The Swale is in a Wonderful State

“It is cold and frosty, with lots of wildlife and plenty of grayling,” says the Salmon & Trout Association part-time field officer Keith Mason.

“It is cold and frosty, with lots of wildlife and plenty of grayling,” says the Salmon & Trout Association part-time field officer Keith Mason. He was out fishing for grayling yesterday on one of England’s fastest flowing rivers.

The great state of wildlife and fishing on the Swale yesterday is a result of the extensive regeneration work the Salmon & Trout Association Swaledale and Wensleydale Branch led from 1997 to 2002. The River needed work because of the dramatic increase in flash floods and excessive flooding over the past 25 years. Many anglers know the causes and effects of flooding only too well.

Work included:

 • River bank protection
 • Buffer strips of regenerated vegetation

 • In channel work including creating pool and riffle sequences
 • Improvements of fish habitats
 • Building otter holts
 • All weather surfaces for bridleways at ancient crossing places
 • Detailed survey/audits of the river system including baseline bird surveys

 • Managing tree belts and woodlands from tributary confluences with the main channel

The Branch was able to do all this impressive work because they applied for funding and built partnerships with the local community, including schools, and with the local park agency, wildlife trust, Environment Agency, English Nature and the Army (a landowner in the area).

Page 8 and 9 of the S&TA Nov/Christmas Newsletter features an informative article on the Swale River Regeneration Project written by Lt Col PA MacF MacGillivray OBE of the S&TA Swaledale and Wensleydale Branch.

As Peter MacGillivray wrote in his article, “Our initiation of and active involvement in this river improvement project is an example of how an S&TA Branch is in touch with the concerns of local people and environmental organisations.”

Check out the Project’s attractive website at www.riverswale.org.uk

Angling Summit Today with Fisheries Minister, Ben Bradshaw and Martin Salter MP

The Fisheries Minister will attend for an open discussion session with the Salmon & Trout Association and the main angling organisations.

The Fisheries Minister will attend for an open discussion session with the Salmon & Trout Association and the main angling organisations. Thereafter, the Angling Summit will be led by Martin Salter.

Angling Summit agenda items include:

  •Cormorants & Otter Predation
  •Progress on Angling Charter
  •Canoe Access
  •Urban Fisheries Funding

  •Angling Coaching Schemes
  •National Angling Governance
  •Environment Agency Fisheries Work Following BRITE

The Salmon & Trout Association played a major role in organising this Angling Summit. S&TA Executive Director Paul Knight will lead the discussion on Canoe Access, National Angling Governance (with Martin Salter MP) and EA Fisheries Work Following BRITE (with the Environment Agency).

In November, the Salmon & Trout Association had a private meeting with the Fisheries Minister that set the stage for the issues to be discussed today.

Rising or Falling Waters? Who are you going to call?

The Environment Agency operates an automated water levels phone line for rivers south of the Scottish border down to the Humber.

The Environment Agency operates an automated water levels phone line for rivers south of the Scottish border down to the Humber. It states the height of each major river and whether the river is rising or falling. Updated every day at 6 am.

Call the EA River Phone Line at 090 6619 7722.

“Free” Catch and Release Video

The Environment Agency (EA), is offering a “free” 18 minute video on good Catch and Release handling practice.

The Environment Agency (EA), is offering a “free” 18 minute video on good Catch and Release handling practice. Call the EA at 01454 624411 to order. A leaflet is also available.

Consider this video a production of your rod licence fees. As producer you might as well get your own private viewing at home this winter.

The Salmon & Trout Association is fighting for voluntary local restrictions on retaining fish. It makes all the difference for the fishing experience if a fish is returned on a voluntary instead of a compulsory basis.

SUCCESS BREEDS SUCCESS – AND CONTROVERSY

Minister calls for review in new feather v fin debate

Minister calls for review in new feather v fin debate

Cormorants are an outstanding success story. At a point of such critical decline in the 70s that they were placed on the protected species list, there is now a winter population of over 23,000 in the UK alone – and that’s the problem.

Their food is fish – including endangered species such as salmon, bullheads, lampreys and eels. Cormorant flocks congregate at river bottlenecks during salmon and smolt migrations and can annihilate whole runs of fish.

Such is the concern about the quantities this bird consumes that Ben Bradshaw MP, Minister for Nature Conservation and Fisheries, has called for a review of the measures that gave the Cormorant protected status. He proposes that cormorants should now be managed at certain times of the year to protect the fisheries, and urges a review of the system granting licences to shoot cormorants, currently issued by Defra.

He was speaking at the Third National Angling Summit (December 11), organised by Martin Salter MP, and attended by the Salmon & Trout Association and representatives of other fisheries associations.

