Monthly Archives: June 2013

Statement from Angling Trust about Severn Seal

Over the last three weeks, there have been a number of reports of at least one seal in the River Severn and the lower reaches of the River Teme. It has been seen eating salmon, and spawning barbel and chub in a number of different locations many miles apart and several anglers have contacted the Angling Trust with their concerns about the presence of this marine mammal in these rivers, and its potential impact on fish stocks if it is allowed to remain in the river system for an extended period of time. Anglers are particularly concerned that the Teme is a SSSI and the seal could do long term damage to the balance of nature in an area acknowledged by Natural England to “support plants and animals that find it more difficult to survive in the wider countryside”.

Natural England and the Environment Agency have previously made it clear to the Angling Trust that they were unwilling to do anything to assist angling interests when a seal was eating fish and birds at Bewdley, despite the Environment Agency’s statutory duty to ‘maintain, improve and develop fisheries’ and the fact that they have helped with the removal of seals in the past from rivers in Wales.

Therefore the Angling Trust immediately contacted the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) as soon as we were made aware of the seal to ask for their assistance in capturing the animal and returning it to its natural habitat in the sea. The BDMLR remains willing to help with such a capture in principle, but have warned that there are significant practical difficulties with capturing a seal in a river and that the best chance of doing so would be […]

By |June 25th, 2013|News|Comments Off on Statement from Angling Trust about Severn Seal|

First Avon barbel and the chub boom

An Avon barbel is often not expected until July, and the murky river means that the almost essential spotting is quite difficult. The low water levels, high temperatures and lack of streamer weed seem to have produced a more dense algal bloom than usual; the river will often take well into July to clear, but seems exceptionally coloured for the time of year.

Pleased therefore to take a fit and feisty seven pound barbel in a catch of eleven chub this afternoon. The chub were in a greedy mood, as is likely early season, and they went bonkers for a simple pellet rig, just aimed at getting a few bites. Actually, at least one of the chub was caught twice, and he did not take long to recover and come back for more.

The chub were all in quite good condition, and fought very well, and were mostly around four to five pounds, with one just topping six pounds.

A day or so later I was pestered by smaller fish, with sparkling little fish of barely a pound wolfing down the pellets. The Avon chub population is looking very healthy, with some very big fish, and a good range of year classes in evidence. The Avon chub fishing has probably never been as good as it currently is on the middle river.

By |June 22nd, 2013|Pete's River Diary|Comments Off on First Avon barbel and the chub boom|

Les barbeaux de la Vienne

A chance of a few days on the lovely River Vienne, after an invite at fairly short notice, was not to be missed. I have fished here before, and relished the scenery, the food, the wine, the fishing, and meeting the people that make this part of France so relaxing and charming.

The Vienne, a rocky, surging river, not unlike the Wye, is largely unfished, and the carp are more attractive to the locals than the barbel. The local anglers are becoming very educated in fish welfare, and the young carp anglers are keen and respectful of their quarry. The carp in the Vienne do not grow big by French standards, but fight like crazy. The silures, the catfish, are still prized by all as a delicacy, as are the sandres, zander, but the barbel are left alone for some reason.

They do not grow big, but are numerous and fight hard, and a pleasant day catching fierce little French barbel in virgin swims, with sight of another angler a rarity, is an experience I shall return for.

We found lots of new swims, spent lazy days catching barbel and carp, and few bream, and had a glorious time. A five pound barbel was a monster, and truly felt like one.

I learnt a recipe for bream that involved a lot of boiling, making a bouillon, and addition of a range of herbs and spices, from a strange but fascinating lady who came to chat, as the French do, while I was fishing, but do not intend to try it out.

By |June 16th, 2013|Pete's River Diary|Comments Off on Les barbeaux de la Vienne|