THE Angling Trust have helped save trout and ultimately pike fishing on Somerset’s Chew Valley and Blagdon Lake for at least another year.

Bristol Water has announced that it will delay a decision about the fishing it offers at its waters, after pressure from the Trust and MPs, including high-profile Tory, Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Local MP Rees-Mogg is seen above with England international anglers John Horsey and Mark Witham, and Mark Lloyd of the Angling Trust.

Bristol Water had been considering a massive reduction in trout stocking and facilities for fly-fishers from 2019.

The proposals, which were intended to save money and reduce financial risk to the water company, could have brought meaningful trout angling to an end at this historic venue and led to job losses at local businesses. Pike sport would also inevitably dip.

The Trust organised an emergency meeting with Bristol Water, and its board announced this week that the decision would be delayed for 12 months.

The news came at a time when Chew Valley was ending its annual boat and bank pike fishing sessions, where many amazing predators to a massive 44 lb were caught.

Mark Lloyd, Trust and Fish Legal chief executive, said: “We will fight to protect fly fishing for trout at Chew and try to persuade Bristol Water to meet its moral obligation to restore this historic venue to its former glory.

“The reservoir has strategic importance for fly fishing competitions and as a convenient venue for local and visiting fly anglers alike, many of whom have fished at Chew for several decades.

“We want to see Bristol Water following the example of other water companies like Thames Water and Anglian Water, which actively promote and encourage angling on the waters they own.”

Pike historian Neville Fickling said: “Chew is without doubt the best pike fishery in the UK, if not the northern hemisphere. To lose it would be like selling Lords cricket ground to build a supermarket.”

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