Angling: Anglers stumped by bankside devastation

DEVASTATION: Spawning and nesting areas destroyed on the River Nidd have led anglers to ask how this helps the environment.
DEVASTATION: Spawning and nesting areas destroyed on the River Nidd have led anglers to ask how this helps the environment.
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Over the past couple of years I have always promoted the fisheries side of the Environment Agency (EA), and, over the past few months, have reported how our local rivers have benefited from stockings supplied by its Calverton fish-rearing facility.

How can one department of the same group be so much better than the rest of those making decisions on behalf of millions of anglers?

If ever anyone needed proof that one hand sometimes has no idea what the other one is doing then the exploits of flood defence on the river Nidd below Hammerton says it all. Following up numerous anglers’ complaints, I contacted Dave Ruston, the vice-president and fishery liaison officer of owners Leeds Amalgamation, to give me the details.

He told me: “Last week I had a closed-season stroll along the bank and was horrified to see total devastation on the far-bank willows on some of my favourite barbel swims.

“My understanding of the EA guidelines for willow removal was take a third and leave two thirds. This latest smoking chainsaw-wielding foray had taken the lot, leaving just stumps!

“We have had an extremely good and long-standing relationship with many departments of the EA, but for some reason we never received any communication relating to the flood defence work.

“However, one of their sub-contractors did have the courtesy to contact me and invited me to walk another length of the Nidd three weeks ago. After 30 minutes’ walking the length we had agreed a mutually acceptable scope of work which met both their obligations to the EA and was sympathetic to the anglers’ favourite swims.

“If one contractor can do that, then why can’t the rest? ‘Communicate’ and ‘educate’ might be a good edict to adopt for the flood defence department. The cruel irony is that all this destruction of our favourite fisheries and swims is paid for by our rod licence money!

“Farther down the length there was another 100-yard stretch decimated. Barbel Alley, as it was fondly known, had been wiped out and now resembles ‘canal alley’. All the willows had been butchered and it resembled something of a scorched-earth policy.

“Why has this been done to such extreme measures when the opposite bank is lined with 20-foot high willows?”

To add my own gripe to the other Mr Angry’s, it’s only weeks ago that the Environment Agency supplied this stretch of river with over 1,000 juvenile fish. The length been chosen for its abundant tree and bankside cover that supplies calm water refuge and hideaways from predators such as cormorants, goosander and otters.

I would ask: were the young fish ever considered? Did you pick the time of year to remove trees, when fish are using roots for spawning and the birds were choosing nesting sites, by sticking a pin in a calendar while wearing a blindfold, or did you just forget?

Reports from the Washburn Valley, meanwhile, are all good for visiting fly anglers.

As water temperatures rise, the new stocks of rainbows are feeding freely. Returns, best fish, methods and tactics to follow ...

Results

Angel Lakes, Open Lookout: 1, JOhn Dryden 64-07; 2, John Foster 58-09; 3, Anth Richardson 53-06.

Viking Saturday Open (Deer): 1, J Slaughter 67-10; 2, G Thornton 63-06; 3, L Pulford 47-11; 4, I Ireland 46-14.

Molton Coors (Viking Hawk): 1, A Langdon 74-02; 2, A Broomhead 65-01; 3, S Goddard 50-02; 4, P Carter 48-06.

Colton AC (Viking Deer): 1, R Foster 52-02; 2, I Asquith 40-08; 3, M Durkin 37-08.

Apollo AC (Viking Hawk): 1, A Palmer 86-05; 2, C Morgan 72-08; 3, S Greenwood 66-13; 4, J Galley 46-07.

Glasshoughton AC (Viking Fox): 1, S Jones 70-13; 2, M Yates 54-04; 3, P Yates 45-06.

Turner Open, KP Lapwing: 1, J Brogden 58-09; 2, D Cockrill 41-06; 3, A Limbert 39-14; 4, M Turner 35-00.

Moor Monkton Midweek Rover: 1, J Roper 65-14; 2, A Warren 59-14 ; 3, M Gallagher 29-03.

Kippax Park, Lapwing: 1, P Carter 66-11; 2, J Humpries 61-10; 3, A Broomhead 52-08

Osprey Lake, Kippax Park: 1, J Redmond 105-00; 2, R Freer 65-06; 3, A Broomhead 62-00.

Moor Monkton, Cyprio & Match: 1, S Hodson 52-02; 2, D Wright 49-11; 3, G Boldison 49-05; 4, O Hewitt 46-04.

