The future looks bright for canal angling after it was revealed that plans are being put in place to implement large scale improvements to waterways in order to boost sport and attract more anglers.
Following the findings of a national survey by the Canal & River Trust, which saw over 200 angling clubs representing around 60,000 members quizzed about what they wanted from their stretches, the charity are now using the data to generate an action plan to encourage anglers to return to ‘the cut’.
In a series of telephone interviews, clubs who run CRT owned stretches were asked questions ranging from what could be done to improve fishing to their views on how they could get more people – particularly youngsters – involved in the sport. Half of the clubs revealed they ran no junior section and 63 per cent said they have never ran an event to attract newcomers to fishing. Two-thirds also said they would like to see improved access or the restocking of waters.
The findings are now being fed into 11 regional angling action plans which will be overseen by a regional fishery manager and National Fisheries and Angling Manager John Ellis. Each plan will be locally focussed and will consider areas such as stocking, access and parking, towpath management, water quality and volunteering with initiatives to help grow club memberships and funding to help attract new people to the sport.
Simon Salem, marketing and fundraising director for the Trust, said: “Angling clubs are right at the heart of what we’re trying to achieve as a Trust; encouraging people to take ownership of their local stretch and, importantly, getting more people involved. “That’s why it’s so important that we build close relationships with clubs and give them the support they need to help bring a new generation of people into the sport and onto the waterways.”
Mark Lloyd, chief executive of the Angling Trust said; “It’s great that the Canal & River Trust has taken the time and trouble to ask the clubs what they want to see done to improve their fishing. “Anglers have noticed a significant change in attitude to angling since the formation of the Trust and we are now being recognised for the contribution we make to a vibrant waterway environment.”
For the findings of the survey go to - https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/media/library/7098-2014-angling-survey-results.pdf
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