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River Close Season – Is it time for a rethink?

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With many rivers now effectively shut to fishing for six months anglers are once again asking if the river close season is due for review With many rivers now effectively shut to fishing for six months anglers are once again asking if the river close season is due for review

Martin Salter opens what is likely to be the biggest debate in angling, yes it has been debated many times before, but now it’s getting serious...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking back through my diary since the turn of the year has showed just how few opportunities there have been to grab a day’s fishing on a falling river over this back end period.


For us river roach fanatics the weeks between Christmas and the end of the season can be a golden time; the weed has gone, natural food supplies are low and the fish, if you can find them, are in fine fettle. In a normal year the rivers have had at least one good flush through and are usually carrying sufficient height and colour to make for some promising prospects. And of course it’s not just roach that are in their prime at this time of year. Chub, dace and perch are all viable targets and will oblige if conditions are right.


The problem this winter has been that with record rainfall, approaching biblical proportions across much of the country, the conditions have been anything but right. Anglers on the larger rivers such as the Thames and Severn have barely been able to get within half a mile of their favourite swims, much less fish them. All of which gives the annual close season debate a fair bit more intensity this time around.


But first it’s confession time.


Back in 2000 the independent Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Review proposed that the close season on rivers should be lifted other than “where its retention is necessary to avert serious risk of damage to fish stocks” but intervention by Parliament confirmed that it couldn’t be lifted until supporting scientific evidence was available. I’m afraid that I was part of that intervention as I’ve long held the view that the close season was necessary on rivers given all the other pressures on this fragile environment. The flaw in this argument is that the current three month closure between mid March and mid June has precious little basis in science.


Dace are one of the few coarse fish that can spawn before March 14th but we never seem to catch them once spawning beginsNow there is absolutely no doubt that the river close season is a live issue amongst a minority of anglers, particularly focused around the Midlands, but there are strong views on the other side of the argument too. Here at the Angling Trust we have two of our most respected and valued ambassadors who take diametrically opposed positions. Keith Arthur is a passionate supporter of retaining the existing close season whilst Dave Harrell has been arguing for many years that there is no logic in stopping anglers fishing during a period when the rivers are in prime condition and the fish are, in the main, nowhere near ready to spawn. With climate change delivering more and more extreme weather we are now facing the prospect of an effective six month shut down on many rivers. Not something that was ever envisaged in the 19th century when the current closures were introduced.


The devastating floods of 2014 have impacted on the tackle shops and the tackle trade as much as on any other business that relies on participation in an outdoor pursuit for survival. This has led the Angling Trust to write to the Prime Minister arguing that these businesses should be included in the floods compensation measures. It has also caused others to ask us to re-ignite the river close season debate and to make formal approaches to the Environment Agency and to government.


Now I don’t deny that issues that divide angling opinion are more tricky for us than those on which there is a broad consensus but that is no reason not to engage with them. The job of a national representative body is to take up important mainstream issues and to see if we can find a way through which would benefit our sport without harming the environment and the resource on which it depends. So that is precisely what Mark Lloyd and myself want to do. We first want to facilitate a serious debate within angling prior to approaching the EA and this article is our way of kicking things off.


We very much hope that others will contribute their own thoughts and ideas.


Some key points

We are not treading new ground here. The EA did conduct a very limited survey in 2003 to gauge anglers’ opinions on the river close season. Out of 173 responses from river anglers, 55 per cent supported the removal of the close season and 45 per cent didn’t. The subsequent National Angling Survey confirmed a division of opinion whilst polls in the angling media have shown weakening support for the current arrangements.


More recently Steve Pope, the respected chairman of the Barbel Society and previous strong advocate of the close season, announced that his position has shifted and that he believed it was time for a rethink. So I reckon it’s fair to say that the ground is shifting in angling but what about the science?


The Environment Agency’s position on rivers remains that it feels it must take the precautionary stance of retaining the close season, until such time that it can be confident that removing it wouldn’t have a detrimental effect on fish populations. Its view is that this evidence could only be provided by an appropriate study being undertaken. Those advocating change need to accept that there is no way the close season will be altered in this country until such a study has been carried out. I hope all anglers will agree with this for as much as some may want to be able to fish on rivers all year round they certainly shouldn’t want to do anything that might detrimentally affect the very fish populations that our sport relies upon.


What I think

I don’t pretend to have all the answers but I do get to talk to lots of anglers, politicians, fishery managers and EA staff. I’m also a mad keen river angler who cares about the future of angling. My views on the river close season are evolving with the climate and the changing circumstances of river fishing which sees a lot less pressure on stocks nowadays.


So here are ten key points to kick off the debate:


1) There is no point expecting a risk averse organisation like the EA to do anything without testing both opinion and the science.


2) This is a live issue amongst a minority of anglers, particularly focused around the Midlands, but there are strong views on the other side of the argument too.


3) There are risks attached to compromising the conservation credentials of angling. The impacts of any disturbance to spawning areas are clearly more acute in smaller streams than in larger ones. And of course we use the presence of the river close season to argue against unfettered canoe access to smaller, non navigation, rivers and streams.


4) Issues that divide angling opinion are more tricky for us, however, that is no reason not to engage with them but it is a restraint.


5) There are differing close seasons on different game rivers, depending on local fish spawning patterns, so why not on coarse rivers?


6) Although close seasons are about protecting fish rather than tackle shops there is an issue about impacts on businesses.


7) The existing close season does not have a huge basis in science and is overdue for a review.


8) Part of this review could include an experiment in a specific catchment. Perhaps the Severn?


9)  Some fish do feed when spawning. At the start of the 2013 season captured Wye barbel were secreting milt in mid June. On the other hand species like dace, whilst readily caught when shoaled up prior to spawning, seem to disappear once spawning commences.


10) Dace and pike are the early spawners, often in March, followed by a lull in April. Roach and perch tend to spawn next and then chub and barbel in the May / June period. So I guess there’s an argument for closing the river pike season off on March 1st and shifting the river break to May and June. This way we would be delivering a longer river season at the optimum time for both anglers and fish and without compromising our conservation credentials.


These are just a few of my personal thoughts but I hope people find them helpful. Although I am clear that the EA should lead the process of reviewing the river close season I believe that the Angling Trust should stand ready to facilitate, as we have in the past.


The Angling Trust is keen to hear anglers' views on this subject. So...is it time to rethink the close season on rivers? Let us know your thoughts via the FishingMagic forum and these will be collated with those on a special page set up on the Angling Trust website HERE dedicated to the topic.

 

This feature forms part of Martin’s Angling Trust Fighting for Fishing blog and is reproduced in an edited form here on FishingMagic with his kind permission.   







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Comments (642 posted):

