Browsing articles in "News"

Season Permits are Now Available

Dec 13, 2018   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

If you wish to purchase a season permit for 2019 they are now available at…………………………….


Season Permits

Gavin Jehu’s Tying for a Pike Fly

Dec 1, 2018   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

Follow this link for a new fly pattern tied by Welsh International Gavin Jehu……………


Flies for the River and Lake

I have also uploaded a couple of Gavin’s Facebook videos on  the Flies for river and lake page more will follow

Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association AGM Report 2018

Nov 28, 2018   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

Stocking of Top Pond with Carp and Bream Monday 26 Nov 18

Nov 26, 2018   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

Today Top Pond was stocked with 63 Carp weighing 1 to 3 pounds and 320 pounds of Bream sized 10 inches to 2 pounds.


Tony’s 80th Birthday

Nov 20, 2018   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

On Sunday Tony Rees, who has been our Treasurer from the inception of the Alliance over 50 years ago until last Wednesday when he finally handed over the reins to Rhys, enjoyed his 80th birthday with his family, committee members and coaches.  See the pictures below…….




Changes at he AGM held on Wednesday 14 Nov 18

Nov 16, 2018   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments
At tonight’s AGM, members voted overwhelmingly (both in attendance and by post) to form a subsidiary company (namely Merthyr Tydfil Angling Alliance) to protect Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association’s current assets.
In-line with the formation of Merthyr Tydfil Angling Alliance, several irreplaceable stalwarts and founder-members of Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association gave up their current positions as officers of the subsidiary. On behalf of everyone, I would like to sincerely thank them for the monumental work they have done over the past 51 years. I may add that they will continue as they have always done, to play an active role within the organisation, but are training up younger blood for the future!
All updated contact details for any new officers can be found on our web page 
Rhys also wrote…………………..
Lastly, I would like to thank everyone who has made my tenure as Secretary over the past 4 years, a thoroughly enjoyable one and I would like to wish my successor Jonathan Walker all the best in his new role – I have no doubt he will prove to be an asset to the club. Jonathan can be contacted on this email address:
As I step aside as Secretary, I look forward to pursuing my new role as Treasurer of Merthyr Tydfil Angling Alliance under the guidance of Director Tony Rees. My new contact email address is:

Annual General Meeting Wed 14 Nov 2018

Nov 13, 2018   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments
Just a gentle reminder that the AGM is being held at the Ex-Servicemen’s club at 7:30pm tomorrow evening. It would be great to see those of you that are available in the meeting.

Senior Coarse Competition – Riverside Fishery Llanbradach Sunday 11 Nov

Nov 13, 2018   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

The competitors who fished the competition at Riverside fishery near Llanbradach on Sunday 11 Nov stood in silence at 11am to remember those who have fallen fighting for our Country.

The result of the competition was:   1st Dave Couzens with 15lbs 12oz, 2nd John Coombs with 8lbs 4oz, 3rd Jim Howells with 6lbs 13oz.

Dave Couzens is the club champion for 2018 with 74 points, Dia Davies was 2nd with 70 points.  Well done Dave Couzens.


Institute of Fisheries Management Campaign for the Protection of our Rivers and Stillwaters

Nov 8, 2018   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

Dear IFM Members, supporters and friends,

We have launched a new campaign with our colleagues at Wildlife and Countryside Link and we need your help – our waters are in danger! 

The European Commission could soon weaken the protection of our waters, rivers, lakes and streams at the urging of lobbying by businesses and from some EU Member States. These weakened laws will be transferred to the UK and we would inherit watered down protections

Our waters are already struggling. In England and Wales, only 1 in 5 rivers are in good condition. The number of healthy rivers in England has declined from 27% in 2010 to 14% in 2017, imagine how bad the situation could get if water laws are weakened!

If officials weaken protections now it would have a fatal impact on valuable ecosystems and for countless birds, fish, mammals, and insect species that live on and in the water. It could have
a huge impact on you too, as our drinking water comes from these same sources.

But, you can help us stop this! 

Please take just a few minutes to help our campaign to ‘protect water’ and tell the
European Commission that you care what happens to our waters by filling in our simple form: .

Vote for our water

Our water is contaminated with nitrates, mercury, micro plastics and more. Rivers are crammed in tight corsets of concrete. Dams and other structures block the path of migratory fish. This is not the fault of laws. It shows us that the policy of water protection is not seen as important. The Member States and the EU Commission lack the will to implement it.

Changing the definition of what “good condition” means or extending deadlines to meet water protection requirements would only benefit businesses – not us humans and not nature. The
EU Commission must keep water protections strong and ensure that its members finally take water protection seriously.

