 6PE

or via email to david.compton@anglingtrust.net
Closing date for applications is 17:00 on 31st October 2014
Interviews to take place week beginning 10th November at various locations

Thames Tideway go ahead

Angling Groups Welcome Go Ahead for Thames Tideway Supersewer

The Angling Trust, the Salmon and Trout Association and the Thames Anglers Conservancy joined environmental groups and charities representing over 5 million people who have been campaigning for a cleaner Thames in London in welcoming the decision of the government to go ahead with the long awaited and much needed Thames Tideway Tunnel.

The Thames Tunnel Now (TTN) coalition comprising national and local organisations - including RSPB, WWF, London Wildlife Trust, Thames21, Angling Trust, River Thames Society and angling and boating groups - has been calling since 2011 for the construction of a new tunnel under the Thames to stop tens of millions of tonnes of sewage overflowing into London's river each year through the city's 36 Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs).

The result of more than ten years of exhaustive research and development by Thames Water and the Environment Agency, the tunnel proposal has been declared by independent studies as the only viable solution to dealing with "London's dirty secret", whereby as little as 2mm of rain can cause the sewers to overflow directly into the river with devastating effects for fish and other wildlife.

This was highlighted in the recent video 'You Poo Too' which can be viewed here: http://www.thamestidewaytunnel.co.uk/the-project?q=up2

Following ministerial sign off, the Planning Inspectorate this morning approved the application for Development Consent for the Thames Tideway Tunnel. The project will now move to the construction phase.

FULL DETAILS OF THE GOVERNMENT'S ANNOUNCEMENT CAN BE VIEWED HERE:
http://infrastructure.planningportal.gov.uk/projects/london/thames-tideway-tunnel/?ipcsection=overview

Debbie Leach, Chair of Thames Tunnel Now and CEO of the waterways charity Thames 21 said:
'We welcome the Government's decision to give the go-ahead for the Thames Tideway Tunnel. It will prove invaluable for the health of the river. Like me, thousands of Londoners use the river for rowing, angling, sailing and canoeing. Walkers and cyclists use the towpaths, and people often venture unknowingly on to the foreshore where sewage is currently deposited. The Thames Tideway Tunnel is the most important piece of the jigsaw that will once and for all clean up London's river and encourage even more Londoners to connect with the Thames. We praise politicians of all parties for keeping their nerve and supporting a key environmental project which will see the end of 'London's Dirty Secret'.'

Mark Lloyd, CEO of the Angling Trust said:
'Sewage overflows in the summer at times of low water are particularly damaging to wildlife in the river and to a wide range of freshwater and marine fish. The Thames has been described as a wildlife superhighway through the capital and is an important nursery area for millions of bass and flounder and other fish species. Every time there is a major overflow of sewage, tens of thousands of these fish die, damaging the fragile eco-system. Millions of pounds have been spent on fish passes to encourage salmon to return to the Thames but until sewage pollution in the Tideway is tackled most migratory fish runs are bound to fail.'

Dave Harvey, Chair of TAC said:
'This announcement from the government in response to the Planning Inspectorate's Inquiry is very welcome and we look forward to the awful and all too regular Thames pollutions ending once and for all.

The devastating fish kill in June 2011, where in excess of 100,000 fish died in a single day, proved something of a wake up call for everyone, and unless a real and long term solution was agreed then these disasters would continue to happen.

The Thames is at the heart of London, the artery of of capital city and the route that many species of fish will take in migrating to its upper reaches and tributaries. We are hopeful that the endangered European eel will now start to thrive and that fish such as smelt will spawn in the Tidal Thames and that it will be a cleaner home to countless others species. We can now look forward to a brighter and cleaner future for our great river.'

Dr Janina Gray, from the Salmon & Trout Association said:
'We welcome the decision to stop raw sewage emptying into the river after heavy rainfall events. For many years this has created biological dead zones and a water quality barrier to fish migration. In removing this, we hope to see salmon, sea trout and other fish species returning in numbers to the Thames.'

Angling Trust Campaigns Chief Martin Salter added:
'There have been too many false dawns for the Tidal Thames and far too many devastating fish kills from sewage discharges and plunging levels of dissolved oxygen in the water. But now we really do feel that London's river is experiencing a new beginning with improved water quality and the prospect of seeing an end to the storm water discharges that have done so much damage to fish and other wildlife. Our new annual TideFest fishing competition will provide a living guide to the health of the river in the future.'

The Tideway Tunnel is one of the biggest engineering projects in Europe and will cost £4 billion. It is estimated that each Thames Water customer will pay less than 20p per day for the tunnel and a much cleaner river and with Thames Water bills currently among the lowest in the country, the new higher rates will still be around the average for water companies in the UK. Construction of the tunnel will create over 9,000 new direct and indirect jobs. A clean and healthy tidal river will also support many thousands more employment opportunities in recreation, leisure and tourism industries in the future.

At the launch of Thames Tunnel Now in October 2011 a spokesperson for the coalition said:
'It is completely unacceptable for people to be faced with raw sewage in one of the most sophisticated cities in the world, and for tens of thousands of fish to die from suffocation every time it rains heavily in the summer. Opponents of the scheme should ask themselves if they would like their child to go sailing or fishing among human faeces, sanitary towels and condoms, or if they would like a healthy river full of wildlife for millions of people to enjoy for generations to come.'

We now have pleasure in adding:
'This is great news for the environment and an historic moment for one of the most famous rivers in the world which will be given a long overdue new lease of life.'