Browsing articles in "News"

Fisheries Conservation Letter

Mar 27, 2018   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments
Fisheries Conservation letter

March 2018 Newsletter – 1st Competition Result

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

 

COMPETITION RESULT

The 1st competition of 2018 was held on Molly’s pond at Redhill Fishery.  11 anglers fished and the winner of the competition was Adam Toomey with 81lb 7oz, 2nd Clive Saunders 26lb 8oz , 3rd Dave Couzens 16lb 4oz, 4th Jim Howells 14lb 7oz

 

Talybont Catch and Release Rescinded

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

Recently our Treasurer Tony Rees queried the reason why catch and release was imposed upon MTAA by Welsh Water.  The reply from Welsh Water below explains all.

We introduced catch and release only on our permits sold at Talybont and Beacons reservoirs with an aim of making the angling more sustainable. The same conditions are not directly transferable and applicable to your members or members of Osprey FF who have a lease on the Beacons reservoir as you have leases on the reservoirs which detail the conditions of your agreement.

To enforce catch and release on both clubs would require the change to be captured in your licence/lease and this was not the intention when we decided to move to catch and release for brown trout on permits sold by WW at our waters in the SE.

We would refer our members to the rules of the Association regarding the taking of trout the rules state “4 trout per rod per day”  size limit 10 inches, 25.4cm, tip of snout to tip of tail.  We would ask members to continue to practice catch and release on this wonderful reservoir, just taking the odd trout for the table.

Support Required Please

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

The following has been taken from the Sea Trout Fishing Forums.

The Association will be sending in some funding but we would like members to support this by sending us an amount they can afford, £ 1, £ 2, £ 3, £ 4, £ 5, Every little helps we must challenge this as it is now obvious that the present system relied on BY Natural Resources Wales for assessing Salmon stocks is not only flawed but bordering as they say in Parliament  to be polite: Sir you are a stranger to the Truth.

A Challenge to NRW/EA/CEFAS Stock Assessments – Support Needed!

A group of us in North Wales have been working closely with the NWATFCC (North West Angling Trust Fisheries Consultative Committee) in order to challenge NRW’s Stock Assessment and Reporting and resulting river classifications. Senior NRW Fisheries Staff seem unable to explain with clarity a number of key areas but will use the defence that they are using the same methodology as the rest of the UK.
To that end it is vital that any challenge is done on a joint basis with NWATFCC who are challenging the Environment Agency in England over precisely the same issue. A meeting took place in Lancaster on Wednesday 7th March between NWATFCC, the Angling Trust and the EA, at which Senior EA Fisheries Officers were unable to validate their data. As a result a suitably qualified statistician has now been employed by NWATFCC in order to:

• provide an independent evaluation of the validity and efficiency of the England & Wales national river stock status classification model for salmon
• review alternate models that can provide accurate historic stock attainment trend performance

The timescale for completion is three to four weeks. Whilst there can be no cast iron guarantees of success, this is fully supported by Mark Lloyd of the Angling Trust and we strongly believe that this has to be done, since if the EA/NRW model is declared invalid by an independent source, the whole case for the introduction of the Proposed Byelaws is undermined. We have also written to the Cabinet Secretary, Lesley Griffiths, to inform her of this action.
It would be unfair for our colleagues in England to bear the full cost of employing a qualified statistician, when we would stand to benefit from any findings which would support our challenge. A contingency fund of £5,000 is being raised, of which a Welsh fisheries contribution of £1,500 is suggested. To that end we are asking for contributions to establish that fund, which Mark Lloyd has kindly agreed to hold through the Angling Trust, ring-fenced for this specific brief. As a guide we are suggesting a contribution of £100 from Angling Clubs and £10 from individuals, although larger or smaller amounts would be gratefully accepted!

1. Cheques should be made payable to Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association who will forward all proceeds to Angling Trust.
2. Cheques should be posted to: Anthony Rees Treasure, Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association, 13 Alexandra Avenue, Merthyr Tydfil, Mid Glam, CF47 9AE if you send your e:mail you will have a response by return. See below any unused funds will be used by AT/FL
We appreciate that this is very short notice however these are extraordinary times for game angling in Wales and that requires an extraordinary response.

Whilst the immediate aim of this money is to fund the independent statistician, after all payments have been met, we have requested that any residual funds be used by the Angling Trust/ Fish Legal to support campaigns which are beneficial to angling in Wales.