The European Commission has recently launched a public consultation in which everyone can contribute their opinion on the future of water conservation. Their consultation is rather complicated, perhaps deliberately so to avoid getting too many responses!  But with our very simple campaign you can back our calls for healthy waters for people and wildlife in the UK with just a few clicks!

YES, I will help
A huge thank you from the Institute for helping to save our waters and our wildlife,

PS: This campaign involves more than 100 organisations from across the EU. We need a lot of people for this message to be heard by the Commission and, above all, to counteract corporate lobbying, for example from the chemical industry.

Inaugural Fisheries Meeting – Report by Chris White

Nov 3, 2018   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

From Chris White.

I have attached my notes from the meeting there were lots of good things raised but converting these into actions may be a different thing. As soon as I have the formal minutes I will send them to you.  It remains to be seen what happens next.  I am working with John, Mike and Reuben on putting the final touches to our evidence for the inquiry, there is a pre meeting on 7 November but I cant go as I am at finally fit enough to fish and I am going to the Tweed for 3 days fishing (Thurs/Fri/Sat), John will attend the pre inquiry meeting.  I have included a flow chart I have produced for our evidence presentation and would be interested for any comments you may have on this diagram, the red areas should addressed but instead NRW has focused on the blue areas as we are an easy target which costs nothing..

Senior Competition fished at Riverside Fishery on Sunday 28 Oct

Oct 28, 2018   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

The result of the senior Competition fished at Riverside Fishery (Silvers Only),

1st Dave Couzens 18lbs

2nd Jim Howells 9lbs

3rd John Coombs 7lbs

The next match will take place at Riverside Fishery on Sunday 11th November

Picture of a Presentation Night a long time ago

Oct 19, 2018   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

Back Row:  Sam Sales (1st Chair MTAA), Ray Oakley, Vic Skoledec, Jack Hynam, Byron Sales

Middle Row:  Les Corchoran, Chris Isaacs, Graham Davies (Minute Sec) Gary Davies (Chair MTAA)

Front Row: Bernard Farr, Carwyn Williams

Redhill Competition 14 Oct and a Birthday party photo

Oct 15, 2018   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

Senior Competition on Sunday 14 October at Redhill on Mollies Lake.  1st Dia Davies 67lbs 4oz, 2nd Jim Howells 41lbs 4oz 3rd Doug Hawkins 37lbs 8oz

Birthday Boy Doug Hawkins celebrates his 70th birthday this week, last friday we were invited to enjoy an evening with him as the photos show


Pontsticill Reservoir

Oct 9, 2018   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

Just a quick notification that DCWW have been authorised to lower the level within Pontsticill to enable them to continue to de-shoal the Nant Callan culvert (by Dolygaer Outdoor Centre). They will commence draw down on Tuesday morning 9th October and aim to release for around 5 days to reach the required level.

Fight against NRW’s intention to Impose Catch and Release on Migratory Fish

Sep 27, 2018   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

Below are 3 emails 2 from Chris White who is leading the fight against NRW who wish to impose Bye-Laws to impose catch and release on all Migratory fish catches


 From Chris White

A freedom of information request was sent by Andy Nicholson to the Centre for Environmental Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) requesting details of communications between CEFAS and NRW/WG as NRW stated that they have the support of CEFAS for their bylaw proposals.  The response listed 10 emails between 12 June 2017 and 6 July 2017 these emails refer to acknowledgement of receipt of the technical case and requests for further information.   I have attached a copy of the final correspondence from CEFAS to WG dated 6 July 2017.  Note that this refers to a public consultation and yet in August 2017 WG issued a statutory notice in the London Gazette of the proposed Bylaws asking for objections. This statutory notification was based upon the original bylaw proposals and not those that were amended following the objections received following the public consultation.  We are seeking advice from Fish Legal if there is a need for WG to publish a further statutory notice before the proposed bylaws are put in place this is due to the amendments to the bylaws following the consultation.

There are some interesting observations from CEFAS in that they have taken the data on face value i.e. there has not been any challenge on how this data was produced (we should have the report on the validity of the data from our independent statistician shortly), this was their comment:

“…… However, these documents largely contained tables and figures (N.B. I have taken the raw data provided in these documents at face value), so the few comments I have on these documents have also been listed below.”

There is recognition in item 2 that part of the decline has been due to adverse weather conditions:

2. Further, particular concerns have been raised about the very poor salmon fry levels observed in rivers across Wales (and England) in 2016. This appears to have been caused by a combination of abnormally high winter temperatures and, in some cases, elevated flows, alongside relatively low numbers of spawning fish. The unusual winter conditions experienced in 2015 are consistent with climate change predictions and highlight the increasing uncertainty that stocks are likely to face in the future. The low fry abundance in 2016 is likely to result in reduced smolt output and lower adult returns in coming years.

