PROPOSALS to ban worm fishing on Hereford’s River Wye have been met with strong resistance from coarse and game anglers alike, with the plans being labelled a ‘joke’ by locals.
According to David Revill, chairman of the Wye Local Fisheries Group, a ban is needed to help conserve salmon stocks on the river. Worms are already banned for salmon fishing, but he believes that the bait being allowed for coarse fishing leaves a loophole for poachers to exploit. However, David’s proposal has been made without proper consultation, and could have consequences for the majority of River Wye anglers, as Hereford and District AA chairman, Chris Jones, revealed.
“Worms are a key bait in our matches and have been responsible for huge perch weights over the years,” he told us.
“These days, coarse anglers make up the vast majority of our members, and worm is a ‘go-to’ bait for them.”
Dave Roberts is a well-respected matchman on the Wye, but also a passionate salmon angler. He’s angered by the proposals, which he feels are missing the crux of the salmon problem.
“In the past, anglers would catch salmon to eat, and stocks fell off a cliff,” he told us.
“But the new generation of salmon anglers would never dream of killing what they catch. Last year, rules were brought in that banned treble hooks on spinners. Like the proposed worm ban, this targets anglers, when really the problem that needs addressing is why salmon aren’t running the river. Scientific research, looking into case studies, maybe even a hatchery programme, are ways to fix things – not these pernickety little laws.
“There seems to be a small number of anglers with big influence who are making the decisions. We need to draw attention to the problem and get a reaction from anglers to stop these laws passing without anyone having a chance to change things.”