Angling: Fisheries feeling the heat shut up shop for first time

Yarnbury AC winners show off the Old Ball Cup and prizes donated by local businesses, proof that their future is in good hands.
Yarnbury AC winners show off the Old Ball Cup and prizes donated by local businesses, proof that their future is in good hands.
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Unprecedented measures have been put in place in a bid to safeguard fish stocks around the country.

As scorching temperatures and low river levels pooled together to reduce life-giving dissolved oxygen, some of the best-known and prolific river fisheries have ‘for the first time’ closed their gates to anglers until conditions change and are deemed safe. Venues closed that are best known to our local anglers will be the vast holdings of Scunthorpe AA on the Tidal Trent which include Dunham Bridge, Clifton and Besthorpe – all famous for its huge stocks of oxygen-loving barbel.

Closures on the Wye around Hereford are also in place along with the Barbel Society’s extensive fisheries throughout the country. Fish welfare and the safe return of all species has to be the top priority of all anglers and, as some of our rivers are hitting the lukewarm status of 24C, it goes almost without saying that extra time and care is needed to make sure the fish swim away strongly.

The for-or-against closure debate has now reached boiling point with some high-profile anglers taking a stance and giving forthright opinions (all, of course, claim to be right). Some I read with interest, some are laughable but one that I would like to challenge made the claim that continuing to run matches and the use of keepnets is a disgrace and anyone not agreeing is irresponsible. Total rubbish!

I fished the match scene for over 35 years before changing direction and fishing until now nearly exclusively for barbel. In that time I have witnessed and weighed in match returns of hundreds of barbel, all from keepnets, and can honestly say I have never seen a single fatality.

The same cannot be said of my shorter time sitting looking at tips pointing skywards, as I have witnessed more than a few float belly up down the Tidal Trent after so-called red-letter days by specimen anglers (these are some of the same people making claims about keepnets and setting the rules on fish safety).

I can only comment on my own experiences, and know that in certain conditions single big fish would recover far better in a large, correctly placed keepnet than resting up in a landing net as is often promoted.

On the upside, we fished through water shortages, stand pipes and the hotter summer of ’76 and that season was the best in memory for fry survival rates and, without doubt, led to what most regard as the heyday of angling – the early 1980s.

And just maybe the boom in barbeling is as a consequence of the same hot weather that anglers are arguing about now.

Yarnbury AC boss and junior coach Adie Addy, meanwhile, continues to safeguard the future with another top juvenile contest held at nearby None Go By Farm.

Youngsters from across Leeds were rewarded with a cracking match which saw 10-year-old Ollie Mullen take the honours and Old Ball Cup with 35-4 of pole-caught carp. Fourteen-year-old Molly Blackburn was a close second with 29-10.

Results

Leeds DASA Beal Bridge: 1, D Armitage 20-06; 2, P Barron 10-05; 3, R Gaunt 8-02; 4, I Bates 6-10.

JT Rodgers Redwood Park: 1, C Pearlman 75-02; 2, D Shaw 74-12; 3, D Watson 52-00.

JT Rodgers Tollerton Kingfisher: 1, A Conboy 112-00; 2, D Shaw 74-08; 3, S Phelan 67-04.

Robin Hood AC Sykhouse: 1, Steve Simmons 159-04; 2, Kev Hey 135-08; 3, Paul Wilson 84-04; 4, Dave Webster 80-10.

Robin Hood AC, Lindholme, Bonsai: 1, Steve Simmons 111-00; 2, Paul Clough 102-12; 3, Michelle Webster 101-08; 4, Mark Firth 89-02.

Yarnbury AC Under-16s None Go By Farm: 1, Ollie Mullen 35-04; 2, Molly Blackburn 29-10; 3, Sienna Carver 27-12; 4, Darcy Slater 26-12.

Bradford No1 Committee Cowthorpe River Nidd: 1, H Foster 8-04; 2, N Freer 4-12; 3, A Fox 3-06.

Airborough AA Brafferton F1: 1, A Carroll 88-04; 2, J Sandham 85-01; 3, J Whitehead 79-06; 4, D Horrocks Jnr 76-05; Team 1 Scrapmen 230lb.

White Horse AC Weeton Lake Huby: 1, S Good 11-04; 2, D Brier 10-00; 3, P Smolka 7-00; 4, G Brier 5-04.

Moor Monkton, All Pools: 1, Tom Bainbridge 171-08; 2, Steve Thackwray 158-04; 3, James Roper 150-01; 4, Andy Middleton 109-11.

Kippax Park, Tuesday Open, Osprey: 1, Paul Carter 116-12; 2, Andy Rymer 81-12; 3, Paul Cartwright 69-09; 4, Nigel Carr 62-09.

Kippax Park, Saturday, Lapwing: 1, Neil Rymer 169-01; 2, Andy Barker 160-15; 3, Steve Pearson 137-00; 4, Edie Storey 132-05.

Joe Woodham Memorial, Ulleskelf: 1, Dave Hare 33-02; 2, Steve Holt 28-00; 3, Geoff Bass 16-07; 4, Tony Hewson 11-10.

Listerhills AA Leeds &Liverpool Canal Rodley: 1, M Moss 4-02; 2, R Movley 4-01; 3, B Lowthian 2-09.

Dragon AC at Bank End, West Lake: 1, Dale Evans 141-11; 2, Chris Whyles 132-02; 3, Phil Doyle 113-00; 4, Paddy Barker 105-02.

Armley AC at Brafferton F 1: 1, C Greenwood 133-02; 2, R Varty 74-05; 3, E Cross 72-01; 4, D Atkinson 66-03.

Viking Saturday Open (Hawk): 1, S Conlan 133-01; 2, T Waylin 122-06; 3, T Bullass 117-07; 4, K Swires 101-02.

Yorkshire Post AC (Viking Hawk): 1, K Foster 174-13; 2, K Gill 143-02; 3, C Dunne 143-01; 4, L Whitworth 105-03.

Merlin AC (Viking Fox): 1, D Coote 196-08 (new venue/pond record); 2, P Trenholme 94-06; 3, P Boden 70-00; 4, M Scaife 61-00.

Outwood AC (Viking Hawk): 1, J Guthrie 159-00; 2, M Smith 156-07; 3, N Vorkapic 153-06; 4, N Crosby 126-03.

Kinsley Legion AC (Viking Deer): 1, M Richardson 105-13; 2, J Pell 93-07; 3, D Stephens 74-04.

Oaks AC (Viking Deer): 1, G Scott 108-11; 2, I Morrow 100-06; 3, D Dwyer 60-01; 4, K Haywood 59-15.

Angel Lakes Open Lookout Sunday: 1, John Dryden 168-08; 2, John Foster 166-03; 3, Richie Metcalf 87-15.

Angel Lakes Friday 3-hr Open: 1, John Foster 156-14; 2, Peter Wilson 154-14; 3, Glen Appleby 97-00.

Match Diary

Saturday

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.

Yarnbury AC: Toms Pond Otley, Under-16s, August 24, contact Adie Addy 07956964713.

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.