Please support this cause as well as making your colleagues and contacts aware of this action.
Thank you.

This appeal is for Fish Legal Angling Trust and any monies collected will be sent to them

The Association is sending this as we will not divulge our members’ personal details to anyone.

2018 Rod Licence

Mar 10, 2018   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

Its that time of year again when we have to renew our rod licences.  You can do so by following this link https://www.gov.uk/fishing-licences  this link should take you to the Governments licence pages.  Just follow the instructions to obtain your licence.  If you have to pay a fee for your fishing licence you are on the wrong website and we cannot be held responsible for that.

Prices

Licence type Trout and coarse 2-rod Trout and coarse 3-rod Salmon and sea trout
1-day £6 Not available £12
8-day £12 Not available £27
12-month £30 £45 £82
12-month – over 65 or disabled £20 £30 £54
12-month – junior (13 to 16) Free Free Free

Pollution – Farm – Open Letter to MP’s & AM’s

Mar 8, 2018   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments
pollution – Farm – open letter to MPs & AMs

Roll over bottom of page for pages 2 to 4

New Keep Wales Tidy newsletter launched! Lansio cylchlythyr newydd Cadwch Gymru’n Daclus!

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

We wanted to let you know that we’ve launched a new Keep Wales Tidy e-newsletter (see below) – keeping everyone up to date with the very latest news and events, not to mention the different ways people can get involved with our work. You’ll find our first edition below.

We’re keen to spread the word and are encouraging all of our volunteers, Green Key sites, Green Flag sites, Eco-Schools to subscribe to the newsletter.

Because we value your support and are committed to protecting your privacy, we wanted to give you the option to sign up. All you need to do is complete this short online form.

We promise to never pass your information to other organisations and you’ll have the option to unsubscribe with every email you receive.

We hope you enjoy.

Mae 2018 yn flwyddyn bwysig i Cadwch Gymru’n Daclus ac rydym yn llawn cyffro wrth lansio ein cylchlythyr i’ch helpu chi i gael y wybodaeth ddiweddaraf am ein gwaith.  

Einhuchelgais yw y bydd 2018 – Blwyddyn y Môr yng Nghymru – yn drobwynt yn y frwydr yn erbyn sbwriel morol. Byddwn yn gweithio gyda Llywodraeth Cymru a sefydliadau ar draws pob sector i fynd i’r afael â’r mater trwy weithredu ymarferol, addysg ac ymgyrchoedd.

Gall pawb chwarae rhan i wneud gwahaniaeth cadarnhaol a pharhaus i’n hamgylchedd morol. Ymunwch â ni i ofalu am ein harfordir.

Lesley Jones
Prif Weithredwr

2018 marks a big year for Keep Wales Tidy and we’re excited to be launching our newsletter to help you keep up-to-date with our work.  

Our ambition is that 2018 will also mark a turning point in the fight against marine litter. We’ll be working with Welsh Government and organisations across all sectors to tackle the issue through practical action, education and campaigns.

Everyone can play their part to make a positive and lasting difference to our marine environment. Please join us in caring for our coast.

Lesley Jones
Chief Executive

Gwanwyn Glân Cymru, 1-4 Mawrth: arwyr yn ymgynnull!
Spring Clean Cymru, 1-4 March: heroes assemble!

Mae sbwriel morol yn berthnasol i fwy na chymunedau arfordirol yn unig – mewn gwirionedd, daw 80% o weddillion morol o ffynonellau ar y tir. Dyma pam yr ydym yn galw ar bobl ar hyd a lled Cymru i ddod ynghyd i’n helpu i lanhau ein gwlad.

Mae Gwanwyn Glân Cymru’n dechrau ar Ddydd Gŵyl Dewi ac rydym eisoes wedi cael ymateb rhagorol gan fusnesau, ysgolion, grwpiau cymunedol a sefydliadau eraill. Gyda’n gilydd, gallwn greu newid.

Canfyddwch sut y gallwch gymryd rhan

The issue of marine litter isn’t just relevant to coastal communities – in fact 80% of marine debris is from land-based sources. That’s why we’re calling on people across Wales to come together and help us clean up our country.

Spring Clean Cymru kicks off on St David’s Day and we’ve had a fantastic response from businesses, schools, community groups, and other charities. Together we can create change.