In item 6 it deals with the need for further conservation measures and recognises the wide range of environmental factors.  The elephant in the room is the failure to mention the effect of agricultural pollution or avian predation on recruitment of salmon from egg to smolt and yet it is known from various smolt tracking exercises that up to 40% of smolts fail to reach the sea due mainly to avian predation (70% on the Aberdeenshire Dee in 2017 according to their smolt tracking survey).  Addressing this would go a long way in reversing the decline, see attached estimate of the damage due to avian predators on the Tweed system.  This is what CEFAS said:

6. The technical case thus makes a compelling case for further urgent conservation action to help arrest the decline in the status of salmon stocks, and to a slightly lesser extent sea trout, and to help restore stocks to healthier and more sustainable levels. The report recognises that both species are facing a wide range of environmental factors and stressors which are constraining productivity and stock status (and details some of the ongoing actions being made to address these). For salmon, the ongoing issues associated with poor survival at sea are a key concern, and highlight the continued importance of ensuring that conditions in freshwater are optimised.

This does not address the losses from river to sea; improving losses during smolt migration would have a far greater effect than imposing draconian measures on anglers and to a lesser degree netsmen.

There is a telling comment in item 7 which identifies that anglers are not the problem, this is what is said:

“7. NRW note that the current levels of exploitation are not the primary cause of the current low abundance and that the proposed measures will thus result in relatively modest increases in spawner numbers, although accumulated benefits would be expected over time. ……”

After 20 years of compulsory catch and release (C&R) for spring salmon there has been little or no improvement i.e. restrictions on angling has made little or no difference in reversing the decline, extending the C&R will not reverse the decline in fish stocks the perception is this being done to stop criticism i.e. it is the easy low cost option and will achieve nothing.

Item 7 then goes on to say:

“….Nonetheless, it is entirely justifiable to aim to maximise spawner numbers in the short term and, while it is clearly important to continue to address the many other factors affecting stocks (e.g. water quality, habitat), it needs to be recognised that such improvements are only likely to be achieved over the longer term. As such, it clearly makes sense to implement appropriate fishery control measures in the short term to increase the numbers of fish surviving to spawn and to facilitate recovery.”

Addressing the survival from egg to smolt will have a far greater impact on restoring salmon stocks than imposing restrictions on anglers.  The problem is neither NRW nor WG are addressing the other factors affecting salmon stocks the perception is that this is primarily due to staff and budget constraints.

In item 8 there is a recommendation to re-order the technical case and to effectively ‘bury’ the socio economic effects this is what is said: “…..with some of the other sections (e.g. wider issues, socio-economics) moved towards the back;” this implies a deliberate down playing of the socio economic effects in rural communities.

Item 10 endorses the proposals based upon the evidence presented in the technical case, which as was said at the outset has been taken on face value.  The work carried out by John Eardley has demonstrated that the NRW data is deeply flawed and skewed in order to support their proposals.  The justification for the bylaws is based upon data which is primarily from the 2014/2015 fry and parr counts which CEFAS have commented had been affected by the prevailing climate over those two spawning seasons, the reliance on Catch per unit effort (CPUE) in order to determine run size has also been skewed due to water conditions during the past few years which were not conducive to successful fishing.  It was also declared at the NRW Board meeting in Bangor that the NRW electro fishing sites were those primarily used by grilse, this has again skewed the results in favour of the NRW proposals.  There has been no mention of the improvements in fry and parr counts from the 2016 spawning season or for that matter the 2017 spawning season.  Unless avian predation and agricultural pollution is addressed there will be no improvement in salmon numbers in our rivers and the CPUE will drop as fewer anglers will be fishing, this will further skew the assessment of salmon stocks in our rivers.

Finally in item 11 there is a comment that recognises the need for stakeholder support for these proposals, the way the stakeholder objections have been dismissed by NRW means that it is unlikely that NRW will get any co-operation from its stakeholders.  This is what item 11 says:

11. In view of the detailed nature of the proposals, it seems likely that there will be a need for increased dialogue with stakeholders and enforcement effort once the measure come into force and become embedded.

Feel free to distribute this, it may be useful to send a copy to you local AM’s.

