Displaying items by tag: rivers

In response to Tuesday’s report from the Environment Agency (EA) regarding the ecological status of water bodies in England and Wales, WWF and the Angling Trust have launched a joint campaign to restore and conserve a number of rivers in the UK that are under threat from pollution, over-abstraction and habitat damage.

Angling Trust Fishing NewsAs part of the HSBC Climate Partnership, WWF and the Angling Trust will implement a total of eight campaigns in as many months that call for clear and immediate action on specific local problems to restore and conserve the biodiversity and fisheries of these rivers. These local campaigns will also be used as case studies nationally to highlight the widespread nature of threats to our rivers.

The first of these campaigns will focus on the River Tame and middle Trent catchment. Parts of the Trent have been identified as being amongst the lowest quality rivers in Europe, according to the EA report. The campaign was launched on Tuesday, with coverage on BBC Breakfast News: Click here to watch the interview in full

The Angling Trust had already begun research on this river after identifying that urban run off was a key factor in its degradation. Then in June 2009, more than 1000 fish were killed as a result of increased urban run off following some severe storms over Birmingham.  With climate change scenarios predicting a more unstable weather pattern, which will see an increase in storms and flooding, it is essential for the security of the River Trent, its wildlife, the local communities and the angling clubs that the issue of urban runoff is addressed by the local councils immediately.

Mark Owen, Environmental Campaigns Manager at the Angling Trust, who will be leading on these campaigns, said: “Our focus for this catchment is to ensure that we have an effective Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS) in place to reduce the risk of urban run off in the face of a changing and unstable climate. Pollution from urban run-off, such as Birmingham, is a major problem in many English rivers. However, if pollution is properly managed, then we can create attractive and useful havens for wildlife and angling which will reduce the speed and quantity of run-off from the vast paved areas in urban areas.”

The Angling Trust and WWF will focus on bringing together the two councils which suffer the brunt of the pollution, Tamworth and Burton, with Birmingham City Council to develop solutions to the issue, focusing on an improved SUDs policy in Birmingham. This plan will also need to take into account the potential increases in population, due to the planned development of half a million more homes by 2026 in the region, which will add additional urban run-off and sewage. Much can be achieved by improving the design of new developments to allow surface water to soak away and be stored in small scale storage areas.

WWF’s Policy and Programme Manager for Freshwater, Rose Timlett, commented on the EA report; “The confirmation that over 74% of our rivers currently fall below the ‘good ecological status’ line, is a wake-up call to the government that the time to act is now. These rivers are our water supply and they are the lifeblood for an abundance of wildlife. Anglers are the eyes and ears of our waterways and the Angling Trust’s involvement in the protection of UK Rivers is therefore imperative to securing a healthy future for them”.

The joint partnership between the Angling Trust and WWF, supported by HSBC, will campaign to get local councils, the government, the Environment Agency and farmers to make the necessary changes to secure the health of our waterways.

The eight campaigns will focus on keys issues such as over abstraction, urban and agricultural diffuse pollution, barriers to fish migration and hydropower installations.
Anglers can get involved by adopting a river and writing a letter to their MPs from the Our Rivers website ( encouraging the Environment Agency to show much greater ambition in the River Basin Management Plans. There will also be various community events organised by local angling groups for local residents and anglers to get hands on in the conservation of their local rivers such as clean-up days.

Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust said: “the Angling Trust will be writing to all its member clubs and riparian owners asking for suitable candidate campaigns. Anglers have, for generations, done more than any other group to campaign for and implement improvements to our rivers. We know what the problems are and our great numbers can help persuade politicians that action should be taken to address them. By teaming up with the largest environmental charities in the country, we have been able to broaden the base of support for implementing these solutions.”

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Published in Latest UK fishing news

More than half (52 per cent) the people questioned would not swim in their local river because they think it is too polluted. That was the shocking finding from a survey carried out for the Blueprint for Water [1], a coalition of leading conservation groups.

Angling TrustThe survey, carried out by ComRes [2], also found 97 per cent of people in England recognise that rivers, ponds, streams and lakes are a vital part of the countryside and 94 per cent of people often visit a stream, river or lake to relax or for leisure, but three-quarters feel that the water environment is at risk.

Helen Meech, Senior External Affairs Officer at The National Trust, said: “2009 is a big year for water with the prospect of new legislation and the price review for the water industry. There is a real need for Government to act now and provide clear leadership on this issue that matters so much to so many people.”

When asked, more that eight out of ten people agreed that the Government should be doing more to protect English lakes, streams, rivers and ponds, with pollution, over use of water, drought and climate change identified as some of the key threats.