Comments Paul Knight, Director of the Salmon & Trout Association, “There will always be those defending cormorants’ right to take fish unhindered. Our position is that there must be a managed balance between prey and predator. We have vigorously lobbied for increased flexibility for fisheries to be able to protect vulnerable stocks of fish from cormorants. We are delighted with the Minister’s proactive stance.”

The Moran Committee Joint Bird Group, of which the Salmon & Trout Association is a leading member, has produced an information leaflet and booklet, “Protecting your Fishery from Cormorants”. This is viewable on www.cormorants.info or obtainable from the Salmon & Trout Association at 0202 7283 5838.

-ENDS-

For further information, please contact Carmel Jorgensen at 020 7283 5838.

Chairman Tony Bird Quoted in Financial Times

Give your comments, suggestions and feedback on how the Environment Agency (EA) is working (or not!) to meet the needs of anglers and fishery managers.

Give your comments, suggestions and feedback on how the Environment Agency (EA) is working (or not!) to meet the needs of anglers and fishery managers.

The Salmon & Trout Association will discuss your views with Baroness Barbara Young, Chief Executive of the EA, in early February 2004.

Voice your views by filling out this questionnaire! Return to louise1@salmon-trout.org or by post to the Salmon & Trout Association Fishmonger’s Hall London Bridge E34R 9EL, or by fax to 020 7626 5137by the 16th January 2004.

The Minister of Fisheries, Ben Bradshaw, the head of Defra, Richard Cowan and the Environment Agency RFERAC (Regional Fisheries, Ecology, & Recreation Advisory Committee) Chairmen expressed interest in the questionnaire developed by Salmon & Trout Association member John Slader.

The timing of the Questionnaire is excellent because the EA is reviewing how well they are functioning post the BRITE (the EA’s 2002 reorganisation). Also, Barbara Young wants to know how the Environment Agency is and is not serving the needs of fishery interests. The best people to provide that information are those who fish!

Views on the EA’s structure and functioning are needed from outside the Agency. It is important for game angling to have its say and for that voice to be strong. The results of the questionnaire can influence the importance and the budget that game angling interests get within the EA. And that means the EA could provide more support for education, work to develop better fisheries and pay more attention to fish stocks.

The questionnaire is endorsed by the Moran Committee, which represents the interests of all the main fishing and angling organizations in England and Wales, as well as the National Angling Alliance (NAA), which comprises the main angling organizations in England and Wales. All the main angling and fishing organizations are sending the questionnaire out to members, clubs, branches, regional representatives, and riparian owners.

It is important fishery interests are given the value that they deserve. The Environment Agency has a statutory role to promote angling. We need to ensure that anglers have a strong voice within the EA.

The more responses we receive the better! Please encourage others to complete the questionnaire. Return it electronically to louise1@salmon-trout.org or by post to the Salmon & Trout Association, Fishmonger’s Hall, London Bridge, E34R 9EL, or by fax to 020 7626 5137. Return date the 16th January, 2004.

Have Your Say on the EA!

Give your comments, suggestions and feedback on how the Environment Agency (EA) is working (or not!) to meet the needs of anglers and fishery managers.

Give your comments, suggestions and feedback on how the Environment Agency (EA) is working (or not!) to meet the needs of anglers and fishery managers.

The Salmon & Trout Association will discuss your views with Baroness Barbara Young, Chief Executive of the EA, in early February 2004.

Voice your views by filling out this questionnaire! Return to louise1@salmon-trout.org or by post to the Salmon & Trout Association Fishmonger’s Hall London Bridge E34R 9EL, or by fax to 020 7626 5137by the 16th January 2004.

The Minister of Fisheries, Ben Bradshaw, the head of Defra, Richard Cowan and the Environment Agency RFERAC (Regional Fisheries, Ecology, & Recreation Advisory Committee) Chairmen expressed interest in the questionnaire developed by Salmon & Trout Association member John Slader.

The timing of the Questionnaire is excellent because the EA is reviewing how well they are functioning post the BRITE (the EA’s 2002 reorganisation). Also, Barbara Young wants to know how the Environment Agency is and is not serving the needs of fishery interests. The best people to provide that information are those who fish!

Views on the EA’s structure and functioning are needed from outside the Agency. It is important for game angling to have its say and for that voice to be strong. The results of the questionnaire can influence the importance and the budget that game angling interests get within the EA. And that means the EA could provide more support for education, work to develop better fisheries and pay more attention to fish stocks.

The questionnaire is endorsed by the Moran Committee, which represents the interests of all the main fishing and angling organizations in England and Wales, as well as the National Angling Alliance (NAA), which comprises the main angling organizations in England and Wales. All the main angling and fishing organizations are sending the questionnaire out to members, clubs, branches, regional representatives, and riparian owners.

It is important fishery interests are given the value that they deserve. The Environment Agency has a statutory role to promote angling. We need to ensure that anglers have a strong voice within the EA.

