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Thousands of fish have been killed in a pollution incident on the tidal Thames in West London after nearly half a million tonnes of sewage poured into the river over the weekend. Anglers were out on Monday evening trying to rescue dying fish stranded on the river’s beaches. The fish included roach, dace, bream, eels, perch, pike, sea bass and flounder. The tidal Thames is an important coarse fishery as well as being a vital nursery area for marine fish species for the whole of the South East of England.

pollution incident on the tidal Thames in West LondonHeavy rain over the weekend led to London’s sewerage system overflowing into the river. Because the spill followed a long dry spell, the sewage was particularly noxious. More than 250,000 tonnes of storm sewage entered the river from combined sewer overflows (CSOs) and at least 200,000 tonnes from the Mogden Sewage Treatment Works in Isleworth, which is currently being upgraded.

The Environment Agency is monitoring oxygen levels in the river and Thames Water has dosed the polluted water with hydrogen peroxide to add oxygen to the water. The company’s oxygenation vessels have also been deployed to the area.

Anglers and environmental campaigners have been calling for decades for improvements to the capital’s sewerage network because of a series of similar incidents in recent years (notably in 2004 and 2009). Plans are now at last in place for a new ‘Super Sewer’ under the Thames which would prevent these spills happening, but completion of these works is still years away and could be threatened if funds are not made available or planning authorities stand in the way.

Angling Trust Chief Executive Mark Lloyd said:

“It is heartbreaking to see so many young fish being repeatedly poisoned in sewage. We hope that incidents such as this will convince policy makers and London local authorities of the need for the Thames Tunnels scheme, which is vital for the future of the capital’s river.”

Angling Trust fishing newsThames Anglers’ Conservancy Chairman James Page said:

“Our rapid response crew were down on the beach as soon as this happened but they felt helpless to save the countless fish they could see gasping in the water’s edge.  Anglers and water bill payers alike need to see action to stop this happening in the future.”

Source: Angling Trust Fishing News



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Published in Latest UK fishing news

The Angling Trust are pleased to announce the Ladies World Coarse Championship team for 2011 representing England in the World Angling Games in Firenze, Italy from 27th August – 4th September 2011.

Angling Trust fishing newsThe England Team Managers have named an unchanged squad to the team that brought home the silver medal last year in South Africa. The England Ladies Team for 2011 are; Helen Dagnall, Julie Abbott, Samantha Sim, Emma Pickering, Samantha Perkins, and Wendy Locker and David Brooks (Manager).

The England team are strong contenders for bringing home the gold medal this year with their mix of experience and youth. Unfortunately the England Ladies team have not got a sponsor this year and it has to be recognised that this team representing England are having to self fund their way into the Championships. The team will be carrying out fundraising activities and raffle tickets are also being distributed in order to help raise additional funds to assist the team.

The competition will take place on the river Arno just upstream of Florence and is close to the venue that the ladies fished in the previous World Angling Games held in Italy in 2000. The main species will be chub, bleak carrassio, catfish and the odd big carp.

This year will see all angling disciplines compete in various locations in Italy over the same week in the World Angling Games.

Dick Clegg, OBE, International Events Manager stated

“The World Angling Games is the competition that CIPS hopes will escalate angling into the top sports to be recognised by governments worldwide. It brings together more than 50 nations fishing in many different disciplines in both salt and freshwater.”

“England need to be represented through the Angling Trust in as many competitions as possible and in freshwater we will see eight teams in the coarse fishing section, of which this Ladies team is just one. Unfortunately along with the Veterans and the Anglers with Disabilities team the Ladies have no sponsor this year and will have to find almost £2,000 each to compete.”

“I am personally asking for public support by asking you to buy, or indeed apply for and sell raffle tickets to enable them and the other teams to take part. All the money received from the sale of tickets will go towards the teams expenses.”

