Angling Trust Newsletter Thursday, 16th February, 2017

Water and Farming now high on the agenda

In the aftermath of the Brexit vote and the possibility of changes to the much criticised EU Common Agricultural Policy, the Angling Trust believes that there is a key opportunity to reform farming practices to tackle diffuse agricultural pollution which is doing major harm to our rivers and streams. In addition, the promise of abstraction reform in a new Water Bill offers the chance to manage the use of water extracted from the environment more sustainably.

We are pressing the Government to underpin its commitment to the achievement of good ecological status in all rivers, lakes, streams and coastal waters as currently required in the Water Framework Directive by 2027. We are hoping to see the Government announce in the Queen’s Speech its intention to bring forward a Water Bill to ensure the long term resilience of freshwater ecosystems.    Together with our partners WWF-UK we are organising an event in Westminster to bring together politicians with senior staff from the Environment Agency, and other environmental and farming bodies. It will be chaired by former Environment Minister Richard Benyon MP and will aim to broker a shared vision and new policy positions across different sectors that we can advocate to Government for the benefit of fish and wildlife. We will let you know how we get on!


Chance for voluntary approach as mandatory catch and release for salmon in Wales is postponed

The Angling Trust welcomes the news that the implementation of new bylaws being proposed in Wales for mandatory catch and release for all salmon has been postponed for the coming season to allow time for a full consultation.

We have had a number of meetings with Natural Resources Wales urging them to allow anglers to adopt a voluntary approach but the regulator’s intention is still to impose mandatory regulations in 2018. The coming season therefore presents a great opportunity for angling clubs, riparian owners and anglers to demonstrate that self-regulation can achieve very high levels of catch and release without the need for by-laws.

We have also applied pressure on NRW to address the real issues affecting salmon stocks: hydropower, over-abstraction, pollution, predation, poaching and barriers to migration. We will keep up the pressure.


Help stop rod licence crime

There’s still a few days left for clubs and fisheries to help fight illegal fishing by doing our rod licence evasion survey. Don’t miss the chance to have a say. Please forward the survey to angling clubs and fisheries you know.


Fourth TideFest Championship announced for tidal Thames

The fourth TideFest Angling Championship will take place on the tidal Thames in London on September 10th – with a first prize of £600.

The content is expected to attract some of the top river anglers in the area as matches in the past three years have thrown up 30lb plus bags of bream along with quality roach and dace.

Find out more…


Pesticides and the effect on fish

Bee harming neonicotinoid pesticides (neonics) are still legally used on British farms – even though they were ‘banned’ four years ago. But it is not just bees at risk – a lot of the pesticides end up in water and evidence shows they impact on aquatic invertebrates including freshwater shrimp, leading to concerns for fish that feed on them. Friends of the Earth have published a report on farming wheat without neonics which suggests effective non-chemical methods to control pests. You can read it here or the summary in this blog.


Welcome, Gary

Gary Thomas has joined the Angling Trust as Intelligence Manager. With over 30 years of policing experience, Gary will be an important addition to the Fisheries Enforcement team.

Read more…

‘Unavoidable by-catch’ rules for bass clarified by Westminster and Cardiff

Angling groups have welcomed clarification by the UK and Welsh Governments over the new rules agreed in December by EU fisheries ministers covering the netting of threatened bass stocks by commercial fishermen. Unfortunately, both administrations incorrectly publicly referred to the new rules as a reduced ‘provision’ for bass netting rather than an ‘unavoidable by-catch’ allowance. Anglers were rightly concerned that this could have led to business as usual for the netsmen and that bass stocks would gain little benefit from the changes. Read more…

Round-up from our Competitions Team


Bigger prize money for RiverFest

This year’s RiverFest will see the prize pot go up to £39,500! Subject to all tickets being sold, RiverFest 2017 will see 10 main prizes in the final ranging from £1,000 for 10th place, up to a cool £13,000 to the winner. All the venues and qualifying dates for RiverFest have now been confirmed. Read more…


Team England announcements

A blend of experienced and up and coming anglers will make up the Angling Trust Team England Fly Fishing squad for the IV 5 Nations competition to be held in England from 16th-21st July. Read more…

Manager Mark Downes has once again selected a young squad to represent Drennan Team England in this year’s European Championships on the Bianca canal, Venice, Italy from 20th-21st May. Read more…

The Preston Innovations sponsored Team England Feeder team has now been selected for the FIPSed 7th World Feeder Championships in Cabecao, Portugal from 24th-25th June. Read more…

The Angling Trust is looking for talented coarse anglers who would like to apply for the England under 20s youth assessment trials. FIPSed have announced that the age categories for the Youth have changed from previous years so what was the U18s has now became the U20s category. Read more…


Tributes to Ian

Ian Greenwood, captain of the England Fly Fishing team that won gold at the 2009 World Championships, has died after a brief illness.
Read more…


Round 2 now open: All remaining tickets on sale

All tickets remaining for this year’s Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifiers have now gone on sale on a first come first served basis. Don’t forget, you will now be able to buy unsold tickets for as many qualifiers as you wish. You can also sign up for free to receive news about late availability and other ticket information.



