Angling: Speed key to implementing ‘right to roam’ fish legislation

Crown Point Bridge, Leeds city centre.
Crown Point Bridge, Leeds city centre.
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Moves by fisheries minister George Eustice for changes to the fish passage laws look to have been successful, with the full backing of associated River Trusts, the Environment Agency and our own Angling Trust.

The government are setting out new proposals in legislation to speed up the removal of thousands of obstructions, including weirs that often prove impassable to our migratory fish.

As usual, the country’s daftest fish, the king of the river Atlantic Salmon, rolls off everyone’s tongue when looking for reasons to the changes of any watercourse.

Though we all like the idea of leaping salmon, other species like eels, lamprey and barbel would be top of my own list for removing barriers, and all other coarse fish will obviously benefit by being able to reach spawning grounds that were once out of reach.

Mark Lloyd, chief executive of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal, said: “We are delighted to see a firm commitment from the government to bring this legislation forward at last after many years of delay.

“Introduction of this legislation is a key demand in the Angling Trust’s Save Our Salmon campaign, because urgent and widespread action to ease thousands of barriers to migration is vital to reverse the decline in salmon stocks.”

He continued: “However, the work will also benefit countless other fish species such as barbel, chub, trout, eels and roach.

“The best solution is to remove man-made barriers entirely, because fish passes are very rarely, if ever, 100 per cent effective for all species at all times.

“Any delay, particularly if there are several on a river, can be fatal for individual fish or prevent them completing their vital life cycle and maintaining healthy populations.”

Leeds City Council’s £50m flood alleviation project on our local River Aire looks to have got the jump on all of the government’s new proposals.

The new mechanical rise and fall weirs of Knostrop and Crown Point both have Larinier fish passes already included in plans for their construction. With the city’s fish soon to have a freedom or ‘right to roam’, let’s hope we see previously devoid sections burst back into life, not just with salmon and trout, but all species.

I look forward to the day that I can go barbeling on Kirkstall Road.

With the crazy spring weather continuing, catches and results are changing hour to hour with reports of good brown-trout catches falling to the fly on the Bradford No1 Wharfe fishery at Addingham, to the day after hearing of carp anglers at Knotford blanking and waking up to bivies looking like igloos due to hard air frosts.

The normally prolific Fewston also suffered last week with averages falling slightly to 4.1, though fish banked seem bigger in size with a good number over 3 and 4lb on catch returns.

A clonker of a rainbow, weighing in at over 5lb, gave Mr Martin Skillbeck the best fish of the week title. His fish took a small viva fished deep.

No browns were recorded from Thruscross and anglers are having to fish chopped worm to entice a bite at nearby Swinsty.

Results

Colton Sports, Swanlands: 1, K Gale 120-+14; 2, B Taylor 95-12; 3, I Asquith 67-04; 4, A Senior 62-12.

White Horse AC, Pudsey Angling, Tollerton Ponds – Kingfisher: 1, R Cowley 37-08; 2, A Doyle (Visitor) 26-08; 3, P Robinson 26-00; 4, D Brier 25-00.

Poppleton Lakes, York, Horseshoe, York Nomands Spring League, Round 1: 1, T Carlton 599-12; 2, J Haw 44-00; 3, B Morris 35-12; Round 2: 1, D Pollitt 58-00; 2, J Haw 48-12; 3, D Rawlingson 47-08; Round 3: 1, G Peake 75-00; 2, D Pollitt 37-12; 3, D Scratchard 33-08.

Bobco BSR, Moor Monkton, Cyprio: 1, S Rodgers 51-13; 2, T Rodgers 32-09; 3, D Wright 31-12; 4, N Rymer 21-12.

JT Rodgers Summer League, Round 3, Brafferton, F1 Lake: 1, A Jackson 82-07; 2, D Gumby 73-11; 3, M Pearson 71-14.

Colton Sports, Forest Lane: 1, I Asquith 71-06; 2, M Thorpe 49-12; 3, G Sewell 41-14; 4, B Taylor 27-04.

XGates & District, Aire & Calder, Altofts: 1, J Bacon 5-03; 2, M Johnson 3-02; 3, A Stainton 1-09.

Moor Monkton, Mid-Week: 1, M Gallagher 91-14; 2, S Mazza 40-05; 3, D Pollitt 34-11.

JT Rodgers Spring Series, Moor Monkton: 1, L Smith 64-06; 2, S Pearson 56-12; 3, A Barker 52-00; 4, E Boldison 47-12.

War of the Roses, Lindholme Lakes: 1, M Stainsby 87-02; 2, L Sears 80-13; 3, L Marshall 71-03; Team Results: Yorkshire 1,432-01, Lancashire 1,280-06.

Moorfields Farm: 1, A Waters 90-02; 2, S Ellis 75-14; 3, S Hoyle 68-08; 4, G Crane 59-14.

Oaks at Sessay, Cedar: 1, C Kendall 118-11; 2, C Hall 96-10; 3, M Calvert 90-07; 4, S Brunyee 82-12.

Woodlands Lakes, Thirsk, Curlew/Wagtail: 1, M Pearson 76-01; 2, N Carr 75-02; 3, M Wheeler 50-15; 4, G Poole 45-04.

Woodlands Lakes, Thirsk, Skylark/Wagtail/Curlew: 1, D Geldart 75-00; 2, A Stock 74-13; 3, C Pentland 73-04; 4, N Carr 71-10.

Mirfield AC, Huddersfield Broad: 1, A Bradley 7-14; 2, M Taylor 6-02; 3, S Haigh 5-07; 4, A Smith 5-00; 5, G Scollick 4-05.

Kippax Park, Osprey: 1, S Jeffreys 49-04; 2, D Masters 49-00; 3, S Pearson 31-12.

Kippax Park, Osprey: 1, P Carter 81-00; 2, A Rymer 49-00; 3, M Burrell 42-07; 4, T Hewson 41-12.

Kippax Park, Lapwing: 1, T Hewson 94-01; 2, S Cromie 75-08; 3, J Wake 65-12.

Viking Saturday Open (Hawk): 1, D Nicklas 43; 2, G Thornton 29-04; 3, P Morris 26-15.

Mighty Anglers AC Pontefract (Viking Deer): 1, B Smith 53-15; 2, S Dickinson 22-05; 3, S Dickinson 20-13.

Roadline AC (Viking Deer): 1, I Swarbeck 38-05; 2, R Milner 36-12; 3, M Brotherton Jr 36-04; 4, M Brotherton 31-09.

Merlin Nomads (Viking Hawk): 1, D Coote 61; 2, J Scaife 51; 3, A Rumbelow 16-08.

Rodley Barge, Tollerton – Heron: 1, P Sawyer 55-12; B Sanders 46-12; M Penistone 40-10; I Hardisty 35-10.

Angel Lakes, Open Lookout: 1, J Nelson 72-6; 2, B Hall 48-14; 3, J Fisher 37-03.

Match Diary

Saturday

Viking Saturday Open: Deer pond, 24 pegs, £16, contact 01405 860764.

Lex’s Legacy ‘Pride of the Isle’, Lindholme Lakes Big Bash: June 1, contact 01427 875555/01427 872905.

Kippax Park: 27 pegs, tickets £20, contact 07967000746.

Feeder Master Qualifier: River Aire, Beal, contact Angling Trust 0115 906 1301.

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.

Sunday

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.

Leeds DASA: Moor Monkton Pools, contact 07967000746.

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.

The Environment Agency are working together with anglers on the River Nidd.

Environment Agency deserve credit for their work on the River Nidd