tiinker on 05/03/2014 10:21:11
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I think a reassessment if carried out by the professional scientific bodies will be a good thing because the facts of the matter will be made clear once and for all.
Peter Jacobs on 05/03/2014 11:14:04
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Seemingly yet another case of greed and commercialism affecting an environmental issue. The Angling trust would do well to avoid this issue otherwise risk losing a large number of Close Season Supporters as members. Despite the typical polictician's trick of labelling the opposition as a "minority" Mr Salter's biased view is easily uncovered.
sam vimes on 05/03/2014 11:18:09
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I don't follow the logic of the closed season, and I never have. However, that is inevitably coloured by the area I live. There are no canals locally. Pretty much all of the rivers and becks contain trout. There is also a bye law that allows people to fish for trout with worms. So, the time that absolutely no one should be fishing amounts to a whole ten days. I can understand the argument for allowing bankside flora and fauna a rest, but it doesn't really hold water because of the scenario explained above. That's also before you consider that there are no similar restrictions on any number of other types of human bankside visitor (walkers, birdwatchers, poachers and even canoeists etc, whether they are there legitimately or not). Then you need to consider whether the closed season dates actually cover the bulk of spawning times. I'd contend that in my neck of the woods, they don't. Barbel and chub usually spawn after June the 16th, pike often manage to start just before the season closes. That means that the closed season is little more than a sop to a totally ignorant public to prove "the conservation credentials of angling". The reality is that, depending on the region, coarse anglers are already fishing through the spawning periods of various coarse fish and that's before you consider the salmonids, if they are present on the river in question. In a similar vein, trout anglers are merrily fishing right through the bulk of the coarse fish spawning periods. If the rivers were closed to encompass all spawning periods properly, we'd barely be able to fish outside of a few winter months. I can accept that the closed season may make more sense on those southern rivers, where the dates do encompass more species of fish (except pike) and there are no trout to speak of. However, in much of the Yorkshire and Northumbrian regions, it's pretty damned pointless.
sbc_1974 on 05/03/2014 12:26:21
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Its a bit of a muddle, with regional climate/environmental variations and different species in different parts of the country. I guess the byelaws try to cover this, but it comes across as being confusing. The scientists/biologists that put the legislation together will be up against it (don't forget the recent cuts backs in EA staff etc? assuming they provide the data) as it is a complex subject to monitor, assess and recommend on. I suppose there will always be some overlapping from different species and different seasons but I figure they are mostly covered. Pike seem to loose out a bit along with the Barbel. I guess changes could be made there, but it would mean making changes to classification? I think to provide new legislation would be a costly and timely exercise, and with there being so many pressing issues, lack of funds, lack of staff etc that it would only be put on the back burner for a while
Peter Jacobs on 05/03/2014 13:00:13
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Its a bit of a muddle, with regional climate/environmental variations and different species in different parts of the country. I guess the byelaws try to cover this, but it comes across as being confusing. The scientists/biologists that put the legislation together will be up against it (don't forget the recent cuts backs in EA staff etc? assuming they provide the data) as it is a complex subject to monitor, assess and recommend on. I suppose there will always be some overlapping from different species and different seasons but I figure they are mostly covered. Pike seem to loose out a bit along with the Barbel. I guess changes could be made there, but it would mean making changes to classification? I think to provide new legislation would be a costly and timely exercise, and with there being so many pressing issues, lack of funds, lack of staff etc that it would only be put on the back burner for a while I would totally agree. As a blanket coverage the current dates are probably the very best that account for most species, in most years, given most average climatic conditions Given that this winter was the wettest on record, and in all honesty a statistical blip, I fail to see why or how it could be used as a measure of the effectiveness of the Close Season, and certainly not as an "excuse" to temp change.
tookadum on 05/03/2014 14:03:28
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I think 'the powers that be' ought to look at historically why the close season was introduced. This, for those who are not sure, was introduced at a time when nearly all freshwater fish captures ended up on a plate! Thus it was introduced to prevent fish being taken / killed for food at a time when they should be reproducing. As, except for the minority that we all know about, anglers return their capture unharmed it follows that the requirement for the close season does no longer exist. And for anyone who thinks that fishing during the close season is harmful to fish or fish stocks all I would say is take a look at how well the canals and lakes are fishing now as opposed to years ago. One final point - as most commercial fisheries try to protect their fish stocks would they allow fishing to continue during the 'close season' if the fish stocks were seen to be affected?? I think we all know the answer to that. Perhaps a ban on keepnets from March to July would be a more intelligent idea? Enjoy your fishing, especially if like me you will be out on your favourite canal or lake from March to June!
Peter Jacobs on 05/03/2014 14:32:43
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I think 'the powers that be' ought to look at historically why the close season was introduced. This, for those who are not sure, was introduced at a time when nearly all freshwater fish captures ended up on a plate! Thus it was introduced to prevent fish being taken / killed for food at a time when they should be reproducing. As, except for the minority that we all know about, anglers return their capture unharmed it follows that the requirement for the close season does no longer exist. And for anyone who thinks that fishing during the close season is harmful to fish or fish stocks all I would say is take a look at how well the canals and lakes are fishing now as opposed to years ago. One final point - as most commercial fisheries try to protect their fish stocks would they allow fishing to continue during the 'close season' if the fish stocks were seen to be affected?? I think we all know the answer to that. Perhaps a ban on keepnets from March to July would be a more intelligent idea? Enjoy your fishing, especially if like me you will be out on your favourite canal or lake from March to June! The "powers that be" did look at it, and as recently as 2000 and 2003 and decided that there were no good reasons, scientific or otherwise to alter the close Season on rivers. That is until and unless long term scientific studies could prove no long term ill effects. You can read some of the history and the rationalle here: [url=http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/static/documents/Leisure/Close_season_rationale.pdf][url]http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/static/documents/Leisure/Close_season_rationale.pdf There is a huge difference between most (note use of word) stillwaters and "most" rivers inasmuch as the vast majority of stillwaters are stocked artificially whereas the rivers are not. Hence it is not possible to study the true potential detrimental effects of losing the close Season on stillwaters by any amount of stocktaking on resident fish stocks.
tiinker on 05/03/2014 15:05:29
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The "powers that be" did look at it, and as recently as 2000 and 2003 and decided that there were no good reasons, scientific or otherwise to alter the close Season on rivers. That is until and unless long term scientific studies could prove no long term ill effects. You can read some of the history and the rationalle here: [url=http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/static/documents/Leisure/Close_season_rationale.pdf][url]http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/static/documents/Leisure/Close_season_rationale.pdf There is a huge difference between most (note use of word) stillwaters and "most" rivers inasmuch as the vast majority of stillwaters are stocked artificially whereas the rivers are not. Hence it is not possible to study the true potential detrimental effects of losing the close Season on stillwaters by any amount of stocktaking on resident fish stocks. I believe without scientific evidence to the contrary it should stay as it is. It does not matter what anglers say one way or the other. Only the scientific and environmental experts can come up with the true answers of what is best for the rivers to thrive and that is what is the best for angling in the long term.
cg74 on 05/03/2014 15:25:20
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I believe without scientific evidence to the contrary it should stay as it is. It does not matter what anglers say one way or the other. Only the scientific and environmental experts can come up with the true answers of what is best for the rivers to thrive and that is what is the best for angling in the long term. How can accurate scientific evidence be collated without implementing a trial abolition of the Close Season? The closest environment to a river is a canal, are they suffering as a direct result of no longer having a Close Season?
tiinker on 05/03/2014 15:40:36
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How can accurate scientific evidence be collated without implementing a trial abolition of the Close Season? The closest environment to a river is a canal, are they suffering as a direct result of no longer having a Close Season? That is the biggest old red herring Just leave it to the people with the knowledge. I am sure they will know what they are doing. Let the scientists do their job and see what they say with no interference from the outside for or against. In my opinion that is the way to go no interference from outside interests commercial or leisure just let them do their job. Whatever the result it then be abided by one way or other.
markg on 05/03/2014 15:44:59
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I still believe a 6 to 8 week total close season is the best compromise. The commercial interests could with stand that. Anglers could with stand that. It would still give all nature a bit of a rest, cannot be a bad thing. A flexible 6 or 8 week ban would not be a bad idea either, given so many unknown climate changes in the future. A fair judgement could be made by the EA each year as to when the close season should be and printed clearly on the March 31st License. Even I could have worked out by March 31st that it was going to be a late spawning season last year and I am pretty sure its going to be an early one this year. With the EA employing so many university grads and with the latest climate predictions from the experts; they would make a better job of it than me. Be interesting wouldn't it, to see what they come up with each year, plenty of scope for a bun fight each year, we would miss that with no close season at all. In this modern age and with all the latest information and technology around it would be a progressive and modern way of tackling the close season. Time to move with the times or at least take advantage of what we have now compared with 100-300 years ago (whenever it was) Just to add to that and on a personal note, I would rather the close season be conducted in the hottest period of the year. I reckon a lot more harm is done to fish and the environment during this than the spawning time. Festering ground bait/ fish stress, low oxygen levels etc. And as the fishing is often not very good at this time, it would not bother me at all. However, I recognize that would not wash or be popular at all, just a thought though.
sam vimes on 05/03/2014 16:02:16
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The whole "leave it to the scientists" argument pre-supposes that the closed season was based on real scientific evidence in the first place. The truth is that it wasn't. The truth is that it was based on little more than the whim of those with a vested interest (financial interests included) at the time with a bit of additional common sense thrown in. The continuation of the closed season is essentially a tradition born out of the initial introduction of law. Science will never successfully prove that the closed season is pointless unless it is actually abolished, even if only for a trial period. However, it is the ultimate trump card for those that wish to see the continuation of a closed season. Whilst it seems perfectly acceptable to slate anyone proposing change as having a vested interest, financial or otherwise, those wishing for it to remain also have a vested interest, though generally not financial. It simply suits the lifestyles, ideals and traditions for some. Most of the arguments (giving bankside flora and fauna a break etc.) put forward are simply to disguise this and are usually quite easy to counter.
cg74 on 05/03/2014 16:06:57
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That is the biggest old red herring Just leave it to the people with the knowledge. I am sure they will know what they are doing. Let the scientists do their job and see what they say with no interference from the outside for or against. In my opinion that is the way to go no interference from outside interests commercial or leisure just let them do their job. Whatever the result it then be abided by one way or other. Is a professor's opinion worth twice that of a doctor's? Where in the order of credence would you put a statistician (mathematician)?
Peter Jacobs on 05/03/2014 16:20:50
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Given that most of our fish spawn within the current windows, give or take a few weeks for regional differences, then, pray tell; who in their right mind would want to catch an artificially overweight gravid fish? It gives no credence to the angler, (indeed far from it IMHO) and cannot do the fish much good either, so, what is the point? To allow tackle dealers and manufacturers to sell more? (assuming you buy into that argument, which I don't) The fact of the matter is that river anglers won't buy more but may merely spread out their purchases over a protracted period.
sam vimes on 05/03/2014 16:24:38
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who in their right mind would want to catch an artifically overweight gravid fish? Most of the pike anglers chasing the big girls in the last few weeks of the season.:wh
markg on 05/03/2014 16:42:51
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Who would you rather leave a decision to. Educated people who have spent years studying a subject with maybe years of experience IE environment scientists and the like or just ordinary people with a limited knowledge. I don't have a total faith in these people and there are many examples of where they get it wrong but, I would bet money the non experts and less educated would get it wrong a lot more and with more disastrous results ! I don't mind giving nature a rest sometimes, Sure, maybe the amount harm done is small but, if all it means I have to give up a few weeks fishing and I am sure it does some good. I have plenty of things I can do, I have plenty of other interests and I enjoy my fishing all the more after break.
cg74 on 05/03/2014 16:42:54
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Just to add to that and on a personal note, I would rather the close season be conducted in the hottest period of the year. I reckon a lot more harm is done to fish and the environment during this than the spawning time. Festering ground bait/ fish stress, low oxygen levels etc. And as the fishing is often not very good at this time, it would not bother me at all. However, I recognize that would not wash or be popular at all, just a thought though. Yes but it's already well within the EA's powers to close a river on welfare/environmental grounds.
sam vimes on 05/03/2014 16:56:16
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Who would you rather leave a decision to. Educated people who have spent years studying a subject with maybe years of experience IE environment scientists and the like or just ordinary people with a limited knowledge. I don't have a total faith in these people and there are many examples of where they get it wrong but, I would bet money the non experts and less educated would get it wrong a lot more and with more disastrous results ! I don't mind giving nature a rest sometimes, Sure, maybe the amount harm done is small but, if all it means I have to give up a few weeks fishing and I am sure it does some good. I have plenty of things I can do, I have plenty of other interests and I enjoy my fishing all the more after break. The problem here is that we can't have it all ends up. Whenever scientists are wheeled out to suggest that Archimedes Screws will have no negative impact on our rivers, anglers tend to be up in arms. However, as soon as they support something we might believe in, we're hell bent on believing every last word they say. Remember that these are the same scientists that can't explain why some rivers seem to be suffering catastrophic downturns in fish stocks. The bottom line is that there's no way of scientists proving anything either for or against the closed season. No one is going to pay for a study and, until the closed season is abolished, even if only temporarily, they can only hypothesize about the potential effects.
cg74 on 05/03/2014 17:16:11
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Given that most of our fish spawn within the current windows, give or take a few weeks for regional differences, then, pray tell; who in their right mind would want to catch an artificially overweight gravid fish? It gives no credence to the angler, (indeed far from it IMHO) and cannot do the fish much good either, so, what is the point? To allow tackle dealers and manufacturers to sell more? (assuming you buy into that argument, which I don't) The fact of the matter is that river anglers won't buy more but may merely spread out their purchases over a protracted period. I don't tend to fish rivers from March 15th to about mid too late September, I have no desire to catch gravid fish but would like to coarse fish certain rivers up until about mid April. Take the Windrush, I can fly fish it from the 1st April and will get plagued by coarse fish, especially chub. Same goes for the Wey. What useful purpose does the CS serve on those two rivers?
john step on 05/03/2014 17:21:10
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As an aside.. the flora and fauna part of the argument is irrelevant as most working parties seem hell bent on hacking around at the vegetation at this time of year.
Tee-Cee on 05/03/2014 18:39:27
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Does the close season run parallel to the World Cup.....I do hope so, but I think not! 'hack around John', perish the thought! We try to trim gently..............that's very gently. I know what you mean though..I always think working parties should be made up of good gardeners! Personally I like the close season as it removes one choice as to where I fish. It's stillwaters or nothing!
bennygesserit on 05/03/2014 18:41:42
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Isn't it more about introducing change into a system? If it's a significant change then it is done with caution and a study first , if the study can be afforded politically or financially. Would the revocation of the season warrant that caution on a selected river?
tiinker on 05/03/2014 19:22:43
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Is a professor's opinion worth twice that of a doctor's? Where in the order of credence would you put a statistician (mathematician)? Believe it or not there are people out there who know what they are doing when it is in their specialist field. You do not believe it because it does not suite you but it will not be up to you will it. It will be done by people whose findings will be recognised by the powers that be. That is why they will be employing them to do their recognised job.
tookadum on 05/03/2014 19:23:50
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Truth is, no matter who they are - no-one knows what the effect of removing the close season would be. Scientists after all have been known to make mistakes and history is plagued by examples of this! The only real way for the truth to be known is to have a trial on a river / section of river. I seem to recall certain individuals stating removing the close season on canals and stillwaters would dessimate fish stocks in these area's - someone else who got it wrong eh? In reality I don't really care if there is a closed season or not as I fish canals and stillwaters during this time - and guess what, the fishing is fantastic -and the canals are only restocked 'naturally' - further proof that removing the close season has not been unbeneficial!;)
chub_on_the_block on 05/03/2014 21:37:59
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I dont have much faith that "a scientific study" would be much use at all really - if it was the typical long grass review based on years of monitoring data on selected representative rivers around the country where trialling was being done as part of the study - there would simply be far too many variables to ever prove anything. Scientific opinion, however, is most certainly required to inform any decision. So how can an opinion be drawn without any evidence?. Seems to me that the first thing that needs to be established are answers to the question "What is the Closed Season For?". Once a list of objectives for the closed season have been drawn up, it should be straightforward to seek the opinion of relevant scientists on how best to pursue those objectives - closed season or not or anything in between. I suspect that it boils down to ethical questions concerning catching gravid fish or disturbing spawning, or just giving fish a break to act naturally in a less pressurised environment during their spawning period. I would doubt that many fish populations could ever be impacted by fishing - certainly not as much as by habitat alteration, pollution, or random good or bad spawning years caused by natural events. Only exceptions might be Salmon or others that are taken for food and congregate in small areas with potential to be over exploited.
cg74 on 05/03/2014 21:52:33
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Believe it or not there are people out there who know what they are doing when it is in their specialist field. You do not believe it because it does not suite you but it will not be up to you will it. It will be done by people whose findings will be recognised by the powers that be. That is why they will be employing them to do their recognised job. "There are people out there who know what they are doing" That has to be one of the most naïve statements I've read in a long time! The reason I don't believe that an informed decision can be made for or against a change in the current Close Season set up, is because there simply isn't enough accurate relevant data available; hence me saying a trial period would be required. The closest case scenario to a no Close Season on rivers is impact studies conducted on canals. Which going by what I've read, actually show improvements in fish recruitment. But I wouldn't be happy if such data was the sole basis for a decision - Even though 'it will not be up to me will it'.
geoffmaynard on 05/03/2014 22:14:06
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If we said "the closed season for all fish will be x date to y date" everyone would be outraged. Yet we have almost that now :( Much better to follow the American model whereby the local fishery managers observe when the fish are spawning and close the fishing for that species whilst they get their fins over.
Ray Wood 1 on 05/03/2014 23:34:12
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Seemingly yet another case of greed and commercialism affecting an environmental issue. The Angling trust would do well to avoid this issue otherwise risk losing a large number of Close Season Supporters as members. Despite the typical polictician's trick of labelling the opposition as a "minority" Mr Salter's biased view is easily uncovered. Totally agree Peter, personally I believe the minority to be those who want change and those who want things to stay the same the majority. Having read who the so called "Names" are calling for this change is it any coincidence that most are river guides and have a vested commercial interest in changing the river close season. The argument put forward that he (Martin Salter) and they are concerned about tackle shops is a smoke screen. Martin Salter remarks that the Chairman of the Barbel Society has repositioned his thinking on the close season, I wonder just what his membership will make of that? The BS has been 100% in favour of retaining the close season from the very day it was born will Steve Pope poll his membership to see if they agree with him? If change is really needed let it be for the right reasons, and not for the few to gain extra time on the bank to charge their inflated prices. It would be a real shame if anglers are swayed by these few individuals. Kind regards Ray
Neil Maidment on 06/03/2014 00:12:19
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Totally unscientific in my thought process but I've a feeling such a move, based on the reasoning outlined in Martin's article, could be seen as selfish anglers and angling businesses jumping on the bandwagon that the Government must legislate and compensate. Very few of the non angling public understand why "we" go fishing, but in my opinion and experience, those that do know something of our passion also know something of the closed season and directly relate that to conservation and caring for the environment. Seems to me we could risk losing or at least damaging whatever small measure of public support we currently have.
markg on 06/03/2014 04:58:52
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Could it be time for the EA to set up a think tank that could convene for a week or two with every type of individual, expert or otherwise taking part. Including those with a commercial interest. Be it tackle trade, gillies etc. After all, these are people who make their living from fishing and that should be part of any discussion. Granted the scientific input would be limited but, it would be more significant than when the close season was first decided or changed. And any law should be reviewed from time to time especially one that has not changed for so long. We wouldn't be happy if nobody had bothered to do this with various laws historically and just left things as they were. Progress should at least be attempted. It may be they would decide it is the best it can be the way it is so, fair enough. At least it would have had a good reviewing and a good report published with all the reasons given. It may cost some money but, money well spent in my opinion. I wouldn't mind some of my license fee being spent on it.
tiinker on 06/03/2014 07:24:54
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If we said "the closed season for all fish will be x date to y date" everyone would be outraged. Yet we have almost that now :( Much better to follow the American model whereby the local fishery managers observe when the fish are spawning and close the fishing for that species whilst they get their fins over. That may well work but we do not have the staff or the mind set for that to work in the UK Fishery a game in the USA is a totally different game. EA officers in the UK do not have anywhere near the kit or the or carry the weight of there counterparts in the USA. Why is it that you never hear salmon and brown trout anglers asking for a the changing or scrapping of their close seasons yet they are of even more commercial interests. A fair few angling situations have been ruined by over fishing but never by being cautious and listening to fishery scientists and ecology experts.
Peter Jacobs on 06/03/2014 07:39:29
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Totally unscientific in my thought process but I've a feeling such a move, based on the reasoning outlined in Martin's article, could be seen as selfish anglers and angling businesses jumping on the bandwagon that the Government must legislate and compensate. Very few of the non angling public understand why "we" go fishing, but in my opinion and experience, those that do know something of our passion also know something of the closed season and directly relate that to conservation and caring for the environment. Seems to me we could risk losing or at least damaging whatever small measure of public support we currently have. Hear hear! The fact that we maintain a proper Close Season on our rivers, and especially those we share with fly anglers, speaks volumes about coarse anglers as conservationalists. How, I wonder, would any proposed alterations to either the dates or the very existance of the close Season affect those rivers that we share, not to mention how would Nature England react particularly w.r.t. SSSI's?
chub_on_the_block on 06/03/2014 08:15:24
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Hear hear! how would Nature England react particularly w.r.t. SSSI's? I would imagine they would roll over and go away if confronted by conflicting commercial interests - they are about as toothless as can be.
Judas Priest on 06/03/2014 08:19:28
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Sorry Peter but I find the hypocrisy of some ( not aimed at you) who defend the Close season on running water yet are quite happy to target spawn laden Tench etc during this same time on stillwaters absolutely disgusting. To base their reasoning that scrapping that Close season on moving water is to save a few tackle shops is ridiculous. As far as I'm aware no shops were saved when the Stillwater close was scrapped. Far better for them to be honest and say that it's for their own selfish reasons, be that monetary ( guiding/ sponsorship etc )or the need to up their PBs and be seen in the press as an "expert". Personally I find that non anglers cannot understand why we have a 3 mth shutdown on moving water yet people can still fish stillwaters when we are basically " just catching fish". So in reality coarse anglers being seen by the wider audience as holding some sort of conservationist moral high ground doesn't hold water.
the blanker on 06/03/2014 08:53:59
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In the article Dave Harrel is mentioned as one for the abolition of the closed season. Would that be the same Dave Harrel that said in a weekly some years ago that all Pike caught on the Warwickshire Avon should be bashed against a tree after being plagued by them during a match. Speaks volumes to me on his conservation credentials. not someone IMO that should be speaking about the Closed season. the current closed season is a joke and not fit for purpose, any trial done on a river will always be flawed in monitoring any damage done on that stretch, even the experts cannot stop fish from moving on a river so how is damage to be assessed? unless a trial is done on the whole river.
Peter Jacobs on 06/03/2014 11:33:02
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Sorry Peter but I find the hypocrisy of some ( not aimed at you) who defend the Close season on running water yet are quite happy to target spawn laden Tench etc during this same time on stillwaters absolutely disgusting. I couldn't agree more! As most FM members know I don't fish for Coarse fish at all during the Close Season on stillwaters or canals. For those who would argue that our licenses are only valid for 9 months I would simply say; get yourself a fly rod, reel, fly line and a few flies and get the full 12 months value from your license. The current Close Season is most certainly not a "joke" as suggested by some. As a blanket instrument it provides protection for most species, during most years, given most average climatic conditions.
sam vimes on 06/03/2014 11:52:07
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The current Close Season is most certainly not a "joke" as suggested by some. As a blanket instrument it provides protection for most species, during most years, given most average climatic conditions. I wouldn't disagree, provided that the river concerned doesn't have trout present and is genuinely closed to all.
the blanker on 06/03/2014 12:01:40
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Peter, the reasons I have for saying that the current closed season is a joke are. I believe that all waters should be closed not just rivers. the reasons that we have this closed season are not what it was designed for. currently some rivers can be fished for trout some for eels with certain baits and hook sizes. madness. the conservation argument doesn't work for me as anglers can still fish still water. there is no difference in being able to fish still water and rivers at the same time, all waters deserve some rest and I would bet that during the old closed season tackle dealers were very busy during it, cant fish? next best thing buy tackle, get ready for the season.
Peter Jacobs on 06/03/2014 12:04:52
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I wouldn't disagree, provided that the river concerned doesn't have trout present and is genuinely closed to all. My main concern regarding having local bye laws etc., is that they become the thin end of the wedge. Many of us here will remember the late 70's and early 80's "Any Method Trout Fishing" which was proliferated especially in the South. So, by putting a few trout into a Carp Lake greedy fishery owners managed to circumvent the law on the Close Season, and it was this, more than anything else, that led to the demise of the Close Season on Stillwaters and Canals. I would hate to see similar ruses employed on our rivers.
sam vimes on 06/03/2014 12:20:58
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My main concern regarding having local bye laws etc., is that they become the thin end of the wedge. Many of us here will remember the late 70's and early 80's "Any Method Trout Fishing" which was proliferated especially in the South. So, by putting a few trout into a Carp Lake greedy fishery owners managed to circumvent the law on the Close Season, and it was this, more than anything else, that led to the demise of the Close Season on Stillwaters and Canals. I would hate to see similar ruses employed on our rivers. It doesn't really matter, chucking a few trout into a lower river, that would never naturally hold them, isn't going to cut the mustard. Hopefully, there's no way anyone would get permission to do it anyway. Even if the river concerned, that holds trout naturally, is fly only, the coarse fish are effectively recieving no protection whatsoever. All of the half decent reasons for imposing a closed season are totally negated. You don't even need a dodgy old worm only bye law for that to be the case. The reality for my local rivers is that all that's really happening is that the fish are denied a steady food source at just the time of year that they may really benefit from it. Like it or not, disagree or not, for the rivers of the old Yorkshire/Northumbria regions, the closed season is an absolute joke. The bye law and trout present render it difficult to police and quite ineffectual in protecting anything. Unless rivers are shut to all human traffic, the closed season is a half baked measure, at very best.
tiinker on 06/03/2014 12:25:54
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It doesn't really matter, chucking a few trout into a lower river, that would never naturally hold them, isn't going to cut the mustard. Hopefully, there's no way anyone would get permission to do it anyway. Even if the river concerned, that holds trout naturally, is fly only, the coarse fish are effectively recieving no protection whatsoever. All of the half decent reasons for imposing a closed season are totally negated. You don't even need a dodgy old worm only bye law for that to be the case. The reality for my local rivers is that all that's really happening is that the fish are denied a steady food source at just the time of year that they may really benefit from it. Like it or not, disagree or not, for the rivers of the old Yorkshire/Northumbria regions, the closed season is an absolute joke. The bye law and trout present render it difficult to police and quite ineffectual in protecting anything. Unless rivers are shut to all human traffic, the closed season is a half baked measure, at very best. If anglers are worried about the fishes well being at this time they can go and feed them like we do on our fishery during the close season and yes they do benefit from a supplementary feed.
Peter Jacobs on 06/03/2014 14:14:09
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If anglers are worried about the fishes well being at this time they can go and feed them like we do on our fishery during the close season and yes they do benefit from a supplementary feed. The same aanswer is equally applicable to those who raise the point about not having anglers on the banks encourages EE's to pillage Coarse fish stocks. I've argued in the past that you do not need to be fishing in order to walk along a river, and in my club and syndicate we "police" the river during the Close Season.
markg on 06/03/2014 14:16:38
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This close season argument has been going on for years. Everyone has a different perspective according to how, what and where they fish. Knowledge attained or not, priorities vary widely; environment, fish, commercial interests and so on. I think Martin Salter is right in one respect, which I guess is what he wants. Its high time a proper study and debate was conducted by the EA and a good look at all view points and a decisions made with reasons and results made public. I think the EA would be the right people rather than the angling trust but, they could exert pressure to have it done. So much talk about it every year and nothing happens. I wish they would just get on with it
tiinker on 06/03/2014 14:24:24
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The same aanswer is equally applicable to those who raise the point about not having anglers on the banks encourages EE's to pillage Coarse fish stocks. I've argued in the past that you do not need to be fishing in order to walk along a river, and in my club and syndicate we "police" the river during the Close Season. We have had the same ploy used on the Bec by a few the very same people as it happens that when you do your rounds they say so and so was away from his rods for a few minutes but they never get off their backsides and pull the person. Ask them to come and do one or two night patrols no way .Every member is told when they join you are a bailiff you are to challenge anyone no matter who if you see them infringing the rules.
Peter Jacobs on 06/03/2014 14:24:59
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This close season argument has been going on for years. Everyone has a different perspective according to how, what and where they fish. Knowledge attained or not, priorities vary widely; environment, fish, commercial interests and so on. I think Martin Salter is right in one respect, which I guess is what he wants. Its high time a proper study and debate was conducted by the EA and a good look at all view points and a decisions made with reasons and results made public. I think the EA would be the right people rather than the angling trust but, they could exert pressure to have it done. So much talk about it every year and nothing happens. I wish they would just get on with it The problem with any study is, similar to political polls, is that it can be made to favour whoever is paying for it . . . . . . . . . Now, I remember 4 or maybe 5 years ago, here on FishingMagic when Mike Heyling who was championing the formation of the Angling Trust at the time stated that the Trust had far more important topics to get their teeth into than the Close Season. Also that he was very cogniscent that the issue that could well divide the Angling Trust membership. I think he was right.
sam vimes on 06/03/2014 15:12:07
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If anglers are worried about the fishes well being at this time they can go and feed them like we do on our fishery during the close season and yes they do benefit from a supplementary feed. The same aanswer is equally applicable to those who raise the point about not having anglers on the banks encourages EE's to pillage Coarse fish stocks. I've argued in the past that you do not need to be fishing in order to walk along a river, and in my club and syndicate we "police" the river during the Close Season. Both points are perfectly true, but they instantly negate one of the other big justifying reasons given of reducing footfall to give bankside flora and fauna a break. That point already being dubious anyway because the banks aren't closed to legitimate bankside visitors, walkers, canoeists, fly anglers etc. The reality is that the only reasons for the close season are intuative and historical. It does seem to make sense to have a closed season. However, many of the justifications for having one are not supported by reality or science. They don't withstand even minimal scrutiny. There's no more proof for the continuance of the closed season than there is to abolish it. Most of the arguments for are based on little more than it seeming to suit the individual, tradition and the intuative feeling that it, at least, can't do any harm. Unfortunately, even that may not actually be the case, there's always a chance that it actually does more harm than good. After all, supplementary feeding and bankside patrolling wouldn't be necessary at all if you were entirely convinced.
