Displaying items by tag: salmon

Fish Legal’s lawyers have written to the Director General for the Environment in Brussels to request that the European Commission considers infraction proceedings against the UK government in Northern Ireland for breaches of environmental legislation under plans to reopen the River Lagan for canal navigation which would have a devastating effect on recovering salmon and trout populations.

Fish Legal fishing newsThe Lagan Canal Restoration Trust – set up to oversee the ‘restoration’ of the Lagan corridor – counts among its partners both the Government Department for Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA).

The Trust intends to introduce a series of weirs and locks, straighten banks and dredge the river bed to enable tourists to travel the from Lough Neagh to Belfast, all of which would impede the passage of wild salmon returning to spawn in the upper sections of the river and could ultimately lead to their extinction on this particular river.

Whilst the work is being carried out in a piecemeal fashion, each development is regarded by Fish Legal as a step in a much larger planned project, and should require an environmental impact assessment (EIA) because of the cumulative impact on the river.

In July, Fish Legal – an environmental NGO set up to protect fisheries in the UK - informed the Government Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) that they faced legal action should the Northern Ireland Executive decide to proceed with the development without the benefit of a full EIA into the effect such work would have on the wild salmon, as well as other migratory fish in the Lagan system. Salmon angling is very important to Northern Ireland for tourism and for the many angling clubs that fish the river.

Fish Legal has now made an official complaint to the European Commission.

Justin Neal, solicitor at Fish Legal, said:
“Whilst the Government may feel the Lagan is under-exploited by daytrippers and holiday makers, it is a habitat for wild salmon – one of the most precious and threatened species found in UK rivers. At a time in history when wild salmon numbers are at their lowest levels we feel that the plans to recreate a navigable waterway in a series of small projects is not only unlawful – but also a sly move by the authorities to avoid the need to fulfil their obligations under EU law. The Trust agreement also goes to the heart of the contradiction inherent in DCAL’s responsibilities in Northern Ireland which on the one hand include protection of inland fisheries and on the other promoting such projects. We wait to see what the European Commission thinks.”

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Published in Latest UK fishing news

One and a half hours east of Vancouver, on the edge of the Canadian Rockies, is the Town of Chilliwack. Because of its fertile agricultural land, miners heading for the gold rush in the Fraser River canyon, settled the area in the mid nineteenth century. Today the region has become famous for a treasure of a different kind, the mighty white sturgeon and an incredible abundance of salmon.

Devasted by commercial fishing and dam programs in the once great sturgeon rivers of the US, the angler seeking a virtually guaranteed trophy photo of one these prehistoric creatures, should head to the Fraser River, British Columbia. Here they are strictly protected and can be found in both large numbers and impressive size. Sturgeon take a long time to reach maturity, twenty to twenty five years infact, so it is vital they are looked after.

Also, they will only spawn every four to seven years. The upsides are that they law eggs in vast numbers and can live to an enviable age of 150 years.

Arriving in mid October I was concerned about the onset of a Canadian winter and how it might make fishing uncomfortable. As it turned out the temperature for much of my week there was 60-74f. Whilst snow blanketed Toronto further east, the deflecting effect of the Rocky Mountain range and the temperate maritime climate of the Vancouver region combined to give me an added bonus to the fishing.

Boat LaunchI was booked in at the Rhombus Hotel, the meeting point for anglers and their guides every morning. I was to fish four days, two for salmon and two for sturgeon. On my first day I was collected by Mike Barnes, a genial giant with a lumberjack's handshake. The huge pick-up truck towed the jet boat to the launch point just a mile or so away. The launch area is a bit of a free for all as keen guides and ever keener anglers are eager to start fishing.

We positioned ourselves at the mouth of the Harrison River which flows into the Fraser. Two rods were rigged with spoons set on downriggers in the hope of a King (Chinook) Salmon. These fish are immense, in both size and power.
They have been caught up to 100lb in the Fraser River, although the average is around 30lb. Sadly we did not manage to boat one of these mighty fish, two escaped from the barbless hook but we did manage a fair few chum salmon, prevelant at this time of year, sharp toothed, mean, aggressive and powerful in their own right. Sitting quietly in the boat, with salmon leaping all around us and eagles circling overhead, this was a truly memorable first day.

Day two was a sturgeon day. My guide was Matt Molloy, a slim, friendly fisherholic. Matt keeps a photo album on his boat which would make any fly angler green with envy. Inside are pictures of huge steelhead caught in winter and pristine, wild rainbows of impressive size caught further up in the Rockies, all on the fly. His tales of black widow spiders frequenting the banks of his hidden lakes, made me think that perhaps the winter steelhead might be the better option personally. Either that or use a float tube!

