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Monday, 12 January 2009 00:00

2009 set to be a bumper year for fishing

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 www.environment-agency.gov.uk/rodlicence 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 www.environment-agency.gov.uk/fish

source: Environment Agency Fishing News

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Published in Latest UK fishing news
Saturday, 17 January 2009 17:04

Pick Pickering for Sportswoman of the Year

The Sunday Times has launched their 2008 Sportswoman of the Year competition, and angling needs you to support our own female superstar, 2008 World Champion Emma Pickering.

Angling TrustThis year’s competition will be incredibly close following the successes of our female athletes at the Beijing Olympics; however angling has been just as successful and needs anglers to stand up and be counted.

Female star, Emma Pickering from Doncaster, brought home her own gold medal with an epic display at the World Ladies Angling Championships in Hungary last August, fishing for the Subfish Team England Ladies.

Published in Latest UK fishing news
Saturday, 17 January 2009 10:22

A Trust for all Anglers

The merger of six angling and conservation bodies creating the Angling Trust, the new voice of angling, was completed to plan on Monday, January 5 2009.

Angling Trust“It is an organisation angling has needed for many years,” said Stephen Marsh-Smith, the first chairman of the Trust. “It represents more than a million regular coarse, game and sea anglers in England. Angling contributes £3.5 billion to the economy and supports 37,000 jobs.”

Embodying all the assets and staff of the legacy organisations, the trust will be publicly launched at 10 am next Wednesday, January 14 at the Fishmongers’ Hall, London Bridge.

Among the guests will be Martin Salter MP, the government’s spokesman for angling and shooting.

A trust for all anglers“Dr. Marsh-Smith said nearly 2,500 individual anglers and clubs had already signed-up to the trust which would “run a forthright campaign to conserve marine and freshwater fisheries, promote and protect all recreational angling against commercial overfishing, habitat destruction, poaching and disease.

“We also plan to develop coaching and education for new and experienced anglers, increase participation in national and international competitions and tackle the growing problem of the predators which attack our fisheries.

“It is an ambitious programme but we believe anglers will support us and we are encouraged by the supportive messages we have already received,” Dr. Marsh-Smith added.

Individual membership is £20 a year which includes public liability insurance, newsletters and magazines. Members will be enrolled in Fish for Free (www.fishforfree.net) an innovative loyalty programme which generates credits for fishing equipment, permits and the freshwater rod licence. Clubs will be able to join Fish Legal which provides advice and takes action against polluters.

Mark Lloyd, chief executive of the Angling Trust said: “Now that we have a single body for all anglers with a comprehensive benefits, we look forward to their support and to working for and with them. We will only be able to do that if we have the mandate and the resources to do so.”

The Angling Trust’s web site www.anglingtrust.net is now live and will be developed further over the next few weeks. Anglers can sign up on-line, by telephone or by post.

Source: Angling Trust

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Published in Latest UK fishing news
Monday, 22 December 2008 00:00

Fish move home for Christmas

Around 8,000 fish in Ely have been re-homed by the Environment Agency due to spawning being too successful.

Large numbers of healthy juvenile roach, rudd and common bream have been thriving in two fishing lakes near Ely but there were so many fish they were competing for food.

Fisheries officers from the Environment Agency carried out exploratory netting in the lakes to identify the number of fish and the species living there.

As a result, more than 500lb of fish were moved to local fisheries on 3 and 15 December, including the popular angling venues at Cambridge Fish Preservation Society’s Barnwell Lake, Cambridge and Mundford Angling Club’s Buckenham Lake in Ickburgh, Norfolk.

Fisheries officer Justin Mould said: ‘During the winter months we try to re-home as many fish as possible from overcrowded lakes to angling club waters in need of a stock boost.

‘This is all part of the service provided by the Environment Agency and is paid for by anglers’ rod licences.’

The intervention by the Environment Agency will boost fish stocks and improve angling at the receiving lakes.

Source: www.environment-agency.gov.uk

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Published in Latest UK fishing news
Tuesday, 23 December 2008 14:31

Anglers Conservation Association News

The ACA held its EGM in Birmingham on Monday 8 December and agreed to change its name to Fish Legal and to join forces with the Angling Trust in England, with a proxy vote of 1,484 in favour to 67 against the change. This resounding vote opens an exciting new chapter for the organisation.

Anglers Conservation AssociationWe have sent new membership forms to all English individual members and club packs to all English clubs, riparian owners, commercial fisheries and trade members are being sent out at the moment. Members in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will continue their membership with Fish Legal. There will be more information available at www.anglingtrust.net and www.fishlegal.net when these web sites go live early in January.

The office will be closed over Christmas, but will reopen on 5 January when we will be happy to answer any questions members might have about the changes.