Tickets will be on sale from various tackle shops and individuals during the next couple of months and anyone who would be interested to sell any to assist the International teams, whether they are individuals, Tackle shops or Fisheries can apply by contacting Sandra Drew, Competitions & Events Manager at Angling Trust on 0115 9061 301 or email; sandra.drew@anglingtrust.net

Source: Angling Trust Fishing News



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Published in Latest UK fishing news

Asfordby & Melton Society of Anglers will become the first Angling Club in Leicestershire and only the third in the East Midlands to receive the prestigious Clubmark for Angling award this month.

When : Wednesday 1st June, 6pm

Where:  Lake View Fishery, Landyke Lane, Holwell, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, LE14 4SXAngling Development Board

Clubmark is a nationally recognised indicator of quality. The Sport England initiative enables Parents and Carers to identify those clubs who are committed to providing a safe, effective, child friendly environment where sport in this case Angling can take place. Over the past two years, the club has received  grants to allow club members to be trained as coaches and help pass on their knowledge and skills to local young people. Last year alone saw over 120 local pupils take part in free angling sessions with coaches from the club. Pupils who took part in the coaching sessions as novices in previous years are now undertaking Leadership and Volunteering training to help assist in the delivery of the sessions to new participants.

The clubs success has been driven by a group of highly committed volunteers, committed to giving the local community a safe, effective environment where Angling can take place. Being awarded Clubmark recognises the club as one of the leading Angling clubs not only in the county but also in the East Midlands.

James Roche, Angling Development Board, Regional Development Officer commented: “Asfordby and Melton Society of Anglers are a brilliant example of how Angling can help develop the skills and ability of local young people. The club have a number of very passionate Anglers who are committed to developing a safe, effective environment for Anglers of all ages to come and participate.

For more information on the presentation of the Clubmark award please contact James Roche (James.Roche@anglingdevelopmentboard.org.uk or 07791786251)

Source: Angling Development Board



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Published in Latest UK fishing news

Before the draw nobody could make their minds up as to which lake at Tunnel Barn Farm Fisheries on Saturday 21st May 2011 would produce the winner. Whilst superstitious people may consider 13 to be unlucky for some this proved otherwise for Simon Christian (Stimech Anchor AC) a Memorial Mason from Bilston who drew peg 13 on Club pool where he fished luncheon meat on the pole to the island and down the edge to net a succession of carp to 7lbs, F1s and barbel for a winning net of 145lbs 4ozs. This is only Simon’s third Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifier match since 2007, and his win means there is another new face in the line up in the grand final.

Fish O Mania 2100 Qualifying newsSimon Christian said “I had an island to fish to on the far side down the end of Club pool and fished to the end of the island to the far bank, and an edge swim to the right of me to 9 metres, with an empty peg to the left. I could have gone further to the right, but did not need to as I had a lot of fish within my swim and caught 11 fish in the last hour which were bigger than earlier in the match. I am over the moon to win the qualifier as I do a lot of match fishing, but only started fishing again in the last four years after a 6-7  year break. I decided to branch out this year and apply for some Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifiers, and applied for six, and ended up with two tickets, with this being my first one. I am looking forward to the final, and have got a lot of information from Kieron Rich which will hopefully put me in good stead for the final. Kieron has offered to be my bank runner if he doesn’t make it through from his four qualifiers he has left”.

Blustery sunny conditions with low water faced the anglers in this latest Fish ‘O’ Mania qualifying match at Tunnel Barn Farm, however the fish still fed and there were seven weights over the magic ton and the lowest weight to win a 10 peg section was 63lbs.

Runner up from Canal peg 4 was Chris Telling (Daiwa Gordon League) from Gloucester. Chris a Driving Instructor pole fished chopped worm and caster down the edge at 13metres to finish up with 118lbs 9ozs of F1s, barbel and smaller carp. In third place was Stuart Ballard (Maver Midland/Dynamite Baits) landed 110lbs 9ozs from peg 37 on New pool.  Fourth place fell to Carl Jewitt (Blue Bell AC) from Hull, who took 108lbs 8ozs of F1s and barbel from Peg 9 on Canal. Simon Fry (Starlets AS) filled fifth spot with 105lbs 11ozs from Club peg 12.

