Monthly Archives: December 2016

Major pollution incident on River Teifi highlights national failure of government to tackle agricultural pollution

This week the River Teifi in Wales, which was once one of the premier salmon and sea trout rivers in the UK, was polluted with farm slurry and hundreds, possibly thousands, of fish have been killed. The impact on fish stocks is likely to be very severe for up to a decade, and thousands of both local and visiting anglers who bring money into the Welsh economy will have their sport destroyed.

Fish Legal, a membership association for angling clubs and fishery owners, is fighting more than 60 legal cases throughout the UK and is investigating the Teifi pollution case to see if it can make a compensation claim for its member angling clubs and riparian owners who have been affected. However, many elderly anglers who have fished the river all their lives may not live to see it restored to its former glory. Thousands of anglers on internet forums have expressed their fury in the past two days about the pollution of this beautiful river.

This tragic incident is the latest in a rising tide of major pollutions from farms affecting rivers in England and Wales. Government figures show that farming is now the top cause of major pollution incidents and also the principal cause of the general malaise affecting the majority of rivers. The Angling Trust has repeatedly called for tougher regulation of farmers for more than five years, including earlier this month on BBC Countryfile, but governments in Westminster and Cardiff have chosen to take a light touch to regulation.

The Angling Trust is, coincidentally, this week responding to a consultation from Welsh Assembly Government about a proposal to define the whole of Wales as a Nitrate Vulnerable Zone, which would place greater restrictions […]

By |December 22nd, 2016|News|Comments Off on Major pollution incident on River Teifi highlights national failure of government to tackle agricultural pollution|

Tony Miles

The Barbel Society is very saddened to hear that one of our founder members, highly respected specimen angler and writer Tony Miles has passed away.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this very difficult time.

By |December 8th, 2016|News|Comments Off on Tony Miles|

Hampshire Avon fish habitat projects

The Barbel Society (BS), Environment Agency (EA) and Wessex Chalk Stream and Rivers Trust (WCSRT) are pleased to announce details of the latest habitat improvement projects completed as part of a continuing partnership which plans to improve habitat for fish fry and other wildlife on the Hampshire Avon.

Using funding provided by the EA and BS, and technical and logistical support from WCSRT, ten log deflectors and five fry bays were constructed at a site near Fordingbridge, which will improve diversity of flow and create refuges for fish fry of all species, as well as connecting hundreds of metres of water meadow ditches to the main river. Live willow was also planted to create overhead and instream cover.

An old silted flight pond, within an old oxbow area, upstream of Ringwood, has been enlarged and connected to the river via a ditch, creating a large backwater which will again be an important refuge for fish fry of all species, as well as important plants, invertebrates and other wildlife.

Pete Reading, Conservation Officer for the Barbel Society said; “We are delighted with the positive results of our continuing partnership with the EA and WCSRT, and also with local landowners, and can see huge benefits for fish and other wildlife from these restoration measures”

Richard Battersby, Fisheries Team Leader for the Environment Agency said; “This is one of a number of projects we have delivered in partnership across the Wessex Area which has benefitted both fish and their habitat. Funding has been and is available through our Fisheries Improvement Programme which is directly funded by rod licence holders through the purchase of their EA rod licence. I would urge any interested clubs or groups who have any projects in mind […]

By |December 6th, 2016|News|Comments Off on Hampshire Avon fish habitat projects|

An appeal to all anglers from the Angling Trust

The Angling Trust is pressing hard to secure a better outcome for threatened bass stocks at the crucial forthcoming meeting of EU fisheries ministers on December 12th.

Across Northern Europe, sea bass stocks are in deep trouble because of commercial overfishing and the repeated failure of politicians and fishery managers to follow scientific advice and introduce the necessary conservation measures. The Angling Trust and Bass Anglers’ Sportfishing Society (B.A.S.S.) have pressed hard for a ban on bass netting and we fully support the EU Commission’s proposals for 2017 for a sustainable and well managed recreational and commercial hook and line only bass fishery.

Last year’s disproportionate restrictions on anglers and increased commercial catch limits were bad for bass, bad for coastal businesses, bad for the tackle trade and damaging to our sport. The Commission’s proposals would not only see the removal of the damaging bass nets, which also kill sea birds, porpoises, dolphins and seals, but the introduction of a more flexible monthly bag limit for anglers. This would be good news for the struggling charter boat fleet and for the fishing tackle trade as more anglers would once again go bass fishing.

But there’s a real danger that the proposals will be watered down in the face of political pressure from commercial fishermen and so we need to stand up and be counted as anglers.

The campaign seems to be going well and we already have over 6,000 signatures on our national petition. Lots of people have gone on to the campaign page to either sign or to send an email to their MP. However, we need to keep the pressure up and this is where YOU can help.

It would be great if you could sign the […]

By |December 1st, 2016|News|Comments Off on An appeal to all anglers from the Angling Trust|