News from the Legal Department…

The ACA are delighted to have won damages for the Grantham Angling Association following the shocking pollution of the River Witham back in 2002. In the early hours of 3 April, 25,000 litres of chemical fertiliser poured from an agricultural storage tank, made its way into a nearby ditch and flowed downhill into the Witham. The chemical pollution moved slowly along the river, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake, with dead fish obvious for up to 15 km downstream from the point at which the pollution entered the watercourse and raised ammonia levels detected as far as 38km away. Brown trout, chub, roach, grayling and barbel all perished and near to the source of the pollution the chemicals were so concentrated that a dog died within minutes of jumping into the river for a swim. The valve on the tank was allegedly forced open in an act of vandalism and those responsible were never found. The Environment Agency prosecuted the suppliers of the agricultural chemicals, Omex Agricultural, who had supervised the siting of the tank on high ground, in an uninhabited farmyard, with inadequate security. In bringing a civil claim, the ACA won £6,000 in damages for the GAA and also recovered costs.

In an additional case, the ACA defended a spurious claim brought against the Grantham Angling Association by one of its ex-volunteer water bailiffs. The bailiff - now banned for life from the club - claimed for £700 worth of damage to his vehicle after allegedly driving over a loose bit of concrete on the access road to club's fishery. The claim was heard at Grantham County Court on 8th December 2008 but was dismissed on the grounds that the GAA was not liable for the alleged accident.

We are also celebrating a settlement on behalf of the Common Bank Angling Club based in Chorley, Lancashire. On two separate occasions in March 2006 usual suspect United Utilities allowed raw sewage to spew into a feeder stream that led to our member's lake, the Common Bank Lodge. The two spillages were attributed to a failure at a poorly maintained pumping station. Damage to the lake was compounded by a simultaneous diesel spill, allegedly coming from a nearby hospital. Several hundred perch, roach, gudgeon, bream, carp and a few pike were killed - the majority dying slowly from lack of oxygen, with flocks of gulls visiting in the days that followed to pick off the dead fish floating on the surface. Despite this pollution effectively destroying the fishery the club were surprised and disappointed with the Environment Agency's decision only to send a warning letter to the utility company with no further legal action. The ACA took on the case and won £4,000 for the club.

In mid-Wales, the ACA has secured £10,000 for the New Dovey Fisheries Association from Network Rail in recompense for embankment works on the River Dyfi that re-directed the watercourse, leaving precious sea trout pools in an old meander loop shallow and unfishable.

In Alfreton, Derbyshire, we have taken on a new case on behalf of the Excel Hatchery. A pipe owned and controlled by Severn Trent Water burst in September this year polluting our member's fishery, killing a large number of fish and leaving a large amount of deposited sewage in the lake. The club approached the ACA following a lack of response from Severn Trent Water and the Environment Agency. Meanwhile, three months after the burst, the sewage remains in the lake.

In other legal department news, we are pleased to announce that both Guy Linley-Adams, head solicitor here at the ACA and our man in Edinburgh, Bob Younger are both now qualified to practice in Scotland having studied for and passed the Law Society for Scotland's qualifying exams. This will remove the need for the ACA to instruct private agent solicitors in Scotland in order to issue proceedings and will mean that we operate more efficiently and can recover costs more easily following successful settlements north of the border.

Finally, we would like to thank two clubs for very kindly donating funds. Methyr Tydfil Angling Association donated £5,000 and Grantham Angling Association have given £1,000 following the successful conclusion of cases on the Taf Fechan and the Witham respectively. We are extremely grateful for these generous donations that will be ploughed back into our work to protect fisheries and the freshwater environment.

All that remains is to wish all our supporters a very Merry Christmas and a united New Year.

Source: www.a-c-a.org

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Published in Latest UK fishing news

Subfish Tackle Shop in Tibshelf near Alfreton, Derbyshire has signed a new one year extension with the National Federation of Anglers, to continue their sponsorship of the Ladies England team.

Subfish Ladies England TeamThe deal was signed with the NFA but will transfer to the new Angling Trust which will be launched in January 2009. To celebrate their second year of supporting the newly named ‘Subfish Team England Ladies’, the company will be launching a number of angling events at their tackle shop providing anglers with the opportunity to meet some of the sport’s biggest stars.

Although timings are still to be confirmed, Subfish will be organising five unique events for 2009 including:

  • Meet Tommy Pickering and the England Ladies at Subfish.
  • Question and answer session with 2008 World Champion, William Raison.
  • Show and tell with Phil and Steve Ringer on Ringer products.
  • Garbolino products open day with Darren Cox.
  • Charity fishing match and BBQ at Sub-fishery with Preston Innovations and Tommy Pickering.

These events will enable the angling community to really engage with team sponsors Subfish and provide an opportunity for anglers to pick up some top tips from the stars.