Email reply to Chris from Guy Mawle

Chris asserts that: ‘After 20 years of compulsory catch and release (C&R) for spring salmon there has been little or no improvement i.e. restrictions on angling has made little or no difference in reversing the decline,..’

and in his letter to the Minister that: ‘The evidence from 20 years of compulsory catch and release for spring salmon demonstrates the futility of the recommendations in achieving the desired outcome’.

These claims are misleading and don’t stand up to scrutiny across the country. They are similar to a comment made in an article in Trout & Salmon last year, which I responded to in the letters column, see attached. On a local level, here’s a sample of last year’s fly fishing on Isca Angling Club’s waters on the Usk: , as filmed by the club chairman; most are multi-sea winter (MSW) fish which would have entered the river before 16 June. The grilse runs have crashed.

However, the real issue for me is what action NRW and Welsh Government are going to take other than restricting angling. If it’s little or nothing, then I agree that there’s little point in pursuing mandatory c&r all season, as the gain will be relatively small on many rivers. In the face of poor marine survival, for grilse now, and extreme conditions in-river, as in November/December 2015, we need to make all the gains we can across a range of factors. Though the gains may be small individually, together they may be enough to sustain our fishing and the wider benefits.

In relation to the Usk, one gain that is being ignored by NRW, and more especially the Environment Agency, is the benefit of further restraining the Severn Estuary fisheries. A substantial proportion of the catch in this mixed stock, cross-border fishery is destined for the Usk. Indeed, I believe that the EA even intends to allow an increase in the allowable catch in 2018. I’ve formally objected to the EA byelaws myself and provided a document for the Usk Fishing Association, the Angling Trust, and others in support their own objections to these byelaws.


Email Reply from Chris White to Guy Mawle


I accept that there has been an upturn in MSW fish entering our rivers the problem is the claim that this due to C&R to 16 June cannot be substantiated.  There is very little fishing effort until after 16 June and by then the fish which enter the river in Feb/march are almost impossible to catch once they take up residence in the deeper pools.  The fish that run in May/June do get caught as do the summer salmon which arrive in July/August.  I fish on Scottish rivers (Dee/Spey/Tweed) the Dee and Spey operate C&R and have been doing for the past 20 years – their salmon are also in decline.  The sudden lost of grilse and 2 SW fish which return in the autumn tends to indicate major loss at sea.  If this has been due to climate changes there should have been a variation in the numbers returning.  In the case of the Tweed there was total collapse of the autumn run 4 years ago and this has continued into 2017.  This tends to indicate the possibility of high seas netting on the migration routes.  There are many pelagic trawlers operating in the Norwegian Sea fishing for mackerel and blue herring.  Some of these trawlers operate in pairs with bag nets which can be up to 20Km with GPS these trawlers once they find a migration path can set their nets in the same place every year, if the migration routes are those used by both mackerel and salmon then a by catch of salmon may be occurring, whether this is a deliberate of accidental catch will never be known.  Lets assume salmon are intercepted by paired trawlers using a bag net set at say 50ft when the bag is drawn closed any fish caught will be damaged (crushed) so even if they return salmon accidental caught the chance of survival will be slim.
I attended the salmon seminar in Penrith organised by the Angling Trust at which the Atlantic Salmon Trust presented a paper on the radio tracking of smolts from the Deveron it was believed that the smolts on entering the sea would turn left and head North, they don’t they turn right and head south before heading across the North sea towards Norway.  I suspect that returning salmon will follow the same route.  The work of the SALSEA project demonstrated that smolts from West coast rivers travel around Scotland to their feeding grounds in the Norwegian Sea around the Faroe Islands.  The return of adult salmon presumably follows the same route, this exposes them to Pelagic trawlers intercepting the mackerel shoals.
The MSW fish feed initially around the Faroe Islands but then head North West to feeding grounds around Greenland.  The MSW fish return prior to the operation of Pelagic trawlers and so there is no accidental catches.  In terms of evidence I have downloaded many research papers on salmon.  I have attached one paper which looks at the effect of stopping the drift nest around Norway and Russia and how the Baltic rivers recovered.  What is significant about this paper is it describes what we are seeing in our rivers i.e. the loss of grilse and 2SW salmon.
We have enough spawners returning to exceed the conservation limit on most rivers, I have attached two papers from consultants which we engaged to look at the statistical model used by the EA/NRW, I am not a statistician but the results hinge around the use of Bayesian techniques and regression curves.   I have pointed out to both NRW and the EA that the issue is the survival from egg to smolts reaching the sea, this is what needs to be addressed but there is no appetite to take on agricultural pollution or saw billed duck predation, instead they impose draconian measures on anglers.  I agree that we should return all of our fish but this should be voluntary, most already do this.  The fishmongers will continue to kill fish irrespective on any byelaws in the sure knowledge that they won’t be caught.



