The Environment Agency have recently published a consultation paper on improving access to rivers for navigational purposes
The Environment Agency have recently published a consultation paper on improving access to rivers for navigational
purposes, especially for canoeists. Both the Moran Committee and S&TA have complained in the strongest terms to the EA that fisheries have been left out of the consultation process, and we have forced an imminent meeting of the EA Angling and Canoe Liaison Group (ACLG) to discuss this, as we see it, totally unjust state of affairs. Angling and fisheries interests put huge investment into waterways, but we are still consistently overlooked when it comes to discussion over increased access for water users, most of whom put nothing into the management or rehabilitation of these fragile habitats. The Countryside Agency is set to establish up to six experimental areas to research access, and Brighton University have won the contract to write yet another report on the subject. S&TA will be supporting the Moran Committee to make sure fisheries interests are treated as equal partners in this exercise.
We have also appointed a S&TA Canoe Ambassador. Along with several other positions Chris Rothwell holds within the Association at both national and local level, he has recently met with representatives of the Dart Angling Association, in Devon, to obtain first hand information about their operational agreement with the British Canoe Union on the river. Chris will help represent S&TA on the ACLG and will be available to advise other clubs and fishery owners over striking deals with canoeists. In this way, we feel we are taking a more positive role in trying to divert potential problems with other water users, rather than insisting on the right of anglers to dictate what happens on our waterways. As much as we might like that to be the case, political reality required us to be more diplomatic.