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The Angling Trust is warning all anglers NOT to buy their licence from the commercial fishingrodlicence.com web site, unless they want to pay an unnecessary extra charge of £14 for checking over their application. This service is of no real benefit to anglers because the Environment Agency (EA) does not require applications to be checked before submission. The web site has been set up this year and comes top of a Google search for "Rod Licence". In addition to the extra charge, anglers buying their licences from the web site will not be able to go fishing until they receive their licence in the post. The EA site offers a receipt and reference number which does allow people to fish while they are waiting for the licence to arrive.

Angling Trust fishing newsThe Angling Trust strongly recommends that all freshwater anglers buy their licence direct from the Environment Agency over the phone or via its website at www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/recreation/fishing/31497.aspx, or from Post Offices and clearly authorised outlets.  The representative body for all anglers will also be writing to Consumer Direct to complain about the web site and raising the matter with Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon MP and Charles Walker, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Angling Group. 

Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust said: "This site offers no real extra service, but demands a 50% surcharge on top of the rod licence fee and we urge all anglers to spread the word.  We would encourage members who have concerns about this website to contact Consumer Direct and their MP.  Any unsuspecting new anglers trying to buy their first licence might be put off by the inflated price and decide not to take up fishing."

Source: Angling Trust Fishing News



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Published in Latest UK fishing news

The Angling Trust has learned that the Environment Agency has granted licences to the Small Hydro Company, working with British Waterways, for two hydropower plants on the river Trent at Sawley and Gunthorpe which allow up to 100 fish – including eels – to be killed at each of two plants in any 24 hour period.

Angling Trust fishing newsWhile this doesn’t suggest that the Environment Agency (EA) is directly licensing the killing of fish, it appears to allow the developers to keep generating even where fish are being killed – except where they exceed the 100 mark in 24 hours. The licence also allows up to 10 game fish to be killed in a 24 hour period before the turbines are stopped. Eels are particularly vulnerable to turbines because of their length and their ability to get through screens designed to protect fish (see picture).

European eel stocks are at an all time low. In response, the Environment Agency has recently banned anglers and commercial eel fishermen from taking eels, and on the Trent there is a ban on any eels being taken above the tidal limit at any time. In this context, the Angling Trust finds this decision to allow so many fish to be sliced up in hydropower turbines in a year perverse. In 2005, only 140 Kg of silver eel were caught in the lower Trent for the whole year; these turbines could legally destroy a far greater number.

The hydro schemes also sit uneasily with the UK government’s obligations under various EU laws which require the EA to protect and enhance fisheries, including the Water Framework Directive.

Mark Lloyd, chief executive of the Angling Trust said “We have a situation here where one EA Department has introduced measures to protect the eel, which we support, and another department has given permission for a development which could see eels and other fish slaughtered in massive numbers. Could government be any less joined-up? Hydropower developments should not be licensed to kill; they must be designed so that they don’t damage fish and their habitats.”

Alan Butterworth, technical director at the Angling Trust added: “Current research, and a Europe-wide working group on eels, recommends a screen gap of no more than 15mm to safeguard migrating silver eels, and the Agency's own hydropower Good Practice Guide stipulates 12.5mm for the type of turbine to be used at Gunthorpe and Sawley. The screens proposed have a 20mm wide gap, which would allow eels to enter the turbine channel where they are at risk of being mutilated or killed.”

Fish Legal – the legal arm of the Angling Trust – is now considering a case against the EA on behalf of a member club whose fishing will be damaged by the scheme. The Angling Trust has recently made a series of detailed proposals to change the EA’s guidelines to developers of hydropower schemes.





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Published in Latest UK fishing news
Thursday, 01 April 2010 10:51

2010 Environment Agency Rod Licence

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 2010/11 rod licences — valid from 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011

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 2011)  £27.00 £72.00
Junior Concession £5.00 £5.00
Senior Concession £18.00 £48.00
8 Day £10.00  £23.00
1 Day £3.75 £8.00

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 and under
  • senior concession is available to anglers aged 65 and over
  • you have a Blue Badge parking concession, or are in receipt of 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 >>






Submit a News Article: Fishing NewsUK Fisherman would be delighted to hear from you if you would like to comment on any of our news articles. To do so, use the comment box below.

Alternatively if you would like to submit a news article of your own, please visit the CONTACT page.

Fish Legal, the legal arm of the Angling Trust, has reacted with dismay to the news that six water companies have won their appeal against the decision of Environment Agency (EA) to provide proper regulation for the thousands of unregulated Combined Sewage Overflows (CSOs) in England and Wales.

Fish Legal Fishing NewsOver twenty years ago, in 1989, at the time of water privatisation, the water companies were granted temporary consents for many thousands of discharges carrying storm sewage into English and Welsh rivers. This followed the discovery, immediately pre-privatisation, that vast numbers of these discharges had no legal consent.

At the time, it was quite clear that the granting of temporary consents was a quick fix designed to enable the Government of the day to sell the companies into private hands with no potential criminal liabilities. Under pressure from Fish Legal, the EA eventually decided, in April 2009, to impose a set of standard conditions on all those discharges in order to bring them into proper regulation.