Over the last two years the Blueprint for Water coalition has been urging the Government to take action to change the way we manage our water.

The coalition wants a country where we are less wasteful of our water; where we keep our rivers flowing, clean and healthy and our wetlands wet; where the water we use is priced fairly and polluters are made to pay; where our waste is properly treated and not washed straight into waterways. In 2006, coalition members handed Ministers a 10-step plan for improving the water environment for people and wildlife by 2015.

The Blueprint for Water will publish their third document ‘2009 the time to act’ to coincide with World Water Day tomorrow (22 March). This publication sets out water priorities for 2009 and states that although significant progress has been made in some areas of water policy, there has been little progress in others.

Rob Cunningham, Head of Water Policy at RSPB said: “For too long we’ve taken water for granted as a nation. The results of this poll clearly demonstrate that clean good quality water really does matter to people, and that urgent action is needed to protect this most precious natural resource.”

The coalition is calling upon the Government to make the most of the new legislation on floods and water expected this spring, as well as key decisions on water company investment and implementation of the Water Framework Directive, to protect water for the benefit of both people and wildlife across the UK.

Jacob Tompkins, Director of Waterwise said: “The Government seized the initiative with its Future Water strategy last year. Now we need to deliver on its principles. We need to see water efficiency on a vast scale, with tens of thousands of homes retrofitted at a time and full metering so homes pay for the amount of water they actually use. These measures will also make less water go further, as we cope with the impacts of climate change.”

Source: Angling Trust

Published in Latest UK fishing news

With over 1.3 million rod licences sold last year, the Environment Agency says 2009 is set to be a bumper year for angling

Record number of rod licence sales last year as credit crunch bites

More than 1.3 million people took to the rivers in 2008 fully armed with a fishing rod and licence in a bid to find credit crunch-friendly entertainment that won’t break the bank.

Rod licence sales hit a record high last year and are predicted to increase by a further 26,000 this year as cash-strapped consumers seek out cheap alternatives to increasingly expensive trips to the cinema, football and theatre.

At just £25 for a full year’s coarse fishing licence, and with rod and line packages starting from around £30, fishing is becoming the price-savvy consumer’s pastime of choice, coming in at under £5 a month. Annually, that’s £40 cheaper than a monthly trip to the cinema (without overpriced snacks), over £300 cheaper than a monthly theatre ticket, and over £500 cheaper than a Premier League season ticket.

Mat Crocker, Head of Fisheries at the Environment Agency, said: “Angling is one of the most popular participator sports in the world – and is a cheap, healthy and environmentally friendly pastime that everyone can enjoy. It brings huge social and community benefits as well as contributing to the conservation and biodiversity of our waterways.

“Environment Agency research also shows that anglers generate around £1billion in revenue every year – a vital contribution to the UK economy.“

Rod licence sales generate over £23 million in revenue each year, which the Environment Agency ploughs directly back into the sport.

The £25 rod licence fee helps pay for habitat improvement works, fisheries research, monitoring and advice to owners on fish stocks. It also funds the specialist equipment used in fish rescues and enforcement to protect fish stocks, as well as the Environment Agency’s fish farms at Calverton and Leyland. These fish farms provide hundreds of thousands of fish which are stocked to improve popular angling spots and rivers across England and Wales.

Improved river quality over the past decade has also helped boost fish stocks for the sport – for example, salmon numbers in England and Wales have increased by 40,000 in the last ten years thanks to better water quality and improved habitats.

Buying a new rod licence couldn’t be easier – around 15,000 Post Offices and other outlets sell them; a direct debit can be set up, and they can be purchased over the telephone on 0870 166 2662. Alternatively buy online at any time, day or night.

The first rod licences were issued in the 1860s for the newly created fishery districts. Much like today, they were available to buy at the post office. The cost of a licence varied across the districts and a licence had to be purchased for every district in which you fished. A national rod licence was introduced 1992, allowing anglers to fish anywhere in England and Wales with just one licence.

For more information about fishing in England and Wales visit

source: Environment Agency Fishing News

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Published in Latest UK fishing news

Launch of London's first ever action plan to reclaim and restore some of the city's 'lost' and neglected rivers.Rejuvenating 15 kilometres of waterways to create a better place for wildlife and Londoners.

London’s first action plan to restore the capital’s rivers and create a better place for people and wildlife was launched today (Thursday).