chav professor on 06/03/2014 15:34:34
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I'm going to retire on this particular subject..... time for a re-think? No... Scientific study? nope - parameters too wide. Happy with the way things are as they stand? I'm with the approximate 'half' that obstinately fail to see 'reason' and wish to see it abolished..... I'm happy to keep the close season on rivers as I feel there are significant differences (principally, recruitment, floods, complete year classes washed out in spate, pollution, extraction.. oh.. the list goes on)... But its still here... I win!!! ha ha!!!:D But I'll be hammering seven bells out of still waters.... probably to cries of hypocrite. that and fish spotting and keeping in touch with my river - with the dog...
peter crabtree on 06/03/2014 16:32:02
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The close season is here to stay and is unlikely to change for many years. Look at the cormorant issue. How many years has that been rumbling on? Every time some progress is made we are told that another x years of consultation must take place first. Imagine how many years consultations etc on a subject so diverse as our National river systems would be before the close season is ever changed?
the blanker on 06/03/2014 16:39:12
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The close season is here to stay and is unlikely to change for many years. Look at the cormorant issue. How many years has that been rumbling on? Every time some progress is made we are told that another x years of consultation must take place first. Imagine how many years consultations etc on a subject so diverse as our National river systems would be before the close season is ever changed? And who would pay for such extensive studies that would be needed, I cant think of anyone that would be willing.
chub_on_the_block on 06/03/2014 17:17:34
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In an alternative reality there could be a closed season on stillwaters but no closed season on rivers. In many ways i think that would be more easily justified as it would be harder for fish in a stillwater (especially a small one) to avoid the attentions of anglers when they should be spawning, whereas in rivers they might migrate to spawning grounds (if theres no weirs in their way). Perhaps the angling world would have evolved differently with commercial river sections proving popular for their year-round profitability.
martinsalter on 06/03/2014 18:52:44
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Some interesting comments here. Thanks for taking the time to contribute. You can find some useful arguments, both for and against, on the dedicated AT webpage here The River Close Season Debate - The Angling Trust I'm perplexed as to why Peter Jacobs thinks I'm biased or seeking to do down a minority point of view. The opinions in my article are mine alone and I've set out a range of arguments both for and against change. Personally, I tend to be in favour of retaining a revised river close season but only if the science justifies it's continuation. This probably puts me in the minority if the responses I've seen are anything to go by! And surely even the most ardent supporters of the close season must accept that it should be based on some kind evidence?
markg on 06/03/2014 20:42:27
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I don't get all this years of scientific study and spending a fortune. Its not as if we are trying to change the world. A think tank could convene for a week or two and debate all the up to date relevant information with submissions made by the top people from interested organizations and the best expert advice available and a recommendation could be submitted to the EA. Then a recommendation could be submitted to parliament by the EA. The cost of it should come from license and taxpayers fees. Would not cost a fortune and could be done and dusted in a short time. I don't know really know how these things run but, surely its not that difficult. Why don't you instigate something like this Mr Salter through your contacts and influence with the EA, Government and the angling trust.? Why do they seem to only want another debate and no action.? Otherwise we are all just going to be left with another interesting but, pointless debate on the close season.
geoffmaynard on 06/03/2014 21:01:24
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The BS has been 100% in favour of retaining the close season from the very day it was born will Steve Pope poll his membership to see if they agree with him? Well, to be fair he has been discussing it for some time with his Facebook friends, many of whom are probably BS members. People have opinions based on conditions of the day; when they think conditions have changed, they change their opinions. Nothing wrong with that. One day I might even agree with otter releases. (BTW that would be the day the rivers are filled with fish).
Judas Priest on 06/03/2014 21:58:33
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Geoff You use the wording "to be fair" to try and defend Steve in some way and his article. As the Chairman of the group that has and still does staunchly support the retention of the Close season in all it's forms "to be fair" would have been to discuss it with his membership first and then represented their views rather than his own or those of a few mates on Facebook, or have I got the wrong end of what someone who promotes himself as Chairman of said group is supposed to do ?
Ray Wood 1 on 06/03/2014 23:17:53
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Well, to be fair he has been discussing it for some time with his Facebook friends, many of whom are probably BS members. People have opinions based on conditions of the day; when they think conditions have changed, they change their opinions. Nothing wrong with that. One day I might even agree with otter releases. (BTW that would be the day the rivers are filled with fish). Geoff, I have to agree with Judas. As chairman of a society that supports the retention of the close season in its current form surely the place to discuss any change or the abolition of the close season was on the BS forum to gauge the memberships view not on FM or Facebook. If as I suspect the BS membership do not support his views his chairmanship is untenable. The right thing for him to do would be to step down and pursue the changes he wants as an individual and not use his position as chairman of said society. Unless of course he has their full backing regarding change. Just my honest opinion Geoff, and I won’t be changing my mind as I believe this change of mind is nothing more than self interest driven. Kind regards Ray
The bad one on 07/03/2014 01:28:38
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Like Chav I’m happy the way it is, irrespective of the failings it undoubtedly has sometimes. Which in my view is still the best compromise for a rivers close season. Ray why is you only come on here when SP name is mentioned? A chair of an organisation can hold an “individual” differing point of view than the membership and it happens quite a lot in many organisations. His job is to uphold the will, policies of the majority of the membership, even though his personal view may differ. If he’s doing that, then he’s doing the job of Chair and his position is tenable. So are you saying he’s not doing that by holding a differing view? If so, what evidence do you have to show that he’s not? Oh BTW I’m not, nor have I ever been a member of the BS.
tiinker on 07/03/2014 06:58:21
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Well, to be fair he has been discussing it for some time with his Facebook friends, many of whom are probably BS members. People have opinions based on conditions of the day; when they think conditions have changed, they change their opinions. Nothing wrong with that. One day I might even agree with otter releases. (BTW that would be the day the rivers are filled with fish). Or totally void of them fish that is.
tdrozdow on 07/03/2014 07:06:53
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Firstly, thanks to Martin for kicking off the debate - its overdue and I think an appropriate subject for the Angling trust. I am a keen river and stiillwater angler and in fact run a small stillwater syndicate comprising three irrigation reservoirs in Essex and have done so for over 30 years. I have also tended to support retention of the close season for mainly emotional and conservation based reasons. However, having spent many times in the distant past watching Pike, Carp and Tench spawn during the old season (and suffering total blanks as a result) we lifted the close season. The effect; members now experience their very best fishing of the year, we have not lost ANY fish due to "stress" and in fact, the fish have grown on considerably as they now get to see bait for 12 months of the year; the banks do NOT show any signs of not recovering from the winter. So, despite my reservations, eliminating the Close season has shown NO DETRIMENTAL EFFECT ON OUR THREE WATERS whatsoever. Now I accept that Rivers are not irrigation reservoirs but lets be honest, in the main they dont get fished that much relative to stillwaters in crowded areas in Essex and I cannot see why they would suffer any more. I also know for a fact that the poachers (including our friends from overseas) also understand the close season very well and get extra busy at these times as they know there is a massively diminished chance of getting caught or disturbed. The arguement about protecting our tackle industry is also a very strong one. We HAVE to support our tackle shops - imagine losing your favouriste tackle shop - its really tough for those guys now and the internet is making it tougher every year. I do not see the need for the EA to conduct a detailed study. They didnt study the effects on my stillwaters and any study they do would not be relevent for all rivers and all climatic scenarios. It would be largely pointless. Using logic and facts puts me in a very different place to what my heart tells me and I am now very firmly in the camp of leaving it to the fishery owner or manager - they know the reality as it affects their specific fishery better than anyone else so leave it with them as we do on stillwaters. Tony Drozdowicz.
sagalout on 07/03/2014 07:16:04
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How many anglers really care one way or another? Given the number of members on fishing magic how many would respond to a poll for keep, abolish and don't care. I believe this issue is the same as all the others, a small number will argue from opposite views points and the rest don't care.
Ray Wood 1 on 07/03/2014 09:53:14
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Like Chav I’m happy the way it is, irrespective of the failings it undoubtedly has sometimes. Which in my view is still the best compromise for a rivers close season. Ray why is you only come on here when SP name is mentioned? A chair of an organisation can hold an “individual” differing point of view than the membership and it happens quite a lot in many organisations. His job is to uphold the will, policies of the majority of the membership, even though his personal view may differ. If he’s doing that, then he’s doing the job of Chair and his position is tenable. So are you saying he’s not doing that by holding a differing view? If so, what evidence do you have to show that he’s not? Oh BTW I’m not, nor have I ever been a member of the BS. Bad One, To answer your question, I have no evidence that he is not following his memberships wishes or that he is for that matter. Having read his comments both in his diary and in the Angling Times he appears to be speaking for himself. If that is the case no mention should be made of the position he holds within the BS, that could lead to many thinking he speaks for the membership. But of course you will know that using that position gives or supposedly gives his comments more credence rather than him speaking as a lone angler. I’m glad you have highlighted what a chairs job is within an organisation and how and what he should be doing. If he has the full backing of the BS regarding the changes he wants then there would be no problem for him. If however he does not have the full support of his membership there would be a clear conflict of interests would there not? How could he remain in his position and pursue the changes he wants knowing it to be against the will of his membership that would surely make his position untenable in my honest opinion and I suspect in many others opinion. If the latter is the case surely the gentlemanly thing to do would be to step down and pursue the change in dates or the abolition of the close season depending on what he really wants as an ordinary angler. Not sure why you are telling me that you are not and never have been a member of the BS as it is of no interest to me. As for when and how I post that will depend on the subject matter and what I may want to comment on and this subject is one such subject, it matters not who is involved. Hope that will suffice in answering you question. Kind regards Ray
Peter Jacobs on 07/03/2014 09:59:15
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I'm perplexed as to why Peter Jacobs thinks I'm biased or seeking to do down a minority point of view . . . maybe it is because your piece is negatively slanted? Your first 3 paragraphs only record the down side of an otherwise very good year for river fishing, and that the tackle trade has had an (unusually) difficult time is neither here nor there in a debate regarding the close Season on our rivers. Yet it certainly adds to the negativity of the piece in general. You go on to highlight what Steve may, or may not, now feel about the close season while only paying cursory lip service to Keith Arthur's stance. Your 10 "key points" are also hardly a positive feature of the article either, so Martin, it is evident to most readers that your piece is heavily weighted on the negative side of the argument. You have, obviously, picked up on this one point (of the many I have made) and yet chosen to comment on just this one.
tiinker on 07/03/2014 10:32:15
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I am a member of the AT since its conception and my membership has just been renewed. Maybe it is me but everybody knows that the AT is not every ones cup of tea I hope this sudden move towards rethinking the close season is not a join us ploy . I do not know about the BS but perhaps there is some membership pressure there for such a move as I think has already been suggested. It seems a bit odd that not so long ago there was a photo of the main movers in AT literature saying they thought the close season was a good thing including Dave Harrell. I think it all smells a bit of filling the coffers.
the blanker on 07/03/2014 10:37:59
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I am a member of the AT since its conception and my membership has just been renewed. Maybe it is me but everybody knows that the AT is not every ones cup of tea I hope this sudden move towards rethinking the close season is not a join us ploy . I do not know about the BS but perhaps there is some membership pressure there for such a move as I think has already been suggested. It seems a bit odd that not so long ago there was a photo of the main movers in AT literature saying they thought the close season was a good thing including Dave Harrell. I think it all smells a bit of filling the coffers. I haven't seen anything to suggest that and if there had been I am sure it would have been mentioned. A join us ploy could turn into a loose us ploy. they haven't a clue.
sam vimes on 07/03/2014 11:06:25
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I haven't seen anything to suggest that and if there had been I am sure it would have been mentioned. A join us ploy could turn into a loose us ploy. they haven't a clue. If that happens it will demonstrate the hypocrisy of those that suggest to those that won't join the ATr, because they disagree with some policy, they join regardless. After all, surely the "only option we have" applies equally to all?
geoffmaynard on 07/03/2014 11:16:27
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Just my honest opinion Geoff, and I won’t be changing my mind as I believe this change of mind is nothing more than self interest driven. I know the man and he's not driven in a self interested way at all. He's just giving a personal opinion which is completely seperate from his position in the BS - I'm not a member either btw. I've been anti closed season for many years, ever since I saw the way the yanks handle it, which makes a lot more sense than any other I've heard of. It's species specific, appropriate for the individual waters and avoids economic hardships for the industry - and avoids tarring everything with the same brush. Common sense in other words.
the blanker on 07/03/2014 11:42:27
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If that happens it will demonstrate the hypocrisy of those that suggest to those that won't join the ATr, because they disagree with some policy, they join regardless. After all, surely the "only option we have" applies equally to all? Sorry Sam I don't understand what your post means, I cannot see this as a PR exercise to gain members but could it loose members that feel very strongly about the closed season not wanting to be involved in changing it? The same could be said of the BS as well.
Ray Wood 1 on 07/03/2014 12:05:52
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I know the man and he's not driven in a self interested way at all. He's just giving a personal opinion which is completely seperate from his position in the BS - I'm not a member either btw. I've been anti closed season for many years, ever since I saw the way the yanks handle it, which makes a lot more sense than any other I've heard of. It's species specific, appropriate for the individual waters and avoids economic hardships for the industry - and avoids tarring everything with the same brush. Common sense in other words. Geoff, as this sudden call for change appears to only be coming from a few anglers who have a vested interest in changing the close season I must I’m afraid disagree with you. I have seen nothing from the tackle trade this time around calling for change. Given that some of the same few anglers have been staunch supporters of retaining the close season in its current form common sense tells me that self interests are involved. You have your views and state you don’t agree with mine regarding that. I respect your views and likewise I disagree with them regarding this change being nothing but self interest driven by those involved. So it must be we will have to agree to differ on the subject, like I have said, I have seen nothing to change my mind so won’t be changing it. I know nothing regarding how the US deal with imposing any sort of close season on their rivers or still waters, and so I am unable to comment. Kind regards Ray
sam vimes on 07/03/2014 12:15:55
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Sorry Sam I don't understand what your post means, I cannot see this as a PR exercise to gain members but could it loose members that feel very strongly about the closed season not wanting to be involved in changing it? The same could be said of the BS as well. Some trust members have suggested that people join regardless of them disagreeing with policy. The thinking being that it's the best (only) option we've got. If they then don't rejoin because they disagreed with the ATr looking at changing the closed season, they would be being hypocrital.
Peter Jacobs on 07/03/2014 12:45:55
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Some trust members have suggested that people join regardless of them disagreeing with policy. The thinking being that it's the best (only) option we've got. If they then don't rejoin because they disagreed with the ATr looking at changing the closed season, they would be being hypocrital. I was one of those who were opposed to the Angling trust from the outset mainly due to the way they went about the inauguration. Also, in the early days prior to formation they had stated that they did not really want individual memberships preferring to only have clubs, associations and trade members. It was pointed out to me that it takes a big man to get over a few personal hurdles in order to see the larger picture by an angler who I have the greatest respect for. So, I joined and was a member for 3 or 4 years also giving donations on top of my annual subs. Unfortunately, the lack of real action on predation and another poorly worded (and uninformed) piece featured on here turned me right off to the point where I did not re-new my membership. I know a good many anglers who are currently members who would walk away the very day that the Angling Trust supported abolishing the close Season. We discussed this last night at an annual meeting of the river syndicate where I am a member, so I think i know the mood of those anglers, very well.
sam vimes on 07/03/2014 12:56:57
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I was one of those who were opposed to the Angling trust from the outset mainly due to the way they went about the inauguration. Also, in the early days prior to formation they had stated that they did not really want individual memberships preferring to only have clubs, associations and trade members. It was pointed out to me that it takes a big man to get over a few personal hurdles in order to see the larger picture by an angler who I have the greatest respect for. So, I joined and was a member for 3 or 4 years also giving donations on top of my annual subs. Unfortunately, the lack of real action on predation and another poorly worded (and uninformed) piece featured on here turned me right off to the point where I did not re-new my membership. I know a good many anglers who are currently members who would walk away the very day that the Angling Trust supported abolishing the close Season. We discussed this last night at an annual meeting of the river syndicate where I am a member, so I think i know the mood of those anglers, very well. I'm not knocking the fact that they won't rejoin, if it comes to pass. All I'm saying is that if those members have previously berated non-joiners, that refuse on a point of policy, they are hypocrites. I'm not denying the right of anyone to do as they see fit with their money.
geoffmaynard on 07/03/2014 15:05:21
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Geoff, as this sudden call for change appears to only be coming from a few anglers who have a vested interest in changing the close season I must I’m afraid disagree with you. I have seen nothing from the tackle trade this time around calling for change. Given that some of the same few anglers have been staunch supporters of retaining the close season in its current form common sense tells me that self interests are involved. You have your views and state you don’t agree with mine regarding that. I respect your views and likewise I disagree with them regarding this change being nothing but self interest driven by those involved. So it must be we will have to agree to differ on the subject, like I have said, I have seen nothing to change my mind so won’t be changing it. I know nothing regarding how the US deal with imposing any sort of close season on their rivers or still waters, and so I am unable to comment. Well there's nothing sudden about it, the argument has been going on for decades with people (including me) arguing against the present closed season dates and others (including SP) arguing for the opposite. No need to fall out over it though, everyone is entitled to an opinion. Over time, some peoples views have moved as they've perceived the times have changed. This time SP for one has moved his views, next year it could be me, or you. To even suggest that there is some level of self-interest involved is complete misdirection imo, angling isn't golf or motor racing. The amount of money extra in individuals pockets, including guides, would hardly change to any significant extent - though the tackle trade could pick up some extra coins I grant you. (And for those of you interested, I know SP retired from a lucrative job managing a prosperous building company to move west and earn peanuts as a guide - in comparison it's just a paying hobby; the self-interest claim is therefor a total joke). The last time we had changes we had all kinds of stunts played to get around rules, including any-method trout waters etc and it is all so unnecessary if common sense is applied. Do away with nationwide closed seasons and localise it: If a fishery manager sees a species spawning, then he stops people angling for it. Simple. It works elsewhere and it will work here. Of course there will always be by-catch but that's never been seen as a problem when grayling anglers catch trout in january, or fly anglers catch roach or barbel in May. Indeed, no different from the present conditions when i.e. carpers catch spawn laden fish in July.
the blanker on 07/03/2014 15:23:25
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Some trust members have suggested that people join regardless of them disagreeing with policy. The thinking being that it's the best (only) option we've got. If they then don't rejoin because they disagreed with the ATr looking at changing the closed season, they would be being hypocrital. Thanks for explaining Sam, I can be a bit slow on the uptake in the morning. I also think you are correct in what you said.
Ray Wood 1 on 07/03/2014 15:38:35
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Well there's nothing sudden about it, the argument has been going on for decades with people (including me) arguing against the present closed season dates and others (including SP) arguing for the opposite. No need to fall out over it though, everyone is entitled to an opinion. Over time, some peoples views have moved as they've perceived the times have changed. This time SP for one has moved his views, next year it could be me, or you. To even suggest that there is some level of self-interest involved is complete misdirection imo, angling isn't golf or motor racing. The amount of money extra in individuals pockets, including guides, would hardly change to any significant extent - though the tackle trade could pick up some extra coins I grant you. (And for those of you interested, I know SP retired from a lucrative job managing a prosperous building company to move west and earn peanuts as a guide - in comparison it's just a paying hobby; the self-interest claim is therefor a total joke). The last time we had changes we had all kinds of stunts played to get around rules, including any-method trout waters etc and it is all so unnecessary if common sense is applied. Do away with nationwide closed seasons and localise it: If a fishery manager sees a species spawning, then he stops people angling for it. Simple. It works elsewhere and it will work here. Of course there will always be by-catch but that's never been seen as a problem when grayling anglers catch trout in january, or fly anglers catch roach or barbel in May. Indeed, no different from the present conditions when i.e. carpers catch spawn laden fish in July. Like I said Geoff, I must agree to disagree with your point of view on self interest driving this call for change. I thought SP was a quantity surveyor and worked free lance I could of course be mistaken, it really does not matter though. Yes the debate has been going on for many years and will no doubt go on for many more as I see no change coming about in the near future. It has been raised in the past by ordinary anglers who say they think it unfair that they can’t fish rivers all year round (self interest). It has been raised by the tackle trade due to loss of revenue (self interest). It is now being raised by some who guide on rivers who are complaining that they have not been able to wet a line due to the floods, that in turn suggests that they have not been able to guide and earn (self interest) You maybe right that the US way might work here in the UK, you may also be wrong. As for what these guides earn from plying their trade I know of one at least who charges £150 a day and is booked up for 90% of the river season. Some charge even greater prices and are very busy throughout the river season so there is a good living to be earned. I can see why they would like things changed but that does not make it right. These are only my honest opinions and like you say I do not want to fall out with you because our views differ. Kind regards Ray
The bad one on 08/03/2014 02:17:44
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To answer your question, I have no evidence that he is not following his memberships wishes or that he is for that matter. Having read his comments both in his diary and in the Angling Times he appears to be speaking for himself. If that is the case no mention should be made of the position he holds within the BS, that could lead to many thinking he speaks for the membership. But of course you will know that using that position gives or supposedly gives his comments more credence rather than him speaking as a lone angler. Yes I agree he is speaking for himself. Where he make comment to MS comments on Facebook (his name, not the BS or SP of the BS) he does say he makes it abundantly clear he is not calling for the abolition of the CS "but I will say again, there is absolutely no way I would support a total abolition of a close season." I think you'll find it's the Press that ascribes the Chair of the BS to him over this, not the man himself. I’m glad you have highlighted what a chairs job is within an organisation and how and what he should be doing. If he has the full backing of the BS regarding the changes he wants then there would be no problem for him. If however he does not have the full support of his membership there would be a clear conflict of interests would there not? How could he remain in his position and pursue the changes he wants knowing it to be against the will of his membership that would surely make his position untenable in my honest opinion and I suspect in many others opinion. If the latter is the case surely the gentlemanly thing to do would be to step down and pursue the change in dates or the abolition of the close season depending on what he really wants as an ordinary angler. As he's not speaking as the Chair of the BS or for the BS, but for himself SP, there is no conflict of interest over it. All he’s doing is expressing a partially different view to the membership as I alluded to in my first post. Ergo it’s a tenable view to hold providing he’s doing the job as Chair and upholding the views of the membership. He even, I suspect, has the right to raise the issue for discussion/debate within the BS and argue his case to the membership of why he feels there should be a partial change to CS. That’s democracy in action! However, if membership doesn’t side with him, it’s also democracy that as Chair, it mandates him to uphold the BS membership’s views. Failure to do that would then make his position as chair untenable. And it goes without saying he does have the prerogative to resign as chair if he fails to carry the membership his way. Not sure why you are telling me that you are not and never have been a member of the BS as it is of no interest to me. As for when and how I post that will depend on the subject matter and what I may want to comment on and this subject is one such subject, it matters not who is involved. So there was no ambiguity or suggestion of bias on my part.
Peter Jacobs on 08/03/2014 09:17:14
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Until we see Steve's new Diary piece none of us truly knows what will be in it, what his thoughts are, or how (if at all) he had changed his views and for what reasons. Accordingly, it is far better for the debate to focus back onto the originall topic and wait to see what Steve has to say at a later date? I don't for one moment agree with individual clubs or associations making up their own Close Season for their river rentals, neither do I for riparian Owners either. My view is to leave it to the experts at the EA and let them do their job nationally.
Ray Wood 1 on 08/03/2014 09:59:20
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Bad One, Thanks for the detailed response to my own response to your question QUOTE. Yes I agree he is speaking for himself. Where he make comment to MS comments on Facebook (his name, not the BS or SP of the BS) he does say he makes it abundantly clear he is not calling for the abolition of the CS "but I will say again, there is absolutely no way I would support a total abolition of a close season." I think you'll find it's the Press that ascribes the Chair of the BS to him over this, not the man himself. ........................................................................................................... I maintain my honest opinion that when he speaks as SP he should ensure that the press or anyone else make no mention of his position within the BS as it could lead readers to think he speaks or his views are that of the BS. Quote As he's not speaking as the Chair of the BS or for the BS, but for himself SP, there is no conflict of interest over it. All he’s doing is expressing a partially different view to the membership as I alluded to in my first post. Ergo it’s a tenable view to hold providing he’s doing the job as Chair and upholding the views of the membership. He even, I suspect, has the right to raise the issue for discussion/debate within the BS and argue his case to the membership of why he feels there should be a partial change to CS. That’s democracy in action! However, if membership doesn’t side with him, it’s also democracy that as Chair, it mandates him to uphold the BS membership’s views. Failure to do that would then make his position as chair untenable. And it goes without saying he does have the prerogative to resign as chair if he fails to carry the membership his way. ........................................................................................................... Pretty much what I had said although worded differently, you may agree with that or not. It will be interesting to follow this and see just how SP progresses with his views both on here and with the membership of the BS. I would hope that he does raise the issue of the CS within the BS it would be remiss of him if he did not in my opinion. I have no wish to make comment on democracy and how it might or might not work within the BS. QUOTE So there was no ambiguity or suggestion of bias on my part. ........................................................................................................... The thought of ambiguity or bias on your part never crossed my mind, it would make no difference to me or the debate on the CS if you were a member of the BS why would it? Thanks again for you response. Kind regards Ray
Steve Pope on 08/03/2014 10:19:26
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I appreciate your last post Peter, many thanks. I have been concentrating on other things quite a bit of late which are very much BS related. This evening I will be catching up with a number of old friends as we meet up to celebrate the life of Fred Crouch, there will be many BS people in attendance. I've also been very busy putting together a tribute magazine and I'm really pleased with how it's coming along, I'm hoping to have it ready for the publishers this time next week. Plus I'm hoping to have a couple of days on the Severn next week and then I'll concentrate all my attention to putting my words together that relate to this subject for my next Diary. Much of what I will say has been said already, there's nothing new about any of this, in some ways it's just a revisit ten years or so down the line from when the subject last came under serious scrutiny and I believe that is a reasonable course of action.
Ray Wood 1 on 08/03/2014 12:54:52
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Good luck with the tribute to Fred, I know like me many will be looking forward to reading it.
geoffmaynard on 08/03/2014 18:50:44
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I don't for one moment agree with individual clubs or associations making up their own Close Season for their river rentals, neither do I for riparian Owners either. My view is to leave it to the experts at the EA and let them do their job nationally. Another nation-wide fudge then? :( Even if it were catchment based it would be a step forward.
Peter Jacobs on 09/03/2014 07:25:58
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Another nation-wide fudge then? Even if it were catchment based it would be a step forward. I see absolutely no factual based evidence for a statement like that Geoff. Going back to the old individual regions, even for catchment based close seasons would, in my opinion, be a retrograde step, and only give greedy anglers and trophy hunters an excuse to attempt to "beat the system"
geoffmaynard on 09/03/2014 18:53:18
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I see absolutely no factual based evidence for a statement like that Geoff. Going back to the old individual regions, even for catchment based close seasons would, in my opinion, be a retrograde step, and only give greedy anglers and trophy hunters an excuse to attempt to "beat the system" It seems to work on the salmon rivers for the game-fishers, why not for coarse anglers? It's the same argument surely Peter?
Peter Jacobs on 09/03/2014 22:07:30
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It seems to work on the salmon rivers for the game-fishers, why not for coarse anglers? It's the same argument surely Peter? The timing of the runs on the salmon rivers (geographically) is not really comparable to the average spawning periods of coarse fish. Hence no regional differences should be applicable.
Peter Jacobs on 10/03/2014 17:15:15
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In the interests of a balanced viewpoint I am replying to Mr. Salter's points as noted below: 1) There is no point expecting a risk averse organisation like the EA to do anything without testing both opinion and the science. If I remember correctly did the EA not conduct an opinion piece back in 2000 and again in 2003? I also think it somewhat disingenuous to refer to the EA as being averse to risk. Given their position they are naturally in the firing line, as recent events have more than shown, so maybe that gives pseudo credence to your point, but nothing more. The EA are probably best equipped to study the pros and cons of the Close Season on our Rivers compared to individual clubs, associations and/or riparian Owners who after all have a vested interest in seeing its’ demise. 2) This is a live issue amongst a minority of anglers, particularly focused around the Midlands, but there are strong views on the other side of the argument too. Why do you consider this firstly a Midlands issue and secondly why do you consider it an issue of relevance to only a “minority” of anglers in that area? Believe me it is a very important issue in my local Hampshire Avon Valley area and one that the vast majority of anglers hold a position on. Let us not forget either that the entire Hampshire Avon Valley in a SSSI, and I am still waiting for someone to give me a reasoned response as to what we could do about the loss of the Close Season in these areas as well as the problem of shared parts of the rivers with fly anglers? 3) There are risks attached to compromising the conservation credentials of angling. The impacts of any disturbance to spawning areas are clearly more acute in smaller streams than in larger ones. And of course we use the presence of the river close season to argue against unfettered canoe access to smaller, non navigation, rivers and streams. Indeed there are, and to my mind we do not want to compromise our position where our conservation principles are concerned. The disturbance of spawning areas is just as important overall on larger rives as it is on smaller ones or streams, it is just not as instantly obvious on the large rivers. As to the argument concerning the Paddlers, then yes, we do use the Close Season as an important augment, and again, not only on the smaller streams and rivers either. 4) Issues that divide angling opinion are more tricky for us, however, that is no reason not to engage with them but it is a restraint. If speaking from an Angling Trust standpoint then I would remind you of Mike Heylin’s view some 5 or so years ago. That was that the Angling Trust had far more non-divisive issues to be getting on with; abstraction, predation and poaching for starters than to embark on a membership-splitting issue like the Close Season . . . . 5) There are differing close seasons on different game rivers, depending on local fish spawning patterns, so why not on coarse rivers? I think that different Close Seasons would lead to infringement and confusion; we already have some rather daft ideas about allowing fishing with a hook of a given size of gape etc., and have seen the likes of Des Taylor attempting a law-busting exercise some years ago, and that was in the midlands if I am not mistaken? And again we see the same angler supporting the loss of the Close Season. Then there was the thin end of the wedge on stillwaters where greedy fishery owner stocked a few trout and then advertised "any method Trout fishing" through the old Close Season. We don't want to see that again, thank you very much. 6) Although close seasons are about protecting fish rather than tackle shops there is an issue about impacts on businesses. No there isn’t! Not in the slightest! The vast majority of tackle shops that are more than a few years of “age” went into their businesses with a proper business plan that took account of the Close Season and the possibility of reduced income during mid-March to mid-June. If they didn’t then they were short sighted and deserve to go out of business. This line of argument smacks of the “greed” that saw the loss of the Close Season on still-waters and canals. It was wrong then and would be equally wrong now. 7) The existing close season does not have a huge basis in science and is overdue for a review. It was reviewed in 2000 and again in 2003. Those calling for more or different reviews only do so because the previous ones did not fit with their position. I would support a science-based review over a prolonged period myself, just not knee jerk reactions based on poor knowledge. 8) Part of this review could include an experiment in a specific catchment. Perhaps the Severn? See 7 above, 9) Some fish do feed when spawning. At the start of the 2013 season captured Wye barbel were secreting milt in mid June. On the other hand species like dace, whilst readily caught when shoaled up prior to spawning, seem to disappear once spawning commences. Yes, “some” do however, as a blanket protection measure the current dates are still more than worthwhile for the majority of species, in most areas in most average annual weather conditions. 10) Dace and pike are the early spawners, often in March, followed by a lull in April. Roach and perch tend to spawn next and then chub and barbel in the May / June period. So I guess there’s an argument for closing the river pike season off on March 1st and shifting the river break to May and June. This way we would be delivering a longer river season at the optimum time for both anglers and fish and without compromising our conservation credentials. No, I don’t agree at all, although the idea of stopping the trophy hunting and greedy pike anglers from catching artificially heavy but gravid fish is very attractive. Most thinking anglers would not target gravid fish in any event, which is why many will not fish for Trench until later in the season. This is seemingly a poor compromise based on nothing but the hope of reinforcing your, otherwise weak, argument.
