Fred J Taylor Award – 2014 Winner Announced
The Angling Trust has announced that this year’s Fred J Taylor award for exceptional work in protecting or improving water habitats in England will be presented to Salford Friendly Anglers’ Society.
Source: Angling Trust
The club has been nominated by the Wild Trout Trust for its clean-up work on the Irwell, a recovering industrial river that flows through Manchester and Salford. The award will be presented to the club at the CLA Game Fair on Saturday 19 July.
The Award honours Fred J Taylor, MBE, angler and writer, who died in 2008. Previous recipients include Peter Rolfe for his work studying and conserving crucian carp, and the Avon Roach Project, winners in 2011.
Formed in 1817, Salford Friendly Anglers’ Society are by some margin the oldest fishing club in England. However, while the club may be old, their attitudes to fishing and the environment are not!
Water quality on the Irwell is now good enough to support fish, but the risk of pollution from the 300 plus Combined Sewer Outfalls (CSOs) is ever-present. SFA has logged and prioritised all of these outlets and volunteers from the club are using the Riverfly Partnership’s Anglers River Monitoring Initiative to keep track of water quality so that problems can be picked up quickly.
Club members are also active in lobbying everyone from Government Ministers downwards to keep the Irwell high on the agenda and this summer volunteers have been planting water crowfoot as part of their ‘greening the river’ project, creating fish refuges and floating islands on inner city fishing venues, and are restocking lakes which have been devastated by pollution.
Remarkably, membership of the club is completely free. Their overall philosophy is to make fishing open and accessible and to encourage anglers to be aware of and active in improving the environment by taking part in river clean-ups and habitat creation.
Mike Duddy from SFA said:
"We’re delighted to win such a prestigious award. A love of fishing and the environment has united anglers from Greater Manchester to lobby our local agencies and water utility to prioritise the continuing clean-up of the River Irwell.
Our club’s activities and hard work to promote the rejuvenation of the river has been the catalyst for a shift change in public regard of the river from public health hazard and open sewer to a new view that it has the potential to add something to people’s lives and is an interesting place to spend time and observe nature. Salmon were last recorded in the Irwell in 1854 and we’re working hard to ensure that it’s not another 150 years before they make a return."
Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of Angling Trust and Fish Legal said:
"The Angling Trust is keen to highlight the magnificent work that anglers around the country do to clear up litter, restore damaged habitats and prevent pollution. There is no better example of this than the work of Salford Friendly Anglers and their club volunteers."
Shaun Leonard, Director of the Wild Trout Trust said:
"The Wild Trout Trust is simply delighted that the work of all at Salford Friendly Anglers be recognised with the Fred J Taylor Award. They are a truly inspirational bunch making a very real difference to the once trashed but now recovering rivers of Greater Manchester.
Well done, SFA!"