However, the companies – which include United Utilities Water PLC, Severn Trent Water Ltd, Anglian Water Services Ltd, Yorkshire Water Services Ltd, Thames Water Utilities Ltd and Dwr Cymru Welsh Water – appealed the decision by the EA.

They argued at the appeal hearing that the new discharge consents were unlawful and would require expensive works to be carried out, putting them in a position where they might be prosecuted if there were any future breaches.

The arguments between the companies and the EA centred on a set of conditions which would make it an offence, for instance, to cause a deterioration in the quality of water in rivers and lakes. Such conditions have now been omitted, leaving a consent which permits the lawful use of the CSOs except in the narrowest of circumstances.

Fish Legal – which had been invited to take part as an interested party at the hearing in support of the EA – argued that it had investigated pollutions in England caused by discharging CSOs and that the very basic terms of deemed consents had meant that the Agency had been unable to regulate or enforce despite the scale of the damage caused to the environment.

However, the Inspector has now decided in favour of the water companies, and has re-written the conditions to addresses the companies’ concerns. In the view of Fish Legal, the new wording allows the companies to pollute without fear of enforcement except in the most limited of circumstances.
Justin Neal, Head Solicitor at Fish Legal, commented:

“After several years of campaigning, the Fish Legal team were jubilant that the Agency had decided to do something about the thousands of deemed consents in England and Wales. Our view is that reasonable conditions in carefully worded consents could provide a solution. However, the water companies seem to see this as an issue where the environment takes second place. The consents resulting from the appeal make little difference to the present situation and it may be that we will be facing devastating pollutions in the future where the Agency will not be able to enforce.”

Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal, said:

“Anglers are fed up with fishing in rivers where the trees are festooned with sanitary products and invertebrates and fish are killed or weakened by sewage pollution. This decision delays the restoration of rivers to good condition for the benefit of all wildlife and fisheries unacceptably. The appeal by the water companies is an outrageous dodge of their responsibilities to take care of our rivers and an unacceptable failure to honour the spirit of these consents, which were only intended as a temporary measure. We will continue to fight for clean waters.”






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Alternatively if you would like to submit a news article of your own, please visit the CONTACT page.
Published in Latest UK fishing news

Anglers have reacted with dismay and anger to the news that thousands of fish in the River Trent have been killed by what is reported to be a mix of cyanide and raw sewage. The river is very popular with anglers and was the venue for this year’s Angling Trust 2nd division national coarse angling championship, which saw hundreds of anglers gather from all over the country to compete for the coveted trophy.

Angling Trust Fishing NewsAngling clubs and individuals have invested huge amounts of money and volunteer time over several generations in improving the River Trent, both through physical works to improve habitats and by campaigning for improvement of water quality. This spill could reverse years of hard work to improve the river and its tributaries.

The news comes just two weeks after the Angling Trust launched a specific campaign, in partnership with WWF and the HSBC Climate Partnership, to address surface water run-off from Birmingham causing pollution downstream. There were significant fish kills earlier this year on the River Tame, a tributary of the Trent, and on the main river itself after thunderstorms over the city flushed pollutants into the river.

The Angling Trust’s Environmental Campaigns Manager Mark Owen will be travelling the length of the affected stretch of the river this morning to make an initial assessment of the damage to fish and other wildlife. He will be working closely with the Environment Agency to identify the polluter as soon as possible.

Fish Legal, which acts as the legal arm of the Angling Trust in England, will be investigating the potential for taking a civil claim for compensation on behalf of its member angling clubs and riparian owners on the river. This claim would complement any criminal prosecution by the Environment Agency in punishing whoever is found to be responsible for this pollution.

Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal said: “This incident demonstrates yet again the need for business to take the utmost care in handling noxious chemicals. Drains should never be used as a means of disposing of waste chemicals. We will be pressing for a full investigation of this tragedy and will do everything we can to make the polluters pay for the damage they have done to our members’ interests on the river.”

Mark Owen, Environmental Campaigns Manager at the Angling Trust said: “Once more the River Trent has suffered a severe pollution incident which has killed thousands of fish. We will continue to campaign for as long as it takes for the systems to be put in place to prevent these incidents being repeated.”

The Angling Trust is warning all anglers to keep clear of the river and not to handle any dead fish or take any samples of water.

For further information, please contact Mark Lloyd on 07973 468198 or Mark Owen on 07545 733245.

Submit a News Article: Fishing NewsUK Fisherman would be delighted to hear from you if you would like to comment on any of our news articles. To do so, use the comment box below.

Alternatively if you would like to submit a news article of your own, please visit the CONTACT page.
Published in Latest UK fishing news

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 (www.ourrivers.org) 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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Alternatively if you would like to submit a news article of your own, please visit the CONTACT page.
Published in Latest UK fishing news

Fish Legal, the legal arm of the Angling Trust, has today written to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs attacking the decision of six of the large water plcs to appeal against revised discharge consents sought by the Environment Agency to put an end to privatisation era temporary consents.

Fish Legal Fishing NewsAlmost twenty years ago, in 1989, at the time of water privatisation, the water companies were granted temporary consents for many thousands of discharges carrying storm sewage into English and Welsh rivers. This followed the discovery, immediately pre-privatisation, that vast numbers of these discharges had no legal consent.