Find out how you can get involved

30 mlynedd o’r Faner Las yng Nghymru 
30 years of Blue Flag in Wales

Mae eleni’n fwy arbennig byth am ei bod yn nodi 30 mlynedd o’r Faner Las yng Nghymru.  Am dri degawd, mae rhaglen ryngwladol y Faner Las wedi helpu i godi safonau amgylcheddol i’r lefel uchaf.

I ddechrau ein dathliadau, rydym wedi lansio adroddiad newydd yn dangos pwysigrwydd y Faner Las i ymwelwyr a busnesau.

Mae dros 96% o bobl yn ymwybodol o raglen y Faner Las, gyda 90% yn deall bod y wobr yn golygu glendid, diogelwch ac ansawdd dŵr. Mae mwyafrif helaeth y busnesau yng Nghymru hefyd o’r farn bod y Faner Las yn cael effaith gadarnhaol.

Darllen yr adroddiad llawn

This year is even more special as it marks 30 years of Blue Flag in Wales. For three decades, the international Blue Flag programme has helped raise environmental standards to the highest level.

To kick off our anniversary celebrations, we’ve launched a new report showing the importance of Blue Flag to visitors and businesses.

More than 96% of people are aware of the international Blue Flag programme, with 90% understanding the award stands for cleanliness, safety and water quality. Businesses in Wales also overwhelmingly consider Blue Flag to have a positive impact.

Read the full report

Ein hymagwedd
Our approach 

Eisiau canfod mwy am ein cynlluniau i’r dyfodol?
Lawrlwythwch ein Strategaeth Gorfforaethol

Want to find out more about our plans
for the future?
Download our Corporate Strategy

Petition against NRW

Feb 25, 2018   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments
Following a meeting with their local AM, Betws Anglers were advised to raise a petition against the decision making process used by Natural Resources Wales during the proposed bylaw consultation.
A petition has now been raised by Betws AC, and is now live. The petition can be found at https://www.assembly.wales/en/gethome/e-petitions/Pages/petitiondetail.aspx?PetitionID=1315 . We need as many anglers as possible to support this.
 
This is a Welsh Government petition and depending on the support it receives will be considered by the WG petitions committee, this could result in a public inquiry on the way the proposed NRW fisheries bylaws consultation has been conducted.
 
We need your support please forward this to as many anglers as possible – there are 4800 migratory fish licence holders in Wales and many more who fish Welsh rivers but live in England, we need them all to support us. 

Catch and Release Bye Laws

Feb 21, 2018   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

The pdf document was recently received from North Wales and makes interesting reading.

C & R – John Eardley – Feb 2018 -{1}

rollover the bottom of the document to view further pages

 

Carp Team Wales 2018 Trial and Conditions Forms.

Feb 14, 2018   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

2018 Carp Trial Entry
WCFA-Cond-2

February Newsletter

Feb 14, 2018   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments
Feb 2018

Angling Cymru Awarded Level 1 Coaching Award

Feb 11, 2018   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments
Merthyr Anglers are pleased that Angling Cymru who our coaches are members of, has achieved this recognition.
At all times we ensure our Coaching Standard is of the highest and that we abide and conform to all the rules regarding the Safeguarding of Children and vulnerable Adults.
Special thanks must go to Bernie Farr who pushed hard for our coaches to be accredited
Acheivement Letter – Level 1 Angling

Newsletter from Severn and Wye Smokery

Feb 7, 2018   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

DID I TELL YOU ABOUT THE DAYS WE USED TO EAT WILD SALMON

It’s a strange time of the year, Christmas is over, children are back at school and days are starting to lengthen, we know spring is around the corner but the cold and frosty mornings have reduced those thoughts to whims and fancies. Guns have been cleaned and locked away and for me it’s meant a visit to the cupboard under the stairs, pull out my rods and reacquaint myself with fishing gear that has been gathering dust over the winter months. In Scotland the wild salmon rod and line season started on most major rivers in mid-January, while in England and Wales we will have to wait until March. Melting snow and rain has meant Scottish rivers have seen little activity but hope springs eternal and I have already booked a couple of trips for April in my quest for that early and elusive springer (salmon).

In Scotland the rod and line fishing has suffered several poor seasons and ghillies that I spoke to last year voiced genuine concerns about river salmon stocks declining at an alarming rate. The blame gets evenly spread between Government, farm fertilisers and nitrates, birds of prey, commercial netting, seals, dolphins and salmon farms, but now many are thinking the problem may be even more complicated and actually something that is happening out at sea.

