Welcome to the latest update from the Angling Trust & Fish Legal.  It's a bit long this month, but there is a lot going on.

Thanks to everyone who has renewed their membership promptly so far this year. We’re delighted that 88% of individuals who joined in January 2009 have already rejoined this year and many new members are joining every day. Our membership continues to grow steadily; we are nearing a landmark of 15,000 individuals and we now have 1,327 clubs in membership.

Please help us increase this rate of growth by urging your fellow anglers to join up. Please forward this newsletter to them if you think it might help persuade them.

Government in the Dock over Illegal River Basin Plans

Angling Trust has launched a legal challenge to the Government’s River Basin Management Plans with our partners WWF. We believe that the plans do not set specific targets or a coherent timeframe to address the poor ecological status of many rivers and lakes in England. The plans also rely heavily on a wide range of reasons for inaction which the Directive only allows to be used in exceptional circumstances. Our challenge is now in the hands of a High Court judge who is considering our case for a judicial review.
Freshwater Campaigns On a Roll

Mark Owen, our Freshwater Environmental Campaigns Manager, has been criss-crossing the country helping angling clubs campaign to protect their waters.
- New surface water management plans have been agreed in Birmingham after he applied pressure on the Council to do more to protect the Rivers Tame and Trent after last year’s fish kills
- The EA has agreed to remove a barrier to sea trout migration which will open up 30% more spawning habitat on the Sussex Ouse
- Mark is meeting with the Broads Authority to challenge its plans to dredge Heigham Sound, which could release toxic Prymnesium parvum algae into the water.

8 more potential campaigns are being evaluated for further action.
Angling Trust Stops Diggers in their Tracks

Recent works being carried out by the Environment Agency on the River Loddon, a Thames tributary, were stopped immediately by the Angling Trust after a member club alerted us to the fact that riverside trees were being cut back, destroying fish habitat and cover. We are due to meet with the Agency’s head of fisheries and head of flood risk management shortly to raise anglers’ concerns about the EA’s national policies relating to bank and riverbed management.
Hydropower: Get Involved!

Please keep an eye on the Environment Agency’s web site every month and object to any hydropower planning applications which might damage fish on rivers near you, using our handy online guide. Click HERE for more information.

Angling Trust will be giving a presentation about the potential impact of hydropower and its negligible contribution to national energy supply at a conference in London on 23rd of June. If you would like to attend the conference to support us, please click HERE for more information.
Severn Trent Refuse to Budge over Draycote

Draycote Reservoir remains closed to all angling despite our best efforts to persuade Severn Trent to see sense via a series of meetings and letters. We are now investigating whether a legal challenge might be possible against the company for failing to consult anglers before closing the reservoir for fishing. More information HERE.
Angling for Votes

With a general election imminent we have been busy on your behalf lobbying the politicians for assurances. You may have read that David Cameron has already acknowledged the importance of the Angling Trust and we have produced a Manifesto for Angling which we are asking all the parties to adopt. Available for download HERE.
Government Response to Sea Anglers’ Petition

Thanks to everyone who signed the petition resisting the proposed control regulations from the EU in relation to sea angling (Article 47, now changed to Article 55). The Government’s response can be found HERE
Marine Environmental Campaigns Manager

We are delighted to announce that David Mitchell will be joining the Angling Trust after Easter to lead our campaigns to protect fish stocks at a local, national and international level. David is an experienced journalist and campaigner for protection of the marine environment and an avid sea angler. He owns his own boat and has seen for himself the damage that has been done to fish stocks.
IFCA representation

The closing date for the receipt of all applications for representation on the new Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities is 12 midnight on Monday 12th April. If you, or anyone you know, is qualified to represent sea anglers on these authorities, then please urge them to apply HERE
The End of the Line Screenings

The high profile film about global fish stocks, The End of the Line, is now available for hire for private screenings. If you want to raise money to support your club (or the Angling Trust perhaps...) then you can get a copy of the film HERE and then keep any proceeds you make from hosting the screening.
National Fishing Month: 17 July to 15 August 2010

More than 30 events have already been submitted to the National Fishing Month web site. It’s a great opportunity to attract new members to your club, fishery or tackle shop and to work with coaches and schools too. If you or your club have not organised an event before, visit the site to find out more and we’ll send you an organiser’s manual and regional contacts for getting further help.
Regional Freshwater Forums