Moorlands Farm Fisheries at Hartlebury, Worcestershire is the venue for the next Fish 'O' Mania qualifier on Saturday 28th May 2011, with just six more qualifiers to go in 2011.

Source: Angling Trust Fishing News



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Published in Latest UK fishing news

On Tuesday 10th May, Angling Trust and Fish Legal staff from the Leominster office collected 11 bags of rubbish from 2 miles of the River Lugg in Leominster, as part of a project organised by the Lugg and Arrow Fisheries Association to spring clean 100 miles of this Herefordshire river, which joins the River Wye at Luggsmouth. Volunteer anglers and conservationists from throughout the catchment have turned out over the past few months to remove mountains of rubbish. Among the all too familiar items such as plastic bags and drinks cans were some unusual finds, including a Boyzone video.

Angling Trust fishing newsStaff witnessed significant sediment pollution coming into the river from a small tributary of the Lugg at one point. Recent rains had washed huge quantities of soil from nearby farmland. The incident was reported to the Environment Agency.

The Angling Trust is also working with its members and the Environment Agency to promote a Tidy Anglers project. This will see volunteers from angling clubs throughout the country helping to clean up rivers, lakes, canals and beaches throughout England. The Litter Buggy – a pocket-sized device that can safely store line and other small items for disposal at home - is available from www.litterbuggy.co.uk. This ingenious device works very well and prevent unwanted line and hooks falling out of pockets. Angling Trust members get two for the price of one.

Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust said:

Anglers are often criticised for leaving litter and the best defence to this criticism is to show that anglers are part of the solution, not the problem. Of course there are a minority of anglers, as in all walks of life, who don’t respect the environment around them, but we need to demonstrate that they are the exception and not the rule. Hopefully litter clean ups like this will make them, and everyone else who drops litter in or around water, understand that it is not acceptable. Litter is hazardous to people and wildlife, it encourages more anti-social behaviour and spoils the beauty of our country’s waterside environments. Large items such as shopping trolleys can cause flooding.

Will Smith, Membership Manager at the Angling Trust said:

This was a great opportunity for us all to get out of the office and to find out more about our local river, while making a contribution to the quality of its environment. We were all proud of what we had achieved and we got positive comments from passers-by.

Source: Angling Trust Fishing News



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Published in Latest UK fishing news

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 invites Anglers with Disabilities to take part in trials to be considered for the England team. The trials for Anglers with Disabilities will take place at Packington Somers Fisheries, Somers Road, Meriden, CV7 7PL on Saturday 21st May 2011.

Angling Trust fishing newsPackington Somers Fisheries is considered one of the most successful and varied commercial coarse fisheries in the Midlands, if not the UK and is becoming a much sought after match fishing venue.

The England selection trial will be fished to international rules to help identify anglers who are of international calibre. The style to fish at international level is completely different to the way anglers would normally fish in this country, and each angler must have at least one handicap point which is based on their disability, with the full team requiring a minimum of 11 points in total to fish in the World Championships.

Joe Roberts, England Manager said “This trial will help assess each angler who is of international standard, and on the day I will be assessing each of the anglers’ disability ranging from one to six points for the highest classification. Trials such as this are important for team selection into the Internationals and will let us identify talented anglers”.

Dick Clegg, OBE, International Events Manager said “It is imperative that we send the best team possible to the World Angling Games which will take place in Italy from 27th August – 4th September, and Joe Roberts and John Weedon (Manager) will need to look at as many anglers as possible. The unfortunate part is that we have not got a sponsor and the anglers selected will have to pay the full costs themselves”.

“Anyone interested in attending the trial at Packington Somers on 21st May should contact Joe Roberts, on (Mobile) 07860 469595, who will be able to assess their disability to determine their points allocation. Joe will also be able to explain the points system and give an estimate of the costs involved if selected to the squad”.