At last year’s World Championships in Hungary, England had a great result, with Emma Pickering winning an individual gold medal. The team just missed out on a bronze for the third year in succession.

This year the team will be trying to emulate their male counterparts and do an Italian job as they travel to Italy looking not only to bring home another individual gold but also claim the team’s first gold medal since 2005 when they won the World Championships in Zagreb.

On securing the continued sponsorship of Subfish, Tom Goldspink, Marketing and Communications Manager for the NFA, commented, “It is great news that Subfish have renewed their existing sponsorship of the team. With their new calendar of events for 2009, there is a real opportunity for them to support not only the ladies’ team but also contribute to raising the profile of angling and increasing participation amongst women and girls.

With the sponsorship moving over to the Angling Trust in 2009, Chief Executive Mark Lloyd added, “The Angling Trust is very grateful to Subfish for its support of the ladies team. All our international teams rely on the support of sponsors to compete at the highest level. The teams’ success has great benefits for angling as a whole, as it inspires youngsters to take up fishing and to fish more often.”

Subfish are delighted to continue their involvement with the team stating, "Having travelled to Hungary this summer and witnessing a tremendous effort by the team, we are absolutely delighted to be able to continue our sponsorship for another year. As a family run company we felt proud and privileged to play a role in the team achieving such success and hope that this year will be even better. We wanted to do something special next year, so are putting a number of unique events on to give anglers the chance to meet some of the biggest stars in the sport. Our sponsorship will not only support the England team but also help grassroots angling as a whole, as we strongly believe in the Angling Trust's objective of increasing participation and getting more female anglers involved in the sport."

Tommy Pickering, England Ladies’ Manager commented, “I am delighted that we have signed another year’s sponsorship with Subfish. Last year three of their team came out with their partners to the World Championships and watched the match and experienced the great atmosphere and success that we had with Emma Pickering. It was great for Subfish to see the other side of where their support goes and how it is vital to supporting the team. With the involvement of Subfish it is not only great for fishing but also its future and this year let’s hope that we can win them a team medal as well”.

Source: www.nfadirect.com

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Published in Latest UK fishing news
Saturday, 13 December 2008 15:38

Last Pieces of Unity Jigsaw in Place

All the organisations participating in the creation of the Angling Trust have now undertaken the necessary constitutional steps to wind up their existing operations and form the Angling Trust on 5 January 2009.

The National Federation of Anglers (NFA) held an Extraordinary General Meeting at the National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham on Saturday 6 December to approve the dissolution of the NFA and the transfer of its assets and staff to the Angling Trust. The meeting was attended both by individual and club members who voted 30 to 2 for the resolution.

The National Federation of Sea Anglers (NFSA) held an EGM at Buckfastleigh in Devon on Saturday 6th December at which the membership approved the proposals to allow the winding up of the NFSA and the transfer of its assets to Angling Trust. Including proxy votes, the membership supported the 3 proposals by a margin of 418 to1, 418 to 1 and 412 to 8 respectively.

The Anglers’ Conservation Association (ACA) held its EGM in Birmingham on Monday 8 December and agreed to change its name to Fish Legal and to become a part of the Angling Trust with a proxy vote of 1,484 in favour to 67 against the change.

The National Association of Fisheries and Angling Consultatives (NAFAC) and the Specialist Anglers Alliance (SAA) had both approved the merger with their respective memberships earlier in the year and therefore there are now no constitutional reasons for the merger not to go ahead as planned at the start of 2009.

All the organisations are now writing to their existing individual, club, riparian and fishery owner members with information about the benefits on offer from the Angling Trust. These include free public liability insurance for individual members, along with the innovative Fish For Free scheme which can earn Angling Trust members more than the cost of their subscription in cashback on fishing tackle and the annual rod licence. For angling clubs and riparian and fishery owners, there is a new discounted insurance package on offer which will offer savings of hundreds of pounds on existing cover.

Terry Fell, Chairman of the NFA commented,
“This is a very historic occasion both for the NFA and the sport of angling as a whole. The NFA has been in existence since 1903 and has a wealth of history; however the board believes that now is the right time to bring together all of angling’s assets and create one Governing Body for the sport. There is a huge wealth of expertise and experience in the Angling Trust and we are all looking forward to working with the other parties involved. The success of the Angling Trust will rely upon the support of the angling community and I would urge anyone who has an interest in the sport to join up and support The Voice of Angling: the Angling Trust.”

Richard Ferré, Chairman of the NFSA said,
“The NFSA is proud to be a part of the formation of the Angling Trust. Sea anglers share an interest in many issues with their freshwater counterparts and we will be much stronger if we pool our resources. The new Angling Trust will build on the work we have undertaken for many years, lobbying for greater protection for marine fish stocks and running national and international competitions on and off shore.”