Ray Wood 1 on 10/03/2014 17:34:12
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Nice post Peter. This debate will go on and on it seems as no one seems to have the answers or the right reasons to either change or abolish the CS, well not ones that the EA or the Government will listen to. To quote SP “Much of what I will say has been said already, there's nothing new about any of this, in some ways it's just a revisit ten years or so down the line from when the subject last came under serious scrutiny and I believe that is a reasonable course of action.” That statement would appear on face value at least suggest that he will not come up with anything new. Given that he was against any change during the period he intends to revisit and campaigned vigorously to preserve the CS as it now stands during that period, his call for change looks dead in the water. I have just come back from my local tackle shop getting bait for the final few days of the season. A few BS members were in there getting bait, they fish Kings Weir and Fishers Green. To a man they stated that if the BS back this call for change they will not renew their membership. Two of them are members of the Angling Trust and likewise will not renew their membership of that either on the same grounds. Kind regards Ray
geoffmaynard on 10/03/2014 19:00:06
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The timing of the runs on the salmon rivers (geographically) is not really comparable to the average spawning periods of coarse fish. Hence no regional differences should be applicable. Not really? If we don't average the one why should we average the other? Different species spawn at different times, especially in different geographical areas; surely it's a nonsense to declare a spawning period to a fish which either spawned prior or later than the 'averaged' dates.
Peter Jacobs on 11/03/2014 07:39:42
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Not really? If we don't average the one why should we average the other? Different species spawn at different times, especially in different geographical areas; surely it's a nonsense to declare a spawning period to a fish which either spawned prior or later than the 'averaged' dates. No, it is not a "nonsense" at all, for a blanket close Season the current dates protect most species in most years in average weather conditions. Furthermore, no one has any detailed scientific study evidence to provide evidentiary support for your claims with respect to Coarse Fish. Surely this is what the debate is all about; is it time for a rethink? Personally I'd say, no it isn't, as it stands it ain't broke so there is no need to fix it, (commercial or greed interests apart that is)
mick b on 11/03/2014 07:42:04
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I see absolutely no factual based evidence for a statement like that Geoff. Going back to the old individual regions, even for catchment based close seasons would, in my opinion, be a retrograde step, and only give greedy anglers and trophy hunters an excuse to attempt to "beat the system" Well said Peter, I totally agree.
geoffmaynard on 11/03/2014 12:38:58
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Personally I'd say, no it isn't, as it stands it ain't broke so there is no need to fix it, (commercial or greed interests apart that is) Competely disagree Peter. It is totally broke and has been since day one. We have separate regiaonal closed seasons for different game fish and in different areas - rightly so, to protect them. We should do the same for coarse fish. Where's the difference? They are all just fish. Nothing to do with commercial interests, that's just muddying the waters imo. Why 'average' it at all when we can be specific? That's what's wrong with applying national rules, it pretends to protect everything everywhere and ends up hardly protecting anything. Local governance is the obvious route and cheapest if left to the fishery managers - but it removes power from those who now have it, and they don't like that out of principle.
Peter Jacobs on 11/03/2014 13:00:47
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Then we will agree to disagree Geoff. I highly doubt that commercial interests are not at work behind the scenes, both manufacturers, retail shops and so-called guides and professionals. Local governance would be based on what? Local interests that's what, whereas National governance is, or should be, overseen by scientific advisors and not commercial interests. (one supreme difference between the Angling Trust and the Salmon and Trout Association, by the way) My view is that there can simply be no compromise whatsoever; you don't experiment with nature, the potential for disaster is too great. That stillwaters have open season all the year around is not a proper comparison either, as I've noted previously, most (note "most") stillwaters are artificially stocked whereas rivers are not. On the rivers we depend on natural spawning and hope that the annual floods, and predation, don't take too much of a particular year class for the continuation of our sport. Whichever way you look at it, maintaining the current status quo makes sense in most cases, in most areas, and in most average weather patterns. Was it not Peter Stone who used to say that the Close Season lends respectability to our sport as well as to us anglers?
Ray Wood 1 on 11/03/2014 14:43:11
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These spawning times for different species are widely recognised as the norm in the UK in normal weather conditions. Of course weather conditions can have an effect either way i.e. warm/cold weather early in the year fish may spawn earlier or later. Dace early March. Roach April through May Chub late spring Bream April through June Barbel May/June/July Carp Spring and can spawn several times. Pike March/April Perch March/May Zander April/June Given all these species are present in our rivers the current CS covers things quite nicely in my humble opinion. so how do you come to the conclusion that the CS is broken and has been since day one Geoff? I fail to see how basing the CS on individual species and separate regional areas will be any better, in fact it could be far worse than the blanket national CS that is in place. Would you care to explain for us how you would see it work in the form you claim would be better? Both SP and MS have indicated that the call for change is based on lost income for tackle shops, clubs. SP out of concern for financial survival not sure if that is his own survival or that of others. The AT have written to that PM to ask that the tackle trade and tackle shops be included in the flood compensation scheme. Most anglers seem to be in one camp or the other, you either support the current CS or want it abolished. Those in favour of it being abolished have not got their way in previous debates and arguments and more importantly with the EA or the government. This new call for change is slightly different and those involved have introduced a new argument based on loss of revenue for the tackle trade and tackle shops. But lets not forget their own interests are involved.Possibly they believe it will lend more weight to their argument for change. They possibly hope that both the EA and the government will listen and be more inclined to help the trade, rather than a few anglers who have not been able to wet a line or ply their trade. To say commercial interests are involved is certainly not clouding or muddying the water. Kind regards Ray
geoffmaynard on 11/03/2014 20:13:54
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I'm not in either of the two camps for/against. I'm for a common sense solution on both lakes and rivers whereby e.g. if carp are spawning in July say, then the local fishery manager can stop people fishing for them. This protects them - the current regs don't. Why stop people fishing for dace in May and June if they've spawned in March? Might as well stop people fishing for them in Dec too then, three months one way or another is a good enough 'average'. Humph. :wh It's a lunacy to lump them all together.
Ray Wood 1 on 11/03/2014 20:59:31
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I'm not in either of the two camps for/against. I'm for a common sense solution on both lakes and rivers whereby e.g. if carp are spawning in July say, then the local fishery manager can stop people fishing for them. This protects them - the current regs don't. Why stop people fishing for dace in May and June if they've spawned in March? Might as well stop people fishing for them in Dec too then, three months one way or another is a good enough 'average'. Humph. :wh It's a lunacy to lump them all together. Why stop people fishing for Dace in May and June, simple really, as we all know you can’t target species exclusively so allowing anglers on our rivers during May and June to fish for Dace would place other species at risk would it not? Based on your argument for a species/area related CS you could very well end up with a six month CS. Yes a three month CS is a good enough average as it covers things as best as we could hope for and lumping them all together is far from lunacy. If you want common sense for both rivers and lakes then a blanket CS should be reintroduced. Kind regards Ray
peter crabtree on 11/03/2014 21:23:29
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The close season is here to stay and is unlikely to change for many years. Look at the cormorant issue. How many years has that been rumbling on? Every time some progress is made we are told that another x years of consultation must take place first. Imagine how many years consultations etc on a subject so diverse as our National river systems would be before the close season is ever changed? I rest my case....
Lee Poultney on 11/03/2014 21:33:30
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I don't believe the argument that weather has prevented anglers getting enough winter trips in really washes. For the likes of Harrell, it's just another money making opportunity to get some more competitions set up to line his pockets imo. Fishy Business, an angler's journal.: Do we need a river close season? (edited)
Peter Jacobs on 12/03/2014 10:37:04
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It's a lunacy to lump them all together On the contrary Geoff, it is pure lunacy to suggest different closed periods for different species, as Ray notes above. It is simply not possible to sit on a river and to only catch Dace, or any other individual species, so a blanket closed period is the only sensible solution. And, as someone else quoted on a different thread: "the closed season is a nature reserve in time instead of space" Richard S. Walker
sam vimes on 12/03/2014 11:02:10
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On the contrary Geoff, it is pure lunacy to suggest different closed periods for different species, as Ray notes above. It is simply not possible to sit on a river and to only catch Dace, or any other individual species, so a blanket closed period is the only sensible solution. And, as someone else quoted on a different thread: "the closed season is a nature reserve in time instead of space" Richard S. Walker I don't necessarily disagree. However, if that closed season is at the wrong time, it reduces any benefit and it becomes little more than a token to prove how much angling cares. Then you've got the fact that many rivers will have fly anglers fishing right through the coarse closed season. On mixed rivers, they will catch coarse fish and they will wade. People seem to automatically assume that the closed season has a beneficial effect for coarse fish. There's no evidence to support that assumption. Whilst it may be unlikely, it could actually be the case that the closed season actually has a negative effect. It would certainly be the ultimate irony if those with totally closed minds on this subject are actually supporting something that turns out to be doing more harm than good.
cg74 on 12/03/2014 11:20:51
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These spawning times for different species are widely recognised as the norm in the UK in normal weather conditions. Of course weather conditions can have an effect either way i.e. warm/cold weather early in the year fish may spawn earlier or later. Dace early March. Roach April through May Chub late spring Bream April through June Barbel May/June/July Carp Spring and can spawn several times. Pike March/April Perch March/May Zander April/June Given all these species are present in our rivers the current CS covers things quite nicely in my humble opinion. Kind regards Ray I'd start by saying carp and zander are both invasive alien species, so should be removed from the list. Also, barbel like carp can/do spawn several times in a year. Dace often spawn in Feb; so coarse fish spawnings regularly covers a period from Feb to July. So if the Close Season is in place to protect and promote successful breeding, it surely needs expanding? And to be a truly worthwhile conservation exercise, if brown trout are present in a river, it must offer them equal protection? So on mixed rivers a Close Season (covering ALL species) from November to July should be implemented, or not? ---------- Post added at 11:20 ---------- Previous post was at 11:12 ---------- I don't necessarily disagree. However, if that closed season is at the wrong time, it reduces any benefit and it becomes little more than a token to prove how much angling cares. Then you've got the fact that many rivers will have fly anglers fishing right through the coarse closed season. On mixed rivers, they will catch coarse fish and they will wade. And to flip that around - how catchable are trout during their Close Season on maggots, worms, bread, lures, live/dead baits......?
Peter Jacobs on 12/03/2014 11:28:10
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I don't necessarily disagree. However, if that closed season is at the wrong time, it reduces any benefit and it becomes little more than a token to prove how much angling cares. Then you've got the fact that many rivers will have fly anglers fishing right through the coarse closed season. On mixed rivers, they will catch coarse fish and they will wade. People seem to automatically assume that the closed season has a beneficial effect for coarse fish. There's no evidence to support that assumption. Whilst it may be unlikely, it could actually be the case that the closed season actually has a negative effect. It would certainly be the ultimate irony if those with totally closed minds on this subject are actually supporting something that turns out to be doing more harm than good. As far as my local areas are concerned Sam the number of coarse fish above Salisbury, where most of the fly fishing takes place, are negligible, so the wading issue is a non starter. As far as having a "closed mind" is concerned, and speaking personally, I take exception to that comment. Personally, I am open to lengthy scientific trials and studies in all regions to ascertain the timing of the Close Season. Then, suitably armed we can discuss the results and see where those may take us . . . . . . . However, until and unless those studies are undertaken I will continue to rally against any changes to the status quo; as I said before, you don't experiment with nature, and certainly not with our rivers that already face an uphill struggle with abstraction and predation.
sam vimes on 12/03/2014 12:16:36
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As far as my local areas are concerned Sam the number of coarse fish above Salisbury, where most of the fly fishing takes place, are negligible, so the wading issue is a non starter. As far as having a "closed mind" is concerned, and speaking personally, I take exception to that comment. Personally, I am open to lengthy scientific trials and studies in all regions to ascertain the timing of the Close Season. Then, suitably armed we can discuss the results and see where those may take us . . . . . . . however, until and inless those studies areu ndertaken I will continue to rally against any changes to the status quo; as I said before, you don't experiment with nature, and certainly not with our rivers that already face an uphill struggle with abstraction and predation. But that's half the problem. For the waters you are thinking of, the closed season as it stands probably does seem to fit quite nicely. For the waters I have in mind, even without throwing the worm fishing for trout bye law into the mix, the closed season is an ineffectual, illogical, mistimed joke. The closed mind comment is aimed squarely at those that are doing the la la la, I'm not listening routine. Their arguments are invariably boiling down to "it suits me, so screw you". They are dressing it up otherwise, but that's the reality. The biggest assumption seems to be that the closed season is/was based on some kind of science, it isn't and wasn't. I've no problem with those that don't wish to rush headlong into change, it's entirely sensible. However, I do find those that refuse to acknowledge that other areas might be different, or refuse to countenance any changes, regardless of any evidence, to be very strange. That kind of attitude is equally as selfish as those that wish for abolishment regardless of any evidence are accused of being. ---------- Post added at 12:16 ---------- Previous post was at 12:13 ---------- And to flip that around - how catchable are trout during their Close Season on maggots, worms, bread, lures, live/dead baits......? I couldn't tell you about bread, lures, lives or dead baits, not something I do. However, I never catch trout in the trout closed season, just look at the few catch reports I've posted. I do catchh quite a few weird looking chub with spots though.;):D
Ray Wood 1 on 12/03/2014 14:51:31
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I'd start by saying carp and zander are both invasive alien species, so should be removed from the list. Also, barbel like carp can/do spawn several times in a year. Dace often spawn in Feb; so coarse fish spawnings regularly covers a period from Feb to July. So if the Close Season is in place to protect and promote successful breeding, it surely needs expanding? And to be a truly worthwhile conservation exercise, if brown trout are present in a river, it must offer them equal protection? So on mixed rivers a Close Season (covering ALL species) from November to July should be implemented, or not? Zander and Carp, invasive or not they are present in our rivers, and if a species based CS is the wish of some they should be afforded the same protection should they not? As for a CS that spans November to July based on species, again if that is what some want and are basing their argument on then yes. I have an open mind on the CS, but if it needs to be changed let it be for the right reasons. Let it not be for a few anglers hiding behind the loss of revenue argument they are putting forward. To date I have seen no sound argument that convinces me that change is needed, however my mind is open so the protagonists involved need to convince me their argument has any credibility. Kind regards Ray
cg74 on 12/03/2014 15:07:10
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Zander and Carp, invasive or not they are present in our rivers, and if a species based CS is the wish of some they should be afforded the same protection should they not? As for a CS that spans November to July based on species, again if that is what some want and are basing their argument on then yes. I have an open mind on the CS, but if it needs to be changed let it be for the right reasons. Let it not be for a few anglers hiding behind the loss of revenue argument they are putting forward. To date I have seen no sound argument that convinces me that change is needed, however my mind is open so the protagonists involved need to convince me their argument has any credibility. Kind regards Ray Should zander and carp be offered the same level of protection as indigenous species? NO! What next; help the signal crayfish, top mouthed gudgeon and orfe? So if a 3 fishing month season was suggested by someone of what you deem good standing, you'd just go with it?
Ray Wood 1 on 12/03/2014 16:06:17
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Should zander and carp be offered the same level of protection as indigenous species? NO! What next; help the signal crayfish, top mouthed gudgeon and orfe? So if a 3 fishing month season was suggested by someone of what you deem good standing, you'd just go with it? I am not here to put right all the wrongs within angling removing the species you mention is hardly the argument at hand is it? Of course I would not agree to a three month fishing season, I am happy that what we have covers most things as best we could hope, as I said previously my mind is open to be convinced that change is needed. As it stands we have a CS that spans the periods it does, for change to take place there needs to be good reasons don't you agree? Or do you think we should just scrap it for scraping it's sake with no thought to fish or anything else? As in most things, when change is needed is it not up to those who want change to make a reasonable case for changes they want? Liken it to the law of the land if you like, the onus is on those who want change to prove that change is needed in my book. As the protagonists feel unable at this stage to enlarge upon their argument on FM they are hardly winning me or anyone else over are they. Kind regards Ray
thecrow on 12/03/2014 16:48:52
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If the closed season needs to be changed and I am not sure if it should be or not then even if the experts (I don't mean anglers) came up with a change of dates that suited the fish in different areas it still would not suit all anglers,
Peter Jacobs on 13/03/2014 11:35:44
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If the closed season needs to be changed and I am not sure if it should be or not then even if the experts (I don't mean anglers) came up with a change of dates that suited the fish in different areas it still would not suit all anglers, . . . . . and therein lies the crux of the current dilemma: if any change to be brought about then let's all make sure it is for the right (environmental) reasons and not for Commercial Benefit! We lost the Close Season on Stillwaters and some Canals due mainly to commercial interests. So, let's make sure that we don't repeat that mistake on our rivers.
cg74 on 13/03/2014 13:23:12
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I am not here to put right all the wrongs within angling removing the species you mention is hardly the argument at hand is it? Of course I would not agree to a three month fishing season, I am happy that what we have covers most things as best we could hope, as I said previously my mind is open to be convinced that change is needed. As it stands we have a CS that spans the periods it does, for change to take place there needs to be good reasons don't you agree? Or do you think we should just scrap it for scraping it's sake with no thought to fish or anything else? As in most things, when change is needed is it not up to those who want change to make a reasonable case for changes they want? Liken it to the law of the land if you like, the onus is on those who want change to prove that change is needed in my book. As the protagonists feel unable at this stage to enlarge upon their argument on FM they are hardly winning me or anyone else over are they. Kind regards Ray So in essence you're saying coarse fish deserve a greater level of protection than game species and there is no reason to change things? ---------- Post added at 13:23 ---------- Previous post was at 13:18 ---------- We lost the Close Season on Stillwaters and some Canals due mainly to commercial interests. So, let's make sure that we don't repeat that mistake on our rivers. What was the mistake in scrapping of the Close Season on stillwaters?
Peter Jacobs on 13/03/2014 13:36:53
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What was the mistake in scrapping of the Close Season on stillwaters? It was sacrificed on the altar of commercialism and greed which to me was a huge mistake and spoke volumes against us anglers as conservationalists . . . . . . . .
cg74 on 13/03/2014 13:56:26
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It was sacrificed on the altar of commercialism and greed which to me was a huge mistake and spoke volumes against us anglers as conservationalists . . . . . . . . I can understand your feelings towards commercialism but regards conservation on the lakes I fish that have been left to develop a 'natural' equilibrium, they have done so very successfully despite no longer adhering to the old Close Season. With no ill effects to the fish, birds and mammals present.
Ray Wood 1 on 13/03/2014 14:01:21
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So in essence you're saying coarse fish deserve a greater level of protection than game species and there is no reason to change things?[COLOR="Silv Interpret my posts as you will, in essence I am saying that I am happy with the CS as it is and that it protects coarse fish as best we can hope to do without banning angling completely. If you want a CS that protects fish coarse and game even further than at present then campaign for a longer CS. There has to be a balance and that balance is met quite nicely at present in my humble opinion. I am no scientist and nor are those calling for the change that is based on financial loss, or their failure to wet a line during the unprecedented floods we have had. Don’t be fooled by the reasons being put forward by the “NAMES” it is about their own self interests and nothing more, that is my honest opinion it will be up to them to prove otherwise. Kind regards Ray
Peter Jacobs on 13/03/2014 14:04:16
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I can understand your feelings towards commercialism but regards conservation on the lakes I fish that have been left to develop a 'natural' equilibrium, they have done so very successfully despite no longer adhering to the old Close Season. With no ill effects to the fish, birds and mammals present. That can only be anecdotal evidence surely? One of my clubs maintained the Close Season and we see a huge difference between that lake and one other close by where another club has allowed all year around fishing. I would also point to some of rather horrible looking "commercial" venues that have trampled paths and virtually no bankside vegetation or much bird or insect life around either. I know that there are some clubs who have allowed all year round fishing and still have very lovely looking lakes, but those are pretty much "gardened" by members these days.
cg74 on 13/03/2014 14:20:47
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That can only be anecdotal evidence surely? One of my clubs maintained the Close Season and we see a huge difference between that lake and one other close by where another club has allowed all year around fishing. I would also point to some of rather horrible looking "commercial" venues that have trampled paths and virtually no bankside vegetation or much bird or insect life around either. I know that there are some clubs who have allowed all year round fishing and still have very lovely looking lakes, but those are pretty much "gardened" by members these days. No not just anecdotal evidence; impartial studies have also been conducted, showing excellent biodiversity. Regards the commercial look, that can be easily rectified if the club(s) concerned desired. Simple steps like fishing from designated swims only. Once bankside vegetation has recovered, insects will return, followed by bird life. The scenario you describe, seems more like a case of mismanagement than a fault of having a Close Season.
Peter Jacobs on 13/03/2014 14:36:09
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No not just anecdotal evidence; impartial studies have also been conducted, showing excellent biodiversity. Regards the commercial look, that can be easily rectified if the club(s) concerned desired. Simple steps like fishing from designated swims only. Once bankside vegetation has recovered, insects will return, followed by bird life. The scenario you describe, seems more like a case of mismanagement than a fault of having a Close Season. Were the studies comparative with other lakes where the close season still applies? Also, the size, usage and number of members has to be taken into account, so there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Unlike stillwaters that can/are artificially restocked our rivers are not, and we also don't fish from designated platforms either, thank goodness.
cg74 on 14/03/2014 09:18:31
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Were the studies comparative with other lakes where the close season still applies? Also, the size, usage and number of members has to be taken into account, so there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Unlike stillwaters that can/are artificially restocked our rivers are not, and we also don't fish from designated platforms either, thank goodness. The studies were conducted only on lakes where the Close Season was scrapped but the studies were undertaken pre and post abolition. Of course all waters have their own unique environmental stresses but they also many share similarities too. To be frank, if you believe that rivers aren't stocked and restock, you're deluding yourself. Stockings are getting to the point where the number of English rivers having not being stocked is seemingly less than those that have been. ---------- Post added at 09:18 ---------- Previous post was at 08:50 ---------- Interpret my posts as you will, in essence I am saying that I am happy with the CS as it is and that it protects coarse fish as best we can hope to do without banning angling completely. If you want a CS that protects fish coarse and game even further than at present then campaign for a longer CS. There has to be a balance and that balance is met quite nicely at present in my humble opinion. I am no scientist and nor are those calling for the change that is based on financial loss, or their failure to wet a line during the unprecedented floods we have had. Don’t be fooled by the reasons being put forward by the “NAMES” it is about their own self interests and nothing more, that is my honest opinion it will be up to them to prove otherwise. Kind regards Ray I'm not looking to ban fishing, however I am left wondering how anyone can say the current set up offers maximum efficacy (or even a reasonable level of protection) to all indigenous/native species in rivers and that's why I think it needs reviewing. Maybe the 'names' are being misleading with their reasons given, I'm not speculating on that. What I am saying is a review needs conducting to IMPROVE things (and if they can influence a thorough review, then good on them), this may open up some rivers to a much longer fishing season, it might indicate that some rivers need to adopt a longer Close Season. It might even suggest that a Close Season period offers only limited or no benefits; so it should be scrapped!
Peter Jacobs on 14/03/2014 09:20:08
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The studies were conducted only on lakes where the Close Season was scrapped but the studies were undertaken pre and post abolition. Of course all waters have their own unique environmental stresses but they also many share similarities too. To be frank, if you believe that rivers aren't stocked and restock, you're deluding yourself. Stockings are getting to the point where the number of English rivers having not being stocked is seemingly less than those that have been. No delusion at all cg, comparing stillwaters that are regularly stocked (particularly commercial venues) to the ocassional stocking of any river in my area (Wiltshire/Hampshire and Dorset) the comparison bears no scrutiny at all. On a different tack, I went over to the Angling Trust website to read what they have to say on the matter. Quote: "In many parts of the country river anglers are coming to terms with an effective 6 month shutdown giving the annual close season debate an added intensity. In addition, the recent devastating floods have hit fisheries, tackle shops and the tackle trade particularly hard this year causing the Angling Trust to write to the Prime Minister arguing that these businesses should be included in the floods compensation measures. In response the Trust has decided to actively engage in the river close season issue and to seek a wide variety of views from anglers and fishery managers prior to making any formal approaches to the Environment Agency or to government." Now, to my eye that tells us that the main driver for this "engagement" was indeed commercial Interests! I wonder how many "Trade Member" the Angling trust actually have?
cg74 on 14/03/2014 09:34:21
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No delusion at all cg, comparing stillwaters that are regularly stocked (particularly commercial venues) to the ocassional stocking of any river in my area (Wiltshire/Hampshire and Dorset) the comparison bears no scrutiny at all. On a different tack, I went over to the Angling Trust website to read what they have to say on the matter. Quote: "In many parts of the country river anglers are coming to terms with an effective 6 month shutdown giving the annual close season debate an added intensity. In addition, the recent devastating floods have hit fisheries, tackle shops and the tackle trade particularly hard this year causing the Angling Trust to write to the Prime Minister arguing that these businesses should be included in the floods compensation measures. In response the Trust has decided to actively engage in the river close season issue and to seek a wide variety of views from anglers and fishery managers prior to making any formal approaches to the Environment Agency or to government." Now, to my eye that tells us that the main driver for this "engagement" was indeed commercial Interests! I wonder how many "Trade Member" the Angling trust actually have? The Dorset Stour and Hampshire Avon have been stocked with thousands maybe even tens of thousands of coarse fish..... As have numerous other rivers in your locality. I appears the ATr motives are largely financially based but that doesn't necessarily make what they are asking for is wrong per se.
chub_on_the_block on 14/03/2014 09:38:59
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I used to be very much in favour of the closed season and thought the change destroyed one of the most exciting aspects of fishing - fishing during the opening week of a new season when swims had been rested for 3 months and the anticipation had reached boiling point. Its not the same fishing for tench in June if you know they have been coming out since mid April. But, having lost the closed season on stillwaters where i think it was more strongly justified, i am now thinking what really is to be lost from removing it altogether? I dont see that it serves any particular purpose. The issue of environmental damage has more to do with over-fished waters rather than rivers, where, in many cases, fishing is so light that it hardly affects anything. If there are animal welfare arguments then the closed season should be brought back for all waters. If anything, something should be done about the over-fished venues where fish or fowl are stressed by the attentions of humans 24/7 - but these waters appear popular and highly profitable in the upside-down world we now find ourselves in. Many dont even seem to notice that their trophy fish have mis-shapen mouths, personally i would rather not catch fish like that.
Peter Jacobs on 14/03/2014 09:45:39
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I appears the ATr motives are largely financially based but that doesn't necessarily make what they are asking for is wrong per se. It certainly does make a huge difference to me! We should not be seen to sacrifice our conservation principles on the altar of commerciality! As I said previously, any business plan for a tackle shop would obviously include for a lull period douring the Coarse River Close Season, if it didn't then the shop probably deserves to fail. The vast majority of manufacturers know that there will be a dwell in sales in those months but then that sales pick up towards the end of the Close Season to compensate.
chub_on_the_block on 14/03/2014 09:51:37
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I dont think the ATr stance is necessarily down to commercial interests. I am a conservationist but feel the same. In general they do take the conservationist stance - as in the case of Fracking. Right or wrong, they have raised concerns on national TV about it and demonstrated that there are important concerns for our chalk streams etc. Maybe because you disagree on that stance Peter you are finding fault in other things they are doing? As i get older i am realising that time is precious and if there is no sound reason for prohibiting coarse fishing in rivers from March 15th-June 15th (inclusive) then the closed season is a sham that should be done away with. The problem - in my mind - is over-fished or over-stocked waters, not fishing per se, if we want to show our ethics and environmental awareness..
mick b on 14/03/2014 09:52:29
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Okay guys lets get our heads screwed back on the right way round. The proposers of this 'scrap it' idea haven't written a single word in support of their 'idea'...(as far as I can see) Is this because they do not actually have a sound argument, and are instead reading all our comments and plan to use them as a basis from which to construct their 'opinions'. This 'proposal' has the smell of a managed political leak. MAY I PROPOSE we cease our internal discussions and await the response from the commercials who started the ball rolling in the first place? After-all, you don't think they are ignoring us do you? In my opinion the originators of this proposal have lost enormous credibility by the manner this has been handled, and, as for reading someones views on their 'blog' well they can 'blog off' for good and bloggy good riddance!!!! .
chub_on_the_block on 14/03/2014 10:04:04
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I think the original decision to remove a statutory closed season on stillwaters and canals was wrong. This change has contributed to the situation we have now where there are countless over-stocked commercial fisheries or carp waters, many in poor ecological condition, and a generation of one trick pony anglers who rarely if ever fish in rivers or fish for anything besides carp. This has been detrimental to angling and has left rivers more vulnerable to abstraction, pollution, flood defence works etc etc as their value to angling and as a natural resource is diminished.
cg74 on 14/03/2014 10:21:46
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It certainly does make a huge difference to me! We should not be seen to sacrifice our conservation principles on the altar of commerciality! As I said previously, any business plan for a tackle shop would obviously include for a lull period douring the Coarse River Close Season, if it didn't then the shop probably deserves to fail. The vast majority of manufacturers know that there will be a dwell in sales in those months but then that sales pick up towards the end of the Close Season to compensate. I can see your point but good quality evidence no matter who funds it should stand true; how it's interpreted and presented is where it can get contentious.
aebitim on 14/03/2014 10:24:15
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Everything these days is led by finance, conservation included. It was only a matter of time before the squeeze every penny hit angling. Most of us would prefer any decision on changing/removing the closed season to be based on research and the impact on our rivers. The AT I suspect is under pressure to do something for its corporate sponsors who presumably contribute significantly to the coffers. I am happy to see the closed season stay even though it has flaws but suspect that the finance factor will win in the end sadly.