Source: Angling Trust Fishing News



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Published in Latest UK fishing news

Water companies have always been reluctant to supply anglers with information about pollution – but a Tribunal which deals with appeals on information issues has now concluded that water and sewage companies in England and Wales are not covered by laws on freedom of information.

Angling Trust fishing newsThis is a huge blow to the Angling Trust’s campaigns and legal action to make water companies accountable for the damage they cause routinely to fisheries up and down the country.

The decision means that water companies will not be compelled to reveal when, where and how often they pollute our rivers, lakes and coastal waters. Instead anglers will have to rely on the good-will of these profit-driven utilities to expose their activities voluntarily.

The decision comes at a time when the Environment Agency (EA) is depending on the water companies to monitor their own discharges into streams, lakes, rivers and coastal waters through the new policy of ‘Operator Self Monitoring’. This means that even the Government’s regulator may not know much about what these companies are getting up to. This particularly concerns the Angling Trust’s legal arm, Fish Legal, as its lawyers currently need access to this information to fight numerous legal cases arising from sewage pollution incidents on behalf of Fish Legal members which the EA has not properly investigated.

The Tribunal’s decision agreed with the view of the Information Commissioner that the water companies are not “public authorities” for the purposes of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIRs). Several organisations had appealed the decision of the Information Commissioner, including Fish Legal, which in 2009 had asked for data from United Utilities and Yorkshire Water on the performance of their combined sewage overflows (CSOs) which allow faeces, urine and washing detergents to pass untreated into fisheries when treatment works and sewers are overwhelmed by rain. The water companies argued that they were not covered by the EIRs as they regarded themselves as commercial companies only. Fish Legal’s case was then put on hold pending the outcome of a lead case brought by SmartSource to settle the legal issues – which were then decided in the water companies’ favour. Fish Legal is now looking at its legal options. Its lawyers have already written to the Aarhus Compliance Committee in Geneva and to DEFRA urging them to intervene following the ruling and to direct the Information Commissioner to agree that water companies are covered by the provisions of the international Aarhus Convention on Access to Environmental information, to which the UK is a signatory.

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

“Our lawyers have been trying to force several of the water companies to reveal just how much sewage they spew into rivers and coastal waters through combined sewage overflows (CSOs), which are used when the sewers get overloaded.  I think we anglers – and everyone else with an interest in clean water – need to ask why these companies are so desperate to keep their dirty secrets hidden away from public scrutiny.  Given the scale of their activities, which affect everyone who uses the water environment and drinks from a tap, I think the public should have the right to freedom of information about what they get up to.  Thanks to the support of our members, we will continue to fight for this right.”






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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

The public benefits of conservation and economic generation provided by shooting and angling will become increasingly important as spending cuts come into effect, delegates at the Liberal Democrat conference in Liverpool were told last night.

Angling Trust fishing newsSpeaking at the Rural Reception hosted by the UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) and the Angling Trust, the representative body for all angling, Roger Williams MP said: “There are tough times ahead. Some public funds may no longer be available. Organisations like BASC will play an increasingly important role in the future. Well managed shoots, well managed rivers are good for the economy and good for conservation.”

Lord Redesdale said “Shooting and angling provide knock-on benefits for the whole community. Fishing is one of those wonderful things and shooting has many, many benefits for leisure, for tourism and for conservation.”

Roger Furniss from the Angling Trust expressed his concern over declining fish stocks in freshwater and in the sea. He said: “There are three million anglers in this country, and angling generates £3bn for the economy every year.” He also called for a review of the role of the Environment Agency saying: “The Environment Agency needs to listen more closely to anglers who pay an annual £26m in licence fees to the Agency.”

John Swift, chief executive of BASC said: “Shooting generates £1.6bn for the economy every year and two-thirds of the rural land area is influenced in some way by shooting management. We want to make sure that wildlife and habitats continue to flourish. We are aware that many public policy areas could be influenced by cost cutting and there could be blunt and difficult problems ahead, but as we face that reality we must find practical solutions. BASC and its members, who enjoy their shooting so very, very much want to work with you."





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Published in Latest UK fishing news
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