Angling: Agency has scored an own goal this season

Bailiffs Steve Fearnley and Lee Garrad about to release the picture book carp into their new home at Leeds and District's Knotford Fishery.
Bailiffs Steve Fearnley and Lee Garrad about to release the picture book carp into their new home at Leeds and District's Knotford Fishery.
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Now a fortnight into the river-coarse-fish closed season, I have to say reactions and opinions to the forced closure seem much different this year compared to the past.

The season finished this year on a near-washout with cold weather and flood conditions giving little-to-no chance of fish spawning early.

Questions are now being asked as to why we are being forced to stay at home.

All our local rivers are, at the moment, in near-perfect condition; catches could be brilliant, anglers on the bank would deter predators and poachers, it could be win-win for the environment yet we are told to stop for a law made a hundred years ago.

With the river banks now devoid of the anglers that pay over £20m annually in rod-licence fees, it’s hard to fathom that the same Environment Agency that is telling us to stay away has just promoted and backed the opening of a canoe slalom course on the River Ouse at Linton.

All local anglers know that this part of the river provides nearly all the gravel beds and the most oxygenated water on the non-tidal river, all of which provide the only spawning area on a predominantly deep and sluggish system.

It seems a massive own goal to me.

As the fishing season comes to an end, the same agency that is keeping us away is encouraging canoes to paddle, swim and crash over the gravel that is the lifeline to successful spawning.

Meanwhile, as spring kicks in and anglers are at a loose end, local clubs are making the most of volunteers wanting to get out and help improve their favourite fisheries.

Leeds and District took full advantage last week of an abundance of free labour and a 10-ton digger. The 20-strong group made light work of constructing a number of new pegs and platforms at Pool-in-Wharfedale’s Knotford Fishery, owned by the society.

The Leeds club also funded the next stage of the stocking programme at the fishery with a number of low double-figure carp released along with dozens of smaller fish held back in holding pools to feed and bring on for the future.

Forum AC were also in action recently at the newly acquired Kearby fishery on the River Wharfe, where over 20 fishing stands have been cut and cleared on this once-neglected part of the river, downstream of Harewood Bridge.

The Environment Agency’s Calverton Fish Rearing Facility has released over 1,200 fingerling barbel below Harewood and the same downstream of East Keswick. The new Kearby Fishery is about in the middle; let’s hope the new fish settle there to grow big and old and rejuvenate a stunning piece of river.

Results

West Yorkshire Wagglers, Partridge, Marsh Lake: 1, Andy Howsham 29-14; 2, James Slater 24-03; 3, Simon Hobson 19-05; 4, Graham Hargreaves 8-03.

Bradford No 1AA, Raskelf Winter Series, Final Match: 1, Dawid Moska 37-08; 2, James Michael 31-03; 3, Frankie Laine 23-05; 4, Bill Scott 23-04; 5, Ricky Malone 17-15; Series Result: 1, Dawid Moska 125pts; 2, James Vickerman 110pts; 3, Chris Pitman 104pts; 4, Pete Vickerman 92pts; 5, Simon Foster 91pts.

Mirfield AC, Win Groundbait, Saturday Series, Round 1: 1, Eddie Brydon, Maver Dynamite 31-06; 2, Steve Clegg, Sensas Saints 29-08; 3, Mark Carpenter, Wakefield 21-01; 4, Mark Turner, Mirfield 18-02 (all roach); 5, Brian Farrer, Mirfield 14-08; 6, Craig Turbitt, Tackle 2U 13-12.

Moor Monkton Pools, Spring Series, Match 1: 1, Tom Bainbridge 63-04; 2, Gordon Wright 46-07; 3, Mick Green 36-07; 4, Steve Bolton 34-11.

Moor Monkton Pools, Wednesday Rover All Pools: 1, Garry Watson 63-07; 2, Chris Watson 44-06; 3, Tom Bainbridge 42-11; 4, Craig Burton 33-01; 5, Steve Holmes 32-07.

Moor Monkton Pools, Spring Series, Cyprio and Match: 1, Andy Middleton 55-11; 2, Ben Fisk 51-01; 3, Mick Green 42-08; 4, Lee Smith 41-14.

Moor Monkton Pools, Wednesday Rover, Cyprio and Front: 1, Ben Fisk 71-14 Cyprio; 2, Dave Wright 71-00 Front; 3, Geoff Rhodes 69-13 Front; 4, Steve Mazza 60-13 Cyprio.

Kippax Park Fishery, Tuesday Open, Osprey/Lapwing: 1, Jimmy Redmond 117-11 Osprey; 2, Steve Bean 93-13 Lapwing; 3, Bill Brown 56-09 Osprey; 4, Neil Rymer 52-14 Lapwing.

Kippax Park Fishery, Saturday Open, Osprey/Lapwing: 1, Andy Middleton 98-00 Osprey; 2, Jimmy Redmond 72-03 Lapwing; 3, Steve Pearson 71-01 Lapwing; 4, Andy Rymer 66-06 Osprey.

Kippax Park Fishery, Tuesday Open, Osprey/Lapwing: 1, John Brogden 101-08 Lapwing; 2, Steve Pearson 79-11 Lapwing; 3, Tony Hewson 74-04 Lapwing; 4, Neil Rymer 70-14 Lapwing.

Kippax Park Fishery, Saturday Open, Lapwing: 1, Tony Hewson 75-10; 2, Stan Jeffreys 63-05; 3, Adrian Broomhead 62-06; 4, Carl Cronie 52-12.

Angel Lakes Sunday Open Lookout: 1, John Foster 149-10; 2, John Dryden 119-02; 3, Callum P 57-07.

Viking Saturday Open (Hawk): 1, R Green 41-11; 2, N Taylor 38-06; 3, P Morris 29-04.

Fryston Winter League (Viking Fox): 1, S Birch 55-15; 2, P Moran 44-02; 3, W Netherwood 34-12.

Blankers AC (Viking Deer): 1, P Longfield 71-08; 2, R Scott 66-04; 3, M Smith 43-00.

Glasshoughton (Viking Hawk): 1, P Yates 57-14; 2, M Donnington 56-13; 3, S Jones 38-15.

Spring Grove Old Boys (Viking Hawk): 1, D Watson 31-00; 2, V Rook 26-01; 3, R Paylor 25-06.

Match Diary

Saturday

Viking: Saturday Open, Deer Pond, 24 pegs, £18, contact 01405 785206.

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.

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

Kippax Park: Winter Series, Osprey Lake only, contact Stan 0796700046.

Sunday

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

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.

Thursday

Poppleton Lakes: Thursday, draw car park 5pm, pools £11, contact Roger 01904 737279.