Stout rods, multipliers and heavy leads to keep the bait static in the fast current were now the armoury. A mesh bag of salmon eggs dipped in a secret formula was the menu du jour. We didn't have to wait long before the ratchet started to click and a sturgeon slowly moved off with the bait. My strike was met with solid resistance as the rod hooped over and line worked its way off the spool. The line rose in the water and the fish created a knee wobbling swirl just beneath the surface. After a ten minute tussle, my first ever sturgeon was ready to be brought into the boat. Estimated at around 50-60lb, this wasn't a big fish by Fraser River standards but I was more than pleased. The fish is unlike anything else that swims, a total throwback to a prehistoric time. Tiny eyes, huge barbules, and armour plating along its lateral line and the centre of the back. Another 4 sturgeon at regular intervals took us into the afternoon. Then it happened, what we were waiting for, the big one. This time, when the hook was set, the rod was nearly wrenched from my arms. Lined poured off the reel at an unstoppable pace, a huge displacement of water silenced us both. Then, in a second, the line went solid. The fish had found one of the many submerged trees, dragged into the water by floods. I felt distraught. Judging by the movement of water created by the fish, Matt reckoned it could have been 10ft plus.

sturgeonWe fished on and was rewarded by four more sturgeon, including a wonderful fish measuring 6' 6" (sturgeon are measured, not weighed here prior to release). Stories of monster sturgeon hooked in the Fraser canyon but completely impossible to move, now seemed much more believable.

By the end of the day my groin was feeling more than a little sore. Matt reserves the butt pad for the monsters and makes you feel like a big girl if you request one on anything else. This is Canada.

Day three was a flyfishing for salmon day. Once again, the Harrison River played host to guide Glenn, originally from L.A. and myself. If you ever want to practise your casting as well as guarantee catching salmon on the fly, there can be few places finer. As with all fishing here, it is done with barbless hooks. On one cast I managed to hook three consecutive salmon.
Each one escaped. You are actually standing in amongst the salmon, there are that many. Once every two years they also get a run of pink salmon to add to the bounty. This river system is too incredible to describe.

My final days fishing was to be with Matt again, heading downstream this time. The use of a electronic equipment enable fishing locations to be found and recorded and are invaluable when paying customers need their fill of sturgeon. Matt's use of this equipment was invaluable. Surprisingly, for such a massive waterway, we were only fishing in water averaging depths of around 16ft. The eggs and secret formula were once again irresistible to the sturgeon. I notched up ten good sized sturgeon before Matt decided, for the last hour, to try another mark. One that had produced some big fish in the past but had not come up with the goods recently.

ChumThe sun was dipping between the mountains, still bathing us in warmth, the air was completely still as Matt picked up three very large fish on the sounder. Almost shaking with hope rather than anticipation, would we get one last chance at a big girl?

We launched the baits and settled down, transfixed on the rod tips and not muttering a sound. We did not want to risk disturbing the fish by any vibration through the aluminium hull. No more than five minutes had passed when the right hand rod nodded then pulled over. Once again the hook set was met with huge resistance. The line rose as the fish surged towards the surface. It cleared the water with an acrobatic leap, silhouetted against the setting sun it was an unforgettable sight. I gave everything, not wanting the fish to find a sunken tree. It was all I could think about. Matt was grinning and seeing a different side to me as I gave no quarter. I lost track of time throughout the tug of war and when the fish finally succumbed, the feeling of relief suddenly lurched into jubilation. Matt had been on his mobile to a friend and his partner who were fishing nearby. They motored over to us and helped with measuring, weighing and photographs. I could barely lift its head! It measured 7ft 2". Each year, fish much larger than mine are caught but that doesn't matter to me. I got what I came for, and then some. Nineteen sturgeon in two days and more salmon than I could count.

I have been forunate in that I have fished in many places around the world, so far this tops the lot.

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Any angler aged 12 years or over, fishing for salmon, trout, freshwater fish or eels in England (except the River Tweed), Wales or the Border Esk and its tributaries in Scotland must have an Environment Agency rod licence.

Environment Agency Rod LicenceRod licences are available from Post Office outlets throughout England and Wales, online, by direct debit and over the telephone on 0844 800 5386. The phone line is open from 8.30am to 8.00pm daily from March to September and 8.30am to 6.00pm from October to February.

How much does it cost?

Prices for 2009/10 Rod Licences - valid from 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010

Category Non-migratory trout, char, freshwater fish (coarse fish) and eels Salmon and migratory trout (sea trout), non-migratory trout, char, freshwater fish (coarse fish) and eels
Full season (expires 31st March 2010)  £26.00 £70.00
Junior Concession £5.00 £5.00
Senior Concession £17.25 £46.50
Disabled Concession £17.25 £46.50
8 Day £9.50  £22.50
1 Day £3.50 £7.75

A salmon and sea trout licence covers you to fish for non-migratory trout and coarse fish as well. Failure to have a licence is an offence.

Remember: If you are fishing with 3 or 4 rods then you will need to purchase a second licence.