Watch Video: Online booking system for 2017 competitions

Our new online booking system will be used for a range of Angling Trust competitions and events, including Fish ‘O’ Mania and Riverfest. This short video will help take users through the process of purchasing tickets.


800 entries for Sea Fish Awards

Over 800 entries were received for the Specimen Sea Fish Awards scheme in 2016. You can see each of the entries here and read a report of the 2016 scheme here.

Find out about 2017 scheme…

News from Fish Legal

Scottish Government backs away from scrapping District Salmon Fishery Boards

The Scottish Government has U-turned on its commitment to scrap Scotland’s District Salmon Fishery Boards, the time-honoured bodies responsible for managing most of Scotland salmon fisheries.

The Scottish Government initiated a ‘Wild Fisheries Review’ in 2014 because it considered that the Board system was “not fit for purpose in the 21st century”. After a two year review and consultation process, the Scottish Government committed itself to a Reform programme to replace the Boards with a network of ‘Fishery Management Organisations’. Unfortunately there was no commitment for additional funding to make the new system work.

After looking at the feasibility of introducing a rod licensing scheme to bridge the funding gap the Government has issued a press release headlined ‘Protecting the rights of Angler’, which announces the reprieve for Boards. The release also announces that the Government has backed away from its earlier proposal to make fishing for trout without permission a criminal offence.

Northern Ireland Water pays £8,500 to angling club after devastating pollution

Northern Ireland Water has paid £8,500 in compensation to the Ballynure Angling Club as a result of a claim made by Fish Legal. It followed a devastating pollution on the Six Mile Water in 2011 which the public reported had killed thousands of fish including salmon, wild brown trout and dollaghan (migratory trout).

An assessment carried out by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) found large amounts of sewage fungus downstream of the Ballyclare Waste Water Treatment Works.  Read more…

Get Out There,

Get Fishing!

With the worst of winter nearly over, now’s the time to Spring Into Fishing at one of our free, fun and friendly activity days for families this March. We want new anglers to come and try fishing at events across the country.

More info and dates

Why not tell a friend or family member, too? Just click here.

Shooting for fish!

Win a day’s shooting for you and 7 pals worth £15,000 at the prestigious Hurdcott/Compton Chamberlayne shoot in Wiltshire and support the work of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal. Tickets cost £100 and are strictly limited to 300 – so the odds are very good! Buy tickets online

Your views on beaver

What’s your view on the reintroduction of beaver in Britain? The University of Exeter is carrying out independent research investigating attitudes to reintroduction and inviting the public to complete an online questionnaire. You will also be offered the opportunity to receive the results and enter a draw to win an iPad Mini.

Find out more…

Are you ready for a Spring Clean?

Angling volunteers up and down the country do a great job in cleaning up our riverbanks, lakesides and beaches of litter. Not only does it protect fish and fishing, it benefits other wildlife and the environment, too.
So this spring we are encouraging fishery owners, clubs, anglers and other individuals to organise a litter pick and help clean up the rubbish. We’d love to hear all about your spring clean, who took part, how many bags you filled, unusual rubbish collected … and don’t forget to send us pictures we can use on our website and social media. Please email to
Our friends at the Wye & Usk Foundation are supporting the Great British Spring Clean initiative aiming to bring people together to clear up the litter that blights towns, villages, countryside and coastline. You can register your efforts, too.

Find out more about our Tidy Anglers campaign…

Have a splash on the Waterside! £3 off Countryfile Live tickets

The Angling Trust and Get Hooked on Fishing will be at this year’s BBC Countryfile Live, at Blenheim Palace from 3-6 August. Situated alongside the River Glyme, sessions in the Family Fishing area are geared up for all ages and abilities, from complete beginners through to “top tips” for more experienced anglers, and a crew of kayaking, canoe and coracle instructors will be inviting you to have a splash too!

We are pleased to offer you £3 off the advance adult ticket price*. Tickets are now on sale. Select the promotion ‘Angling Trust’ and enter the code ANGLING when booking to take advantage of this special offer.
(*This offer does not apply to Boat House Club tickets. Discount applies to ticket price only. Safety equipment will be provided).