At the time, it was quite clear that the granting of temporary consent was a quick fix designed to enable the Government of the day to sell the water companies into private hands with no potential criminal liabilities.

Last year, Fish Legal made requests under EU freedom of information laws to the Environment Agency which revealed that between 3,000 and 4,000 of these temporary consents granted almost twenty years ago still existed. These temporary consents were without any properly enforceable conditions, meaning they were as good as useless in controlling pollution.

The request made to the Agency followed a series of cases of damage to fisheries caused by sewage discharges emanating from pipes that still enjoyed these temporary consents. Under pressure from Fish Legal, the Environment Agency decided, in April of this year, to impose a set of standard conditions on all those discharges in order to bring them into proper regulation.

It is, therefore, with utter dismay that Fish Legal has learnt that Anglian Water, Yorkshire Water, Welsh Water/Dwr Cymru, Thames Water, Severn Trent Water and United Utilities (formerly North West Water) have appealed against the revised discharge consents that the Agency sought to attach to those discharges.

Guy Linley-Adams, Head of Legal at Fish Legal, commented

“Although many years too late, the approach taken by the Environment Agency has been entirely reasonable in attempting to deal with this long-standing hangover from privatisation. That these water companies have seen fit to appeal against a set of conditions which are hardly onerous and which any reasonable person would consider the bare minimum that should apply to pipes potentially discharging raw sewage into our rivers, is shameless. Fish Legal’s view is that twenty years is far too long to have left these sewage discharges effectively unregulated.”

Fish Legal has written to the Secretary of State in support of the Environment Agency’s revised discharge consents and now calls upon all six of the water companies concerned to withdraw their appeals immediately..

Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal, said:

“This is a test of the water companies’ commitment to avoiding pollution of English and Welsh rivers. If these water companies press ahead with these appeals, then they can expect widespread hostility from anglers into whose waters these companies seem to feel they should be able to discharge raw sewage without condition or penalty.”


Submit a News Article: Fishing NewsUK Fisherman would be delighted to hear from you if you would like to comment on any of our news articles. To do so, use the comment box below.

Alternatively if you would like to submit a news article of your own, please visit the CONTACT page.
Published in Latest UK fishing news
Sunday, 29 March 2009 16:50

Purchase your fishing rod licence online

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

A suspected pollution incident in Huddersfield is under investigation after hundreds of fish were killed.

Environment Agency fishing newsThe Environment Agency received reports of distressed and dying fish in the River Colne and Huddersfield Broad Canal on the afternoon of Friday, 20 March. Environment officers attended immediately and have been on site over the weekend.

Some 400 fish, mainly roach, are thought to have been killed and inquiries are ongoing to establish the cause.

“There is no obvious evidence of pollution but we are trying to trace the source,” said environment management team leader Mark West. It’s very unlikely the fish died because of natural causes, such as a lack of oxygen in the water.”

Environment officers have taken water samples from the river and canal and are conducting an ecological survey to assess the impact on invertebrates and other river life.

Up to three kilometres of the River Colne are thought to have been affected. The dead fish in the canal have been found mainly in the Aspley Basin.

Local angling groups have been alerted and have responded with reports of distressed and dying fish. Environment officers would be keen to hear from anyone with information about possible pollution of either watercourse in recent days as any incident may have happened some days before 20 March.

Anyone with information can contact the Environment Agency’s incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60

Source: www.environment-agency.gov.uk/news

Published in Latest UK fishing news
Tuesday, 24 March 2009 00:00

No fishing in rivers, streams and drains

The Environment Agency is reminding anglers in Lincolnshire that the closed season for fishing has begun. This warning is issued as the closed season begins.

Environment Agency fishing newsClosed season, which protects spawning fish, started on March 15 and runs until June 15 inclusive making it illegal to fish in any river, stream or drain during this period. Environment Agency fisheries bailiffs will be on patrol and anyone caught breaking the law faces a potential fine of up to £2,500.

The first few days of the closed season saw several reports of illegal activity, especially in urban areas such as Spalding, Lincoln and Northampton. On the first day there were several reports of illegal activity, with the Spalding area – the Rivers Glen and Welland, Vernatts Drain and Coronation Channel - proving to be hotspots, along with other urban areas.

In the Grimsby area Environment Agency officers are focusing on the River Freshney, and in particular the stretch between the Riverhead and Laceby Acres.

Roger Ferguson, Environment Officer at the Environment Agency, Lincoln, said awareness needed raising about the closed season, a legal requirement under the Salmon And Freshwater Fisheries Act.

He said: ‘Nobody admits they know about closed season, they know there is one but not when the dates are. We have put signs up at waters where we have had offences in the past and work with fishing tackle suppliers to educate people.’

And he warned anglers who flout the law they would be caught: ‘If you do fish illegally, you will get reeled in by the bailiffs.’

Members of the public are asked to report all illegal fishing between these dates by calling the Environment Agency on 0800 80 70 60.

Source: Environment Agency Fishing News

Published in Latest UK fishing news
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