Stephen Marsh-Smith, Chairman of the ACA said,
“The ACA’s unrivalled record of taking polluters and others to task will be continued by the Angling Trust under a new brand: Fish Legal. All clubs, fisheries and riparian owners in England should join the Angling Trust and Fish Legal to benefit from this unique legal protection. Now that we are one organisation, we will be able to link the legal work with proactive campaigns to change policy and practice and to stop damage to fisheries happening in the first place.”

Mike Heylin, Secretary of SAA said,
“We have finally achieved the dream of a united front for angling with Angling Trust. Now we have to do the hard work of delivering for the nation’s anglers and the fisheries they enjoy. I urge all anglers to join as soon as they can. It takes money to defend angling from national as well as European policymakers.”

Martin Read, Executive Chairman of NAFAC said,
“It has been a long time coming, but now the talking is over its time for action.”

Trevor Johnson, Chairman of Milton Keynes Angling Association, commented,
“One body – speaking with one voice for England’s anglers – is now the only way forward if our sport is to survive and prosper. But let no-one think that it is all done and dusted...that all we have to do now is go fishing. If this is going to work anglers have to put their hands in their pockets and give Angling Trust their support – whether they fish for bass off Cornwall, carp in Milton Keynes or trout in a northern beck. Old rivalries and narrow interests are going to have to be put aside and everyone, at all levels, must work for the common good of our sport. That will not be easy for some...but it has to done.”

Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of Angling Trust commented,
“the Angling Trust will not only continue the work of all these bodies, but it will also do much more. We will now be able to represent all anglers much more efficiently and effectively. All the staff of the organisations involved are working flat out to make sure that everything is in place for the launch in January. We all hope that every angler’s New Year resolution will be to join the Angling Trust.”

Source: www.nfadirect.com

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Published in Latest UK fishing news
Wednesday, 19 November 2008 08:25

Angling Photography Competition

PENTAX Announces Winner of Digital SLR Camera in Photography Competition. Your chance to claim up to £100 cash back on Pentax SLR Camera.

The NFA and PENTAX U.K. are delighted to announce Richard Bowler as the overall winner of their Angling Photography competition and recipient of a top-of-the-range K10D PENTAX Digital SLR Camera.

Richard Bowler’s picture of a mayfly was the first monthly winner of the competition back in June and proved to be the best overall, from the monthly competition heats.

Competition judge and professional wildlife photographer, Tony Wharton, who chose Richard’s mayfly as the top picture commented, “Richard Bowler's excellent shot of a Mayfly is by far the best image of the competition. It's an excellent close-up shot by any standard, requiring the most demanding of photographic techniques. It is bitingly sharp, with a perfect image, size and depth of field, while the background is commendably diffused with no distractions. What's more, the subject is regularly to be seen by anglers at the water's edge and is of direct relevance to the sport of fishing.”

Those wishing to review the entries can visit the website at www.nfadirect.com/pentax where all the angling images we have received are on display. The gallery will remain online, so that anglers can continue to get inspiration to pack their camera with their tackle, and emulate some of the pictures we have received over the competition period.

Following the conclusion of the photography competition, PENTAX U.K. is now offering anglers up to £100 off a brand new PENTAX K20D Digital SLR or £50 off a PENTAX, lens. To take advantage of the offer, anglers must visit the NFA website, www.nfadirect.com and download the information pack which includes a list of participating retailers and details on how to claim your cash back.

Tom Goldspink, Marketing & Communications Manager at the NFA commented, “The sheer volume and quality of entries that we have received for this competition just goes to show how many anglers enjoy taking pictures when they are on the bank. Our thanks must go to the Division One National sponsor, PENTAX and Tony Wharton, who have kindly donated the prizes and helped anglers with their top tips and advice”.

Source: NFA Direct

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Published in Latest UK fishing news
Saturday, 27 September 2008 13:04

Piscatorial Past Times

PISCATORIAL PAST-TIMES - By steve Sheppard

Source: Steve Sheppard at Anglers Gifts

My interest in angling began when I was a youngster my father took me to a local soccer match between two local teams that left me scarred for life and desperately seeking a worthwhile pastime. I found it in angling and over the years I have developed a keen interest in anglings rich and varied history. Along the way in my quest for more knowledge of our noble sport I have come across many oddball rumours and tales past down in folklore.

Saturday, 27 September 2008 12:53

Specialist Anglers Alliance

The Specialist Anglers Alliance - By Paul Orford

Source: www.saauk.org

Who are the Specialist Anglers Alliance?

The Specialist Anglers Alliance represents the interests of specialist anglers and angling groups ranging from ECHO and the Pike Anglers Club of Great Britain to the Tenchfishers and the Eel groups, as well as member clubs and societies and individual angling members.

Page 6 of 7

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