The more responses we receive the better! Please encourage others to complete the questionnaire. Return it electronically to louise1@salmon-trout.org or by post to the Salmon & Trout Association, Fishmonger’s Hall, London Bridge, E34R 9EL, or by fax to 020 7626 5137. Return date the 16th January, 2004.

Keep the National Fly Life Questionnaires Coming In! Questionnaire Completion Date Extended to Friday, Dec. 5 Due to Postal Strike

Excellent Reports on Fly Life in the UK Rivers Received from Salmon & Trout Association Members and Others.

Excellent Reports on Fly Life in the UK Rivers Received from Salmon & Trout Association Members and Others. Anglers, Keepers, Owners and Club Officials are sharing their observations on abundance (or lack of abundance) of fly life on the rivers they are familiar with. All responses are important, whether an angler has 30 years of observations or 2 years of observations. A greater number of thoughtfully completed questionnaires received will help to make the results that much stronger. To date we have over 250 surveys, with 7 surveys arriving today (the 27th of November, 2003). We can do better than 250 surveys! The S&TA has over 15,000 individual members and 90,000 club members.

There is still time to encourage others to complete the questionnaire. The questionnaire was sent out with the fall S&TA newsletter and is available online by clicking here, or call 020 7283 5838.

The local environmental knowledge angler’s gain through years of experience at the river bank or lake is an invaluable environmental record. Aquatic species such as fly life, are sensitive to changes in water quality and quantity and thus important indicator species. And as angler’s are the experts on flies, who better to report on what is happening with the fly life in our waters than anglers!

This call for research data follows the Frake & Hayes report on fly life in southern chalkstreams. Conducted by Allan Frake of the Environment Agency and Peter Hayes of the Wiltshire Fishery Association, this major report identifies the serious decline of fly life abundance in these rivers over the past 20 years. Read the S&TA media release regarding that report by clicking here. Read the coverage the Independent gave this issue by clicking here. The National Fly Life Questionnaire follows the same methodology as the previous survey and the data will be analysed by the same scientists to ensure consistency.

If the fly life in the UK rivers is declining, then the S&TA will call on the Government agencies responsible to put resources into finding the causes. We will also pressure the Government to develop and implement a course of action to reverse the disturbing trend and bring our rivers back to health – as we are doing for the southern chalkstreams. The S&TA is fighting for the future of game angling

The Duke of Northumberland to become President of the Salmon & Trout Association

The Salmon & Trout Association is pleased to announce that the Duke of Northumberland has agreed to become its new President.

The Salmon & Trout Association is pleased to announce that the Duke of Northumberland has agreed to become its new President.

The Duke of Northumberland takes over the Presidency from The Prince of Wales, following His Royal Highness’s succession to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, as the Association’s Patron.

The Duke has wide-ranging interests within angling and fisheries, including salmon, sea trout and wild brown trout water on his estates in the north of England, and stillwater trout fishing at Syon Park and Albury in the south of the country.

Tony Bird, Chairman of the Salmon & Trout Association, said:

We are delighted that the Duke of Northumberland has agreed to accept our invitation to become the new President in this, the Association’s Centenary year. His many varied interests within fisheries make him a natural choice for the position, and we look forward to working closely him in all aspects of the Association’s work.

North East Drift Net Buy-out brings immediate results

The fish counter on the River Tyne has shown that 2000 salmon entered the river during June 2003, as opposed to only 500 for the same month last year.

The fish counter on the River Tyne has shown that 2000 salmon entered the river during June 2003, as opposed to only 500 for the same month last year.

A deal to buy-out 52 of the remaining 68 drift net fishermen off the north east coast of England came into effect on June 1st 2003. The deal, negotiated by the North Atlantic Salmon Fund (UK), offered the netsmen fair compensation for giving up their licences to drift fish for salmon at sea.

Andrew Whitehead, Director of NASF (UK), who was largely instrumental in bringing about the deal with the netsmen, said:

It is hard to imagine any reason for this welcome improvement in the Tyne other than the fact that 52 nets in nearby coastal waters are no longer catching salmon and sea trout.

The total cost of buying out the 52 netsmen is £3.34m, of which £1.25m is being provided by the Government (Defra), while the remainder is being raised from private funds.

The Salmon & Trout Association has supported NASF (UK) throughout the negotiations, and has been heavily involved behind the scenes with lobbying Defra and the Environment Agency on the need for such a deal. S&TA Director, Paul Knight, said,

This is great news from the Tyne, and proves that we were right to concentrate on a buy-out. The netsmen have been fairly compensated, and the socio-economic benefits from these extra fish in the rivers being available to anglers, will help local economies enormously. We are now looking to The Republic of Ireland to act in similar fashion with their drift net fishery, with many of the salmon intercepted off the Irish coast being destined for English and Welsh rivers.