The good news is closer to home though and the River Severn, which until recently, was described by the Environment Agency as a river ‘at risk’ is now a river ‘probably not at risk’. This reclassification is extremely important as it completely revaluates the health of the river’s stock. It’s also at a time when pressure is mounting for the E. A. to rethink their new licensing policy which has, in effect, closed the small commercial wild salmon fishery on the Severn. The word commercial does this fishery a disservice. It is in fact a group of twenty-five old boys who enjoy fishing the river for a tiny reward that at the moment doesn’t cover the cost of their license.

We are actively supporting these fishermen and feel that this heritage fishery with its skills and river knowledge is a tradition of Gloucestershire we can ill afford to lose. To be truly ‘sustainable’ environmental, social, and economic benefits must all overlap, but the E.A seems to be purely interested in only the environmental aspect of sustainability.

We don’t want the fishery to have unlimited access; it’s essential it’s sustainably managed and controlled, it would also help if the old riparian rights were returned so a license holder can bequeath his license to his son or daughter. With the E.A. we need to be able to take a more custodial approach to the fishery to ensure its long-term future rather than legislate to kill the fishery.

The E.A. also plans to implement a total ban on the off-shore netting on the N.E. English coast in 2018. This is a proper commercial fishery and accounts for 93% of the commercial catch of wild salmon and sea trout in England and Wales. As the coastal net fisheries in Scotland closed some years ago it’s almost certain that most of the wild salmon coming to London somehow picks up a Scottish passport en route. Numbers will also put this in some sort of perspective. In 2016 the N.E. fishery caught roughly 38,000 seatrout and 18,500 wild salmon. 2016 was also the last year that the Severn netsmen fished their quota, their total catch for the season was 162. This means particularly wild salmon but wild sea trout as well will become a rarity and something that chefs will only be able to feature as a rare delicacy, and by 2020 something we may talk to our children about having once tasted.

Continuing on the trout theme we have teamed up with Chalk Stream Foods and taken their awarding winning farmed trout, which is proving popular with many of the country’s leading chefs. The fish are reared in farms alongside the River Ichen and the River Test, and it is the diverted spring fed chalk stream waters that gives these fish their clean and delicate sweet flavour. By successfully now producing a suitable large fish for smoking we think is a product that will have widespread appeal, a British sustainably reared fish that for so long has been undervalued. We are planning to have hot and cold smoked trout available from the 14th February, wholesale customers contact the sales office for details.

The 15th February is the start of the elver season. The cold weather may mean that we will have to wait a while before we see any reasonable catches, but like all fishermen we remain optimistic. Any chefs or wholesale customers that would like to get involved in our restocking or Tanks in Schools programme get in touch, it’s a wonderful feeling restocking British rivers, involving children and teaching them at the same time about the wonders and life of the eel, its value as a resource and how we need to look after and respect our rivers.

More news soon.

Dai Francis
Ambassador without Portfolio
You can follow me on Twitter here @gastroboar (http://twitter.com/gastroboar)
Follow Gastroboar on Instagram here @gastroboar (https://www.instagram.com/gastroboar/)
Follow on Twitter (http://twitter.com/severnwye)
Forward to a Friend (http://us2.forward-to-friend.com/forward?u=0fad32649c5e4e673d96858fe&id=20ce23c6cf&e=fde952a59f)
Friend us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/severnandwye/)

** Dates for the Diary
————————————————————

Start of the UK elver fishing season
15th February
Don’t expect much fishing for the first few weeks, need weather and water to jump a few degrees in temperature.

Chinese New Year
16th February
Year of the Dog, supposedly anyone born in this year will be communicative, serious and responsible in the work place.

St David’s Day
1st March
Welsh choirs clear their throats for celebration singing. Daffodils and leeks go short in the market.

Salmon season opens England & Wales
3rd March
Time to catch up with Scots and see if any spring fish are running
Cider orchard
Severn & Wye cider orchard planted
150 trees, 7 heritage varieties, all possible from contributions from our sales of MSC haddock, herring and ‘SEG’ approved smoked eel.
Dai Francis

Song of the Paddle and Access

Jan 28, 2018   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments
This seems to be another determined effort by the paddlers – even looking for a court case ???
 

One Last Chance to Save Welsh Salmon & Sea Trout Fisheries

Jan 25, 2018   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

Dear Friends,

Last week we witnessed both success and a severe let down. WE MUST ACT…FAST!

