Anglers and fishing clubs back new plans for fish removal

The news that anglers, clubs and fishery owners will decide new bag limits for coarse fish received a huge response from the sport.

Last week Angling Times revealed how fresh legislation regarding the removal of coarse fish is currently being discussed - and anglers were urged to share their views.

Angling clubs and organisations rang AT to state their views and encourage readers to visit the Environment Agency website and make their opinions known.

But the development could cause friction between various groups in the sport. While predator anglers want to be able to catch and remove small fish for use as livebait, matchmen and pleasure anglers are likely to call for a complete ban on removals.

Meanwhile game anglers, who are often accused of having no respect for coarse fish, could be set to object to the whole process.

“Some anglers in the North-East would be astounded if they found they could no longer persecute the ‘vermin’ coarse fish that infest their salmon rivers,” said keen chub angler John Hepworth, member secretary of Durham City AC.

“I just hope that enough coarse anglers stand up to be counted by taking part in this important process,” he added.
But whether you agree that anglers should have the right to fish for food or for livebaits, you only have until September 14 to register your views.

“We have a zero tolerance policy on the removal of adult coarse fish from our waters and it would be good to see such rules in place at a national level,” said King’s Lynn AA secretary Ashley Burton.

“We will respond to the consultation and encourage our members to as well. The problem with anglers is that one per cent are pro-active and the other 99 per cent just moan and do nothing ” he added.

Others have raised concerns about enforcement once any new byelaws are put in place.

“The Angling Trust believes that no change in byelaws alone is sufficient to stop the unauthorised and/or illegal removal of fish from rivers without sufficient resources being employed by the EA in policing those byelaws and fisheries,” warned board member Mike Heylin.