Peter Jacobs on 14/03/2014 12:22:33
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I am happy to see the closed season stay even though it has flaws but suspect that the finance factor will win in the end sadly. Unless we heed the words of Edmund Burke (Irish Statesman, philosopher and political theorist) it could come to that: "All that it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing . . . . " ---------- Post added at 12:22 ---------- Previous post was at 10:37 ---------- As many on here will know I am not all that often in agreement with Rod Sturdy, but on today's piece I can honestly say that I am in 100% agreement with him. Although I very rarely use Facebook I will go on there tonight and have a look at how the discussion is progressing over there, however as I am no longer a member of the Angling Trust I cannot access their forum. I will, time permitting, put together a piece for offering to them to see if they would publish along with the others on their webpages. For now it is sufficient I think to say that I totally agree with Rod on this issue, and have to ask; Why is it that we rarely ever hear anything from the game anglers about their enforced Close Season? Are they simply far more sporting than us Coarse chaps, or maybe they are simply not concerned with the commercial side or the trophy hunting? Alternatively, are we just, as Rod questions, simply more unethical?
Ray Wood 1 on 14/03/2014 13:22:53
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The studies were conducted only on lakes where the Close Season was scrapped but the studies were undertaken pre and post abolition. Of course all waters have their own unique environmental stresses but they also many share similarities too. To be frank, if you believe that rivers aren't stocked and restock, you're deluding yourself. Stockings are getting to the point where the number of English rivers having not being stocked is seemingly less than those that have been. ---------- Post added at 09:18 ---------- Previous post was at 08:50 ---------- I'm not looking to ban fishing, however I am left wondering how anyone can say the current set up offers maximum efficacy (or even a reasonable level of protection) to all indigenous/native species in rivers and that's why I think it needs reviewing. Maybe the 'names' are being misleading with their reasons given, I'm not speculating on that. What I am saying is a review needs conducting to IMPROVE things (and if they can influence a thorough review, then good on them), this may open up some rivers to a much longer fishing season, it might indicate that some rivers need to adopt a longer Close Season. It might even suggest that a Close Season period offers only limited or no benefits; so it should be scrapped! CJ74, Nowhere in any of my posts I have said or suggested that the current CS is perfect and that it offers efficacy for all species. Come to that I don’t recall any other poster stating that. I believe the current CS contrary to your view, that it does offer a reasonable degree of protection for most coarse fish that I can live with. As opposed to you not being willing to speculate whether the “NAMES” are misleading anyone I am willing to speculate. It is my considered opinion that the only interests they are concerned with are their own and I am not scared to say so. They have to prove that the changes they want are justified and so far the only reasons they have put forward are loss of revenue and financial survival and not being able to wet a line due to the floods. Those statements clearly show that commercial interests and self interests are at the heart of the call for change. Not one of them has mentioned fish welfare or shown that that even comes in to things. It has been suggested that we keep quite on this subject, that would be a fatal mistake in my opinion. Staying quite will only help their cause, if the majority of anglers want to keep the CS as it now stands they have to speak out against a few “NAMES” who would change it. I am very suspicious of those who start debates and then sit back and don’t participate in the debates they start. Its what I call testing the water to see what way the wind is blowing. One of the “NAMES” is well known for such tactics. Kind regards Ray
soft plastic on 15/03/2014 16:31:43
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I think the original decision to remove a statutory closed season on stillwaters and canals was wrong. This change has contributed to the situation we have now where there are countless over-stocked commercial fisheries or carp waters, many in poor ecological condition, and a generation of one trick pony anglers who rarely if ever fish in rivers or fish for anything besides carp. This has been detrimental to angling and has left rivers more vulnerable to abstraction, pollution, flood defence works etc etc as their value to angling and as a natural resource is diminished. Spot on. How anybody, who has any affinity with rivers, can call for the abolition of the close season is beyond my comprehension. Unless of course it is for selfish reasons, as already has been mentioned. There has been a gradual decline in rivers and I am saddened. Sport I experienced in the late 60's and early 70's has disappeared. Surely the answer is more protection, not less. As far as I'm concerned the close season dates are about correct and are the only protection the rivers get. Could never understand why the close season was abolished on canals either. Surely they rely on natural restocking just like the rivers. The close season should be applauded and maintained. Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk
black kettle on 16/03/2014 21:00:11
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I’m Lee Fletcher aka Black Kettle good evening to all. I have read through this thread and have been interested to read the posts. Some history first; Years ago I represented the Barbel Catchers Club at SACG meetings as their political representative. The Barbel Catchers Club at the time was not unanimously politically motivated, indeed the membership were split on whether the BCC should be involved in angling politics at all. However at the time, there was a strong movement to have the closed season abolished which resulted in the BCC taking a strong stance in favour of retaining the closed season. I was elected as political rep at a BCC AGM and specifically tasked to attend SACG meetings with the aim of getting the SACG membership to back the BCC in their efforts to retain the rivers close season. One should remember that the SACG was mostly made up of specialist angling groups with seemingly little interest either way concerning the rivers close season. So it was assumed that obtaining their unanimous support was never going to be easy. At the same time, the Barbel Society were at logger heads with the SACG over other issues and these are well documented in various threads on the Anglers Net website archive. This meant that the BS remained outside of the SACG and to a large extent out of my campaign inside SACG to get political backing for the rivers close season retention. This fact alone did not mean that the BS were unaware of my campaign far from it. I spoke to Steve Pope on various occasions concerning the issue and can confirm that he and all the other officers of the BS committee were staunchly unanimous in their support for retaining the closed season. Further to talks with Steve, I also talked at length with Fred Crouch over the issue at a BCC AGM as Fred was still in BCC membership at the time as well as being heavily involved with the BS. Fred had little faith in the SACG and pretty much saw my forthcoming quest to gain SACG support as a futile campaign. So with storm clouds gathering in the form of growing voices to abolish the rivers close season I walked into my first SACG meeting and made my pitch. With only one dissenting voice I got the unanimous backing from the SAGG membership to support the BCC and their quest to retain the rivers close season. Outside of SACG the BS were also campaigning hard for the close season retention along with other groups. Eventually we won the day and the close season on rivers was retained. Even though the victory came I told the BCC in an article I wrote for their magazine that whilst we had won, we would have to win every battle to come over the same issue whilst our opponents only ever have to win ONCE. I always knew that the issue would return sooner or later. This time however it’s noticeably different in that it might appear our angling political support could well be crumbling in favour of scraping the close season. So if this turns out to be a fact, supporters of retaining the close season will have to get themselves organised. Now I’m not going to pick over all the posts made here save to state I am 100% in favour of retaining the close season in its present form for the broad range of reasons that I have already gone on record as making. Peter dealt with Martin Salters ten point list fairly adequately. It has been said; “And surely even the most ardent supporters of the close season must accept that it should be based on some kind evidence?” Well, I’m pretty certain that The Rivers Trusts (47 separate trusts with more in Scotland and Wales) , Natural England, (who incidentally do have teeth I’ve worked with them) EA, (NRA before them) Wildlife Trusts, World Wildlife Fund, RSPB, British Trust for Ornithology, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, IUCN (Red Data Book) not forgetting the Bat Conservation Trust, The Mammal Society, BANC (British Association of Nature Conservationists) British Dragonfly Society together with a further list that would take up another couple of pages. Then there are the shooting orgs like BASC and BSSC (British Shooting Sports Council) who all revere their own close seasons. The National Farmers Union (most farming fishing leases get drafted by them) and the CLA (Country Landowners Association) who’s members number greatly amongst riparian fishery owners. All these orgs would almost certainly come up with their own sets of evidence for supporting the close season on rivers. Most would certainly support arguments for retaining the close season on rivers. Look back at this entire thread, plus Martin Salters article and Dave Harrell’s rather unfortunate bit and the general theme as reported on the AT website and it’s no surprise to read that the whole issue revolves around “angling” and what “it” want’s. Well let me tell you, the issue of scrapping the rivers close season goes way beyond what angling wants because we are tiny in comparison to what other river users want and how they see the river close season. Interestingly Martin Salter and the AT seem to have completely forgot about everyone else and the bigger picture. Trust me it’s “BIG”. Anglers are the stewards of our rivers and watery environments because they genuinely care. The upshot is, and it really is as simple as this. Those in favour of retaining the close season on rivers email the Angling Trust and tell them. Because that is what they are asking for? Then also email me on trent.barbeler@btinternet.com or at my website at %%The Rivers Trusts riverbanktales.com%% River Bank Tales where I will post the supporting names and messages together with a drafted letter in support of retaining the close season on rivers where upon I will also send a copy out to all the orgs listed above and many more besides asking for support in helping to retain the rivers close season. I will also send the same draft on to central government and government agencies. “The Wildlife of today is not ours to dispose of as we please. We have it in trust. We must account for it to those who come after.” King George VI Kind Regards, Lee.
binka on 16/03/2014 21:20:55
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I’m Lee Fletcher aka Black Kettle good evening to all. I have read through this thread and have been interested to read the posts. Some history first; Years ago I represented the Barbel Catchers Club at SACG meetings as their political representative. The Barbel Catchers Club at the time was not unanimously politically motivated, indeed the membership were split on whether the BCC should be involved in angling politics at all. However at the time, there was a strong movement to have the closed season abolished which resulted in the BCC taking a strong stance in favour of retaining the closed season. I was elected as political rep at a BCC AGM and specifically tasked to attend SACG meetings with the aim of getting the SACG membership to back the BCC in their efforts to retain the rivers close season. One should remember that the SACG was mostly made up of specialist angling groups with seemingly little interest either way concerning the rivers close season. So it was assumed that obtaining their unanimous support was never going to be easy. At the same time, the Barbel Society were at logger heads with the SACG over other issues and these are well documented in various threads on the Anglers Net website archive. This meant that the BS remained outside of the SACG and to a large extent out of my campaign inside SACG to get political backing for the rivers close season retention. This fact alone did not mean that the BS were unaware of my campaign far from it. I spoke to Steve Pope on various occasions concerning the issue and can confirm that he and all the other officers of the BS committee were staunchly unanimous in their support for retaining the closed season. Further to talks with Steve, I also talked at length with Fred Crouch over the issue at a BCC AGM as Fred was still in BCC membership at the time as well as being heavily involved with the BS. Fred had little faith in the SACG and pretty much saw my forthcoming quest to gain SACG support as a futile campaign. So with storm clouds gathering in the form of growing voices to abolish the rivers close season I walked into my first SACG meeting and made my pitch. With only one dissenting voice I got the unanimous backing from the SAGG membership to support the BCC and their quest to retain the rivers close season. Outside of SACG the BS were also campaigning hard for the close season retention along with other groups. Eventually we won the day and the close season on rivers was retained. Even though the victory came I told the BCC in an article I wrote for their magazine that whilst we had won, we would have to win every battle to come over the same issue whilst our opponents only ever have to win ONCE. I always knew that the issue would return sooner or later. This time however it’s noticeably different in that it might appear our angling political support could well be crumbling in favour of scraping the close season. So if this turns out to be a fact, supporters of retaining the close season will have to get themselves organised. Now I’m not going to pick over all the posts made here save to state I am 100% in favour of retaining the close season in its present form for the broad range of reasons that I have already gone on record as making. Peter dealt with Martin Salters ten point list fairly adequately. It has been said; “And surely even the most ardent supporters of the close season must accept that it should be based on some kind evidence?” Well, I’m pretty certain that The Rivers Trusts (47 separate trusts with more in Scotland and Wales) , Natural England, (who incidentally do have teeth I’ve worked with them) EA, (NRA before them) Wildlife Trusts, World Wildlife Fund, RSPB, British Trust for Ornithology, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, IUCN (Red Data Book) not forgetting the Bat Conservation Trust, The Mammal Society, BANC (British Association of Nature Conservationists) British Dragonfly Society together with a further list that would take up another couple of pages. Then there are the shooting orgs like BASC and BSSC (British Shooting Sports Council) who all revere their own close seasons. The National Farmers Union (most farming fishing leases get drafted by them) and the CLA (Country Landowners Association) who’s members number greatly amongst riparian fishery owners. All these orgs would almost certainly come up with their own sets of evidence for supporting the close season on rivers. Most would certainly support arguments for retaining the close season on rivers. Look back at this entire thread, plus Martin Salters article and Dave Harrell’s rather unfortunate bit and the general theme as reported on the AT website and it’s no surprise to read that the whole issue revolves around “angling” and what “it” want’s. Well let me tell you, the issue of scrapping the rivers close season goes way beyond what angling wants because we are tiny in comparison to what other river users want and how they see the river close season. Interestingly Martin Salter and the AT seem to have completely forgot about everyone else and the bigger picture. Trust me it’s “BIG”. Anglers are the stewards of our rivers and watery environments because they genuinely care. The upshot is, and it really is as simple as this. Those in favour of retaining the close season on rivers email the Angling Trust and tell them. Because that is what they are asking for? Then also email me on trent.barbeler@btinternet.com or at my website at %%The Rivers Trusts � riverbanktales.com%% River Bank Tales where I will post the supporting names and messages together with a drafted letter in support of retaining the close season on rivers where upon I will also send a copy out to all the orgs listed above and many more besides asking for support in helping to retain the rivers close season. I will also send the same draft on to central government and government agencies. “The Wildlife of today is not ours to dispose of as we please. We have it in trust. We must account for it to those who come after.” King George VI Kind Regards, Lee. Interesting post Lee. I too am in favour for retaining the closed season on rivers in its current form but can't be r'sed to debate the reasons why. Did you previously post under the name of "lee fletcher 4"?
The bad one on 17/03/2014 03:07:46
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I can confirm what Lee states regarding the history of the CS is accurate and true. And yes I was present on the said day at the meeting. I also think Lee was shocked at the ease of his task on the day And I've never saw him shocked again :D My view as I said early on in this thread has not change from the way I voted at the SACG meeting and that is to retain it.
Peter Jacobs on 17/03/2014 09:30:50
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I’m Lee Fletcher aka Black Kettle good evening to all. I have read through this thread and have been interested to read the posts. Some history first; Years ago I represented the Barbel Catchers Club at SACG meetings as their political representative. The Barbel Catchers Club at the time was not unanimously politically motivated, indeed the membership were split on whether the BCC should be involved in angling politics at all. However at the time, there was a strong movement to have the closed season abolished which resulted in the BCC taking a strong stance in favour of retaining the closed season. I was elected as political rep at a BCC AGM and specifically tasked to attend SACG meetings with the aim of getting the SACG membership to back the BCC in their efforts to retain the rivers close season. One should remember that the SACG was mostly made up of specialist angling groups with seemingly little interest either way concerning the rivers close season. So it was assumed that obtaining their unanimous support was never going to be easy. At the same time, the Barbel Society were at logger heads with the SACG over other issues and these are well documented in various threads on the Anglers Net website archive. This meant that the BS remained outside of the SACG and to a large extent out of my campaign inside SACG to get political backing for the rivers close season retention. This fact alone did not mean that the BS were unaware of my campaign far from it. I spoke to Steve Pope on various occasions concerning the issue and can confirm that he and all the other officers of the BS committee were staunchly unanimous in their support for retaining the closed season. Further to talks with Steve, I also talked at length with Fred Crouch over the issue at a BCC AGM as Fred was still in BCC membership at the time as well as being heavily involved with the BS. Fred had little faith in the SACG and pretty much saw my forthcoming quest to gain SACG support as a futile campaign. So with storm clouds gathering in the form of growing voices to abolish the rivers close season I walked into my first SACG meeting and made my pitch. With only one dissenting voice I got the unanimous backing from the SAGG membership to support the BCC and their quest to retain the rivers close season. Outside of SACG the BS were also campaigning hard for the close season retention along with other groups. Eventually we won the day and the close season on rivers was retained. Even though the victory came I told the BCC in an article I wrote for their magazine that whilst we had won, we would have to win every battle to come over the same issue whilst our opponents only ever have to win ONCE. I always knew that the issue would return sooner or later. This time however it’s noticeably different in that it might appear our angling political support could well be crumbling in favour of scraping the close season. So if this turns out to be a fact, supporters of retaining the close season will have to get themselves organised. Now I’m not going to pick over all the posts made here save to state I am 100% in favour of retaining the close season in its present form for the broad range of reasons that I have already gone on record as making. Peter dealt with Martin Salters ten point list fairly adequately. It has been said; “And surely even the most ardent supporters of the close season must accept that it should be based on some kind evidence?” Well, I’m pretty certain that The Rivers Trusts (47 separate trusts with more in Scotland and Wales) , Natural England, (who incidentally do have teeth I’ve worked with them) EA, (NRA before them) Wildlife Trusts, World Wildlife Fund, RSPB, British Trust for Ornithology, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, IUCN (Red Data Book) not forgetting the Bat Conservation Trust, The Mammal Society, BANC (British Association of Nature Conservationists) British Dragonfly Society together with a further list that would take up another couple of pages. Then there are the shooting orgs like BASC and BSSC (British Shooting Sports Council) who all revere their own close seasons. The National Farmers Union (most farming fishing leases get drafted by them) and the CLA (Country Landowners Association) who’s members number greatly amongst riparian fishery owners. All these orgs would almost certainly come up with their own sets of evidence for supporting the close season on rivers. Most would certainly support arguments for retaining the close season on rivers. Look back at this entire thread, plus Martin Salters article and Dave Harrell’s rather unfortunate bit and the general theme as reported on the AT website and it’s no surprise to read that the whole issue revolves around “angling” and what “it” want’s. Well let me tell you, the issue of scrapping the rivers close season goes way beyond what angling wants because we are tiny in comparison to what other river users want and how they see the river close season. Interestingly Martin Salter and the AT seem to have completely forgot about everyone else and the bigger picture. Trust me it’s “BIG”. Anglers are the stewards of our rivers and watery environments because they genuinely care. The upshot is, and it really is as simple as this. Those in favour of retaining the close season on rivers email the Angling Trust and tell them. Because that is what they are asking for? Then also email me on trent.barbeler@btinternet.com or at my website at %%The Rivers Trusts � riverbanktales.com%% River Bank Tales where I will post the supporting names and messages together with a drafted letter in support of retaining the close season on rivers where upon I will also send a copy out to all the orgs listed above and many more besides asking for support in helping to retain the rivers close season. I will also send the same draft on to central government and government agencies. “The Wildlife of today is not ours to dispose of as we please. We have it in trust. We must account for it to those who come after.” King George VI Kind Regards, Lee. Terrific post Lee. Propmted by Lee's post I have written to the following to highlight the problem and to solicit their support. I would urge all other anglers who wish to see the Close Season remain to do the same arlin arlin@theriverstrust.org, enquiry enquiry@wildlifetrusts.org, supportercare@wwf.org.uk, info info@themammalsociety.org, enquiries enquiries@banc.org.uk, supportercare claire.install@naturalengland.org.uk
Ray Wood 1 on 17/03/2014 11:35:42
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Terrific post Lee. Propmted by Lee's post I have written to the following to highlight the problem and to solicit their support. I would urge all other anglers who wish to see the Close Season remain to do the same arlin arlin@theriverstrust.org, enquiry enquiry@wildlifetrusts.org, supportercare@wwf.org.uk, info info@themammalsociety.org, enquiries enquiries@banc.org.uk, supportercare claire.install@naturalengland.org.uk Good morning Peter, Thanks for the e-mail addresses, I have just written to them all as you suggested, I hope that all caring anglers who care about our rivers and want to retain the CS as it is do the same. Let's hope that they can support in some way Kind regards Ray
sam vimes on 17/03/2014 12:04:16
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I hope that all caring anglers who care about our rivers and want to retain the CS as it is do the same. Can we stop labelling people in this way? There's no evidence whatsoever that the closed season does any good whatsoever. It's an assumption that it does and it's actually possible that the "caring anglers" that want its retention at all costs might actually be supporting something that does more harm than good. Emotive language trying to label anyone that has doubts about the closed season is not the way forward. Those that support the closed season don't automatically have the moral high ground, no matter how much they think they have and how much they shout that they have. You can be someone that wishes for change, wants things to be re-examined, without necessarily wanting to see the closed season abolished or retained in its current form. I care about my local rivers. I've no financial interest in seeing the closed season abolished. For reasons that I accept probably don't apply nationally, I do have grave doubts that the closed season has any benefit whatsoever in my locale. (1. Trout season opens ten days after coarse season closes. 2. "Trout" can be fished for with worms. 3. In cold northern spate rivers, plenty of the coarse fish (chub and barbel in particular) routinely spawn well after 16th of June.
Ray Wood 1 on 17/03/2014 13:16:29
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Sam, It would also been an assumption that either changing or abolishing the CS would not do harm then would it not? I have not said that those who want the CS retained in its current form have any moral high ground, your words not mine. I care about our rivers, and so far this call for change is based on nothing more than self interests, in my opinion.You may disagree with that then again you may not. How I label things is my choice, and please note I have not stated that those who want change don’t care. What I have said is that their call for change is based on their own self interest and that is not good enough reasons to change the CS in my opinion. Kind regards Ray
sam vimes on 17/03/2014 13:47:04
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That's fine, but as it stands, there's no evidence to suggest that the closed season gives any real benefits. Blindly advocating the closed season stays, is supported by no greater evidence than abolishing is. Suggesting that anyone that might support some form of change, hopefully based on some kind of study, is doing so for entirely selfish reason is no more true than it is for those that support its continuance. Labelling people in such a manner is simply emotive rhetoric designed to garner support and unjustly vilify those that don't share a certain view.
Peter Jacobs on 17/03/2014 14:42:25
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That's fine, but as it stands, there's no evidence to suggest that the closed season gives any real benefits. Blindly advocating the closed season stays, is supported by no greater evidence than abolishing is. Suggesting that anyone that might support some form of change, hopefully based on some kind of study, is doing so for entirely selfish reason is no more true than it is for those that support its continuance. Labelling people in such a manner is simply emotive rhetoric designed to garner support and unjustly vilify those that don't share a certain view. Neither is there any empirical evidence to support abolishing the Close Season either, so to experiment without full and proper scientific study would be a foolhardy course of action. That some professional anglers are calling for abolishment is undoubtedly testament to their commercial interest and certainly does not speak to their conservationalist priciples, IMHO. Personally I place far more creedence on the opinions of the likes of Keith Arthur who, despite being a professional angler, sees the sense in maintaining the Close Season. Like many others, he simply swaps his coarse rods for either fly or sea rods and continues to fish. I try wherever possible not to use potentially derogatory terms to describe my opponents on this topic and would emplore others to do likewise. The topic in itself is devisive enough and to be honest I am very surprised that the Angling Trust, of all people, would want to throw their hat into an arena that could have irresponsible consequences . . . . . . .
sam vimes on 17/03/2014 15:04:37
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Neither is there any empirical evidence to support abolishing the Close Season either, so to experiment without full and proper scientific study would be a foolhardy course of action. Nowhere have I said there was. But that doesn't mean shouldn't be looked at. That some professional anglers are calling for abolishment is undoubtedly testament to their commercial interest and certainly does not speak to their conservationalist priciples, IMHO. The cynic in me suggests that may be the case, but it doesn't automatically negate all of the points they may make. It also doesn't mean that everyone that doesn't automatically support the closed season, as it stands, should be lumped in with those with something to gain. Personally I place far more creedence on the opinions of the likes of Keith Arthur who, despite being a professional angler, sees the sense in maintaining the Close Season. Like many others, he simply swaps his coarse rods for either fly or sea rods and continues to fish. Kieth Arthur has no greater knowledge or scientific understanding than plenty of those with a differing view. I'm afraid you give him greater credence because he has a similar view to your own and might have greater influence due to his standing. The truth is that Martin Salter has probably been party to more scientific evidence than KA ever has. To denounce his views whilst supporting KA's doesn't make an awful lot of sense, if you look at it dispassionately. I try wherever possible not to use potentially derogatory terms to describe my opponents on this topic and would emplore others to do likewise. The topic in itself is devisive enough and to be honest I am very surprised that the Angling Trust, of all people, would want to throw their hat into an arena that could have irresponsible consequences . . . . . . . I'm amazed, but not quite as disappointed as you. I don't see them as calling for automatic abolishment. I can't quite grasp why some are so resistant to the prospect of simply examining any evidence, or going further and actually studying it properly. Doing so does not automatically equate to abolishment. Whilst I have grave doubts about the effectiveness of the closed season, particularly in my region, I don't have any desire for a headlong rush into the demise of the closed season. If there's good evidence to support its continuance, so be it.
cg74 on 17/03/2014 16:11:20
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CJ74, Nowhere in any of my posts I have said or suggested that the current CS is perfect and that it offers efficacy for all species. Come to that I don’t recall any other poster stating that. I believe the current CS contrary to your view, that it does offer a reasonable degree of protection for most coarse fish that I can live with. As opposed to you not being willing to speculate whether the “NAMES” are misleading anyone I am willing to speculate. It is my considered opinion that the only interests they are concerned with are their own and I am not scared to say so. They have to prove that the changes they want are justified and so far the only reasons they have put forward are loss of revenue and financial survival and not being able to wet a line due to the floods. Those statements clearly show that commercial interests and self interests are at the heart of the call for change. Not one of them has mentioned fish welfare or shown that that even comes in to things. It has been suggested that we keep quite on this subject, that would be a fatal mistake in my opinion. Staying quite will only help their cause, if the majority of anglers want to keep the CS as it now stands they have to speak out against a few “NAMES” who would change it. I am very suspicious of those who start debates and then sit back and don’t participate in the debates they start. Its what I call testing the water to see what way the wind is blowing. One of the “NAMES” is well known for such tactics. Kind regards Ray I may have overstated your opinion but for balance you'll see I added (in brackets); "or even a reasonable level of protection" You say the current Coarse Close Season offers coarse fish a reasonable degree of protection, what about the game fish? I think they should be equally protected and for that to happen a thorough review is needed. "Not one of them has mentioned fish welfare or shown that that even comes in to things." Point 10: "This way we would be delivering a longer river season at the optimum time for both anglers and fish and without compromising our conservation credentials." "It has been suggested that we keep quite on this subject" Where has that been suggested and by whom? "I am very suspicious of those who start debates and then sit back and don’t participate in the debates they start." Taken from the end of the article; "The Angling Trust is keen to hear anglers' views on this subject. So...is it time to rethink the close season on rivers? Let us know your thoughts via the FishingMagic forum and these will be collated with those on a special page set up on the Angling Trust website HERE dedicated to the topic."
Jeff Woodhouse on 17/03/2014 16:25:42
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I have followed the thread with some interest since it stemmed from Martin's call for a 'rethink' of the close season and a lot of the usual mumbo-jumbo has been talked of. Therein lies the clue - “RETHINK”, hard for some. I have said I wouldn't get involved with these pointless threads on any forum any longer, but in the interests of keeping those with open minds fully in the picture let me throw some light on this topic. Firstly, I have ALWAYS been against having a fixed national period of close season. As Mr Jacobs put it himself in response to another post “..one size doesn't fit all...” and that is true here. The reason for bringing in a close season was to stop the killing of fish so that they could be weighed in during matches as there were no keepnets at that time. This is FACT! It is supported by Mr Philip Geen's (then [1878/9] President of the LAA) comment in support of the Mundella Act where he said it was “... to put a stop to the wanton and mischievous waste of the piscine resources ...” ie: to stop killing gravid females at or before the time of spawning as this results in killing the thousands of eggs also (and is a reason for the CS on trout – think about it!) Since the invention of proper keepnets (and more so since kinder nets have been introduced) there has been no substantial reason to retain this piece of outdated Victorian legislation. In 2000, MAFF (as it was then) produced the Salmon and Freshwater Review which concluded in Part IV, Chapter 10, section 3.17 - “Nevertheless, we were still struck with the lack of evidence in support of a close season for the conservation of coarse fish. As with canals, we think that there will be relatively few situations in which a close season will be beneficial.” That was with Environment Agency fisheries officer's blessing then and it was only through the protests of a couple of small groups (compared to the nation's anglers) that the decision to abolish the close season completely was reversed. In my view that was due to their beliefs that it was “traditional” or helped spawning females enjoy some “peace”. Well, one might ask what was “traditional” prior to 1878 and why apply anthropomorphic sentiments to wild creatures? I would never argue that ALL close seasons should be abolished, just the law that enforces one. If with the benefit of EA Fisheries advice your local club, landowner, or association insists that a close season should exist then fair enough. It should be decide when based on local conditions and where based on the river's morphology; blanket bans do not cover all circumstances and “near enough” is simply not good enough! As an example of this, we had some pollutions in the Thames caused by a local STW and it was reported there was quite an amount of sewage sludge on the river bed. Concerned that this could affect subsequent recruitment, I was informed, quite categorically, that the entire area down to the next weir is and never was a suitable breeding area. My own association and the LAA (partly responsible for the Mundella Act) have the sections on this part of the river and yet we are still not allowed to fish it in the close season. Not all fish will be breeding, some may be feeding. There's also the further opinions that the worst time to hook a female is AFTER she has spawned, not before. My best ever barbel was caught on the last Sunday of last June and was completely kippered out, spent, knackered. I nursed her back as best I could and she swam off OK, but the joy of catching a new PB was diminished by the fact that she should not have been caught at all (and she was not the target of my baits that were intended for chub.) There has to be a better way! If your club wishes to impose a close season of their own and the members have voted in favour then I would back them to the hilt in their choice to do so. If you, personally, wish to refrain from fishing for three months between two dates, that were a compromise anyway, that were set in 1878, then please continue to do so, it's your freedom of choice. The close season as it stands is simply a barrier to having better timed fences in specific places that could help fish more. RETHINK it!
Peter Jacobs on 17/03/2014 16:47:08
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You say the current Coarse Close Season offers coarse fish a reasonable degree of protection, what about the game fish? I think they should be equally protected and for that to happen a thorough review is needed. CG, Game fish are already fully protected under National EA By Laws: Environment Agency - National game fishing byelaws "Not one of them has mentioned fish welfare or shown that that even comes in to things." Point 10: "This way we would be delivering a longer river season at the optimum time for both anglers and fish and without compromising our conservation credentials." Just how do we preserve our conservation credentials by shortening the season? It is just not logical and has been written as a loss leader . . . . Remember this was written by an ex MP who is a skilled wordsmith "I am very suspicious of those who start debates and then sit back and don’t participate in the debates they start." Taken from the end of the article; "The Angling Trust is keen to hear anglers' views on this subject. So...is it time to rethink the close season on rivers? Let us know your thoughts via the FishingMagic forum and these will be collated with those on a special page set up on the Angling Trust website HERE dedicated to the topic." Now, call me a cynic, but just who is going to do the collation? Will said collation be a fully representative cross section of all views? Have you tried as a non member to access the Angling trust's Forum? Given the commercial interests at work (see ATr's own web page on this) I have strong doubts as to just how representative this will be, hence why I have contacted each and every one of Lee's list of organisations to solicit support in maintaining the status quo. It will be interesting to see where this goes, and who knows I may even re-join the ATr just to provide my input on this matter . . . . . . . . ---------- Post added at 16:47 ---------- Previous post was at 16:35 ---------- Still banging that old drum then Jeff: the effective dates of the last reviews were 2000 and 2003! To state otherwise (1878/1879) is disingenuous in the extreme and only show the weakness of your case. The reason for its inception I will not argue, what I will contest is that in a much more enlightened age than the 1880's we have moved on and realise that river fish are not an inexhaustible resouce. So the Close Season provides protection that while it may have never been inaugurated for, nonetheless it still provides for most species in most areas protection in the most average of years. The last rethinks were in 2000 and 2003, I strongly doubt that another is necessary given nothing has changed in the meantime, other than some commercial interests appearing, of course . . . . . . .
