WELCOME to the Wednesday blog – each week filled by Angler’s Mail.

This week’s Angler’s Mail HQ blog is by news reporter Ben Weir. BenWeir-150x1501

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NEWS this week of further cooperation between the Centre for Fisheries and Aquaculture Sciences and partners in France must be hailed a major success.

As we exclusively report in this week’s issue there have been ongoing discussions between Cefas’s Fish Health Inspectorate and a number of organisations and finally a major breakthrough has been achieved.

As anyone who knows me will vouch, the illegal and to some extent legal importation of carp is a matter I feel extremely passionate about – though admittedly it does not getting in the way of my impartial reporting here for the Mail.

It’s a subject that has very much disappeared into the ether of late, with the winding up of the English Carp Heritage Organisation and those extremely hardworking volunteers who ‘banged the drum’ for a considerable time. Without them, it seems the debate and subsequent lobbying and publicising has more or less disappeared.

Now with the latest great news from Cefas once again this very important matter is back on the agenda with the input of a new French group. So who are our new French friends?



UNCL Union Nationale des Carpistes Libres – The National Union of Independant Carp Anglers. This is an association that regroups regional and local carp angling associations and forums. Created to promote fishing in public waters and address issues that concern carp anglers (unfunded).

CATAC – This is a cell within the UNCL, with a single remit; the prevention of fish theft from public waters. A small group of anonymous individuals spread out across France with a wider base of anglers offering up information to the group. Catac offers help and advice on the issue and shares its information with a range of federal bodies and government agencies at local, regional, national and international levels (unfunded)

Federation National Peche – The National Fishing Federation are responsible for the up keep and management of public waters, the fishing licensing system and the garde de peche (bailiffs). They are the statutory body which advises the government on angling issues and that represents the interests of licence holders within the law making process. They are funded by licence fees and central government; they are very much a mix of the Environment Agency and the Angling Trust.

ONCFS – National Wild Life and Hunting Police. They work predominantly on rural issues with regard to hunting and human impact on wild animal populations, but also deal with cases of domestic and wild animal smuggling. They are in the process (long as ever in France) of taking over the role of angling police from the ONEMA who have relinquished this role to concentrate fully on water quality and pollution issues. (Funded by the government)

The Crimestoppers number 0800 555 111 exists so that people can report crime anonymously. I would urge Angler’s Mail readers to use it. Together week can stop this barbaric trade.

ANOTHER emotive subject is the Close Season. The river season hasn’t even concluded and already debate is raging!!

I read with interests the Angling Trust’s blog which has flagged-up many pros and cons on the subject. Please read the below and feel free to drop Angler’s Mail your views by e-mailing anglersmail@ipcmedia.com



In many parts of the country river anglers are coming to terms with an effective six-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.

A special river close season page has been established on the Angling Trust website in order to host articles on the issue. The debate has been kicked off by the Trust’s Campaign Chief Martin Salter who, despite being a long time supporter of the close season, argues in his latest blog that the lack of science behind the current closure means that it is difficult justify continuing as we are without the benefit of study into the impacts of any changes.

In his article Martin says:
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. The existing close season does not have a huge basis in science and is due for review and part of this review could include an experiment in a specific catchment.”

He goes on…
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 May / June. 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 without unduly compromising our conservation credentials. 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.”

Angling Trust CEO Mark Lloyd added:
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.”



END of season madness! After months of flooding nightmare our rivers have roared into life. Check out this week’s issue for some serious big fish hauls.



THE demise of one of the most well know angling pubs The Royalty down by the banks of the renown fishery on the Hampshire Avon. We have the full story in this week’s Mail.



Click below to watch the video of the week, starring carp tackle innovators Korda:









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