Plan to restore London’s lost and neglected riversRiver quality in the River Thames has improved greatly since the industrial revolution but the many tributaries still suffer from the 20th century legacy of confining rivers in concrete channels. The London Rivers Action Plan (LRAP) aims to restore these rivers to their natural state, creating a more sustainable city, as well as reduce flood risk and improving the environment for all.

The aim is to restore 15 kilometres of Thames tributaries by 2015, on rivers such as the Roding, Wandle, Colne and many others. An example of the positive benefits of river restoration is in Greenwich, southeast London, where a section of the River Quaggy has been brought out of its underground culvert and into a landscaped park. The river now flows visibly across Sutcliffe Park, creating wetlands with cycleways, footpaths and open spaces. It has become a valuable community asset and a haven for many forms of wildlife including kingfishers and several types of dragonfly.

The London Rivers Action Plan, produced in partnership by the Greater London Authority, Environment Agency, Natural England and voluntary organisation including the Thames Rivers Restoration Trust, London Wildlife Trust and WWF UK will help all organisations such as government agencies, private developers and voluntary groups work together to achieve improved rivers.

Isabel Dedring, Director of Environmental Policy for the Mayor of London, said: “This plan will deliver aesthetic benefits but will also help us prepare for our changing climate. Restoring our rivers will play a part in making London a more attractive place for people to come to live and invest.”

Many of London’s rivers were built into heavily engineered channels to combat flooding and enable urban development. However, today’s aspiration is to create a more natural environment to adapt to climate change and a growing city.

Dave Webb, Project Manager for the Environment Agency, said: ‘We are striving to improve London’s most damaged rivers, and we believe we can create important habitats and improve every Londoner’s life with new open spaces.

“River restoration can also reduce the risk of flooding to homes and businesses, and with the pressures of climate change this is yet another compelling reason to take care of our environment.”

Today’s announcement also feeds into the Environment Agency’s plans aimed at improving rivers and wetlands in England and Wales, which are currently undergoing public consultation. For more details visit

As well as the action plan, the main tool will be an interactive website at, maintained by the River Restoration Centre, which will contain a database of opportunities to work in partnership on river restoration, advice and information, as well as best practice examples.

Source: The Environment Agency

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Published in Latest UK fishing news

Nearly 4,000 juvenile fish have been released by Environment Agency fisheries teams in and around London rivers today Tuesday 9 December.

The Hogsmill at the Open space on the river Hogsmill, Beverley Brook at Richmond Park and the River Wandle near Ravensbury Park are now the new homes for the young fish thanks to a yearly stocking programme by the Environment Agency.

The batches of two year-old barbel, chub, roach and dace have been specially reared and trained for life in the wild at the Environment Agency’s Calverton Fish Farm in Nottinghamshire and were released into three different locations.

Environment Agency fisheries officers released Chub, Roach and Dace into the Hogsmill near West Ewell and the Beverley Brook at Richmond Park. Both are urban rivers and since they have begun to recover from historic pollution and degradation they have been stocked regularly by the Environment Agency. The rivers are still vulnerable from low water levels and at risk of pollution by mis-connections of domestic appliances and industrial accidents. However, these rivers offer valuable wildlife habitat and recreational space in a predominantly urban area.

The Wandle was stocked with Barbel, Chub, Roach and Dace at Hackbridge, Poulters Park, Ravensbury Park and Morden Hall. These areas were affected by a major pollution event in September 2007. The Environment Agency has been working closely with local and national angler groups, landowners and regulators to find opportunities to further improve habitat along the river and provide shelter for smaller fish in high flows and help protect them from predators and pollution events. Previous stocking has shown that fish thrive in the River Wandle because it is so productive.

Environment Agency fisheries officer Tanya Houston said: “The release of 4,000 fish into these rivers will really enhance the local environment. Healthy rivers have good fish populations which form a key element of the aquatic environment and our restocking programme ensures that a wide variety of fish can flourish and give local people the opportunity to enjoy the river within an urban area”.

The Environment Agency carry out more than 500 fish stockings transfers every year. Stocking of fish can bring socio-economic and conservation benefits to fisheries by increasing the numbers and species of fish available for capture, or by restoring stocks lost due to pollution or habitat degradation.


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Published in Latest UK fishing news

'Barbel Rivers and Captures' By The Barbel CatchersClub

Compiled By Mick Wood and Bob Singleton

There have been revolutionary advances in barbel fishing since the publication of Barbel by the Barbel Catchers Club (BBC) published by The Crowood Press in 1988, and the BCC has been at the forefront of these dramatic developments.