Ray Wood 1 on 17/03/2014 17:50:39
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CJI may have overstated your opinion but for balance you'll see I added (in brackets); "or even a reasonable level of protection" You say the current Coarse Close Season offers coarse fish a reasonable degree of protection, what about the game fish? I think they should be equally protected and for that to happen a thorough review is needed. "Not one of them has mentioned fish welfare or shown that that even comes in to things." Point 10: "This way we would be delivering a longer river season at the optimum time for both anglers and fish and without compromising our conservation credentials." "It has been suggested that we keep quite on this subject" Where has that been suggested and by whom? "I am very suspicious of those who start debates and then sit back and don’t participate in the debates they start." Taken from the end of the article; "The Angling Trust is keen to hear anglers' views on this subject. So...is it time to rethink the close season on rivers? Let us know your thoughts via the FishingMagic forum and these will be collated with those on a special page set up on the Angling Trust website HERE dedicated to the topic." CJ, I think Peter has answered admirably the points you put to me, and probably better than I could. I will however respond out of courtesy. If you care to read the thread you will see two posts that allude to waiting for the protagonists to enlarge on their argument for change. That is what I refer to as suggesting we keep quite and wait, not for me the waiting game. If these names thought they had any real chance of getting the CS changed I would have thought that the would be shouting there reasons from the roof tops. Placing everything they have to support change the change they want into the public domain would only strengthen their case. Lurking on here and saying nothing will hardly to convince anyone will it. Martin Slater’s Clause/Point 10 that you quote to me, suggests that a longer CS is needed and not a shorter one as Dace can spawn in February. I have to agree with Peter’s view of said clause/point 10. As for the Angling Trust’s page dedicated to getting peoples views, it is hardly buzzing is it! I would sooner debate on a vibrant forum like this one as it appears would many others. Again if you feel that game fish are getting a raw deal you should be campaigning for a longer close season not a shorter one. Kind regards Ray
The bad one on 17/03/2014 18:28:17
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I suspect that any Review or Scientific Study would on balance come to the same conclusions as it was in 2000-2003 Peter. This winter I've monitored the river temperature every week throughout the winter on the Ribble, not known as a warm southern river, being north of Watford Gap. The lowest has been 44 F and the heist 50 F. Don't do C as I'm old school :) Now I'll wager that the main coarse species (roach, dace, chub and barbel) will this year spawn in the close season. As the river temperature will not have to recover from a low base, as it has had to do over the previous 2 years. Highest temp last winter was 46 F lowest 39. Much the same the year before, but the lower temp was for much longer, the river being locked in ice for nearly 4 weeks. Now it could be said this year has been a mild winter, a comment I wouldn’t disagree with. But with an average spring/CS the higher river temp during this winter has given that boost and why I as a non-gambler would wager the fish in the Ribble will spawn during the CS. Oh and despite the spring last year taking until the first week in May to get going and warm the main species by opening day had all spawned out and were in good condition. It was also a very good spawning year for them, the best I’ve seen in the last 10 years on the river. The results of which will start to show in anglers catches and scale profiles over the next few years. I.e. there will be a strong year class showing for the spawning of 2013.
cg74 on 17/03/2014 18:28:25
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1, CG, Game fish are already fully protected under National EA By Laws: Environment Agency - National game fishing byelaws 2, Just how do we preserve our conservation credentials by shortening the season? It is just not logical and has been written as a loss leader . . . . Remember this was written by an ex MP who is a skilled wordsmith 3, Now, call me a cynic, but just who is going to do the collation? Will said collation be a fully representative cross section of all views? Have you tried as a non member to access the Angling trust's Forum? Given the commercial interests at work (see ATr's own web page on this) I have strong doubts as to just how representative this will be, hence why I have contacted each and every one of Lee's list of organisations to solicit support in maintaining the status quo. 1, The link proves what? Hmmm, so during the trout Close Season whilst fishing with maggots for roach or grayling on rivers like the Wey and Windrush, what are those pretty golden brown spotted fish that are seemingly the biggest mugs known to man..... errrm, brown trout! Is that protection? 2, It has the potential to aid conservation by recognising that fish in different areas have differing criteria. 3, Like you, I may well join the ATr just to have my say on the matter? Though that said in todays overtness with information, we'd get time to bombard the EA with objections/concerns during the consultation period.
black kettle on 17/03/2014 20:50:32
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A section taken from the Environment Agency booklet “Coarse Fish Close Season background and rationale” Quote; “In contrast to stillwaters, most river fisheries are in multiple ownership, with fish free to move between stretches owned by different people. Fisheries management actions taken by one owner will have an impact on the neighbouring waters; this is of particular importance with regard to spawning sites on rivers, which are often very localised. In February 2000 the independent Salmon & Freshwater Fisheries Review considered close seasons and recommended that: Byelaws should be introduced to abolish the close season for coarse fish on canals and rivers except where its retention is necessary to avert serious risk of damage to fish stocks. The Government supported our view that such a proposal should be based on sound science. While sound scientific evidence was available to support the case for removing the close season on canals, it was not available in respect of rivers. Because all river coarse fisheries have a close season, it is virtually impossible to gather the required evidence - a scientific comparison similar to that done for canals would be needed. Our view is that in the absence of scientific evidence, we must take a precautionary approach towards rivers, retaining the current close season. It should also be noted that the above recommendation resulted in a great deal of representation to Government from angling and fisheries interests opposing the removal of the close season on rivers.” Now the devil as always, is in the detail. Pay particular attention to; “Because all river coarse fisheries have a close season, it is virtually impossible to gather the required evidence - a scientific comparison similar to that done for canals would be needed.” What the EA did regarding canals was to commission a research and development project to ascertain the viability of scrapping the close season on canals. Again quoting the Environment Agency who said; “Environment Agency commissioned a fisheries Research & Development (R&D) project to address this issue. The R&D project "Evaluation of the close season in canals" was carried out by Aquatic Pollution and Environmental Management (APEM) Ltd, on behalf of the Environment Agency. The objective of this study was to identify whether or not angling during the close season on canals was detrimental to fisheries. Given that the close season had been dispensed with on many canals, the project was able to make a direct comparison between canals with and without close seasons, in terms of both fish populations and angler catches.” You can view a full copy of this report (78 pages long) by going to http://aquaticcommons.org/8513/1/81_EA2.pdf So previously when the rivers close season was under threat there was a substantial amount of angling political will to retain it. The SACG in particular had a very good relationship with EA Fisheries and used to have Chris Burt and Tim Marks represent us at meetings with Adrian Taylor EA Fisheries Manager at the time. This meant we obviously had a certain amount of influence in regard to having the EA ear over our concerns. And as I said in my earlier post there were others campaigning hard to retain the close season as well. I believe that a great deal of previously held angling political will has evaporated in terms of wanting to protect the rivers close season. However, in regards to the 1998 APEM project in relation to canals, there is a world of difference between the canals infrastructure and fish habitat to that afforded the same in rivers. So scientific evidence will be extremely hard to compile if not impossible altogether to prove there would be no detrimental affect placed upon rivers by the scrapping of the close season for fishing. What we could see being done are a series of commissioned scientifically based “advisory” papers compiled aimed at directing government to move towards removing the rivers close season which would probably be the forerunner to any suggested “pilot” schemes taking place like Martin Salter has already suggested on the Severn. None of this should be allowed because the EA mandate to government is crystal clear regarding the scientific evidence required to lift the close season on rivers. And unless we get exactly that, we must invoke the “Precautionary Principle” against anything less than conclusive scientific evidence that states it is safe to remove the close season. The burden of proof is not upon those in favour of retaining the close season, we already have the full backing from government and the EA not to mention a host of other conservation organisations. Let those who seek the removal of the close season get their scientific evidence because it is they who have to prove their case not us. The devil is in the detail just as much as there is safety in numbers. Peter was right in listing the contacts of conservation orgs in his post but nothing short of names on a petition will avert this threat once and for all. Kind Regards, Lee.
maverick 7 on 17/03/2014 21:25:11
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I simply can't understand the logic of the Close Season.....Forget the obvious crazy rules like ...you can fish rivers during the Close Season so long as you use a worm on leger tactics...what is that all about....anybody? Instead, let's look at it generally.....starting with how the whole thing seems totally disjointed, incredibly messy, spectacularly hypocritical and unbelievably unfair.....I mean why ban anglers from the bankside for the reasons given when other influences create far more problems for the said reasons. Take spawning fish for example.....surely bank walkers, dog swimmers, canoeists, brick throwers, dog walkers, youngsters swimming etc etc...do far more damage to spawning fish and the environment than any bunch of anglers would ever do.....WHY aren't THEY banned from the bankside during this "crucial" time of year. Give fauna and flora a rest from being trampled and destroyed....don't make me laugh.....on many rivers the stuff is overgrown due to lack of foot action from the anglers....many rivers are barren of anglers these days...and not just because of the lousy weather we have either. I also don't understand why the canals and lakes are open during this time either....isn't there spawning fish....flora and fauna....and everything else the EA seems to want to protect on these locations too? According to the EA and to use their own words.....the Close Season is in place purely because the EA want to..... "Err on the side of caution"..... Does that statement mean they don't have a clue why the Close Season is in place then?....because it sure sounds like that to me.....and if they don't know the reasons then they should be made to find some genuine ones before they have the power to apply a CS.... At the minute...it is not really a Close Season ...is it?....It is only a Close Season if you use a bait other than worm and/or float on a river....... .....crazy situation......what a crazy situation. Maverick
sam vimes on 17/03/2014 21:47:34
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I simply can't understand the logic of the Close Season.....Forget the obvious crazy rules like ...you can fish rivers during the Close Season so long as you use a worm on leger tactics...what is that all about....anybody?At the minute...it is not really a Close Season ...is it?....It is only a Close Season if you use a bait other than worm and/or float on a river....... .....crazy situation......what a crazy situation. It's worth being clear that the worm for trout byelaw is not in effect nationally. It does apply in the old Yorkshire and Northumbria regions (and I understand a couple of other regions, sometimes with minor variations) but not nationally. You or I may not be able to look at someone fishing between the 25th of March (trout season opening) and June the 15th and know that they are fishing illegally. However, plenty of folks in the country can do exactly that. Only if we see someone fishing in a whole ten day period can we categorically say that they are fishing illegally.
chub_on_the_block on 18/03/2014 00:06:26
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I am very grateful to "Black Kettle" for linking to the APEM report. I have scanned through it and i must say that in my opinion there is little by way of hard evidence presented either for or against retaining the closed season on canals. If anything the conclusions seem based more on the views of the consultee experts (in the fishing industry, as opposed to any ecologists or animal welfare specialists) or gut feelings so to my mind this 'scientific study" is not special or something worth basing an opinion on. Something like this done for rivers would be equally flawed as a factor in such a judgment. Just because a report has been commissioned by "experts" does not mean that its findings are up to the task - in this case i see little science to justify any decision either way. If anything i see a lot of rather invalid assumptions and generalisations dressed up as "expert opinion". The main question of whether fishing during the closed season is detrimental to fish stocks is simply not considered properly. For example, compared to natural factors and random variability how detrimental could it be expected to be? By what mechanisms could it ever be significant? The report only considers fish population size as shown by anglers catch returns from matches. This does not even consider species composition or aspects such as the quality of fish - just the total weights landed by the top three competitors in matches. In terms of fish recruitment I doubt there could ever be a correlation with fishing intensity unless anglers were killing or removing gravid females in large numbers at an isolated spawning site (and even if that happened then the survival of the reduced numbers of fry might even be higher and ultmately beneficial on population terms, depending upon whether food resources or other factors were limiting to the strangth of a year class!). Again, by what mechanism can fishing be seriously expected to affect fish population or community characteristics? In other respects, such as the impact of fishing in ethical terms, eg. the targeting of gravid or spawned-out fish, the report is of no help whatsoever. These aspects require anglers to exercise a conscience and fall into the same category of emotional justifications for a closed season as "giving the banks, waters and fish a rest". These would be my arguments for it, but if the closed season decision needed to be based solely on scientific evidence of an impact on fish populations then no such impact could be proven, in my opinion. In that sense i am afraid the closed season is a sham. The whole philosophy of using anglers catch data is also questionable to me - how reproducible is this data? Was it (or could it ever be) obtained in a statistically robust scientific manner? (unlikely - this would require same anglers or skill levels in every match, the same numbers of contestants on which to base the top three weights (as only these were examined), same water conditions, random allocation of anglers to swims, same swims used each match etc etc etc). What other factors could be affecting catch returns? For example, I am sure that if we compared anglers catch data from March 2013 they would be massively inferior to March 2014 in virtually any venue you choose to pick - because last March the mean water temperature was probably about 2 degrees C whereas this year it has been a balmy >10 degrees C, and, as scientists will know, the metabolism of cyprinid fish increases with temperature - so they will be more inclined to have fed and get caught during March 2014 rather than March 2013. Having read the relevant part of the report again, they are even comparing the catch data from different waterbodies that were fished during different times of the year! - they have not even standardised the catch returns for the same time of the year!. A canal fished in May and early June wouldf be expected to average better weights than one subjected to a closed season. As for the absence of long term changes or trends in catch data at sites where there was no closed season, then they were lucky that the reaches had not been "ottered" or subject to cormorant predation during the study period. Just because the catch data was similar year on year proves nothing and certainly does not prove that year-round fishing has no effect. Whilst i would agree that year-round fishing probably does have no effect anyway, i would still be arguing that was the case even if the catch data had changed between years - basically the catch data is inadequate as a robust, reproducible scientific observation to base analysis on.
The bad one on 18/03/2014 02:14:50
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i must say that in my opinion there is little by way of hard evidence presented either for or against retaining the closed season on canals. If anything the conclusions seem based more on the views of the consultee experts (in the fishing industry, as opposed to any ecologists or animal welfare specialists) Sorry Chub but I must disagree with this statement the Appendix of Experts reads like a who's who in Fish Biology, fishery management and ecology, certainly in the UK and it could be argued globally For clarity here’s the full list EXPERT PANEL MEMBERS Dr. John Banks, Dr. Peter - Bottomley, Dr. Bruno -Broughton, Dr. Alan -Butterworth, Keith Fisher, Fisheries Officer, British Waterways Dr. Paul Garner, Mark Hatcher, Chairman of National Association of Fisheries & Angling Consultatives Dr. Clive Kennedy, Professor Dr. Peter Maitland, John Williams, Vice President of Birmingham Anglers Association Dr. Ian Winfield,
maverick 7 on 18/03/2014 07:36:53
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It's worth being clear that the worm for trout byelaw is not in effect nationally. It does apply in the old Yorkshire and Northumbria regions (and I understand a couple of other regions, sometimes with minor variations) but not nationally. You or I may not be able to look at someone fishing between the 25th of March (trout season opening) and June the 15th and know that they are fishing illegally. However, plenty of folks in the country can do exactly that. Only if we see someone fishing in a whole ten day period can we categorically say that they are fishing illegally. Thanks for that Sam....I wasn't aware of the regional thing but even that shows up the even more ridiculous way the Close Season has been administered. Why can only certain regions do that?.....what can possibly justify the fact that you can fish with a worm and leger tactics for trout in one region....but not in another. More evidence of how disjointed and fractured the whole issue is. I wouldn't be so annoyed if the CS was spread right across the board and EVERYWHERE...including lakes, ponds and canals was closed during this time as well....and all the other "hard to understand" decisions like the one above regarding worms...was in force all over the land. If the Close Season cannot be regionalised which seems to be what many anglers are advocating due to the different spawning times from North to South...then surely neither can these other issues. As you rightly said earlier Sam.......the fish in the Yorkshire rivers spawn in July most of the time....and like you ...I have seen them many times. Yet another very questionable situation. Then you hear people using the flora and fauna thing to support their argument to retain the CS ...but what about the flora and fauna around all the "open" venues......doesn't that count or is that a special kind of flora and fauna that doesn't need the "rest" that river flora and fauna apparently need so much? Again, another decision that is impossible to understand. There is so many holes in the argument to keep the Close Season....it is laughable....how can anyone seriously argue the point for keeping it when there are so many anomolies in this whole sorry, outdated and ridiculous practice.......hardly a shred of evidence to keep it.........but so much to get rid of it. In my opinion.... the EA haven't got a clue how to administrate the Close Season properly and fairly.....a blind man with pot optics can clearly see the holes in their handling of it.....and I believe the only reason they retain it year on year is because they don't want all the hassle a decision like scrapping it would bring.... .....what a shambles it all is. Maverick
Peter Jacobs on 18/03/2014 08:11:36
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.....what a shambles it all is. It is only a "shambles" in the eyes of those who wish to see it abolished. On a different note, I am very pleased to have received 3 replies already indicating support for the maintenance of the Close Season from the list of organisations given yesterday by Lee (blackkettle) . . . . and in less than one day, so not a bad start I'd say. The current Law is there not only to protect fish; as it seems that different and disparate organistions have a great interest as well . . . . . . . . . . . .
chub_on_the_block on 18/03/2014 09:01:16
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Sorry Chub but I must disagree with this statement the Appendix of Experts reads like a who's who in Fish Biology, fishery management and ecology, certainly in the UK and it could be argued globally For clarity here’s the full list EXPERT PANEL MEMBERS Dr. John Banks, Dr. Peter - Bottomley, Dr. Bruno -Broughton, Dr. Alan -Butterworth, Keith Fisher, Fisheries Officer, British Waterways Dr. Paul Garner, Mark Hatcher, Chairman of National Association of Fisheries & Angling Consultatives Dr. Clive Kennedy, Professor Dr. Peter Maitland, John Williams, Vice President of Birmingham Anglers Association Dr. Ian Winfield, That is a fair point TBO - i had not seen this list of names and i had not read through the comments they supplied anonymously. But i would still contend that there is no mechanism suggested for how fishing during the closed season could impact fish populations and certainly no proof that it ever could. The expert opinions confim this view for canals where they came to the conclusion that a closed season was not needed. I think it would be hard to prove that is was needed anywhere else either. I still think that an assessment of this kind is a sham though - it is missing the point. The assessment should be about fish welfare issues, ethics etc. Also about those rare instances where a spawning site might be vulnerable to getting plundered (eg by those who might remove fish) and how alternative protection might be provided for those cases. Those would be the areas to examine in my opinion, not some very limited catch data from Angling Times match reports over a couple of years which really just gives a smokescreen of science. The only credible part of the report to me is the views of the experts near the end.
Peter Jacobs on 18/03/2014 10:45:37
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The assessment should be about fish welfare issues, ethics etc. . . . but that is based on the misapprehension that us anglers are the only interested party, and the responses I have received they clearly indicate that, We Are Not! It has been interesting to open this up to other (outside angling) organisations; Nature England, the Rivers Trust, WWF, RSPB and even the likes of the Dragonfly Protection group and many others. Clearly, this is not just an issue that affects angling and anglers . . . . . .
thecrow on 18/03/2014 11:10:02
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Could someone explain please why if the CS was originaly brought in to protect fish why these other organisations are so interested in keeping the CS as it is, if its to protect other species as well as fish then shouldn't everyone be stopped from going near rivers? I cant see that organisations such as the RSPB are interested in keeping it for fish but have another motive which must be birds (obvious I know) If we accept that other organisations have their own motives for wanting to see the CS retained then isn't angling in danger of being swallowed up in these other motives and becoming an also ran when the CS was about fish conservation.
Peter Jacobs on 18/03/2014 11:20:18
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Could someone explain please why if the CS was originaly brought in to protect fish why these other organisations are so interested in keeping the CS as it is, if its to protect other species as well as fish then shouldn't everyone be stopped from going near rivers? No, I think that the current system works pefectly well to the satisfaction of all concerned parties. The very first Act was back in 1878/9 in a time when "conservations" was never even thought of. Over the years however we have, thankfully, come to realise that the current Close Season does in fact fulfill other tasks than tha twhich it was first inaugurated for. It has to be remembered that this Act has been reveiwed and re-visited many, many times, the last of which were in 2000 and 2003 I cant see that organisations such as the RSPB are interested in keeping it for fish but have another motive which must be birds (obvious I know) The RSPB are showing interest for the protection of birds that nest and breed close to the rivers where the current Close Seaon does provide protection from the angler's footprints. If we accept that other organisations have their own motives for wanting to see the CS retained then isn't angling in danger of being swallowed up in these other motives and becoming an also ran when the CS was about fish conservation. I think that is a conclusion too far in all honesty. For decades we have co-habited very well with all of the organisation noted on previous pages, with the exception of losing the odd mere or lake to fishing when the RSPB took over.
chub_on_the_block on 18/03/2014 11:22:54
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I agree anglers are not the only interested party in whether there is a closed season or not - even if we may be the only party actually interested in fish welfare or with a particular concern for fish populations. However, the views of those environmental/conservation organisations would be as equally influenced by concerns over the impact of human disturbance on the river environment, or littering etc - negative aspects which might equally apply to other river users but the rights of other users are not curtailed for 3 months each year. When it comes to aspects such as the maintenance of bank side paths it could be argued that angling is beneficial so should not be restricted during a closed season. Im sorry but the more i think about it there is less scientific justification for a closed season as time goes on - especially if the decision is made solely on the science of whether or not fishing in the closed season affects fish populations - which it appears was the limit of considerations for removing the closed season on canals. There might be a stronger argument for banning the use of keepnets when water temperatures are above 15 degrees C than banning fishing altogther for 3 months. For me, the points that swing against a closed season being justified any longer are: 1) angling pressure on rivers is a fraction of what it once was 2) fish handling is much improved on what it once was 3) keepnet use has declined massively and 4) matches, with use of fish-damaging baskets at the weigh in etc etc are a thing of the past on rivers - theres very few matches on rivers at all. Positive arguments for fishing year round on rivers include having eyes on the water to report pollution, fish theft etc but also the true value of rivers as fisheries may be better realised and this would aid their protection. This is important. Presently rivers are under-used and under valued as an asset or resource compared to year-round commercial fisheries. I have no economic interests from suggesting this.
sam vimes on 18/03/2014 11:24:15
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If anglers feel the need to involve organizations that will object to any changes in the closed season, regardless of any evidence, it only shows how worried they may be that the closed season is exceedingly vulnerable and almost indefensible from a purely angling point of view. I'm afraid that seeking their approval demonstrates that some people don't really believe that their own arguments have any strength. Frankly, I'd sooner lose something I believed in than get into bed with some of the organizations mentioned just to preserve it. Your enemy's enemy is not always your friend. You might as well ask the British Canoe Union while you're on, I'm sure they'll happily agree that the closed season should be retained. Good luck with your Faustian pacts, I hope we all don't live to regret them.
Peter Jacobs on 18/03/2014 11:34:45
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If anglers feel the need to involve organizations that will object to any changes in the closed season, regardless of any evidence, it only shows how worried they may be that the closed season is exceedingly vulnerable and almost indefensible from a purely angling point of view. I'm afraid that seeking their approval demonstrates that some people don't really believe that their own arguments have any strength. Frankly, I'd sooner lose something I believed in than get into bed with some of the organizations mentioned just to preserve it. Your enemy's enemy is not always your friend. You might as well ask the British Canoe Union while you're on, I'm sure they'll happily agree that the closed season should be retained. Good luck with your Faustian pacts, I hope we all don't live to regret them. On the contrary Sam, when dealing with a conglomerate like the Angling Trust with its' ex-politicians who are well versed in all of the tricks of the trade, then it is far better to spread the argument over a wider playing field. I am personally not worried about the ecological argument in favour of maintaining the Close Season one iota. Many of those organisations I would hardly describe as an "enemy of angling" but in the final analysis, all concerend have to accept that this is not just an Angling Issue . . . . . . . As to the BCU I dont know of a single river angler who would want to get anywhere near those people, least of all me.
cg74 on 18/03/2014 11:36:13
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It is only a "shambles" in the eyes of those who wish to see it abolished. On a different note, I am very pleased to have received 3 replies already indicating support for the maintenance of the Close Season from the list of organisations given yesterday by Lee (blackkettle) . . . . and in less than one day, so not a bad start I'd say. The current Law is there not only to protect fish; as it seems that different and disparate organistions have a great interest as well . . . . . . . . . . . . Peter, your first line isn't quite true, I don't necessarily want it abolished, I want it revising and improving. You only have to look at the "shambles" in parts of Yorkshire - Fish for coarse species with a worm during the Game Close Season and then during the Coarse Fishing Close Season use a humble worm to target trout..... and you say that's not shambolic?
Peter Jacobs on 18/03/2014 11:49:19
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Peter, your first line isn't quite true, I don't necessarily want it abolished, I want it revising and improving. You only have to look at the "shambles" in parts of Yorkshire - Fish for coarse species with a worm during the Game Close Season and then during the Coarse Fishing Close Season use a humble worm to target trout..... and you say that's not shambolic? It was reviewed and revised in 2000 and gain in 2003; how many more reviews do we need until and unless there is empirical evidence to support one position of the other? As to the "shambles" in that part of the Country, would you not agree that if people "played the game" instead of constantly trying to find ways around it, then there would be no "shambles"? If so, then those creating the "shambles" are those attempting to cheat the system . . . . . . . it is tantamount to those greedy commercial owners who back in the 80's advertised "any method trout fishing" having first stocked a couple of dozen Trout into a Carp Lake. And that led to the loss of the Close Seaon on Stillwaters and some Canals. Those that break the rules should not be counted on to create an argument to change the rules. In any other walk of life it would be described as the lunatics taking over the asylum.
sam vimes on 18/03/2014 12:35:22
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On the contrary Sam, when dealing with a conglomerate like the Angling Trust with its' ex-politicians who are well versed in all of the tricks of the trade, then it is far better to spread the argument over a wider playing field. I am personally not worried about the ecological argument in favour of maintaining the Close Season one iota. Many of those organisations I would hardly describe as an "enemy of angling" but in the final analysis, all concerend have to accept that this is not just an Angling Issue . . . . . . . As to the BCU I dont know of a single river angler who would want to get anywhere near those people, least of all me. I do agree that it's become more than just a pure angling issue. It doesn't have to be that way though. However, until there's a total ban on all other river/riverside users during the closed season, the validity of the involvement of any other non-angling organizations is dubious in the extreme. The shooters won't stop shooting near rivers, the birdwatchers won't stop twitching near rivers, landowners won't stop farming. Organizations representing all of them will readily back the continuance of the closed season though. I don't much care what any of them have to say on the subject until they enforce corresponding closed season restrictions on their members. I'm not sure why anyone would be squeamish about involving the BCU, they'd be no less supportive of the retention of the closed season. They'd also be no more a "friend" of angling than the RSPB is. The closed season was introduced with no more than fish in mind. Whether it is abolished, retained or modified should be exactly the same. Whilst involving other organizations might be politically expedient, it's not something I want to see on either side. It's exactly the kind of politicking that absolutely repels me. It's the reason that I shun various angling bodies and organizations. If doing what's being done is what's necessary to retain the closed season, I have even less faith that it needs retaining. If people are prepared to garner support from some of the organizations mentioned, I can only admire just how much they must believe in it. Personally, I couldn't climb into bed with just anyone, regardless of how politically expedient it may be to my cause, I'd rather lose. Good luck to them, as I said before, I hope that it doesn't go on to bite angling on the backside further down the line. ---------- Post added at 12:35 ---------- Previous post was at 12:12 ---------- As to the "shambles" in that part of the Country, would you not agree that if people "played the game" instead of constantly trying to find ways around it, then there would be no "shambles"? It's a bye-law, no one has to get round anything. The only ones not playing fair are those that fish the lower river with worm for "trout" (or those that flout the law with alternate baits). However, much as I believe that they are extracting the urine on the lower river, where trout may be thin on the ground, the worm fishers are not breaking the law. In a few days time I could quite legally fish the stretches of upper river that I've been fishing every few days since November. In all that time, I've had one small chub and one small dace in amongst the hordes of trout and grayling. I don't think it particularly unreasonable for anyone to fish for trout with worms in the area, though I will choose not to. If I take advantage of the bye-law, it'll be somewhere totally private, inaccessible to all but a tiny number of anglers, and has nothing but trout. I appreciate that most aren't really interested, it's a bit awkwards for those that think the closed season is a unified best fit scenario, but many really don't seem to understand what goes on up here. You're writing it off as people trying to get round something when the reality is nothing of the sort. It's nothing like stocking trout in an any method stillwater. Trout and course fish do coexist entirely naturally and in good numbers in good lengths of the river. The bye-law has been in existence longer than the closed season, in it's current duration and timing, has in this area. It existed while we still had the (even more preposterous) stolen fortnight.
Jeff Woodhouse on 18/03/2014 13:24:00
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The current Law is there not only to protect fish; as it seems that different and disparate organistions have a great interest as well . . . . . . . . . . . . Yes, just as I wrote in one of my previous pieces on this subject - The recommendations for abolition were later reversed in the Government’s response that quoted this (amongst others) reason – “A large number of comments on these recommendations were received from boating and canoeing interests, who were concerned that ending the coarse fish close season on rivers would reduce their opportunities to practice their sport.” And you thought it was all about giving fish some peace and quiet. It’s a joke! And as for your reference to my previous post Mr Jacobs, I do wish you'd clarify what it was you were driving at as it makes no sense whatsoever to me. Were you indicating that something has changed since 2000? Have fish in the last 14 years evolved to a point where they really do require a close season and that MAFF's comments on the lack of evidence to support a close season are no longer valid? A few pages back you indicated that you wouldn't mind a change in the close season were it to be supported by hard and fast evidence, but I've know you too long and witnessed too many statements of yours in the past. It would be a cold day in hell before you would see the close season abandoned in favour of anything else, even if that 'else' improved the benefits for fish. You are one of those I could have referred to in one piece who are 'stuck in a rut', will never change, will never even think or RETHINK for a change of any kind. In that respect you are consistent, but angling nor the benefits to the fish will simply never advance with a closed mind like that. It was interesting that in August almost two years ago, HIFI did their usual seine netting of the Thames for juvenile fish (0-1 year old) and reported that catches were approximately 50% down on previous years. This was due, they claimed, to the excessive rainfall and subsequent flooding in the spring of 2012; it will probably be the same again for last year when reports are published. This is the biggest killer of our juvenile fish and because it's nature there's nothing we can do about it. However, on a more positive front, Thames Water are trialling a new rotating grill on one of their abstraction plants. It's a very fine grill at 2mm and self-cleaning because of the rotation. The amount of young fish we lose each year due to abstraction plants, on the Thames alone, sucking them in and mincing them up runs into millions and these new systems should be encouraged. Far better a solution than a whimsical close season that can't be proven to do any good whatsoever.
Peter Jacobs on 18/03/2014 13:35:21
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A few pages back you indicated that you wouldn't mind a change in the close season were it to be supported by hard and fast evidence, but I've know you too long and witnessed too many statements of yours in the past. It would be a cold day in hell before you would see the close season abandoned in favour of anything else, even if that 'else' improved the benefits for fish. You are one of those I could have referred to in one piece who are 'stuck in a rut', will never change, will never even think or RETHINK for a change of any kind. In that respect you are consistent, but angling nor the benefits to the fish will simply never advance with a closed mind like that. You never change do you Jeff, shifting other people's emphasis to suit your own argument. Alternatively arguing the man instead of debating the point, or do you forget that I have known you as long as you have me? I meant what I said about a change based on firm scientific empirical evidence, but it will be an even colder day in hades before I lend my support to a commercially driven basis for the end of the Close Season. So, you see Jeff, my position has altered, albeit slightly, and yet I still get sideswiped by the likes of you. It is not only me either, you might be surprised, or maybe not, in the amount of interest (supporting the current status qou) that is coming from the many and yet diverse organisations that I have been in contact with over just the past 36 hours.