Osprey Lake, Kippax Park: 1, S Raper 133-07; 2, M Rockingham 46-12; 3, J Wake 42-14.

Woodlands, Skylark Partridge Kestrel: 1, D Smith 156-04; 2, D Miles 129-04; 3, I Exley 102-06; 4, R Pickles 102-02.

Oaks & Sessay, AB & S: 1, A Barker 200-06; 2, P Sellars 196-12; 3, C Webb 183-09.

Southfield Reservoir Spring Series: 1, M Bawden 41-14; 2, S Wright 40-02; 3, D Berry 33-07; 4, M Fawcett 27-08.

York Nomads, Poppleton Horseshoe: 1, T Bainbridge 65-14; 2, G Shepardson 63-04; 3, D Thorpe 48-14; 4, G Peak 44-02.

Starbeck AC, Poppleton Lakes: 1, M Brown 130-10; 2, A Murray 92-04; 3, M MacWilliams 91-02; 4, K Bell 90-12.

Mirfield, Aire & Calder Heck: 1, S Haigh 14-10; 2, K Hobson 14-03; 3, A Beech 14-02; 4, P Austin 11-10; 5, K Hartley 10-08.

Colton AC, Swanlands: 1 C Remmer 97-04; 2 B Clark 84-04; 3 I Asquith 67-06; 4 G Sewell 61-14.

X-Gates & District AC, Sykehouse: 1, M Johnson 11-09; 2, T Atkinson 8-13; 3, D Utley 6-14.

Bradford No 1, Raskelf: 1, M Wasilewski 28-08; 2, D Atkinson 21-10; 3, J Walsh 18-10; 4, G Jackson 17-09 ; 5, A Bradley 14-07.

Poppleton, York Nomads: 1, G Peak 104-00; 2, R Holmes 92-00; 3, G Shepardson 76-06; 4, T Bainbridge 74-04.

Match Diary

Saturday

Angel Lakes: Open Bowes, draw 9am.

Kippax Park: Saturday Open, Lapwing or Osprey, contact 07967000746.

Poppleton: Saturday Open, pools £15, draw cafe 10am, contact Roger 01904737279.

Birkwood Farm Fisheries: Emily’s or Oscar’s, draw 8.30am, contact 01924 892251.

Woodlands: 72 pegs, tickets £18, contact 01845 520110.

Oaks at Sessay: 50 pegs, tickets £17, contact 01845 501321.

Langwith Lakes: 60 pegs, tickets £16, contact 01904 431874.

Moorfields Farm: 54 pegs, tickets £16, contact 07710817150.

Fleets Dam: 50 pegs, tickets £15, contact 01226 292579.

Birkwood Farm: 60 pegs, tickets £16, contact 01132 80609.

Viking, Hawk Pond: 30 pegs, tickets £16, contact 01405 860764.

Tollerton Ponds: Open Match all ages, (Kingfisher 20 pegs, Coot 18 pegs, Heron 32 pegs), contact 01347 838115.

Sunday

Angel Lakes: Open Lookout, draw 9am.

Leeds & Liverpool: Kirkstall, contact Roger Movley 01132 772215.

Listerhills: Leeds & Liverpool Canal, contact Eddie Harrison 07518721051.

Woodlands: 72 pegs, tickets £18, contact 01845 520110.

Oaks at Sessay: 50 pegs, tickets £17, contact 01845 501321.

Langwith Lakes: 60 pegs, tickets £16, contact 01904 431874.

Oak Tree Leisure: 50 pegs, tickets £15, contact 01347 810686.

Poppleton: Sunday Open, 50 pegs, draw 11am Cafe, contact 07425 146677.

Monday

Angel Lakes: Open Lookout, draw 9am.

Woodlands: over-50s, 30 pegs, tickets £15, contact 01845 520110.

Langwith Lakes: over-60s, 30 pegs, tickets £10, contact 01904 431874.

Tollerton Ponds: over-50s, tickets £16, contact 01347 838115.

Tuesday

Kippax Park: over-50s, draw 10am, tickets £10, contact 07967000746.

Wednesday

Leeds & District: Moor Monkton Pools, draw 10am, contact 07967000746.

Birkwood Farm Fisheries: Emily’s or Oscar’s, draw 8.30am, contact 01924 892251.

Woodlands: 72 pegs, tickets £18, contact 01845 520110.

Fleets Dam: 50 pegs, tickets £15, contact 01226 292579.

Tollerton Ponds: open match, all ages, contact 01347 838115.

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