National Resources Wales has introduced a new telephone number for any one to report incidents of pollution or poaching, the old 0800 number will continue to work for some time yet. The number is……………..
Ceri Thomas of Fishtec fished Tal-y-bont reservoir on October 16th to end the Stillwater trout season. 5 brownies were landed in a late afternoon session of a few hours at the top end, all on floating line, 20 foot long leader and red-head tadpole fly. Best fish was a magnificent 17 ½ inch cock fish, with the rest being 12 -13 inches. All returned to grow bigger for next season!
Below are 2 pictures of a trout caught on the last days of the season by Daniel Pop, a truly magnificent fish
2 more pictures this time of pike caught in September in Pontsticill reservoir, by Kyle McCarthy.
Brecon & Monmouth Canal Users
The Dell Management Challenge Charity Adventure Race will take place again this year on 1st October and as for the previous 8 years, the route will include the use of the Canal Towpath between Brecon Canal Basin and Talybont.
We have permission from Canal & Rivers Trust to run the Event again this year and they have asked us to let Canal boat Operators and Fishing Clubs know that the Event will be taking place.
Participants will be Canoeing between Brecon and Storehouse Bridge between 9.00am and 10.00am and running from Brecon to Talybont from 9.00am to 11.00am. No cycling by participants is being permitted on the towpath this year. Teams will leave at 3 minute intervals to minimise the impact on other users and all participants will be clearly briefed that they should keep to single file and give way at all times to members of the Public.
We will also be providing an Outrider ahead of the first team to ensure people know they are on the way and we will be sending a Litter and Sign Collection Team back through after the last team has finished on the towpath.
We do hope this will not inconvenience you in any way, we are keen to deliver this Charity Event with the minimum impact on other Canal Users. However, please do get in touch with us if you have any concerns or any questions.
Event Director, Dell Management Challenge 2016
Merthyr Anglers are wondering if anyone spotted the crew who left a beach tent and two bags of rubbish on the roadside bank near roach corner on Top Pond over the weekend. There were also lots of Fosters cans thrown down the bank. These people are nothing short of the worse type of individual we have in the borough. We have bins that our volunteers one in particular empty regularly and we get the micky taken out of us. Penywern Top Pond was recently awarded Green Flag Status and it takes a lot of work to keep up the standard. One thing is certain Merthyr will win hands down for Gold olympic medals for litter and fly tipping.
If you know who they were you can contact us via the Contact us page on this website, or facebook your anonymity will be respected .
The follow report has just been issued by National Resourses Wales regarding salmon fry on the River Usk this is a very worrying report and salmon anglers are requested to observe catch and release.
Briefing Note Issued to Local Fisheries Groups, 2.9.16
Annual fisheries monitoring programme reveals unprecedented reduction in salmon fry abundance across Wales
Each year NRW carries out a programme of fisheries monitoring to record the distribution and abundance of fish – notably juvenile salmon and trout – in many of our rivers. The data are used to assess stock performance and status and, over the period since monitoring commenced in 1986, long-term trends in fish densities. This monitoring therefore has an important role to play in the sustainable management of our natural resources as it helps us to understand, protect and manage our fish stocks.
The fish population surveys predominately use electric fishing procedures in which fish are temporarily stunned and caught – a process which is harmless to the fish. We record the numbers of fish caught, the species and their individual lengths. This data is essential in classifying rivers and water bodies under the Water Framework Directive (WFD).
This years’ results
This year our initial fisheries surveys on the rivers, Clwyd, Usk and Tywi have demonstrated a very concerning and unprecedented decline in the abundance of salmon fry in sites where they have always been present:
In the Tywi catchment our survey has shown salmon fry to be absent from 27 of the 31 sites monitored (they were present in 28 of these sites during the last survey).
On the Usk, our survey showed salmon fry to be absent in 8 of the 13 sites where they are usually present and typically in good numbers. There were no fry at all at another 9 sites surveyed for eel.
On the Clwyd 5 sites were fished and although these have always had good numbers of fry, none were found this year.
Surveys on other rivers, including the Wye, Tawe and Glaslyn have found normal numbers of fry. www.naturalresourceswales.gov.uk
Our experienced fish survey staff report that these findings are unprecedented over the period of 30 years since fisheries monitoring commenced.