With many from our fishing community, I attended Natural Resource Wales Board meeting on the 18th January in Bangor, Gwynedd and witnessed what I can only describe as an injustice as the NRW chair Diane McCrea took the decision to present the NRW Fishery Bylaws, essentially unchanged, to Welsh Government.

Please help us get more signatures:

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/give-welsh-fishing-clubs-and-salmon-and-seatrout-a-chance

We had a fight on our hands….we now have a battle.

I urge you to now lobby your Welsh Assembly Members and make them see that NRWs bylaws do not represent the appropriate means of establishing community lead fisheries in the now and therefore for the future.

I urge you to share our story with local papers; local media and social media and I urge you please…LETS GET MANY MORE SIGNATURES. We may only have days to do this….the timescale is now unclear.

The greatest frustration for all of us who witnessed proceedings at the Board Meeting of the 18th is that the majority of the non executive Board, understood our plight:

they stated the fishing community had been ousted from the process; they called for an alternative approach to be developed in partnership with us (as should always have been the case); and they recognised NRW are in no position to police the proposed system. All members of the Board recognised the need to tackle riverine habitat issues and made the promise to implement a strategy to deal with them…..all of this shows our voice has been heard! WORKING TOGETHER WE ARE INFLUENCING FOR EVERYONES BENEFIT.

THEN……came the sledge hammer blow! The Boards Executive Members effectively ignored the wisdom of the non executive. Suddenly, it was about no more time wasting; no more expenditure; no more listening……to us. We are not on their agenda ladies and gentleman….WE MUST PUT RIGHTING THIS WRONG AT THE TOP OF OURS.

Even though their very own Board stated the way forwards must be shaped by those who are most impacted by the measures…..US…they were ignored!

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/give-welsh-fishing-clubs-and-salmon-and-seatrout-a-chance

Please forward this message now….it’s our last chance.

 

‘Thank You’ for all you have done and your continued support,

Reuben Woodford

Invitation to an Open Evening at Gary Evans Shop Whitchurch Cardiff

Jan 24, 2018   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments
We are holding an open evening in our Cardiff shop on the 22nd of February and wondered if any of your members would like to attend? I’m sure we had a few from Merthyr last year!
It starts about 6.30pm and we always have some very special offers only available on the night, as well as a general discount on other items. There will also be a free buffet including beers and non-alcoholic drinks.
It’s a great opportunity for members of different clubs to get together, swap stories, information, and have a bit of fun.
If you wish to attend let our secretary know so he can contact Garry Evans with the numbers of our members to allow for the catering.

Application Forms

Jan 7, 2018   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

2018 Application for membership form is now available via the following link……..

 

Join the MTAA

Christmas

Dec 24, 2017   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

The Chairman and committee members would like to wish all membership a very happy Christmas and tight lines with screaming reels for 2018

MTAA Response to Compulsory C & R and NRW Reply

Dec 15, 2017   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

The following representation is from Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association and represents views brought up in both the Usk and Taff Local Fishery Groups.  Not all those in the Usk Group had the same views but some did agree with us.

These Groups although not Statutory are recognised by Natural Resources Wales as sounding boards for advice.

Catch Controls: byelaws for Nets and Rods 2017

The general opinion from both these committees, we do not claim all are in agreement but in general the comments reflect that Anglers are not in total agreement with the proposals.
All those who sit on these committees have many  years of knowledge of the Usk system and in some cases feel that other factors that are equally damaging to fish stocks,  the answers to which have been avoided for years should be considered. One of these is Fish eating birds and their control.  Natural Resources Wales have now stated that at least 50% from surveys  of sea running  smolts are lost to these predators.

The current staffing of Natural Resources Wales on enforcement is totally inadequate due to cut backs and unless adequate protection is afforded to the current Salmon/Seatrout stock then any restrictions on anglers will not achieve any benefit.

The current spate during 2016 and early 2017 of agricultural pollution incidents is another problem
There appears to be reluctance by NRW, and indeed the Welsh Government, to recognise this.

Q  (2a.)
Do you agree with Natural Resources Wales salmon and sea trout stock assessments?
Not on some rivers as the figures do not bear out claims being made by Natural Resources Wales. The blunt approach is neither scientific nor proportionate and appears to be a catch all so Natural Resources Wales can appear to be doing something. Natural Resources Wales have agreed that the problem is not with the fishermen but yet again they expect, without mentioning or even attempting to tackle other problems, that the anglers must bear the brunt of the new restrictions.