Concessionary licences

  • junior concession is available to anglers aged 12 to 16 years inclusive
  • senior concession is available to anglers aged 65 years and over
  • disabled concession is available to anglers in receipt of a Blue Badge or Disability Living Allowance. You will need to provide your Blue Badge Number or National Insurance Number when buying your licence
Important information
  • Anglers under the age of 12 do not need a rod licence to go fishing
  • Full and concessionary rod licences expire on the 31st March each year
  • 1-day rod licence is valid for 24 consecutive hours
  • 8-day rod licence is valid for 192 consecutive hours from the start time and date
Be warned!
If you fish without a rod licence you are cheating other anglers, it is an offence to fish for freshwater fish and eels without a valid rod licence and if you are caught you may be fined up to £2,500.

The money raised through rod licence sales is invested directly in fisheries work that benefits all anglers.

** Buy a rod licence online now >>

Source: Environment Agency Rod Licence >>

Published in Latest UK fishing news

The British Mayflies Calendar 2007 is all three.

The 2007 British Mayflies CalenderThis beautifully produced, limited edition, publication is more than a mere calendar – it is something every keen fly fisher will want to keep well after Auld Lang Syne is sung on 31st December 2007.

Photographed by well-known naturalist and entomologist Dr Cyril Bennett, written by Craig Macadam, volunteer coordinator of the Ephemeroptera (Mayfly) Recording Scheme and published by the Riverfly Partnership.

There are 51 species of mayflies in the British Isles, 12 of which are highlighted within the calendar. Each mayfly has been photographed and is shown in great detail. These outstanding images of the dun and the nymph are supported by a distribution map and a calendar strip indicating the months when the species is most likely to be seen in flight.

The Salmon & Trout Association, Orvis and the Environment Agency are cosponsors of the calendar, which enables all income from sales to support work on British Mayflies. The calendar is available from Orvis for just £6.95.

The Riverfly Partnership is a network of organisations whose aim is to promote the understanding and conservation of riverflies.

“World class images supported by informative text” Steve Brooks, Entomologist at The Natural History Museum,

“The essential Christmas gift for every flyfisher,” Pat O’Reilly, author of Match the Hatch.

“An excellent calendar for a cause that all flyfishers can enthusiastically support.”  Paul Knight, Executive Director, Salmon & Trout Association.

“These high quality images really bring alive what we are all working to protect”   Ian Johnson, National Fisheries Policy Manager, Environment Agency

How to order – as an Individual? Individuals can order through the Orvis website on, in any one of the 20 Orvis Retail Stores across the UK, by Telephone on 0870-066-4177, by Fax on 0870-066-4190, or Email:

How to order – as a Retailer? Retailers should phone Orvis on 01264-349501, fax on 01264-349505 or Email their order to to receive their wholesale price. We will only accept payment in advance of shipment. Minimum order of 10 calendars.

Source: Salmon & Trout Association UK


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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

Fly Fishing in Iceland - courtesy of Beckmann Visual Publishing

This ambitious and exciting film about fly fishing in Iceland follows Icelandic local fishermen as they pursue their catch - Arctic Salmon, Sea Trout and Arctic Char.

Fly Fishing In Iceland DVDThis is a unique fishing film allowing you to see the different fishing culture of Iceland first hand. Iceland is beautiful and a fish-rich, enchanting setting for fishermen keen to share with you their expertise and experiences. Though the northern summers are short, the fish are plentiful, offering up many unforgettable fights between man and his quarry.

The producer Eggert Skulason is the editor of the premier Icelandic fishing magazine called "Veidimadurinn" (The Fishermam). He has been fishing in Iceland for over three decades and has all the skills needed to point out the best places to fish and explain the tactics that work. Eggert is also a veteran producer having produced over 40 fishing films.

Five very different rivers are fished in this film, providing great variety. Among them is the River Hofsa, visited by Prince Charles for many years and a small but beautiful river in an isolated fjord that gets invaded by arctic Char every summer. The film contains some stunning unerwater footage including a big Char chasing and eventually catching the fly.

The DVD also includes maps of locations fished in the programme

Running Time: approximately 67 mins

Right from the start, I should say that I am neither a fly fishermen, neither have I ever been to Iceland. After watching this video though, I am seriously considering doing both!!

This is not fly fishing as most of us probably know it. Rather than well stocked commercial trout fisheries, this is fishing at its best, on wild natural rivers that tumble their way through some dramatic and stunning scenery.

The DVD manages to create just the right balance between technical fishing information about line, flies & techniques, footage of fish being played and caught and just unashamed shots of the wondeful Icelandic scenery. Underwater footage of fish in the natural habitat is almost obligatory in fishing videos these days and Fly Fishing in Iceland is no exception. It brings the whole experiece so much more to life.

I really enjoyed Fly Fishing In Iceland and would highly recommend it. Sitting at home in London on a miserable January afternoon, it has certainly made me want to get on my bike and experience other countries and the fishing they offer. If UK Fisherman doesn't get updated for while cos I've gone travelling, you can blame this film !!

Cheers for now ... Paul@UK Fisherman


Where to buy Fly Fishing In Iceland:
Fly Fishing in Iceland is available to puchase from Beckmann Visual Publishing in DVD format and is priced at £16.99.

To order this excellent DVD, visit

A big thank you to Kelly Smith and all at Beckmann Visual Publishing for supplying UK Fisherman with this DVD for review.

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