What is the current position?
At this stage it is important that we complete the survey programme to build a picture of the status of fish populations across Wales. Whist this is underway we are consulting with the Environment Agency on the position in England and with Welsh Government, and we are also discussing the results and their potential cause and implications, with Cefas (fisheries advisors to the UK Government). We are examining river flow and temperature data and considering other factors that might be implicated.
We also assess salmon stocks each year by comparing estimated egg deposition with catchment targets. We note that, although adult salmon stocks in 21 of our 23 principal salmon rivers are currently assessed as ‘At Risk’ (including the Clwyd and Tywi) or ‘Probably at Risk’ (including the Usk) of failing to meet their spawning targets, estimated egg depositions in 2015 were broadly unexceptional.
There is also some evidence, notably for the Clwyd, that trout fry populations are also much lower than in recent years.
What are the possible reasons?
It is presently too early to be clear what has caused the severe lack of fry in the three rivers highlighted here. We have considered a possible failure of fish to disperse to spawning tributaries, possibly due to flow, and the potential for disease or pollution to be the causative factor, however it is far too early be certain. However we also note that December 2015 was the hottest December on record and consequently we are assessing water temperature records. www.naturalresourceswales.gov.uk
What can fishermen do?
Whilst we complete our monitoring programme and further investigate the reasons for the collapse in fry numbers, it is important that all those involved with fisheries do what they can to help maximise the number of fish spawn this autumn/winter.
Now, and in subsequent years, it is more important than ever that anglers return all their fish to maximise the numbers that can spawn, and that the fishing methods used ensure that released fish have the best chance of survival by considering:
De-barbing the hooks so that fish can be released more easily and quickly
Not removing the fish from the water whilst unhooking. This is one of the key ways to improve survival. Keeping a fish in the air for 30-60 seconds literally halves their chance of survival.
Not using treble hooks – especially flying C type lures
Not using bait.
These results are unprecedented and appear to be evident in some, but not all, rivers across Wales.
We will complete our monitoring programme, whilst we continue to investigate the causes and seek a remedy.
In the meantime it is crucial as many salmon as possible spawn this year. We are appealing to anglers to put all the salmon they catch back, and to try to influence others to do the same. There simply aren’t enough fish spawning to sustain stocks.
Catch and Release guidelines can be found on the Wye and Usk Foundation web site. http://www.wyeuskfoundation.org/fishing/catchandrelease.php
We have been in discussions with NRW on the new proposals to limit the taking of Salmon but still be able to fish for them. We agree with restrictions on baits, hooks, and possible curtailing the time you can fish for them. However, we do not feel that the proposal to have total catch and release while not tackling other issues such as bird predation is being fair. The following petition has come to light and we wish to give our members a say on this matter.
e-Petition: Proposal to Postpone the Restrictions on Fishing in Welsh Rivers.
open quote / dyfyniad agored
We call on the National Assembly for Wales to urge the Welsh Government to ensure an immediate postponement of the 10-year catch & release proposal for all salmon on Welsh rivers, whilst a full and proper impact assessment is carried out into the effects on local business and tourist economy, at a time when the Welsh economy is already suffering due to the decline in steel production. We believe this matter requires urgent attention.
I am chairman of Abergwili Angling Club, based in Carmarthen and I’m concerned by recent proposals by NRW to impose a ten- year catch and release only policy for salmon on all Welsh rivers, with no scientific evidence that pleasure anglers are responsible for the decline in migratory salmon stock.
A high percentage of our Club members travel into Wales bringing much needed revenue into the local economy. Below you will find extracts from the NRW’s own technical report that highlights the losses that may well be incurred, following the expected loss of anglers coming to Wales, should NRW go ahead with a 10-year Salmon catch & release programme.
