80 per cent say no to fish removal - but what about livebaiting?

Anglers have united to deliver a clear message to the Environment Agency – no fish whatsoever should be taken from our rivers for food or for livebaiting purposes.

In one of our best-ever reader responses, thousands filled in the byelaw consultation form we printed, with 80 per cent saying it should be illegal for anglers to take any rod-caught coarse fish.

Together with a record-breaking response to the EA’s official online consultation on the issue, it makes a very strong case for new national byelaws that will put a stop to the plunder of river fish stocks by a small minority.

“It’s clear to us that each time Angling Times ran stories on the consultation process they prompted a flurry of responses,” said EA fisheries policy manager Adrian Taylor.

“We’re delighted with the numbers that took part in our online version – around 800 – and we’ve also been impressed by the quality of the comments provided. It’s the best response to a fisheries byelaw consultation we’ve ever had. We will be publishing the results soon, but I can say now that the process has raised some very interesting issues.”

In our survey, only 2.7 per cent  of you felt that anglers should be allowed to kill pike, with a further 16.7 per cent agreeing with the removal of small fish for use as live or deadbaits.

The fact that four out of five people feel predator anglers shouldn’t be allowed to remove bait fish is certain to cause concern among pike-fishing fans. Indeed, the Pike Anglers’ Club official consultation response acknowledges this.

“Taking fish for use as live or deadbaits must be allowed to continue as it is a perfectly legitimate, well-established method of fishing for all predatory species which does not have an adverse impact on fish stocks,” claims the club.

But they have gone a step further and requested that rules be introduced to allow predator anglers to use health-checked, farm-reared triploid rainbow trout for use as livebaits in all types of water around the country.



What do you reckon to this news... should anglers still be allowed to remove fish for livebaiting purposes, or should livebaiting be banned? Why not log-in and join the debate in our forum thread HERE ?