Minutes of Consultative Meeting held on 19th Jan 2019
Present John Wadham, Viktor Tzikas, Brian Balderson, Andy Beal, Chris Reeds, Howard Neal, Ivor Stokes, John Newman, Seumas Halliday, David Hawley, Mick Dimmock, Jake Reeds, Ray Torrington, Kelvin Allen, John Ellis, Jake Davoile
Apologies Ray Richardson, Hugh Bunker,
David welcomed Jake and John to the meeting as quest speakers.
Matters arising from the previous meeting
Action Names to David by the end of the month on planned visit to the Brampton fish labs. Still ongoing.
Action It was suggested that Voluntary bailiffs might be able to assist with counts. David to raise with Paul Thomas, completed and under discussion.
Action Winter water retention level management concerns escalated to Area Manager and RFCC chair. David is making some progress on this, as the picture from John Wadham demonstrates the issue.
Regional/National AT update.
Kelvin highlighted the following:
A £2m loss of EA income due to an 80,00 drop in rod licence sales.
Ammonia Nitrate pollutions, as now resulted in the AT seeking a forum FOI request into the agency on the national scale of the problem..
National Fisheries contract with AT still awaiting renewal.
Grantham Forum now planned for 13th March 2019.
Total grant to date £49,000
Club program for 2019 format agreed for Andy Beal to deliver to 17 clubs starting April.
Coaching program to be outsourced to CRT in partnership with local clubs
Polish schools targeted for 2019 are in Kettering and Wishech.
VBS engagement some of the best in England.
A series of predator matches held at Ferry Meadows/River Nene hasn’t had the uptake we would have liked across communities’ and will be subject to a case study to understand the underlying issues.
Fishery management plan for Ferry Meadows, currently in progress.
Jake Davoile gave a presentation of cormorant issues and his role in predation management. His presentation is available here.
The Consultative agreed to progress an application for an Area licence to reduce cormorant predation in their fisheries within the Nene valley. For those fisheries outside of this Area Jake is happy to provide advice to individual fisheries.
Action A cormorant sub group to be set up under the guidance of Jake.
Action Members with waters in the Nene valley need to register their interest with Jake by the end of the month.
Action Sub Group will assist in providing Jake with any further evidence necessary for a successful licence application. It is anticipated that fisheries may need to identify roosts and conduct some cormorant counts to update what appear to be inaccurate BTO numbers.
Action The group will provide a progress update to future Consultative meetings.
John Ellis – CRT
John Eliis gave an enlightening presentation on the work of the Canal and Rivers Trust fisheries team. It is available here.
They lease venues to over 250 clubs generating revenues of £600k.
He spoke at length on their practises in managing invasive species including Zander and explained the history and heritage of our canals and strong relationship with anglers.
EA Update and Enforcement Report.
Jake Reeds provided an update on the work of the FBG team that can be viewed here.
It was noted that the EA’S ability to respond to serious incidents had improved with evidence of several net seizures and that rod licence checks suggest a low evasion rate in the Area.
Omex Agriculture Ltd had been named by the EA as being responsible for the devastating fish kill in the Lower Witham last March. They have been required to submit a plan for remediation of the river. As one of the affected angling clubs is a member of the Angling Trust Fish Legal are aware.
Both John and Seumas reported on the impact of the summer weather and resultant impact on trout. For more detail view John’s full report here.
There was a discussion about the smaller angling clubs that were struggling to survive in the modern age due in large part to declining membership and difficulty in changing to meet new challenges. It was felt that the Consultative was in a position to support these clubs providing they could be persuaded to join. It was agreed that all members should act as ambassadors for the group.
Many clubs reported good river fishing over the autumn and winter period. Unfortunately for many it was still proving difficult to find volunteers for work parties. Many clubs reported great success with junior angling initiatives although finding enough qualified coaches was sometimes challenging.
Water Resource situation due the ongoing dry weather.
Action Jake to arrange for Kelvin to receive the Area monthly Water Situation Report.
Cormorant sub group update.
The dates of our next meetings are 6th April, 6th July, 19th Oct.
The date for the Open Forum is 13th March at a venue in Grantham. Invitations by email will be sent by the Angling Trust shortly.