Below are extracts from a recent ‘consultation’ with anglers, in West Wales :-
NRW B B 40.15 Annex 2 TECHNICAL REPORT: MANAGEMENT OPTIONS TO ADDRESS THE DECLINE IN STOCKS OF SALMON AND SOME SEA TROUT IN WALES
- Salmon and sea trout are iconic and important species in our rivers. They support recreational fisheries that bring economic benefit (in excess of £74 million annual expenditure in Wales, supporting around 1,500 Welsh jobs and £32 million in household income, Mawle and Peirson, 2009), often to rural communities, and are widely recognised as indicators of good environmental quality. Salmon support the designation of six rivers designated as Special Areas of Conservation. These are the SAC rivers, as designated under the Habitats Directive (Council Directive 92/43/EEC) in Wales. The salmon is also a feature of the Severn Estuary European Marine site (a SAC, and a site also designated as a Special Protection Area under the Birds Directive and a Ramsar site). 8. Welsh Government has set objectives for NRW to contribute to objectives for freshwater fisheries management, broadly by promotion of the conservation and maintenance of the diversity of migratory and freshwater fish, and by enhancing the contribution that migratory and freshwater fisheries make to the economy, particularly in remote rural areas and in areas with low levels of income. NRW also has statutory duties for fisheries under the Environment Act (1995), and obligations as set out in the UK Governments responsibilities to NASCO (the North Atlantic Conservation Organisation) to which the EC is a signatory.
Furthermore, the answer to a recent Freedom of Information request –ref: ATI – 09971a – is set out below:-
As part of any case for proposed new fishing control measures Natural Resources Wales is obliged to consider socio-economic factors. I can confirm that this has yet to take place, therefore regulation 12.4(a) of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 applies.
Information not held. We do not have an expected date of when this will be completed however we do hope to complete it later this year.
close quote / dyfyniad agos
To Sign the petition please follow this link it will take you straight to the signing page
This Gallery is a small snapshot of our National Fishing Month Day today Wednesday 10 Aug
Another event held on Cyfarthfa Park Lake on Wednesday 17th August, a lovely day and all of the children and adults who attended caught fish and were advised on how to catch fish and the equipment they were using.
PRESS RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Go for your own ‘Olympic Gold’ during National Fishing Month
Angling is still searching for its position in the mainstream sports arenas. Although it is a participatory sport, hugely popular on a world-wide basis and practised in virtually every country, general acceptance by those that follow sports is largely absent. There are no Olympic angling medals at stake in Rio.
There are a variety of reasons why this is the case, most of them related to a lack of understanding about the sport and what makes anglers ‘tick’. In a competitive framework, there is not the direct or indirect contact between participants that occurs with bat or ball sports; competitive angling pits the competitors against the course – a river, lake, canal or the sea – although this is also true of other outdoor Olympic sports as diverse as golf, archery, rowing and marathon running.
For casual spectators, angling is difficult to understand or follow because the degree of success is rarely visible. In golf, one can see how close to the hole the ball lands, whereas in angling, fish are usually invisible until captured. This ‘all or nothing’ outcome can be dismissed as mere luck by the uninformed, yet – consistently – the same top match anglers win national, European and World competitions. Skill is a requisite of good anglers.
Within the sport there has been speculation that some of the niche competitive activities, such as distance casting, could form the basis for entertaining televisual coverage. Moreover, there are a growing number of angling-related programmes which focus on contrived competitions between small numbers of people or ‘man against monster fish’ contests, usually in dramatic or picturesque surroundings around the world.
Although some of these programmes have elicited a range of responses from anglers, there is no doubt that they have raised the sport’s profile and inspired non-anglers to try the sport for the first time or to consider doing so. There is no shortage of opportunities for would-be anglers to get started and to maintain their participation to competition levels if they wish – through school fishing projects and the Angling Trust’s Talent Pathway, for example.
Development costs money but, despite its popularity, angling has struggled historically to attract major sponsors or lucrative advertising support. More than 4 million people fish in the UK, an audience sufficiently large to attract serious interest by any business selling goods and services.The first step to making this a reality is for forward-thinking leaders within angling and from the corporate world to foster relationships that can develop into partnerships of huge mutual benefit. As a general rule, anglers are do-it-yourselfers, and DIY chains, insurance companies and car manufacturers have started to explore giving their support to fishing.