There is ample evidence that increasingly  fish aquaculture farms are  causing major problems but no effort is being made to control it. Why?

Q (2b).
Please tell us if have any evidence to support a different stock assessment conclusion.
The current catch returns are showing evidence of more fish entering some river in 2017 making the catch all restrictions as just being a method for Natural Resources Wales to simplify the new bylaws and not act as the evidence based organisation they profess to be.

Q(3a.)
Do you support the proposed Net fishing byelaws?  Byelaw 4 – Catch and release with nets (salmon).

Some proposals for restricting the netting season and fish sizes will make a difference. However the Environment Agency in England and many other countries have taken far more drastic action against netting imposed bans.

The proposal and acceptance of the netsmen to return all net caught salmon goes against all the guidelines issued by Natural Resources Wales to anglers on the release of fish. The care they ask anglers to take cannot, due to the way net fishing is carried out, result in any net caught salmon surviving. We would ask that Natural Resources Wales produce any evidence they have of research to prove this?

Q(3b.) Do you support the proposed rod fishing byelaws?

We support elements in the proposals but feel again that some are being put forward without the necessary scientific evidence so often asked for by Natural Resources Wales when anglers make suggestions.

Angling brings added value to both conservation and to the local economy that both support local angling and improve conservation of stocks. The heritage argument to preserve the status quo regarding net exploitation has been the main reason given for the last twenty years and before when any new bylaws are proposed. This only protects the interests of a very limited number of individuals to exploit a diminishing stock, the catch returns for the nets show how many fish could be saved if as in England, Wales was prepared to act in the same manner.  We cannot see any added value from the net fishery either in terms of the local economy or the measures. The promise to return all net caught salmon, a questionable promise, taken by the net fishery to aid conservation is to coin a phrase a Red Herring.

Byelaw 3(d)-Interpretation

We will deal with this in some of our answers below.

Byelaw 4 – catch and release with rod and line (salmon)

We are opposed to the mandatory catch and release proposal due to the fact that the current use of it as a tool to saving more fish is not borne out by the two rivers that already have it in Wales the Taff and the Wye.  The figures for the Taff this year are very low and the Wye has not done as well as the previous two years. On this basis catch and release is not the problem. It is very quickly showing that some of the problems highlighted by Anglers in the last ten years not tackled by either Environment Agency or Natural Resources Wales are more of a problem than anglers.

Anglers do much to help the conservation of salmon and sea trout as well as the aquatic and riparian environment. The removal of in river obstructions to upward migration as well as being a presence that discourages poachers.  The fact that more and more Natural Resources Wales are asking the angler for intelligence for them to carry out their statutory duties shows that they are understaffed. If and we suspect that this will happen on many rivers if Catch and Release is adopted, anglers stop fishing, then the intelligence will also come to an end.

Byelaw 5 – catch and release with rod and line (sea trout)
WE think that those who fish those rivers that have a sea trout run are best to respond to this.

Byelaw 6 – Size limit sea trout

We have some knowledge of this and welcome the introduction of an upper size limit of 60 centimetres it would protect large mature sea trout which are capable of producing large numbers of eggs. We agree the proposal to move the commencement of seine and coracle netting from the 1st March to 1st May however we would prefer that netting is banned. These measures would together provide protection for a stock which appears to have declined in recent years. Many anglers have been releasing such fish for some years and some associations require this and others encourage it.

Byelaw 7 – No bait fishing

This prohibits the use of bait for salmon. It prohibits the use of bait for sea trout before 1st May. Bait fishing for sea trout would be allowed with a single worm on a single hook with a gape of 8 mm or less after 30th April. We question the banning of worm fishing for salmon but allowing worm fishing for sea trout is not what can be described as logical thinking. Fish whether Salmon or other will take a worm. You already have the classic issue of this on the River Usk where worm is allowed for trout fishing but not for Salmon.
All worm fishing for salmon and sea trout fishing should be prohibited until stocks recover. We understand that the survival rate for worm caught fish is very low. The survival rate for fly and spinner caught fish is high.
Shrimp and prawn fishing catches mainly salmon, and a very occasional mature trout. It does not catch immature fish. All fish are hooked in the mouth, usually in the scissors. All can be returned with little harm. We understand that some surveys have been carried out on the use of Prawn and Shrimp in Ireland that show a positive light on these baits. It will also give those who like to fish with bait the opportunity to carry on fishing. This in itself will help to keep more anglers on the rivers of Wales.