Extra Coarse Fishing Competition and Reminder about the Fly Fishing Demo

Sep 17, 2018   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

An extra senior coarse fishing competition has been added to the calendar on Sunday September 23rd on Cyfarthfa Park Lake, 8.30am draw fish 10am until 3pm


The Welsh Bank Fly Fishing Team are giving a demonstration in the Railway room in Cyfarthfa Park on Saturday 22nd September at 10am, all members are welcome to attend.

click heading below for full details………………….

Welsh Bank Fly Fishing Team – Demonstration

All Wales Salmon Bye-law proposals: announcement of a Local Inquiry

Sep 11, 2018   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

The Cabinet Secretary Lesley Griffiths AM has now agreed the next steps in relation to the proposed ‘All Wales’ rod and net fishing byelaws 2017, which were submitted to Welsh Government for confirmation on 20 February 2018.

The Cabinet Secretary announced her conclusion that given “the level of response to the consultation, the number of outstanding objections to the byelaw proposals and the nature of the correspondence” it is “the most appropriate course of action to conduct a Local Inquiry which will allow independent scrutiny of NRW’s proposals.”

The Planning Inspectorate Wales has therefore been asked to initiate a Local Inquiry under the Water Resources Act 1991. At the conclusion of the Inquiry, the Planning Inspector will make a recommendation to Welsh Ministers, which will inform their final determination of the application for confirmation of the byelaws.

The Planning Inspectorate is currently contacting all those who responded to the consultation, giving further details of the Local Inquiry and what responders need to do if they wish to attend, by the 19th September.

When the details of the Inquiry (date and venue) are confirmed, we will advertise the details and update our stakeholders approximately six weeks before the Inquiry. We welcome the opportunity to present our case and evidence to the Inquiry.

The above is from NRW. Below is a explanation from the group fighting this proposal, led by Chris White….MTAA are in agreement that Chris White represents us during the inquiry

Many of you who objected to the NRW consultation may already have received a copy of this email asking you to respond to three questions:

1) I have nothing further to submit and do not wish to attend the inquiry.

2) I wish to attend the inquiry, but do not wish to speak.

3) I wish to attend the inquiry and present evidence to the Inspector.

Question 1 will mean your response to the consultation will be read by the inspector and taken at face value; your objections won’t be ignored.

Question 2 means that you just wish to observe the way the inquiry is handled; your objections will have been taken note of as per question 1.

Question 3 enables you to attend the inquiry and present your objections to the inspector; you can submit additional evidence to that contained in your original objections submitted as part of the consultation.  The inspector will question you about your evidence and you will have an opportunity to explain your concerns.

In terms of CPWF we intend to respond to question 3 and as such we will be representing our supporters but for us to do this we need your agreement to this, this wont stop you from also presenting your own evidence or attending the inquiry.  We will be working with the Angling Trust in presenting evidence to ensure that we present the same message; we can’t afford to be seen as fighting between ourselves.  You will note that there is a short deadline (two weeks i.e. 19 Sept) to respond to the above questions, this is not the time scale for submitting your evidence we wont know that until they have assessed how many people will attend and want to present their objections but our expectations is this will be a short timescale.  It was interesting to hear at our Gwynedd LFG meeting yesterday that NRW had been in contact with the Planning Inspectorate last Friday with the email from the Minister being sent to all AM’s on the Monday it seems that our lobbying via AM’s has put pressure the Minister to take note of what we have been saying.  The Minister did not have an option as objections had not been with drawn and as such she could not make a decision.  We were advised at yesterdays LFG meeting that there will be a press statement from NRW shortly.  We still have a fight on our hands and it is essential that we present objective evidence and workable solutions to the inspector as he/she can only make a judgement on the evidence presented from both sides.  The good news is we know what NRW will be submitting, things have moved on since the consultation and we now have further evidence to present which may sway things in our favour, we cant afford to loose.

Can you confirm that you agree that CPWF can represent you at the inquiry keeping in mind that this does not remove your option to attend or present evidence individually.

Welsh Bank Fly Fishing Team – Demonstration

Sep 9, 2018   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments
Sept fly fishing demo

Senior Competition Middle Pond Sunday 26 Aug 18

Aug 28, 2018   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

5 Anglers sat by the side of Middle Pond on Sunday in torrential rain hoping for a bite.  Dia Davies managed 2 a small roach and a larger carp for a winning weight of 7lbs, second with a bag of small roach and perch was Jim Howells with 2lbs 2oz and in 3rd place was Mark Sweeney with 2lbs.