It is a major advantage that angling is so broadly-based, with few boundaries. There are no barriers raised by age, gender, race, social class or physical ability, and an angling session can last for as little as an hour or as long as several weeks. Anglers can fish competitively, seek specimen-sized fish or merely to catch whatever fish happen to come along. Many anglers are accompanied by family or friends, while others choose to fish alone.
This is where initiatives like National Fishing Month can help. Created over 20 years ago by the Angling Trades Association and now supported by partners such as the Angling Trust, the Environment Agency, the Canal and River Trust, Angling Cymru and the Professional Anglers Association, National Fishing Month provides an annual focus on fishing activities where anyone of any age can have a go at hundreds of NFM events across the UK.
If you don’t fish right now, there is still time to give it a chance by booking a place at an event near you through www.nationalfishingmonth.com. It could lead to a life-long passion that is as rewarding as any Olympic Gold medal.
National Fishing Month 2016 runs between 22nd July and 29th August.
Airflo and Fishtec online marketing manager Ceri Thomas looks at how to make the most of the blue winged olive spinner fall, an important summer time hatch on the river Taff.
Mid and late summer mark some of the best late evening fishing of the year, when after hatching blue winged olive’s return to the water and lay their eggs. Spent and dying after this reproductive process, the ‘spinner’ stage of this insect becomes trapped in the surface film making them easy prey for river trout.
The Merthyr Tydfil angling association stretch of the Taff has a prolific hatch of blue winged olives through the summer months, and this year it’s been terrific.
Imitating this hatch when the fish are ‘locked in’ requires a very specific type of fly, with the correct wing profile and silhouette. Your flies must sit flat in the surface film, or they will be ignored or refused. Get it right though, and the sport can be spectacular.
The best spinner fly imitations are very simple in design, and tend to have splayed wings at right angles to the body, therefore allowing the flies to sit ‘just right’ in surface film, perfectly imitating the spent insect. Poly yarn, deer hair and CDC can all be used to make buoyant spinner wings. Patterns such as the rusty spinner, sherry spinner and KJ red spinner will all work well on the Taff. You can see a video on how to make the KJ red spinner on the Fishtec blog here: http://blog.fishtec.co.uk/fly-of-the-week-kj-red-spinner
With the correct flies in your box, you now stand a far better chance of some great sport; however it’s not always a simple case of just turning up and fishing. For your late evening dry fly spinner fishing to be truly effective you need to think about tactics – so I have put together some tips and tactics for fishing the BWO spinner fall productively on the Taff.
Spinner fall fishing tips & tactics:
Pick a long flat pool – Not a turbulent boulder strewn stretch, or very fast riffle water. The ideal ‘spinner water’ is flat and fairly still, with a slow to moderate flow. Here spinners get trapped in the surface film, and it is much easier for trout to spot them and pick them off at their leisure. This sort of water can be rock hard in the day time, but will come to life in the evening. Wading will also tend to be easier in such locations.
Know your stretch – Make sure you know your way in, and crucially out of the stretch of river you intend to fish. This is extremely important, as stumbling over a rocky river bed in the dark can be dangerous. You can also plan how much time you should spend working your way upriver to the exit point.
Choose a pool where you know there is a good head of fish – The evening rise is short and frantic, so if you hit the wrong section of river you may end up struggling. You won’t have time to move spot. So do your research in advance.
Hit the river late – Do not make the mistake of entering the river too early. You could end up spooking your target fish, and putting them down before the rise begins. I tend to begin fishing an hour before sunset. In July/August that is around 8.00 pm.
Do not leave the river too early – Fish on as late as you can. Biggest mistake is to pack up as it is getting dark. The height of the rise is almost always as the light finally dies. It is at this point where fish can have a ‘stupid half hour’ and will lose caution – make sure you don’t miss it! You can carry on fishing into the night by making a mental note of where rising fish were in relation to your position, and by simply blind casting at whatever you can hear rising. I have had fish recently as late as 10.30 pm.
Pack a head torch – Essential for changing flies, and exiting the river in one piece. Make sure you don’t forget this piece of fishing gear, its vital! The head torch I am using at the moment is the TF Gear night spark from Fishtec, it’s a cracking bit of kit, very bright and fully waterproof.
