Minutes of Consultative Meeting held on 6th April 2019
Present John Wadham, Viktor Tzikas, Brian Balderson, Andy Beal, , Howard Neal, John Newman, Seumas Halliday, David Hawley, Mick Dimmock, , Kelvin Allen, Hugh Bunker, Chris French
Apologies Ray Richardson, , Chris Reeds, Ray Torrington ,Ivor Stokes
David welcomed Chris French from the Welland Rivers Trust to the meeting
Matters arising from the previous meeting
Action Hugh has now arranged a site visit to the National Fish labs at Brampton on the 27th June. Several people showed an interest, can people confirm their interest by emailing Hugh direct.
Action The various action agreed at the previous meetings on cormorant management have failed to deliver any outcomes. See section on cormorants for further progress and as below.
Action Voluntary bailiffs have been invited to assist with cormorant counts and will be further discussed at a Nene Valley Predation summit now planned for the 27th May at Ferry Meadows.
Action Winter water retention level management concerns escalated to Area Manager and RFCC chair. David is seeking better engagement within the RFCC community on this issue. Indeed given the current issues with Soil Moisture Deficit it seems hard not to make a case for having lower levels.
Regional/National AT update.
Kelvin highlighted the following:
Mark Lloyd to take up new role as CEO of The Rivers Trust as of Aug 2019
Rado left AT 31st March to go back to Poland, as huge loss for both AT and UK angling.
Replaced by Janusz Kansik
Szymon Skoczen moved to Chester and Nenescape role being advertised
EA contract confirmed for a further 4 years
Ammonia Nitrate pollutions, as now resulted in a FOI request into the agency. Initial analysis of this shows more detailed analysis on recording is needed.
Grantham Forum was generally seen a success with 41 attendees.
Club program for 2019 format agreed to focus on the following:
What you told us last year
Bye-Laws & Riparian Rights
Willingness to Integrate & Supporting – Juniors
Working Together – Clubmate
Feedback on Signage
Andy Beal will be delivering this to clubs starting next week.
Coaching program has successfully been outsourced to CRT in partnership with local clubs.
20 events now arranged from April to September within the Nene Valley, as part of the wider “Lets Fish” campaign. See https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/enjoy-the-waterways/fishing/lets-fish
3 Polish schools arranged for visits in the next 3 months in Wisbech, Kettering and Northampton.
VBS engagement still remains some of the best in England.
Fishery management plan for Ferry Meadows, draft is with P&DAA. Resultant outcomes see under Cormorant section.
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. However this hasn’t been taking up by fisheries within the Nene Valley, for whatever reason.
As an outcome from the investigations at Ferry Meadows, predation has been identified as the key issue impacting the fishery and the river Nene. With the Nenescape Club program actually going out to clubs and fisheries explaining how to both protect and sustain their clubs and fisheries, this now provided the means to speak to clubs directly on this issue. A Cormorant seminar has been planned for Wednesday the 22nd May 19:00 to focus addressing this issue.
If we want to address this issue we must all work together on a solution.
EA Update and Enforcement Report.
Huge Bunker provided an update on the work of the FBG team that can be viewed here. Focus on the potential impact of drought the coming months was highlighted and a briefing on this is available here.
Considerable discussion and concerns with enforcement and resources across the L&N area was expressed by all. Indeed no enforcement report was available due to lack of resources.
Both Kelvin, David and Paul Thomas have discussed this with Manfia Tang at length, as it also appears now that the area will not be supporting VBS Phase II, whist its neighbouring area is. It is disappointing that one of the worst areas in the country for illegal fishing, don’t except this as an issue and offer resources to match.
The area has access to a FIP funded grant for clubs and fisheries to enable improvements in venue protection on drought. Details available here
Nene Catchment Report
Vikor gave an overview of RNRP restoration activities.
In 2018 3.5 Nene projects have been completed, Elton back channel, Earls Barton, Barnwell Country Park. In 2019 the following are in the pipeline, Alesworth , Nassington and two others in in the planning stage. Finally in 2020 the Electric Cut in Peterborough and Wellingborough Embankment will be addressed.
Chris French from the Welland Rivers Trust gave an update on their activities. They current have two active WEIF funded grants as Lobbington and on the Upper Welland headwaters.
They have strong engagement with volunteers acting as river wardens, who are undertaking both water quality and Invertebrate sampling using the riverfly partnership.
Both John and Seumas reported on the impact of the summer weather and resultant impact on trout. Seumas reported that Ravensthorpe was reporting an average of 9 fish per return with many large fish caught. Pitsford was reporting slightly less with an average of 5 fish per return. John provided a detailed report on Rutland activities here.
Brian stated that BDAA had has quite a successful year, thanks to the efforts of the EA FBG team on weed management which seems to be making progress.
John stated that P&DAA are suffering with clear breaching in enforcement along the Nene and are in discussions with Peterborough CC on making a public protection order to help manage the situation. They are hosting the Cormorant seminar as discussed earlier. The Ringers Ferry Meadows series of matches were sold out in 48 hrs and they are working with Jake Reeds on a Barbel survey. Their last AIF grant on cattle poaching fencing has enabled the project to over double the length of fencing with the help from NPT.
There was a discussion on the latest legal framework for landowners within the farm rules for water launched last year. Hugh agreed to see whether this be the basis of a future presentation to the consultative. Action HB.
Mick mentioned the Northampton Nene were now actively engaged in the Lets Fish Nenescape events and are currently scoping on how to offer follow up coaching sessions to new anglers.
John mentioned that Rutland Flyfishers continue to benefit from excellent relationships with Anglian Water.
Andy Beal to report back on Club Program
Kelvin to report back on Cormorant seminar
Hugh to look at potential for a presentation on cattle poaching.
The dates of our next meetings are 6th July, 19th Oct.