Salter Wins ‘Match to the Death’
The fourth Avon Roach Project and Barbel Society fundraiser event was held on the Somerley Estate Waters of the Hampshire Avon and brought a somewhat unlikely winner
Despite difficult fishing conditions the event was another great success with sixty three anglers taking part in a 'friendly fishing match to the death', where the winner on the day was the captor of the best specimen of any species.
This year with a rising, colouring river Angling Trust Campaigns Chief Martin Salter headed for slacker water and sat it out on the pellet feeder for a barbel of 7lb 11oz, which was enough to win the match ahead of the handful of chub and dace that the rest of the field was able to muster.
The fishing was followed by a three course meal at the Tyrrells Ford Country Inn and an auction of around fifty lots which included: rods, reels, guided and exclusive fishing days, books and artwork. Passion for Angling star Chris Yates donated some highly desirable items for auction including signed books, drawings and paintings as well as some traditional items of tackle. Other donors included Ringwood Tackle, Davis Tackle of Christchurch, Drennan and Masterline.
The event was organised by Budgie Price, Trevor Harrop and Pete Reading, and the £5,000 proceeds from the event are to split equally between the Avon Roach Project and the Barbel Society Research and Conservation arm, and used exclusively for the Hampshire Avon.
Trevor Harrop said:
"Through the eye watering generosity of the folks who attend these annual events, we are able not only to take care of all the day to day running costs of the Roach Project, but also take it a stage further with a number of vital habitat restoration initiatives to improve the survival chances for young fish of all species including our roach. We plan to co-fund and front a number of fry bay excavations and stream reinstatements, which will act as important sanctuary areas.
We are proud of our great relationship with the local EA fisheries department, and this partnership has borne further fruit with the offer of matchfunding for these initiatives. This means we can do a lot more with the money raised at our annual event. Some of the EA guys even came along and supported us on the day which was really great to see."
Martin Salter said:
“Apart from the odd charity outing in recent years my match fishing days have been few and far between so my fellow competitors have had little to fear from me. However, thanks to a lucky barbel a brand new prize now sits proudly over the fireplace.
The Avon Roach Project annual fundraising match is more than just another good cause. It is a declaration of support for the wonderful work of Trevor Harrop and Budgie Price whose sterling efforts seek to return those beautiful roach to the middle reaches of the river where once they fulfilled countless anglers' dreams.
The Avon roach were the biggest and best in Britain and have swum these waters since the Ice Age. As the cormorant population exploded out of control in the nineties, so the roach declined to the point where the EA stock surveys showed the middle Avon all but devoid of silver fish. The Angling Trust has put the inspirational work of the Avon Roach Project at the front and centre of our Action on Cormorants campaign."
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