sam vimes on 18/03/2014 13:48:26
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It is not only me either, you might be surprised, or maybe not, in the amount of interest (supporting the current status qou) that is coming from the many and yet diverse organisations that I have been in contact with over just the past 36 hours. It's no surprise, but it's a crying shame that you are prepared to dance with some of these organizations in order to bolster support for something that you support based on your own ideals (the concession has already been made that there's no more scientific basis for continuance than abolishing the closed season). Should the closed season ever prove to be detrimental to fish, and therefore angling, you'll have ended up doing fish, angling and anglers a great disservice. I'd rather wait and see what the truth may be rather than rush headlong into garnering support from the most dubious of allies. Much as I'm no advocate of the closed season, I'd sooner see it kept than prematurely sell myself for the support of those that are definitely not on the side of angling in practically every other issue you care to mention.
Peter Jacobs on 18/03/2014 14:07:10
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I'd rather wait and see what the truth may be rather than rush headlong into garnering support from the most dubious of allies. Given the cast of characters involved, if you wait then believe me, you'll miss the bus. Out of interest though Sam, which of those organisations do you consider to be "dubious"? There are 3 or 4 that I have yet to write to, and in all probability will not under any circumstances . . . . . . . . (the obvious ones)
maverick 7 on 18/03/2014 14:14:25
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It is only a "shambles" in the eyes of those who wish to see it abolished. On a different note, I am very pleased to have received 3 replies already indicating support for the maintenance of the Close Season from the list of organisations given yesterday by Lee (blackkettle) . . . . and in less than one day, so not a bad start I'd say. The current Law is there not only to protect fish; as it seems that different and disparate organistions have a great interest as well . . . . . . . . . . . . Well....thanks for commenting on my "shambles" statement.....now do you think you could come up with answers for the rest of the post too? I and many others would be very interested in your response.....if you have one that is.... Maverick
sam vimes on 18/03/2014 14:38:43
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Given the cast of characters involved, if you wait then believe me, you'll miss the bus. So be it, I'll leave that kind of politicking to others. I'll not sell the soul of angling to garner support from those that don't really wish angling well. Out of interest though Sam, which of those organisations do you consider to be "dubious"? There are 3 or 4 that I have yet to write to, and in all probability will not under any circumstances . . . . . . . . (the obvious ones) Most of these (Natural England, Wildlife Trusts, World Wildlife Fund, RSPB, British Trust for Ornithology, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Bat Conservation Trust, The Mammal Society, BANC (British Association of Nature Conservationists) British Dragonfly Society), who, without having to consider the financial implications, would also gleefully support the banning of all fishing (and shooting). None of them will ever try to impose river restrictions on non-anglers. The shooting orgs like BASC and BSSC, who will undoubtedly support the continuance of the closed season, but only because they think it might mean a few more birds (ducks and wild bred pheasants) for them to shoot at a later date. Neither will countenance applying closed season river restrictions on their own members The National Farmers Union and the CLA (Country Landowners Association). Both will act in their own (members) vested interests. If they can maintain a certain income whilst minimizing footfall on their members land, they'll do it. However, neither should have any fear, if they wished to maintain a closed season on their land, they could. The downside for them would be that it might hit rental values. If they actually feel strongly enough in their principles, landowners can simply not allow angling on their land at all. The reality is that cash overrides all, they simply don't care quite as much as they might try to suggest. Both are only really interested in minimizing footfall from anglers whilst maximizing the income they generate. All of those listed (taken from an earlier posted) are highly likely to support the continuance of the closed season. However, they do so for their own reasons, which may not be entirely altruistic. Having had contact with some of them, and been a member of one or two, I consider it unwise to presume that they are looking at it from anything other than a narrow viewpoint of their own specific vested interest. None of them really give a stuff about fish, much less fishing.
Peter Jacobs on 18/03/2014 14:51:50
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Yes, sorry it took a while . . . . . . Thanks for that Sam....I wasn't aware of the regional thing but even that shows up the even more ridiculous way the Close Season has been administered. Why can only certain regions do that?.....what can possibly justify the fact that you can fish with a worm and leger tactics for trout in one region....but not in another. All that goes to show is the necessity of tightening the rules regarding what should be allowable during the Close Season. The administration of regionally different “seasons” would truly be a shambles, and would invite even more bending of the rules than that which goes on today. More evidence of how disjointed and fractured the whole issue is. I wouldn't be so annoyed if the CS was spread right across the board and EVERYWHERE...including lakes, ponds and canals was closed during this time as well....and all the other "hard to understand" decisions like the one above regarding worms...was in force all over the land. If the Close Season cannot be regionalised which seems to be what many anglers are advocating due to the different spawning times from North to South...then surely neither can these other issues. I would agree it would be far more understandable to reinstate the Close Season on all venues flowing and still. Sadly that would never happen due to the commercial interests that saw its demise in the first place. A blanket Close Season, as has been previously stated protects; most species in most geographical regions during most average weather conditions. As you rightly said earlier Sam.......the fish in the Yorkshire rivers spawn in July most of the time....and like you ...I have seen them many times. Yet another very questionable situation. I am sure that some rivers do spawn at different times, but, again, a regional solution is not practical and would lead to cross zonal arguments undoubtedy. Leading, in turn, to even more administration and not less. Then you hear people using the flora and fauna thing to support their argument to retain the CS ...but what about the flora and fauna around all the "open" venues......doesn't that count or is that a special kind of flora and fauna that doesn't need the "rest" that river flora and fauna apparently need so much? Again, another decision that is impossible to understand. It is really not that difficult to understand. Many of the commercial stillwaters (tha the rules were changed for in the first place) are virtually “gardened” whereas the river banks are left mainly to their own devices. Many different species prefer the relative peace and quiet of the river banks for those 90 days as opposed to the constant comings and goings on commercial lakes. There is so many holes in the argument to keep the Close Season....it is laughable....how can anyone seriously argue the point for keeping it when there are so many anomolies in this whole sorry, outdated and ridiculous practice.......hardly a shred of evidence to keep it.........but so much to get rid of it. The “evidence” is there inasmuch as we still have some very good rivers with decent year classes of fish, although the recent couple of years have seen the majority of a year class decimated by floods. If anything at all Maverick what some of our rivers need now is actually more not less protection, so I fail to see how Mr. Salter’s shorter commercialised close season could ever provide that. Can you? Also, as is becoming very evident, we anglers are not the only ones either involved or concerned. There are many discrete organisations that seemingly have a deep interest in maintaining the status quo. ---------- Post added at 14:51 ---------- Previous post was at 14:40 ---------- Now, here's a question or two for anyone to reply to: 1. How would a year long fishing season be practical on rivers that flow through areas with a SSSI designation? Do you think it would be allowed or not? 2. How do you think Nature England would react to a call from either Anglers or the Angling Trust to abolish the close Season? 3. What do you think would be the likelihood of coarse anglers continuing with shared agreements on predominantly fly fishing rivers, particularly those chalk streams in the South? Depending on the official replies from the organisations concerned we could find ourselves (coarse anglers that is) with a darn sight less access, or fishing time, if this proposal ever came to fruition.
sam vimes on 18/03/2014 15:17:42
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1. How would a year long fishing season be practical on rivers that flow through areas with a SSSI designation? Do you think it would be allowed or not? I'm pretty sure I've answered this earlier. However, if the SSI is genuine and would really suffer for angling activity, then there's a good case for maintaining a closed season on that particular water. However, if it's quite so sensitive, then there's equally good reason to ban angling, or any other access, completely. I understand that there are SSI stillwaters that both total angling bans and closed season continuance has occurred without incident. 2. How do you think Nature England would react to a call from either Anglers or the Angling Trust to abolish the close Season? They'll resist it, no doubt. Resisting any such move is the default position of most similar organizations. That doesn't mean that they are right to do so. 3. What do you think would be the likelihood of coarse anglers continuing with shared agreements on predominantly fly fishing rivers, particularly those chalk streams in the South?. Again, there's nothing to stop them continuing as they always have. Just because a national closed season was abolished does not mean that anything has to change on specific waters. Up here there are mixed fly and coarse clubs that rub along just fine, in spite of the dodgy bye-law. It doesn't hurt much in that the bye-law has existed for as long as the most senior anglers have been fishing. Naturally, there are purists that don't like it much but, generally, those with the biggest problems are those that come from other parts of the country. Other clubs are coarse or fly only. Some of the coarse clubs over ride the trout/worm bye-law with their own closed season rules. Barring the possible intransigence of some individuals, from both sides of the fly/coarse divide, it should really be a non-issue.
Peter Jacobs on 18/03/2014 15:37:03
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I'm pretty sure I've answered this earlier. However, if the SSI is genuine and would really suffer for angling activity, then there's a good case for maintaining a closed season on that particular water. However, if it's quite so sensitive, then there's equally good reason to ban angling, or any other access, completely. I understand that there are SSI stillwaters that both total angling bans and closed season continuance has occurred without incident. But Sam, the whole of the Hampshire Avon Valley is designated as an SSSI but we have access to fish currently. If we were to have 12 months access then there would be some very real arguments from many organisations regarding: some special wild flowers that bloom in our Close season, and some insects that breed in our Close Season. Personally I'd see Nature England and other gorups totally against allowing anglers access in these times, and maybe they would even rethink the access we have currently. They'll resist it, no doubt. Resisting any such move is the default position of most similar organizations. That doesn't mean that they are right to do so. They may not be right i doing so, but my point is that they will in any event. The result, again, could be less access rather than more. Again, there's nothing to stop them continuing as they always have. Just because a national closed season was abolished does not mean that anything has to change on specific waters. Up here there are mixed fly and coarse clubs that rub along just fine, in spite of the dodgy bye-law. It doesn't hurt much in that the bye-law has existed for as long as the most senior anglers have been fishing. Naturally, there are purists that don't like it much but, generally, those with the biggest problems are those that come from other parts of the country. Other clubs are coarse or fly only. Some of the coarse clubs over ride the trout/worm bye-law with their own closed season rules. Barring the possible intransigence of some individuals, from both sides of the fly/coarse divide, it should really be a non-issue. We have similar arrangements on the Test, the Itchen and the Hampshire Avon as well as the Nadder. Locally a longer Coarse season has been discussed at club and syndicate levels and without exception we (coarse anglers) have been told that not only would we not get more access but it could actually result in less. As someone else noted: Money talks, and generally those paying excessive amounts to fish, and thereby control, many parts of the southern rivers (a weekly beat on the Test will set you back over £5k per season) will always have their way, regardless of any changes to the current Close Season dates.
thecrow on 18/03/2014 15:57:53
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I think that is a conclusion too far in all honesty. For decades we have co-habited very well with all of the organisation noted on previous pages, with the exception of losing the odd mere or lake to fishing when the RSPB took over. Correct me if I am wrong but wasn't the CS brought in to stop the killing of gravid fish during matches? it was to do with conservation of fish stocks at a time when lots were killed. I don't think that it is a conclusion to far to say that these other organisations have their own agendas, its fairly clear (to me) that they care not one jot about anglers. If we have co-habited with the RSPB so well in the past why do they still oppose the control of Cormorants despite the work done by the Angling Trust (I am not a member.) NE the same NE that wouldn't allow the capture of a seal that was in a lock but allowed it to carry on eating coarse fish stocks. At the moment IMO the current CS is not fit for purpose, there are the regional differences with by laws, regional differences in spawning times, during the CS other river users are able to carry out whatever they normally do including paddlers who could do a lot more damage to spawning areas than an angler, as has already been pointed out there is no hard evidence for keeping or abolishing the CS. When the CS came in evidence was not needed to support it as not killing gravid fish was obviously going to be beneficial to fish stocks, this is not the reason we have it now and until there is sound scientific evidence either way no one will know if it is in its current form beneficial or not.
sam vimes on 18/03/2014 16:09:51
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I think that we are beginning to get to the bottom of your unwavering closed season support. Dress it up however you like, but your support for it is no less selfish than the similar accusations that have been dished out to those that stand on the other side of the fence. I can understand your concerns, some may even be genuinely problematical, but I really don't see any of them as insurmountable if the national closed season were abolished. Landowners and those that control fishing rights are entirely within their rights to impose whatever rules they see fit. In that regard, there's no reason whatsoever to have a national closed season. The closed season should be about the benefits to fish and little more, just as it was when it was originally imposed. You are understandably concerned with your own narrow view and sphere of fishing, that's, to a large part, simply human nature. I make no bones about the fact that my views are coloured by the farce that exists in my part of the world, something you've consistently tried to play down. However, I'm not remotely convinced that your concerns are purely down to the existence of a national closed season, or not. You aren't particularly bothered about those that have to contend with different situations or have differing views, you aren't really interested in any evidence unless it supports your position and maintains the status quo to your benefit.
Peter Jacobs on 18/03/2014 16:36:02
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Correct me if I am wrong but wasn't the CS brought in to stop the killing of gravid fish during matches? it was to do with conservation of fish stocks at a time when lots were killed. The reason for its inception was more along the lines of keeping us "oiks" off of the rivers during the Salmon runs, and had little or nothing to do with conservation other than the obvious handling or killing off of gravid fish We are talking the late 1870's remember . . . . . . . . I don't think that it is a conclusion to far to say that these other organisations have their own agendas, its fairly clear (to me) that they care not one jot about anglers. As do we anglers, testament Cormorants and goosanders . . . . . that said there does exist some common ground in this more enlightened age with respect to conservation. If we have co-habited with the RSPB so well in the past why do they still oppose the control of Cormorants despite the work done by the Angling Trust (I am not a member.) NE the same NE that wouldn't allow the capture of a seal that was in a lock but allowed it to carry on eating coarse fish stocks. Was the problem of not being able to capture the Seal more one of an administration screw-up?aalthough NE were gainst its death, an event that would have shown us anglers in an even more poor light. At the moment IMO the current CS is not fit for purpose, there are the regional differences with by laws, regional differences in spawning times, during the CS other river users are able to carry out whatever they normally do including paddlers who could do a lot more damage to spawning areas than an angler, as has already been pointed out there is no hard evidence for keeping or abolishing the CS. So would you argue that we simply experiement with nature then and abolish it without due process of study? How would that look to those groups that on your admission you state have their own agendas? When the CS came in evidence was not needed to support it as not killing gravid fish was obviously going to be beneficial to fish stocks, this is not the reason we have it now and until there is sound scientific evidence either way no one will know if it is in its current form beneficial or not. I totally agree with that comment, and it reflects exactly what I would propose, and have done so for what seems like an eternity: a long term science based study prior to making any potentially harmful actions vis-a-vis moving, or God forbid, abolishing the Close Season. We (anglers) simply cannot leave such an emotive topic in the hands of local clubs or societies (ie laymen) to decide whether or not a Close Season is imposed, as some would suggest (not the OP here b.t.w.) It has to be properly studied over a period of time, results have to bevalidated and published and then, in the light of informed opinion take the final decision(s) Any other course of action, and certainly one based on commercial grounds alone is plain stupidity!
thecrow on 18/03/2014 16:51:33
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I totally agree with that comment, and it reflects exactly what I would propose, and have done so for what seems like an eternity: a long term science based study prior to making any potentially harmful actions vis-a-vis moving, or God forbid, abolishing the Close Season. We (anglers) simply cannot leave such an emotive topic in the hands of local clubs or societies (ie laymen) to decide whether or not a Close Season is imposed, as some would suggest (not the OP here b.t.w.) It has to be properly studied over a period of time, results have to bevalidated and published and then, in the light of informed opinion take the final decision(s) Any other course of action, and certainly one based on commercial grounds alone is plain stupidity! No Peter I would not want to experiment with nature I leave that to other organisations such as NE. What I did say was ( along with others) there is no evidence to support the CS in its current form as there is also none to support getting rid of it. There is evidence albeit from anglers that all fish country wide do not spawn during the CS period and without this I have an open mind. Can I just ask why anglers should be kept from fishing rivers while other users can continue to carry on with their activities? In the last "survey" carried out on the CS the majority that responded wanted to keep the CS, interestingly most were not river anglers, a case of im all right jack?
Peter Jacobs on 18/03/2014 16:55:48
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I think that we are beginning to get to the bottom of your unwavering closed season support. Dress it up however you like, but your support for it is no less selfish than the similar accusations that have been dished out to those that stand on the other side of the fence. I can understand your concerns, some may even be genuinely problematical, but I really don't see any of them as insurmountable if the national closed season were abolished. Landowners and those that control fishing rights are entirely within their rights to impose whatever rules they see fit. In that regard, there's no reason whatsoever to have a national closed season. The closed season should be about the benefits to fish and little more, just as it was when it was originally imposed. Well, no, not really Sam. My concerns are far wider and broader than my own area for fishing, and to be totally honest I proably do 75% or more of my fishing these days with a fly rod rather than a float or quiver tip rod. The points I raised, like yours, are simply those that are well known in my area and topics that come up for discussion (usually very heated at that)regularly at club and syndicate meetings. My main concerns are for conservation and for fish safety and for the image that we anglers display to the world in general. You are understandably concerned with your own narrow view and sphere of fishing, that's, to a large part, simply human nature. See above. I make no bones about the fact that my views are coloured by the farce that exists in my part of the world, something you've consistently tried to play down. However, I'm not remotely convinced that your concerns are purely down to the existence of a national closed season, or not. You aren't particularly bothered about those that have to contend with different situations or have differing views, you aren't really interested in any evidence unless it supports your position and maintains the status quo to your benefit. Well Sam you are just going to have to take my word on this, or go back and maybe look at the dozens if not hundreds of pages and pages of posts that we seem to reproduce every year around this time: typically we have called it "silly season" here on FM for about a decade. (9 or 10 years ago I was 100% in favour of leaving it as it is, that view had changed over the years I have recently (last 3 to 4 years) altered my view and stated that following prolonged detailed science-based study, data validation and debate, then, and only then will we be able to make the final decisions on: 1) Having a close season or not? 2) Keeping it and changing the dates nationally? 3) Keeping it and having geographically segregated dates in line with different regions? And, with that, I am now off back to my hotel for a beer or two before dinner and hopefully watching a decent game of footy on the TV tonight.
chub_on_the_block on 18/03/2014 17:10:59
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The point was made that the Hants Avon (and other rivers too) are SSSI and that abolishing a closed season could threaten all fishing on such rivers. I find this extremely questionable. If there are some rare orchids that flower in May or whatever, and these are part of the SSSI designation, then their protection could be ensured in all manner of ways without having to exclude angling. At the end of the day landowners can make a useful income from angling and i really cant see Natural England seeking to compensate countless landowners after banning this activity. In any case, if angling during March-June (or at any time of the year) is deemed detrimental to local environmental interests then a local ruling could be in force - but it doesnt need to apply nationally though does it? We all need to have a more positive view of the benefits of angling, how this pastime is defensible on many grounds and what a valuable use of the river environment it is which gives rather more than it takes.
The bad one on 18/03/2014 17:37:21
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No Peter I would not want to experiment with nature I leave that to other organisations such as NE. What I did say was ( along with others) there is no evidence to support the CS in its current form as there is also none to support getting rid of it. And because of that the EA have taken the "Precautionary Principle" and kept the Status Quo. Rightly or wrongly Depending on which side of the fence you stand on. There is evidence albeit from anglers that all fish country wide do not spawn during the CS period and without this I have an open mind. All the time, Sometimes, now and again? This angler who monitors fish stocks flylife, invasive flora species, predation, poaching and about everything else on the principle coarse fishing river in the NW (Cold up here you know) for over 10 years, can tell it's now and again. Can I just ask why anglers should be kept from fishing rivers while other users can continue to carry on with their activities? Given that about 80% of all rivers nationally are on private land with little or no access rights, is the problem being overstated? Where I would agree with you is, if sites being used by the general public are sensitive spawning sites, an exclusion order should be made on them as well. In the last "survey" carried out on the CS the majority that responded wanted to keep the CS, interestingly most were not river anglers, a case of im all right jack? I don't remember that question being asked (do you fish rivers) in any of the fishing surveys (3 I recall) I've ever participated in. Can you supply a reference to the information you are using to make this claim please.
Jeff Woodhouse on 18/03/2014 17:43:32
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The reason for its inception was more along the lines of keeping us "oiks" off of the rivers during the Salmon runs, and had little or nothing to do with conservation other than the obvious handling or killing off of gravid fish We are talking the late 1870's remember . . . . . . . . Talk about bending the truth! The biggest load of c0bblers you've come up with so far, Peter, that does take the absolute biscuit. Study the history for heaven's sake if you're going to comment in it, it was brought in by the LAA and Sheffield COARSE anglers not one of whom was interested in salmon in the slightest. It was in a day when match fishing was the only fishing, no carp, no speci anglers, no pleasure, just pure matchmen fishing for pub teams and the like. Some of these matches on the Thames and Trent were 200+ peggers! All fish to be weighed (the LAA had some size limits) were killed and placed in canvas buckets and carried to weigh station. Even the Red Spinners had weigh-in's at the HQ, days later and members were entrusted to weigh only what they had caught. Fish were either eaten that evening or later fed to the pigs or chickens. It was a "wanton ... waste". Even I would have supported a ban with the tackle and method anglers had then! Times have changed. 'Spot the Angler' could be a good title for a river photo competition these days.
The bad one on 18/03/2014 17:55:10
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The point was made that the Hants Avon (and other rivers too) are SSSI and that abolishing a closed season could threaten all fishing on such rivers. I find this extremely questionable. If there are some rare orchids that flower in May or whatever, and these are part of the SSSI designation, then their protection could be ensured in all manner of ways without having to exclude angling. At the end of the day landowners can make a useful income from angling and i really cant see Natural England seeking to compensate countless landowners after banning this activity. In any case, if angling during March-June (or at any time of the year) is deemed detrimental to local environmental interests then a local ruling could be in force - but it doesnt need to apply nationally though does it? We all need to have a more positive view of the benefits of angling, how this pastime is defensible on many grounds and what a valuable use of the river environment it is which gives rather more than it takes. Sorry chub it's far more complex than the way you portray it when a whole river is designated a SSSI. All landowners will have signed a "Management Agreement" with NE, which is legally enforceable to manage it to the agreement made between the two parties. Without knowing what's in each agreement it's hard to say that would not or would happen. Agree we need to be more positive about the benefits of Angling, but if a decision we make is perceived as being detrimental to the environment we fish in, it can and will be used against us.
Jeff Woodhouse on 18/03/2014 17:59:13
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And because of that the EA have taken the "Precautionary Principle" and kept the Status Quo. Rightly or wrongly Depending on which side of the fence you stand on. Ah but you'll pardon me Phil. The EA have two policies on any action requested. 1) if it comes from above (Government) carry it out without question, v.v. build hydros all over our weirs in valuable breeding weirpool areas . 2) if it is a request from below, eg: anglers (or residents asking for some dredging), take the "Precuationary Principle" and do nothing! Doing nothing costs nothing and EA directors can keep their cars. (yes, I am cynical.) Peter knows damned well that the EA will, without any pressure from above, do nothing in the way of carrying out research and therefore the CS is on his safe ground. Which is all a big pity because so much more can be done at regional and catchment levels, even down to club and landowner levels, these days. It's not too hard, you publish a list of dates when no one can fish a venue as they do now with match lists and as a member of the club you know the rules. Our own organisation has a fishery rented off the National Trust that is closed, even though it's a canal, during the CS. If and when we get rid of this silly law I shall (if I am blessed to be around still) negotiate with them to see what opportunities exists to accommodate anglers and fish and anything else. But at the same time I would like to see a reduction in boat traffic and canoe activity, along with dog walking et al.
Judas Priest on 18/03/2014 18:07:15
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All I know is, look at the majority of rivers during the actual season and see how many, over 7 days, anglers are actually fishing. I'm talking the whole of a fishable river system not just the busy weekend sections. Leave out the Loddon and Kennet and possibly a couple of other smaller river sections and you'd be hard pushed to see anyone else midweek. To keep the Close season on rivers whilst allowing fishing on stillwaters is a complete farce and it should be scrapped forthwith.
chav professor on 18/03/2014 18:09:23
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The Environmental agency do a lot of invasive and in some ways destructive acts of river management in the the close season... removing trees, bushes and electro-fishing surveys.
chub_on_the_block on 18/03/2014 18:18:43
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It is a farce. I could drive my £1 million speed boat up and down the Thames every day from March 15th-June 15th, creating a nice big wake and some bank erosion as i go, taking care to disturb as many fish or as much other wildlife as possible, but the moment i reached for my fishing gear i would be breaking the law and guilty of an act of environmental damage. Fisherman are the good guys out of the many river users and we need to defend our fishing rights and where possible extend them if they are being curtailed without good reason.
thecrow on 18/03/2014 18:20:04
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No Peter I would not want to experiment with nature I leave that to other organisations such as NE. And because of that the EA have taken the "Precautionary Principle" and kept the Status Quo. Rightly or wrongly Depending on which side of the fence you stand on. All the time, Sometimes, now and again? This angler who monitors fish stocks flylife, invasive flora species, predation, poaching and about everything else on the principle coarse fishing river in the NW (Cold up here you know) for over 10 years, can tell it's now and again. Given that about 80% of all rivers nationally are on private land with little or no access rights, is the problem being overstated? Where I would agree with you is, if sites being used by the general public are sensitive spawning sites, an exclusion order should be made on them as well. I don't remember that question being asked (do you fish rivers) in any of the fishing surveys (3 I recall) I've ever participated in. Can you supply a reference to the information you are using to make this claim please. The precautionary principle taken by the EA is IMO a cop out as they ( as I have said) have no evidence to support or abolish the CS. I don't believe that sarcasm was called for in your reply, however, I did not say what you quoted, if you must quote me I would ask you not to put words in my mouth or use my posts to have a pop at another poster please, Anglers from all parts of the country have experienced fish spawning after (and before) the CS do you refute this? If the public are given access to none sensitive areas of rivers why not anglers, its the EA that stops it not the landowner. I cannot recall where I saw it, it may have been on the AT website. Taken from the AT website. Most respondents were coarse anglers and most of those in stillwaters - 57.6% said that this was their most common form of angling. The second most common first preference was coarse river fishing (16.2%) with game stillwater (10.7%) and game river (8%) following. However, there are significant numbers of anglers who also do some sea angling, though often not their most common practice: 23% (n=6,699) of respondents did at least some shore sea angling for instance, higher total numbers than took part in game river fishing (19.3% n=5,623). The relatively low number of respondents who fish in the sea as their first preference may be due to the fact that the majority of responses were from recipients of an e-mail from the Environment Agency to Rod Licence holders (i.e. freshwater anglers)
maverick 7 on 18/03/2014 19:16:11
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Yes, sorry it took a while . . . . . . Thanks for that Sam....I wasn't aware of the regional thing but even that shows up the even more ridiculous way the Close Season has been administered. Why can only certain regions do that?.....what can possibly justify the fact that you can fish with a worm and leger tactics for trout in one region....but not in another. All that goes to show is the necessity of tightening the rules regarding what should be allowable during the Close Season. The administration of regionally different “seasons” would truly be a shambles, and would invite even more bending of the rules than that which goes on today. More evidence of how disjointed and fractured the whole issue is. I wouldn't be so annoyed if the CS was spread right across the board and EVERYWHERE...including lakes, ponds and canals was closed during this time as well....and all the other "hard to understand" decisions like the one above regarding worms...was in force all over the land. If the Close Season cannot be regionalised which seems to be what many anglers are advocating due to the different spawning times from North to South...then surely neither can these other issues. I would agree it would be far more understandable to reinstate the Close Season on all venues flowing and still. Sadly that would never happen due to the commercial interests that saw its demise in the first place. A blanket Close Season, as has been previously stated protects; most species in most geographical regions during most average weather conditions. As you rightly said earlier Sam.......the fish in the Yorkshire rivers spawn in July most of the time....and like you ...I have seen them many times. Yet another very questionable situation. I am sure that some rivers do spawn at different times, but, again, a regional solution is not practical and would lead to cross zonal arguments undoubtedy. Leading, in turn, to even more administration and not less. Then you hear people using the flora and fauna thing to support their argument to retain the CS ...but what about the flora and fauna around all the "open" venues......doesn't that count or is that a special kind of flora and fauna that doesn't need the "rest" that river flora and fauna apparently need so much? Again, another decision that is impossible to understand. It is really not that difficult to understand. Many of the commercial stillwaters (tha the rules were changed for in the first place) are virtually “gardened” whereas the river banks are left mainly to their own devices. Many different species prefer the relative peace and quiet of the river banks for those 90 days as opposed to the constant comings and goings on commercial lakes. There is so many holes in the argument to keep the Close Season....it is laughable....how can anyone seriously argue the point for keeping it when there are so many anomolies in this whole sorry, outdated and ridiculous practice.......hardly a shred of evidence to keep it.........but so much to get rid of it. The “evidence” is there inasmuch as we still have some very good rivers with decent year classes of fish, although the recent couple of years have seen the majority of a year class decimated by floods. If anything at all Maverick what some of our rivers need now is actually more not less protection, so I fail to see how Mr. Salter’s shorter commercialised close season could ever provide that. Can you? Also, as is becoming very evident, we anglers are not the only ones either involved or concerned. There are many discrete organisations that seemingly have a deep interest in maintaining the status quo. ---------- Post added at 14:51 ---------- Previous post was at 14:40 ---------- Now, here's a question or two for anyone to reply to: 1. How would a year long fishing season be practical on rivers that flow through areas with a SSSI designation? Do you think it would be allowed or not? 2. How do you think Nature England would react to a call from either Anglers or the Angling Trust to abolish the close Season? 3. What do you think would be the likelihood of coarse anglers continuing with shared agreements on predominantly fly fishing rivers, particularly those chalk streams in the South? Depending on the official replies from the organisations concerned we could find ourselves (coarse anglers that is) with a darn sight less access, or fishing time, if this proposal ever came to fruition. Thanks for your response Peter....and although you have answered the issues that I put forward........I'm afraid the answers were nothing more than those of unwavering and blind loyalty to the cause called the Close Season. They were answers from an angler who simply refuses to see the ever so obvious cracks in the system....not to mention the not so obvious dodgy reasons why we are STILL putting up with one now. I admire your stance on the CS Peter...but your answers are not in the slightest convincing mate.... Maverick
The bad one on 18/03/2014 19:57:48