Use a long leader – The flat nature of ‘spinner water’ means a long leader is essential. I like to use as long a leader as I can, usually this is two rod lengths (18-20 foot) I make these by adding an armspan length of tippet (normally 4 -5 foot) to a 15 foot long Airflo tapered mono leader. This means turnover is perfect, with very little chance of spooking the fish with the end of my fly line. The extra leader length also adds more range to your casts.
Make accurate casts – Might be an obvious thing to say, but it really matters! Unlike some other hatches, spinner feeding trout will very rarely move far to intercept a fly. They tend to hover just sub surface, with a very small window of often just a few inches across. This means your fly need to land within this window, right on the nose. Sometimes you may think a refusal is down to a fussy fish, but it could be it simply hasn’t seen your fly… So practice your accuracy.
Creep up on your fish – As it gets dark you can get much closer to a consistently rising fish. It is better to have that precious ‘one shot’ at close to medium range, rather than a long distance effort where you have a worse chance of a decent hookset, and risk spooking the fish with an imperfect cast. Make every effort to be quiet in the water – a gentle approach with frequent pauses in your movement can really pay off, and allow you to get close enough for a perfect cast.
Take care with your tippet diameter – Don’t go too fine! The wing design of spinner fly patterns means they can twist your leader up easily, especially if your tippet is overly thin. This can ruin presentation and cause tangles. Bear in mind that a thicker diameter won’t bother the trout in low light conditions, especially if you de-grease the leader every few casts. For spinner sizes 14 – 18 I tend to use 5X co-polymer (Typically about 4.0lb BS) this helps combat tippet twist, with added confidence for bullying big fish to the net.
Junior members are invited to come along to a mornings tution in the new building by the railway. MTAA Coaches will be there from 10am to 12pm on Saturday 6th Aug to help juniors with the basics of fishing, or the more advanced techniques required for specialist fishing.
The coaches will help with casting tuition, making rigs, tying knots, making hair rigs, loading a reel properly and setting up your equipment, we will also answer any questions you have
Both lakes are fishing well for Roach, Perch and Rudd on the waggler with maggot hookbait. Top Pond is also fishing well using the cage feeder, catching carp and barbel.
An International benchmark for parks and green spaces
The Green Flag Award® scheme is the benchmark national standard for parks and green spaces in the UK.
It was first launched in 1996 to recognise and reward the best green spaces in the country.
The first awards were given in 1997 and, many years later, it continues to provide the high level of quality against which our parks and green spaces are measured. It is also seen as a way of encouraging others to achieve high environmental standards, setting a benchmark of excellence in recreational green areas.
WALES have won the 22nd Freshwater Fishing European Championships 2016 that took place over the weekend in Holland.
MTAA will be running fishing taster days, coaches will be on hand to help anyone of any age start fishing or give advice to those that already fish, For the beginner fishing tackle will be lent and bait will be supplied.
The first date is 27 July followed by 10 Aug, 17 Aug and 24 Aug.
The events will be held on Cyfarthfa Park Lake.
Koi herpesvirus (KHV) is a fatal disease of carp which has spread rapidly between UK recreational fisheries. Although live fish movements are the main risk for disease spread, we’ve demonstrated that KHV can be transferred by contaminated angling equipment.
Transfer pathway via contaminated angling equipment
For KHV to transfer via angling equipment – eg landing-nets, unhooking mats, weigh slings and keep-nets – a number of steps must happen:
- the KHV infected fish – which are shedding virus in their mucus – must be vulnerable to angling, ie feeding to take a bait
- the virus must contaminate and remain viable on the equipment until it is used at a different fishery
- fish without the virus must be infected through contact with the infected equipment
Although we suspected that this is a disease transfer route, there was little direct proof. So we designed a series of simple experiments to get more data, and thought you’d like to see what goes on behind the scenes at Cefas.
Experiment 1: feeding behaviour versus KHV shedding
To investigate the chance of an angler catching a fish shedding KHV, we examined the feeding of KHV infected fish. If a fish is feeding it can be caught by an angler.
Therefore we infected common carp with KHV, via a bath challenge, and fed them 40 food pellets each day. The feeding rate was monitored by counting uneaten pellets.