This long awaited, and entirely new volume written by BCC members comprehensively covers the modern barbel fishing scene, discusses the size of the fish now caught and illustrates the changes that have taken place in tackle, tactics and baits. There are individual chapters on each major barbel river in England from the smallest streams, such as the Lodden and the Holybrook, to the mighty Midlands rivers, the Trent and the Severn, to the Yorkshire spate rivers and the crystalline waters of the famous Hampshire Avon. Each river chapter is written by an experienced angler with proven success on the river in question and culminates with a fascinating account of the capture of a really special barbel weighing in excess of 10 lb.

This remarkable book provides a wealth of expert information and explores not only traditional fishing methods but also ground-breaking new ideas. Lavishly illustrated with 200 images including photographs, drawings and diagrams, and a colour-plate section, this is an indispensable volume for both the barbel enthusiast and general river angler alike.

Barbel Rivers and Captures is written by the Barbel Catchers Club and provides a vast amount of information about the contemporary barbel-fishing scene. Written by experts, it comprehensively covers all the major barbel rivers in England.

Contents include:

  • Indivual chapters on twenty-nine rivers, or sections of river
  • Detailed and fascinating accounts of the capture of a 'big barbel' on each river
  • Modern Baits-both pellet and HNV specials
  • Scores of photographs, some in full colour, of barbel catches over 10lb
  • Diagrams illustrating rigs, feeders and swims
  • A review of devolpments in barbel fishing since the late 1980's and a consideration of the future of barbel fishing
  • Details of the Barbel Catchers Club River Records and the Clubs 'top fifty' barbel.

The Barbel Catchers Club (BCC) were established in 1977 with the objective of providing a forum for debating key issues and discussing new ideas. Since its formation, the BCC has been extremely successful and has been at the forefront of virtually every breakthrough in barbel angling.

The club is organised by dedicated barbel anglers for barbel anglers and emphasizes the social aspect of the sport rather than its political and commercial divisions. The BCC is divided into seven regional groups, (Chiltens, Midland/Cotswold, Northwest, Southdown, Southern, Wessex and Yorkshire) and has its own website and its own Magazine entitled Barbus. All members write at least one article each year for the magazine, which also provides a forum for news and views.

To order your copy of this fantastic book, please visit:

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Published in Various
Help "save the salmon" in Carmarthenshire

Carmarthenshire's salmon are set to benefit from a new partnership project between Carmarthenshire Fishermen's Federation (CFF) and Environment Agency Wales.

The project – Supporting Catch and Release has been set up to help save Carmarthenshire salmon by encouraging more anglers to release their catch back to the river. Anglers that register their released salmon will also have the chance to win angling-related prizes, and all anglers will receive limited edition CFF badges.

With salmon numbers throughout the county's rivers declining, there may not even be enough salmon to sustain stocks. Action aimed at conserving and rebuilding these valuable fisheries is urgently required. This project should help ensure that our future generations can enjoy the social and economic benefits associated with thriving salmon stocks in Carmarthenshire.

Catch and Release is an effective management tool which is supported by anglers, the Environment Agency, sports governing bodies and international salmon organisations. By practising catch and release anglers can continue to fish whilst still protecting the stocks.

Anglers that register their released salmon will also be entered into an end of season prize draw. An extensive list of reward-prizes include fishing tackle and fishing permits on the prime Tywi and Taf estate and club waters. All anglers releasing salmon will receive limited edition CFF badges, either bronze, silver or gold, according to the number of fish released to river.

The Supporting Catch and Release promotion will be open to all anglers fishing the rivers Tywi and Taf and will run from 16 June until 7 October. Claim forms will be widely available locally to register a released salmon.

Philip Morgan Fisheries Officer for Carmarthenshire said: ‘Increasing salmon release rates on the county's rivers together with other measures such as building fish passes and restoring degraded habitat, will help with the recovery of stocks. All anglers can get involved and play their own part in helping to conserve and restore our precious salmon stocks.’

Garth Roberts, Hon Secretary of Carmarthenshire Fishermen’s Federation added: ‘The rewards of releasing a salmon are modest compared with the value of our wild salmon to the local community. By working in partnership we are able to achieve real benefits for fish stocks on our rivers.’

Source: The Environment Agency

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Published in Game Fishing Articles

FACT Launches two posters to save Nation’s fisheries

Fish theft and spread of disease have been the big issues for Britain ’s anglers over the last two years. The Fish Welfare Group, a working committee of Fisheries and Angling Conservation Trust (FACT), recently launched two posters carrying key messages for the health of our fisheries;

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