The surveys in Ireland by fishery scientists showed that salmon were caught in the upper part of the jaw or lower jar when prawn or shrimp fishing. The salmon were then released with no adverse effects to them. This was far better than worm fishing where the bait is often taken deep within the salmon and has a high mortality rate if tried to be released.

The banning of  prawn and shrimp was overturned  due to the evidence submitted.

With a number of elderly anglers in the club who have contributed for many years with their licence money. They now find it hard to wade rivers due to being infirm and unsteady on their feet.

They still hold the enjoyment of fishing very high and for them to be able to sit on the river bank for several hours is a pastime that we cannot take from them and should not.

It can also encourage people to fish when club membership is waning  and more could be lost due to the constraints imposed by the NRW.

Byelaw 8 – Hooks
This byelaw amends byelaw 10 of the 1995 byelaws and:- only allow fishing for salmon and sea trout with barbless or debarbed hooks prohibits the use of treble hooks.

We are in agreement with this but question and ask how will Natural Resources Wales enforce this and all the other new regulations with current staffing levels?  The banning of trebles will certainly save fish.
Section 4
Q4a.
Please tell us if you have any further comments that haven’t been covered by the previous questions.

We welcome the fact you have asked for further comments:

We feel that the present status of catch and release should be maintained. That the taking of any salmon after the 30th August should be added to the proposals as by this time many fish are gravid in any case. This would reduce the window of when fish can be taken to three months of the year.
The move to bring the new bylaws in for Ten years is not only unrealistic it just looks like another Natural Resources Wales move to reduce their monitoring and assessment of stocks.

In the past the monitoring of fish stocks was viewed and an essential part of the work of body that was set up to improve and maintain fish stocks. We are referring to the National Rivers Authority in the Nineties; the Environment Agency after that.  Today monitoring is if carried out is being done on a shoe string. We now more than ever need to carry out the programme of monitoring that was employed over the years. Evidence for the need to do this and to show how critical it is has come to light this year when it was suddenly discovered that in some brooks there were no Salmon fry. What a surprise when, and we do not blame staff on the ground, cost and decisions by people who considered fisheries management as a low priority reduced monitoring.

We suggest therefore that Natural Resources Wales relook at the way they view their remit on the fisheries function. This is critical if they wish to live up to their claim of protecting and enhancing the environment in Wales.

Note;-

a/ Taff, had prior to the barrage, a substantial (unreported) run of migratory fish. Black weir used to hold a large shoal of salmon which was heavily fished for by illegal “angling”.

b/ Absence of fry etc in spawning brooks. Local intelligence informed the Usk LFG in 2015 & 2016 of heavy predation in these brooks by poachers, namely at, Trecastle, Senni, Yscir and Tarrell. Lack of enforcement on the ground due to cut backs left these areas open to poaching.

Tony Rees P/P Merthyr Anglers. 804 members.
Anthony Rees MBE

13 Alexandra Avenue

Merthyr Tydfil. Mid Glam

CF47 9AE

2017_SST_484_V6

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Bass

Dec 14, 2017   //   by Merthyr Tydfil Angling Association   //   News  //  No Comments

We know that many members fish for bass, the following is the result of a recent meeting in Europe.

Council agreement on 2018 fishing opportunities secured at 07:40 (CET)
 
Its been a gruelling night of negotiations with the Commission plus work to find common ground with the French and Dutch delegations on sea bass. The UK team has worked really effectively together to push the case for more proportionate measures based on good science. Having started the night with a stark outlook for Wales we are delighted to be able to share good news on our priorities for 2018.
 
Final compromise:
 
Sea bass
 

 

  • Gill nets – 10 months of 1.2 tonnes per year (Wales’ red line: 1 tonne)
  • Hooks / line – 10 months of 5 tonnes per year (Wales’ red line: 4 tonnes)
  • Recreational – 12 months catch and release (but with possibility to authorise a bag limit of one in July and Aug in the light of benchmarking in early 2018)

 

 
Also after ICES benchmark exercise in 2018, the Commission will consider if there is a basis for reviewing the measures in place for sea bass and allowing for any landings of sea bass in recreational fisheries.
 
Good news on other stocks of interest
 

 

  • 15% increase in TAC for skates and rays
  • increases in quota for cod and plaice in the Irish sea
  • increases in quota for sole and cod in the Bristol channel

Below is the full report (use arrows at bottom left hand to turn pages)

EU fisheries policy 2018 (1)