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No Peter I would not want to experiment with nature I leave that to other organisations such as NE. What I did say was ( along with others) there is no evidence to support the CS in its current form as there is also none to support getting rid of it. There is evidence albeit from anglers that all fish country wide do not spawn during the CS period and without this I have an open mind. Can I just ask why anglers should be kept from fishing rivers while other users can continue to carry on with their activities? In the last "survey" carried out on the CS the majority that responded wanted to keep the CS, interestingly most were not river anglers, a case of im all right jack? The above is what you stated is it not? The highlighted green in my post is the same is it not? So where have I misquoted you? I've comment on what you wrote have I not? Now you may not like what I've said but it's my right to comment on it is it not? You may feel it a cop out re PP, that's your view you're entitled to it. But it's an established fact that the status quo remains in the absence of evidence either way as far as the EA goes. The status quo being the CF will remain until evidence emerges to change that view. Oh and Jeff wouldn't you like to have been a fly on the wall in the meetings over hydros when fisheries and land and revenue were arguing over the installation of them. Was I being sarcastic? No I wasn’t! I was asked you a question with 3 options - All the time, Sometimes, now and again? So if you see that as sarcasm, so be it! But it doesn’t detract from the fact you haven’t given an answer to it. And further to that, is it the first, second or third spawning to happen that year! In case you didn’t know that does happen on rare occasions. As to do I refute it, and not withstanding the above (those rare occasions) in general terms yes I do, on the rivers I fish which span from the Welsh Wye to the Scottish boarders. It is the latter of the 3 options I gave you - now and again. Ie in very cold springs and summers. "If the public are given access to none sensitive areas of rivers why not anglers, its the EA that stops it not the landowner." Now who ascribing words which weren't wrote? And as a matter of record my club has some landowners that insist on CS's on stillwaters. Some of which also control river lengths as well. We have a CF in position policed by the EA enshrined under SFFA and legislators made that act for them to police, so the buck stops with them not the policemen. As to the public using areas of rivers "legally" it's because that right has been given them sometimes dating back to the Magna Carta. Good luck to you in arguing that should be changed because you want the same right to fish those areas during the close season. Ah the Angling Times report that would be they with a vested interest and has campaigned for many years for the abolition of the CS. And wrote the 57% in an ambiguous way.
chub_on_the_block on 18/03/2014 20:09:57
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TheCrow makes a valid point that only 16% of the respondents to the EA survey were primarily river anglers. It would be interesting to see what percentage of those anglers wanted to retain the closed season. They, after all, would presumably have the most first hand knowledge of rivers and understanding of whether a CS was justified. I was one of the respondents in that category and at the time i actually wanted to retain the CS. I no longer hold that opinion.
thecrow on 18/03/2014 20:13:04
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The above is what you stated is it not? The highlighted green in my post is the same is it not? So where have I misquoted you? I've comment on what you wrote have I not? Now you may not like what I've said but it's my right to comment on it is it not? You may feel it a cop out re PP, that's your view you're entitled to. But it's an established fact that the status quo remains in the absence of evidence either way as far as the EA goes. The status quo being the CF will remain until evidence emerges to change that view. Oh and Jeff wouldn't you like to have been a fly on the wall in the meetings over hydros when fisheries and land and revenue were arguing over the installation of them. Was I being sarcastic? No I wasn’t! I was asked you a question with 3 options - All the time, Sometimes, now and again? So if you see that as sarcasm, so be it! But it doesn’t detract from the fact you haven’t given an answer to it. And further to that, is it the first, second or third spawning to happen that year! In case you didn’t know that does happen on rare occasions. As to do I refute it, and not withstanding the above (those rare occasions) in general terms yes I do, on the rivers I fish which span from the Welsh Wye to the Scottish boarders. It is the latter of the 3 options I gave you - now and again. Ie in very cold springs and summers. "If the public are given access to none sensitive areas of rivers why not anglers, its the EA that stops it not the landowner." Now who ascribing words which weren't wrote? And as a matter of record my club has some landowners that insist on CS's on stillwaters. Some of which also control river lengths as well. We have a CF in position policed by the EA enshrined under SFFA and legislators made that act for them to police, so the buck stops with them not the policemen. As to the public using areas of rivers "legally" it's because that right has been given them sometimes dating back to the Magna Carta. Good luck to you in arguing that should be changed because you want the same right to fish those areas during the close season. Ah the Angling Times report that would be they with a vested interest and has campaigned for many years for the abolition of the CS. And wrote the 57% in an ambiguous way. You seem to be a very angry person, if you read my posts you may see that I am not for getting rid of the CS nor am I for keeping it --- until it is proved either way which is beneficial to fish ( note not anglers). I also think that you knew that I meant the ANGLING TRUST NOT THE ANGLING TIMES, the piece I copied was from their site. I didn't ascribe any words to you they were my own, I was advised not to join this site I can see why now, no wonder there are some good anglers that have left if this is how new members get treated.
The bad one on 18/03/2014 20:30:28
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Ha Ha Ha! You make a lot of assumption my friend. Sadly none are true! If you think it a bearpit now, what you would have thought of it 10 years ago would have really put the frighteners on you for sure!
thecrow on 18/03/2014 20:40:59
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Ha Ha Ha! You make a lot of assumption my friend. Sadly none are true! If you think it a bearpit now, what you would have thought of it 10 years ago would have really put the frighteners on you for sure! First point I am not your friend I don't know you or you me. Secondly posts on forums are not things that frighten me. I find it appalling that someone would take pleasure in thinking someone would be frightened, I am not an aggressive person and think that anyone that is should look at themselves and the reasons they are how they are towards others. it would seem that the advice I was given was correct.
black kettle on 18/03/2014 20:43:55
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For clarity and information I am indebted to that fine fellow "The Monk" for compiling the FM article copied here below. One might note that the drafting of the bill was done by two salmon anglers Spencer Walpole and frank Buckland. I am indebted to Stewart Allum for sending me the following abstract from Bernard Venables book, 'Fishing' (British Sports, Past & Present Series), Batsford Press, 1953. I also acknowledge Ron Clay, founder of the Northern Specimen Hunters Group, for further research material from Waterlog and other publications. The Coarse fishing season first saw the light of day under the Mundella Act of 1878. Mr Mundella was a Member of Parliament for Sheffield, although not an angler himself, he was lobbied by the local angling fraternity of the city (Sheffield at the time was a centre of intense coarse fishing activity), to help place some form of legislation to help protect coarse fish. The drafting of the bill was left to Messrs Spencer Walpole and Frank Buckland. Spencer Walpole was an inspector of Salmon Fisheries and Frank Buckland a prominent member of the Piscatorial Society. Interestingly, both men were salmon anglers. The Piscatorial society pledged its support for Mr Mundella in his endeavours to obtain an Act of Parliament for the protection of Freshwater Fish and the Society contacted the seventy four angling societies of London and the Provinces to see if they were favourable of a general close period for freshwater fish. The Piscatorial Society called a meeting in to be held in April 1878 to discuss the bill, but this meeting was too late for the first reading which took place in March, a month earlier, by which time no one had been consulted. The Bill was made known at the April meeting under the auspices of the Piscatorial Society, the result of which threw the angling world into great tumult. The Bill gave considerable attention to Salmon and made amendments to the Salmon Fisheries Act, but yet only gave limited attention to coarse fish, the coarse angling fraternity being the instigators of the Act. The Bill in its broad aspects was approved along with the suggestion of a close season for coarse fish from 15th March to the 15th June, (the original draft had stated from the 1st March to the 31st of May. In April the Bill had its second reading and was referred to the Select Committee. Mr Buckland wrote a letter to Land and Water. "I am much pleased to learn that Mr Mundella's Bill passed the second reading on Tuesday, 11th, and that there is to be a Select Committee to consider the question. This is a great compliment on the part of Mr Cross and the House of Commons to freshwater anglers. Mr Lander, Secretary of the Piscatorial Society, who has already done so much for this good cause will, I trust, assist in getting up the evidence for the committee. We shall see whether the objectors to the Bill, who did not appear at the late conference at the Society of Arts, will have pluck enough to appear before the Select Committee and state their views." The more furious objectors didn't attend this meeting, but others worked through the amendments with the Piscatorial Society. Many, however, felt that the Piscatorial Society was not representative of the coarse angling world, especially the various London Angling Societies. A storm was raised with the West Central Association which represented a number of coarse anglers in the London area. Mr Leo Bonvoisin, the clubs Vice-Chairman, wrote to the Fishing Gazette. "Mr Mundella's Bill, The various London Angling Societies have quite recently received on the above from the Piscatorial Society (sic), but as it was reproduced last week among your excellent correspondent, Gaff Hook's notes, I will not trouble your readers with it. I wish, however, to state I think it is greatly to be regretted. Nothing will teach these gentlemen that they are adopting a mode of procedure towards their brother anglers which is uncourteous as it is impolite. There are, as your readers may be aware, two bodies in London to whose monthly meetings any society is entitled to send delegates. When I mentioned that the W.C. Association and the E.C. Committee represent between them some four thousand practical anglers, you will at once see their importance as mediums for ascertaining the views of the London disciples of Walton. Until a week ago, when they sent in their resignation on the grounds that they did not find it advantageous to belong to us, the Piscatorials were represented at the W.C. Association's meeting, and theirs being an old established club would have given just weight to any opinions they might have been pleased to express, but the Association have from the first protested against their taking separate action in this or any other matter and the majority of the clubs have refused to attend to any but circulars or notices sent through the recognised channels. "Exclusive, or select (you can choose which you like) in the extreme, never striving to carry out the law of good fellowship or Angling Freemasonry, so eloquently and practically preached by honest old Izaak Walton, never caring to visit, or be visited by, members of other societies, but firmly shutting their doors against all not provided a formal introduction, the Piscatorials could never pretend to rank as a representative society, and the line of conduct they have adopted is therefore all the more unaccountable. Anglers are, as a body, a quiet, easy-going lot, but if the Piscatorial Club thinks the course they have adopted is not appreciated at its true worth, they are indeed mistaken. One instance is sufficient. At a meeting the other evening some twenty-five societies represented during the call of the roll, the long-continued groans and hisses which greeted the words "Piscatorial Society" would have satisfied the most sceptical of gratitude the London Anglers bear those who have striven to humble and annoy their legitimate representatives by acting counter to their intentions, thus ignoring them altogether. "My main object, however, in writing is to advise clubs enrolled east or west to adopt the same course as the Hammersmith, North Western, Silver Trout and many other societies have been or intend doing, namely, inform Mr Lander that when it becomes necessary to adopt any measures in the above matter, they will do so through their recognised representatives, the Association and the Committee. Yours obediently Leo Bonvoisin Vice Chairman West Central Association." During the committee stage the Bill had many objections and attempted amendments, with considerable debate as to the close time, some towards a shorter time and others suggested a longer period. The Bill finally received its third reading and went to the House of Lords to become law. Further amendments to the Mundella Act continued until the advent of the 1923 Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act, which encompassed all the previous legislation. The 1923 Act also established the Fishery Boards. The next major change didn't take place until 1948 with a legislative change over to the River Boards Act. So there you have it. Regards, Lee.
The bad one on 19/03/2014 02:11:42
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First point I am not your friend I don't know you or you me. Secondly posts on forums are not things that frighten me. I find it appalling that someone would take pleasure in thinking someone would be frightened, I am not an aggressive person and think that anyone that is should look at themselves and the reasons they are how they are towards others. it would seem that the advice I was given was correct. As the kids say "Whatever!" I'm northern (proud of it), were blunt and don't **** about with nicey, nicey midleclassy won't say what they mean garbage, we tell it like it is up here, eyeball to eyeball. And don't give a **** whether you like it or not! I'd also give up if I were you on the armature psychoanalysis and psychobabble with me because that stuff is a bigger fraud than some think the CF is. It’s an opinion masquerading as Science! As to taking pleasure of frightening , that's you inference of what I wrote, wrong as it happens, only stating factually what it was like 10+ years ago, nothing more nothing less. Now what does puzzle me is if you were given advice about joining this site, whatever that was, you could have got a very good flavour of what it’s like by looking back through contentious threads (its an open site) before ever joining. And if what you read didn’t suit you, you were under no obligation to join were you!
thecrow on 19/03/2014 08:07:06
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As the kids say "Whatever!" I'm northern (proud of it), were blunt and don't **** about with nicey, nicey midleclassy won't say what they mean garbage, we tell it like it is up here, eyeball to eyeball. And don't give a **** whether you like it or not! I'd also give up if I were you on the armature psychoanalysis and psychobabble with me because that stuff is a bigger fraud than some think the CF is. It’s an opinion masquerading as Science! As to taking pleasure of frightening , that's you inference of what I wrote, wrong as it happens, only stating factually what it was like 10+ years ago, nothing more nothing less. Now what does puzzle me is if you were given advice about joining this site, whatever that was, you could have got a very good flavour of what it’s like by looking back through contentious threads (its an open site) before ever joining. And if what you read didn’t suit you, you were under no obligation to join were you! Oh dear you are so wrong, you have no idea where I am from but spew out the standard were ard up north rubbish. there are ways of saying what you think without being aggressive and using expletives, your firs part of your post is really quite rude and only serves to confirm my opinion of what type of person you are. I am nowhere near middle class, I have worked in foundries all my life no cushy numbers there, no idea why you thought I was. I have never heard of "armature phsycoananalysis" always thought an armature was an electrical component. Yes I looked through some threads on the site before joining and didn't like what I saw, however it seemed looking at the more recent threads that the mods had decided to clamp down on the sort of aggressive post I saw I may be wrong about that though. Could you explain please what the CF is are you referring to Coarse Fisherman? ---------- Post added at 01:07 ---------- Previous post was at 01:04 ---------- For clarity and information I am indebted to that fine fellow "The Monk" for compiling the FM article copied here below. One might note that the drafting of the bill was done by two salmon anglers Spencer Walpole and frank Buckland. I am indebted to Stewart Allum for sending me the following abstract from Bernard Venables book, 'Fishing' (British Sports, Past & Present Series), Batsford Press, 1953. I also acknowledge Ron Clay, founder of the Northern Specimen Hunters Group, for further research material from Waterlog and other publications. The Coarse fishing season first saw the light of day under the Mundella Act of 1878. Mr Mundella was a Member of Parliament for Sheffield, although not an angler himself, he was lobbied by the local angling fraternity of the city (Sheffield at the time was a centre of intense coarse fishing activity), to help place some form of legislation to help protect coarse fish. The drafting of the bill was left to Messrs Spencer Walpole and Frank Buckland. Spencer Walpole was an inspector of Salmon Fisheries and Frank Buckland a prominent member of the Piscatorial Society. Interestingly, both men were salmon anglers. The Piscatorial society pledged its support for Mr Mundella in his endeavours to obtain an Act of Parliament for the protection of Freshwater Fish and the Society contacted the seventy four angling societies of London and the Provinces to see if they were favourable of a general close period for freshwater fish. The Piscatorial Society called a meeting in to be held in April 1878 to discuss the bill, but this meeting was too late for the first reading which took place in March, a month earlier, by which time no one had been consulted. The Bill was made known at the April meeting under the auspices of the Piscatorial Society, the result of which threw the angling world into great tumult. The Bill gave considerable attention to Salmon and made amendments to the Salmon Fisheries Act, but yet only gave limited attention to coarse fish, the coarse angling fraternity being the instigators of the Act. The Bill in its broad aspects was approved along with the suggestion of a close season for coarse fish from 15th March to the 15th June, (the original draft had stated from the 1st March to the 31st of May. In April the Bill had its second reading and was referred to the Select Committee. Mr Buckland wrote a letter to Land and Water. "I am much pleased to learn that Mr Mundella's Bill passed the second reading on Tuesday, 11th, and that there is to be a Select Committee to consider the question. This is a great compliment on the part of Mr Cross and the House of Commons to freshwater anglers. Mr Lander, Secretary of the Piscatorial Society, who has already done so much for this good cause will, I trust, assist in getting up the evidence for the committee. We shall see whether the objectors to the Bill, who did not appear at the late conference at the Society of Arts, will have pluck enough to appear before the Select Committee and state their views." The more furious objectors didn't attend this meeting, but others worked through the amendments with the Piscatorial Society. Many, however, felt that the Piscatorial Society was not representative of the coarse angling world, especially the various London Angling Societies. A storm was raised with the West Central Association which represented a number of coarse anglers in the London area. Mr Leo Bonvoisin, the clubs Vice-Chairman, wrote to the Fishing Gazette. "Mr Mundella's Bill, The various London Angling Societies have quite recently received on the above from the Piscatorial Society (sic), but as it was reproduced last week among your excellent correspondent, Gaff Hook's notes, I will not trouble your readers with it. I wish, however, to state I think it is greatly to be regretted. Nothing will teach these gentlemen that they are adopting a mode of procedure towards their brother anglers which is uncourteous as it is impolite. There are, as your readers may be aware, two bodies in London to whose monthly meetings any society is entitled to send delegates. When I mentioned that the W.C. Association and the E.C. Committee represent between them some four thousand practical anglers, you will at once see their importance as mediums for ascertaining the views of the London disciples of Walton. Until a week ago, when they sent in their resignation on the grounds that they did not find it advantageous to belong to us, the Piscatorials were represented at the W.C. Association's meeting, and theirs being an old established club would have given just weight to any opinions they might have been pleased to express, but the Association have from the first protested against their taking separate action in this or any other matter and the majority of the clubs have refused to attend to any but circulars or notices sent through the recognised channels. "Exclusive, or select (you can choose which you like) in the extreme, never striving to carry out the law of good fellowship or Angling Freemasonry, so eloquently and practically preached by honest old Izaak Walton, never caring to visit, or be visited by, members of other societies, but firmly shutting their doors against all not provided a formal introduction, the Piscatorials could never pretend to rank as a representative society, and the line of conduct they have adopted is therefore all the more unaccountable. Anglers are, as a body, a quiet, easy-going lot, but if the Piscatorial Club thinks the course they have adopted is not appreciated at its true worth, they are indeed mistaken. One instance is sufficient. At a meeting the other evening some twenty-five societies represented during the call of the roll, the long-continued groans and hisses which greeted the words "Piscatorial Society" would have satisfied the most sceptical of gratitude the London Anglers bear those who have striven to humble and annoy their legitimate representatives by acting counter to their intentions, thus ignoring them altogether. "My main object, however, in writing is to advise clubs enrolled east or west to adopt the same course as the Hammersmith, North Western, Silver Trout and many other societies have been or intend doing, namely, inform Mr Lander that when it becomes necessary to adopt any measures in the above matter, they will do so through their recognised representatives, the Association and the Committee. Yours obediently Leo Bonvoisin Vice Chairman West Central Association." During the committee stage the Bill had many objections and attempted amendments, with considerable debate as to the close time, some towards a shorter time and others suggested a longer period. The Bill finally received its third reading and went to the House of Lords to become law. Further amendments to the Mundella Act continued until the advent of the 1923 Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act, which encompassed all the previous legislation. The 1923 Act also established the Fishery Boards. The next major change didn't take place until 1948 with a legislative change over to the River Boards Act. So there you have it. Regards, Lee. An interesting post showing that the CS came about because of a need for conservation and had nothing to do with keeping coarse anglers off the rivers.
mick b on 19/03/2014 09:59:27
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For all you who think anglers would respect a river if the close season was abolished just read the problems the Somerly Estate had with the much vaunted Christchurch Angling Club, CAC. The Somerly Estate waters were regarded as 'the jewel in the crown' of the CAC river fishing, set in a stunningly beautiful river valley, the river running through an old private Estate that was managed with great sympathy and skill for wildlife and countryside sport by its owners. The CAC had a huge membership, many from across the country, who joined the Club simply because of the sheer milage of superb fishing it controlled on the Somerly Estate Hampshire Avon (for species and weights just read their Club book, its the stuff of dreams (or was). However because of problems with the CAC and the way it managed the property the Somerly Estate has taken their waters back under their own control and will, in future manage it themselves. If a top club, renting what is arguably the finest coarse fishing in England cannot manage it with respect it deserves what hope for any club controlling its 'friends of the countryside' as they trample and encamp on our river banks during the most sensitive time of the year for wildlife. I despair at some of the attitudes being presented here. What is wrong with you people that you cannot respect that which you say you value the most? .
thecrow on 19/03/2014 10:16:10
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For all you who think anglers would respect a river if the close season was abolished just read the problems the Somerly Estate had with the much vaunted Ringwood and District Angling Association (RDAC). The Somerly Estate waters were regarded as 'the jewel in the crown' of the RDAC river fishing, set in a stunningly beautiful river valley, the river running through an old private Estate that was managed with great sympathy and skill for wildlife and countryside sport by its owners. The RDAC had a huge membership, many from across the country, who joined the Club simply because of the sheer milage of superb fishing it controlled on the Somerly Estate Hampshire Avon (for species and weights just read their Club book, its the stuff of dreams (or was). However because of problems with the RDAC and the way it managed the property the Somerly Estate has taken their waters back under their own control and will, in future manage it themselves. If a top club, renting what is arguably the finest coarse fishing in England cannot manage it with respect it deserves what hope for any club controlling its 'friends of the countryside' as they trample and encamp on our river banks during the most sensitive time of the year for wildlife. I despair at some of the attitudes being presented here. What is wrong with you people that you cannot respect that which you say you value the most? . I thought it was Christchurch that had Somerly Mick, they have from what I have read lost it due to not fulfilling contractual agreements, i.e. not looking after the water as they should although I don't know what that means. ---------- Post added at 03:16 ---------- Previous post was at 03:11 ---------- TheCrow makes a valid point that only 16% of the respondents to the EA survey were primarily river anglers. It would be interesting to see what percentage of those anglers wanted to retain the closed season. They, after all, would presumably have the most first hand knowledge of rivers and understanding of whether a CS was justified. I was one of the respondents in that category and at the time i actually wanted to retain the CS. I no longer hold that opinion. After reading some informative posts on here I have been swayed the same way as yourself, I can see no proven reasons for retaining it and the reasons for it initially no longer apply, the close season on all waters should be left for the owners of the waters to implement when/if needed.
mick b on 19/03/2014 10:22:46
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Thanks Crow, corrected.
The bad one on 19/03/2014 14:08:04
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CF should have read CS, but you knew that, big fingers small keyboard. Armature can be, can be a frame for a sculpture and/or the kinematic chains used in computer animation. In this case a spellchecker correction (wrongly) for the misspelled word "Amateur." Oh the vagaries of Mr Gates infernal operating software. Oh you miss one to pick up on, "were" should have been "we're" missed the apostrophe out. Pedantic I know, but as we’re (got it right this time), or should I say you, are being corrective, it’s important I think. Did I accuse you of being middle class?... Nop! Yet again you misunderstood the subtlety of the general point being made. So for clarity and correctly this time I'll restate it. "I'm northern (proud of it), we’re blunt and don't **** about with nicey, nicey midleclassy won't say what they mean garbage, we tell it like it is up here, eyeball to eyeball. And don't give a **** whether you like it or not!" Note the final sentence as it’s a salient point here. And as the kids say “am I bothered”…. what you think of me! Nop! Just spotted this after I posted ....."your firs part of your post....." I presume you meant "first?" Kettle pot black eh!
thecrow on 19/03/2014 16:35:24
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CF should have read CS, but you knew that, big fingers small keyboard. Armature can be, can be a frame for a sculpture and/or the kinematic chains used in computer animation. In this case a spellchecker correction (wrongly) for the misspelled word "Amateur." Oh the vagaries of Mr Gates infernal operating software. Oh you miss one to pick up on, "were" should have been "we're" missed the apostrophe out. Pedantic I know, but as we’re (got it right this time), or should I say you, are being corrective, it’s important I think. Did I accuse you of being middle class?... Nop! Yet again you misunderstood the subtlety of the general point being made. So for clarity and correctly this time I'll restate it. "I'm northern (proud of it), we’re blunt and don't **** about with nicey, nicey midleclassy won't say what they mean garbage, we tell it like it is up here, eyeball to eyeball. And don't give a **** whether you like it or not!" Note the final sentence as it’s a salient point here. And as the kids say “am I bothered”…. what you think of me! Nop! Just spotted this after I posted ....."your firs part of your post....." I presume you meant "first?" Kettle pot black eh! As you knew AT meant angling trust :wh Subtlety from someone who is proud to be blunt, don't **** about and don't give a **** ? Good spot on the missing t, shows that you are reading the post. Wont say anything about the deliberate mistake with the nope, oops just did but poor bait really :) I think that we should perhaps get back to the more important debate on the CS instead of carrying this on don't you? ---------- Post added at 09:35 ---------- Previous post was at 09:30 ---------- Thanks Crow, corrected. Your post does show what can happen to a club that doesn't look after the waters it has the fishing rights to, as far as I know the water is to go syndicate, who knows what that will cost, probably as much as the CAC membership was which included their other waters. I can see the loss of somerly costing the club dear.
Ray Wood 1 on 19/03/2014 17:11:18
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Back on track.:) “The Angling Trust will not take any formal position in lobbying for a change in the river close season until we see what the evidence would be on fish stocks and the views of our members and the various groups of anglers. As an organisation committed to conservation, it would be irresponsible of us to do anything else. However, we do accept that this is a live issue and we want anglers on both sides of this debate to have their voices heard and for the arguments to be tested. We will be seeking further contributions from prominent voices within angling and will publish them on this page. We've listed ways that you can get involved in the debate on the right hand side of this page and look forward to hearing your point of view” So the AT will not by its own admission take a formal position on lobbying for a change to the rivers CS until it sees evidence on fish stocks. As it unlikely the EA will carry out any such studies that the AT trust could use to support lobbying for change to CS its hands are tied. If it wants the views of its members and various groups of anglers, and if that is a genuine desire should it not be consulting its membership and the various groups of anglers it refers to in writing? In turn would it not be reasonable to expect the member clubs of the AT to consult their membership to see if they want to see the rivers CS changed? Or will the trust just accept the views of committee members of its member clubs, or will it ensure that all member clubs consult their members. Not to ensure this will be a disservice to both the members of those clubs and societies but also to angling IMHO. Just how it intends to test the arguments regarding this debate will be interesting to read. Asking for views on facebook/twitter or the AT site can hardly be a way to form any formal position for lobbying for change to the CS can it? The only way for the AT to formulate a proper position is quite clear, it has to be via its member clubs and individual members to a man nothing else will do. Likewise those member club committees are duty bound to consult its memberships, to do anything less would be a dereliction of duty. I await to be convinced that the AT will not take an irresponsible position on lobbying for change to the CS, and likewise that some member clubs will do the same without consulting their memberships. Kind regards Ray
Judas Priest on 19/03/2014 19:39:01
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Would this be the same group of so called bigwigs that now form the AT that stood by whilst the Close season on stillwaters was abolished without so much as a murmmer ? Hypothetically speaking I suppose if the Trade thought that the abolishment of the Close season would increase their members income significantly then fence sitting would not be an option open to the AT. I'll reiterate that there is no scientific evidence to support the Close season in its present or any form when those same waters are open to every other Tom, Dick or Harry water and bankside user.
maverick 7 on 19/03/2014 19:54:20
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For all you who think anglers would respect a river if the close season was abolished just read the problems the Somerly Estate had with the much vaunted Christchurch Angling Club, CAC. The Somerly Estate waters were regarded as 'the jewel in the crown' of the CAC river fishing, set in a stunningly beautiful river valley, the river running through an old private Estate that was managed with great sympathy and skill for wildlife and countryside sport by its owners. The CAC had a huge membership, many from across the country, who joined the Club simply because of the sheer milage of superb fishing it controlled on the Somerly Estate Hampshire Avon (for species and weights just read their Club book, its the stuff of dreams (or was). However because of problems with the CAC and the way it managed the property the Somerly Estate has taken their waters back under their own control and will, in future manage it themselves. If a top club, renting what is arguably the finest coarse fishing in England cannot manage it with respect it deserves what hope for any club controlling its 'friends of the countryside' as they trample and encamp on our river banks during the most sensitive time of the year for wildlife. I despair at some of the attitudes being presented here. What is wrong with you people that you cannot respect that which you say you value the most? . As well as me easily respecting a river if the CS was abolished (in fact I would respect them all)....I must be missing something here Mick......but I can't see the connection in what you have written and the Close Season.....What has that got to do with abolishing or keeping the Close Season?..... Just sounds like a story of bad river management to me...or at the very least...river management that wasn't apparently good enough in the eyes of the owners of the stretch.......so what? ......and just to note.....even at the "most sensitive time of the year" the wildlife seems to be doing pretty good around all the trampled and encamped banks of the venues that are exempt from the Close Season....AND..... I am absolutely certain they would on the banks of the rivers too should the CS be abolished. Maverick
black kettle on 19/03/2014 20:40:11
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Hi Ray, I can't see the relevance of the AT paragraphs; "“The Angling Trust will not take any formal position in lobbying for a change in the river close season until we see what the evidence would be on fish stocks and the views of our members and the various groups of anglers. As an organisation committed to conservation, it would be irresponsible of us to do anything else. However, we do accept that this is a live issue and we want anglers on both sides of this debate to have their voices heard and for the arguments to be tested. We will be seeking further contributions from prominent voices within angling and will publish them on this page. We've listed ways that you can get involved in the debate on the right hand side of this page and look forward to hearing your point of view” The AT should know well what the legal parameters are concerning any change to the rivers close season, and its certainly not anything to do with an issue live or dead. Its about government legislation which states within its text that the close season will remain until scientific research proves it is safe to alter the present close season. I wonder who their "prominent voices within angling?" are? I bet its not our fishing dustman that's for sure. Frankly Ray, I am very suspicious as to the AT motives regarding the close season issue. Regarding the consultation of members within angling clubs, I can speak on behalf of the procedures and protocols of the various clubs that I have held office in before. It would be normal procedure to hold a vote on certain issues at AGM providing said issue was proposed and seconded. In emergency where a vote was sought pre or post AGM then an EGM would be called. On the issue of voting over any alterations to the rivers close season I would argue the case in committee for a full paper ballot of the membership. On the face of it some might assume that clubs would relish the idea for an end to the rivers close season. Not so with the clubs I am/have been involved with. Previously I have been heavily involved in negotiations for fishing leases with riparian owners, farmers mostly. These are men that know the value of their land and everything on it that can give them the best yields. Gone are the days of peppercorn fishing rents with most farmers asking a pretty penny for their fishing rights. Any increase in the river fishing season will certainly see these farmers asking more money for their fishing leases. The NFU jungle drums would be beating right across the country. More costs more it's as simple as that. Now I'm sure that some specimen anglers perhaps, or the above average keen as mustard angler might well turn a blind eye to any substantial increase in their club memberships for the opportunity of more fishing but from my experience the vast majority of our nations club members are either once a week or occasional anglers that whinge like hell if their club fees go up 50p once every five years!!! With this in mind whilst taking into consideration the way that the Angling Trust does business I seriously doubt they will be asking for the ballot papers to come out of the deep dark dungeon where they keep them locked away. Is voting blasphemy in the Ivory Towers? Regards, Lee.
Ray Wood 1 on 19/03/2014 21:33:06
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Lee, The relevance of the AT paragraphs was to illustrate that they cannot really lobby for a change to the CS unless it abandons its claim of being an organisation committed to conservation. Or other pressures are brought to bare on the trust, which I suspect is the case. You've been around long enough to know how things work, there will be no ballots by the AT and at least one of its member clubs that’s for sure. Joe angler will not have a say in anything and that’s a given. You should already be aware who the “prominent voices are” Martin Salter mentions three of them in his “River Close Season-Is it time for a rethink? A few more can be found on the AT website." I agree with what you say more costs more, so in that light this call for change in the CS could actually backfire on those that are calling for it. Clubs and societies could find themselves paying far more for the fisheries they have on their books. That in turn could lead to losing both waters due to increased rents and members due to loss of waters or increased subs to pay the rent increases. The river CS is in place it maybe right it maybe wrong, what I am sure of is whatever happens you will never please everyone. Someone asked if “Angling Unity is it possible” this debate clearly indicates not and never will be. Keep your head down me duck. Kind regards Ray
chub_on_the_block on 19/03/2014 22:09:00
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Theres plenty of stillwaters that are important for nature conservation where there is no CS. Not all waterbodies that are nature reserves are SSSI or necessarily owned by the National Trust or RSPB either. In these other places angling throughout the year and nature conservation happily coexist. In truth there are more lakes, ponds or other stillwaters of conservation interest than there are rivers - abstraction, pollution and awful river management by the EA or its predecessors has seen to that.


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