SATURDAYS see the good people at The Angling Trust, the single organisation to represent all game, coarse and sea anglers and angling in this country, take over our blog. Angling Trust chief executive, Mark Lloyd brings you this week’s blog.
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A TRIP TO NUMBER 10 AND A BATTLE ON THE THAMES
I’M back from a great week away fishing on the North Tyne last week where I had three salmon and lost a fourth after having it on for a couple of minutes.
It felt very big and has been getting bigger the more I tell the story. Because of the peaty water up there I will never know how big it was. Isn’t it odd how we remember more clearly the fish we lose than those we catch?
I came back to hundreds of e-mails and a string of meetings including an event at Number 10 Downing Street where I met the Prime Minister and the new Secretary of State for the Environment and was able to raise the issue of cormorant predation on behalf of anglers.
Our cormorant campaign is going really well, and we’re getting many copies of letters from MPs back to anglers who have sent their postcards to the House of Commons demanding an end to the expensive and time-consuming red tape surrounding the control of cormorants and goosanders. If you haven’t sent a postcard yet, please pick one up from your local tackle shop or fishery, or send a letter to your MP – full instructions are on our web site at www.anglingtrust.net/cormorants
The team have all been as busy as ever. They all work long beyond their contracted hours for the benefit of all anglers. If only all anglers were members of the Angling Trust, we’d be able to do far more.
The Bexhill Sea Angling festival kicked off last weekend with the boat and kayak competitions. Anglers have been hitting the beaches since Monday for the five day-long specimen competition with the AT’s David Mitchell snatching a few hours fishing to try and take the top prize before he mans the Angling Trust stand on the seafront this weekend. Thousands of people are expected to come to Bexhill on Saturday and Sunday to compete in the competitions, get a free coaching session from a top coach and enjoy the many events taking place outside the town’s famous De La Warr Pavilion.
Massive news this week was that Sean Ashby of Drennan Team England took the Individual World Championship title at the 59th Nations World Championship on the River Morava in the Czech Republic with a fantastic performance of bleak fishing to record a perfect two point score. This was always going to be a difficult event for Drennan Team England, as early reports intimated that bleak would dominate, but they finished in a very creditable 6th place, just 14 points off a medal, with Poland coming out as eventual winners. Many congratulations to Sean for this fantastic achievement.
Our Membership Manager Will Smith attended the official opening of Ludlow’s new fishing shop JMC Tackle last weekend with Angling Trust Ambassador Des Taylor. Shop manager Ben Trow took the opportunity to pledge their support for our work by signing up JMC Tackle as an Angling Trust Trade Member. Ben is a fanatical river and carp angler so knows how important it is for businesses like his to back our work fighting for fish and fishing. Read more HERE.
Fish Legal, the Angling Trust’s legal arm, is next week fighting the biggest case in the 60 year history of the organisation to try to stop a hydropower turbine being built on a weir on the River Trent. Most of the legal team spent the whole weekend in the office, working until 1 in the morning, to get all the papers for the case printed out. To give you some idea of the quantity of paper, this involved nearly 20 lever arch files of documents. There is no way an angling club could fight this case on its own, or by paying a solicitor to fight the case for them. It is only because all our members contribute their subscriptions and donations that we are able to take on a company which has hired top lawyers and barristers. There will be another update in next week’s blog, but we don’t expect a decision for a few months.
Our campaigns coordinator Martin Salter has been busy drumming up support for the Thames Tideway Tunnel at the Thames Festival where he was joined by Debbie Leach of the environmental charity Thames 21 and well known river carp catcher Richard Crimp of Thames Anglers Conservancy. The Thames Tunnel has long been supported by the Angling Trust as the only way to end the scandal that sees 39 million tonnes of untreated sewage discharged into the tidal river every year from London’s outdated combined storm overflows. The Angling Trust is a founder member of the Thames Tunnel Now Coalition of 30 groups and organisations that are campaigning for a cleaner Thames.
Staying with London, I see that next Wednesday evening at Fishmongers Hall Martin is the keynote speaker at the joint EA, Angling Trust and Thames 21 event entitled ‘Getting London Fishing’.
There is a lot of good stuff that is already happening in the capital with angling access to great sites run by Lea Valley Park, London Wildlife Trust, Thames Water, the Royal Parks and free fishing on the Thames and Lea.
There are also some great participation and coaching projects run by T21, Les Webber, Get Hooked on Fishing, and others but we want to see more. The Trust’s National Angling Development manager Clive Copeland will be there too to talk about setting up an Angling Action Group for London. If you live locally and want to come along contact Grant Fear at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, I have to say that hearing about Martin’s catches at home and abroad is becoming deeply tedious. It was bad enough watching him catch a salmon on his first ever attempt but I now see that he is no longer a bass virgin and ‘popped his cherry’ in some style last week with eleven fish on his first outing. Go to the Angling Trust Facebook page HERE if you want to see his insufferably smug face (along with some good looking fish).
Until next time…
THE NEXT ANGLING TRUST BLOG WILL APPEAR ON SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 29.
MONDAY: Carp crews on rotation – Korda, Fox, Nash and ACE.
TUESDAY: Steve Collett, Mail contributor and ultimate all-rounder.
WEDNESDAY: Angler’s Mail HQ – yes, us!
THURSDAY: Specialists from Pike Anglers Club, Korum, Marukyu and Pallatrax, on rotation
FRIDAY: Carl & Alex, Angler’s Mail juniors and video diary makers.
SATURDAY: The Angling Trust – guys at the governing body.
SUNDAY: Colin Mitchell, veteran coarse angler and top journalist