Carp were netted from their tank each day and then returned to check the levels of virus in the mucus on the net.
We found that:
- all of the carp exposed to KHV became infected; 75% developed clinical disease. The remaining 25% survived the infection by creating antibodies.
- virus shedding started the day after exposure and continued during the trial
- KHV infection did reduce feeding, but they still ate over 40% of the daily food ration whilst shedding virus.
Experiment 2: how net storage conditions affect virus survival
This was an in vitro study to assess if KHV can survive on nets, and how storing nets differently would affect the chance of transmission.
Strips of net were coated with KHV-spiked carp mucus, placed in clear plastic zip-lock bags, and kept under one of four conditions:
- dark and damp
- dark and dry
- light and damp
- light and dry
The dark samples were kept in an opaque box, whilst light samples were exposed to sunlight. Damp nets were sealed in their plastic bag, whilst bags for the dry samples were split open.
The nets were incubated for 18 hours before the mucus was removed,centrifuged and filtered before it was used to inoculate common carp cell cultures. The cell cultures were then checked to see if KHV had an effect on their structure.
We found that:
- the virus remained alive in the ‘dark and damp’ conditions, with 100% of the cell cultures were positive for KHV
- drying reduced KHV infectivity. About 20% of cell cultures were positive for KHV in ‘dark and dry conditions’
- KHV did not survive exposure to sunlight. There were no positive cells for KHV in both ‘light and damp’, and ‘light and dry’ conditions
Experiment 3: transmission of KHV via anglers’ nets
Next we wanted to check if anglers’ nets transmit the disease.
So we held KHV diseased carp in a fine mesh keep-net overnight at 23°C. These infected carp were then removed, the net stored for 24 hours in a sealed plastic bag, and then we introduced carp without the disease to the net.
We found that these carp displayed clinical signs of KHV disease within 14 days of transfer to the contaminated net.
Dry your nets in the sun to protect fisheries
Hopefully you can see these experiments show that fish shedding KHV virus feed and are therefore likely to be caught by anglers, they can contaminate nets, the virus can survive on these nets, and that KHV can be transmitted to uninfected fish by contact with infected nets.
Put simply, the use of infected nets is a disease risk to fisheries.
Moving fish remains the biggest risk for KHV transmission. But we reviewed popular angling literature and found that 52% of UK fisheries allow the use of keep and landing nets. Anglers’ nets may therefore have helped spread KHVwithin the UK. So a high proportion of carp fisheries are potentially at risk of getting the disease via nets.
To reduce the risk, we always tell anglers to dry and expose their nets to sunlight before leaving a fishery, or going to another one.
For updates please sign up to email alerts from this blog, or you can follow us on Twitter @CefasGovUK.
River Taff is fishing well after recent high water. Ceri Thomas of Fishtec fished last night into darkness in the Troedyrhiw area and had 10 brown trout all on a yellow klinkhammer dry fly. Most fish were cracking specimens of between 14 and 17 inches in length, with a few smaller fish showing as well. Tal-y-bont is still fishing well in late evenings or over cast wet days. Istavan Bognar has a Tal-y-bont specimen of nearly 2.5lb on a black and green goldhead recently. Cantref is also fishing well – Rhys Davies has been catching lots of browns of about half a pound – a good sign for the future.
The 2½lb Browning from Talybont Trout caught at Troedyrhiw
2 pictures of trout caught at Troedyrhiw
Don’t forget, if you shop at Fishtec show your Merthyr Angling permit to receive a discount.
Dave Couzins and John Coombs fished the Brecon canal at Pencelli on Monday Morning and Dave landed 7lbs 8oz of Roach, Perch, Dace and Gudgeon and John landed 6lbs of Roach, Perch, Dace and Gudgeon a really good day in the rain.
I can confirm that the canal at Brecon is in tremendous form. myself and Barry Carter fished appx 100yds down from wooden sculpure and had a lot of roach up to a 1lb Dace in excess of 8oz, 4 eels plus some small chub, i would estimate between us we would have had 30-40lb of fish. not bad for a canal. Fished red maggot over hemp and bread punch as a switch bait, the bigger roach came to a bunch of red maggot over hemp after feeding for 2+ hrs.