Freshwater Forums have now been established in the South West, Thames and Midlands. However, the meeting scheduled for Wednesday 14 April in the North West has had to be cancelled due to intractable differences about the constitution. Details of a rearranged meeting and a new constitution will be circulated by e-mail to all individuals, clubs and fisheries in the region in due course. Further details of developments in other freshwater and marine regions will be in our newsletter due out in early May.
Angling Trust & Fish Legal AGMs Saturday 5 June

The Annual General Meetings of the Angling Trust Limited and Fish Legal will be held at Stoneleigh Park on Saturday 5 June. More information about the meetings is available on our web site HERE and further details will be circulated with the Spring Newsletter.
Young Anglers – Have Your Say on the Future of Fishing

Are you a member of a junior club? Do you take part in fishing competitions? Have you been through a fishing project? Have you done fishing in school? What do you get out of fishing? The Angling Trust and Angling Development Board are supporting a national angling survey which calls on young people to share their experiences of fishing, as part of a three year research programme looking at the health, wellbeing and educational benefits of angling for youngsters. In addition to surveying young people, research organisation Substance has launched a second questionnaire for angling organisations, schools, community groups and youth inclusion projects that are using angling to engage youngsters. To contribute to either survey please click HERE.
Please forward this to any young anglers or anyone involved in projects involving young people.
Membership Benefits Manager

Could you help us recruit and retain members? We are advertising for a full time Membership Benefits Manager to work in the Leominster office to manage membership administration and benefits. More details on the Vacancies section of our web site HERE.
Don’t forget the Angling Trust Members’ Forum

Please join the Angling Trust Members Forum on our website HERE. It’s been set up so that you can have your say and start discussions with other members without having to travel to meetings. If you’ve got a question for the Trust, post it on the forum and then let us know and we’ll log in and try to answer it so that other members can read our reply.
AT & ADB moving house

This month, Competitions, Finance and Angling Development staff from AT and the Angling Development Board will all be moving from Holme Pierrepont to new premises at Strelley Hall, Nottingham, NG8 6PE, after the County Council decided at short notice that it wanted to locate its own staff in the National Watersports Centre. Please bear with us through April while we transfer phones, computers and files across town. You can still get hold of us on 0844 7700616, but after 12 April you’ll also be able to direct dial the following AT and ADB staff:
Julie Walkden – Finance & Administration Manager 0115 9061 303
Sandra Drew – Competitions & Events Manager 0115 9061 301
Selina Miller – Administration Assistant 0115 9061 302
Angela Woodgates – Coaching Courses and Coach licensing 0115 9061 311
David Compton – CRB registration/OCN Courses/ADB admin 0115 9061 312

Enforcement Undertakings

Fish Legal has made several representations to the Environment Agency (EA) on the implementation of the Environmental Civil Sanctions Order 2010 which has just come into force. One of the new sanctions is the Enforcement Undertaking – which provides an alternative to prosecution by allowing polluters to enter into agreements with the Agency to put right the damage which has been caused to the environment. As part of the procedure, there would be a consultation with those affected – which should include angling clubs and riparian owners. However, the way the new law is drafted, we are concerned that this might not happen in practice. This could lead to situations where anglers are not consulted about a deal being struck between the polluter and the EA. We are considering the legal options if its concerns are not addressed. In the meantime, if you wish to respond to the implementation consultation, click HERE and stress the need for involvement of angling clubs and owners in any deals between the polluter and regulator.


Fish Legal, alongside other organisations, had successfully campaigned for the suspension of the marketing of Cypermethrin, which has damaged so many streams. Then a few months ago, after 3 years of waiting for a decision on our complaint to the Information Commissioner, the Veterinary Medicines Directorate were told to disclose the risk assessments relating to this and other pesticides. The manufacturers have now given up their licences to produce Cypermethrin. However, the Government is appealing the decision to allow us and others to see risk assessments in future. Fish Legal is involved in the appeal as an interested party.

Salmon Farming

Following a complaint by Fish Legal, the Scottish Information Commissioner has ordered Scottish National Heritage (SNH) to disclose information it holds in relation to sea lice in Loch Ewe. This is the fourth successful complaint we’ve made in Scotland to the Commissioner in the last 2 years, establishing useful precedents for future legal action in this area.


After we expressed our concerns at badly-worded sections of the Flood and Water Management Bill, Defra has abandoned these sections from the Bill which could have passed responsibility for the upkeep of reservoirs onto the shoulders of lease-holding angling clubs. The Bill is still travelling through Parliament, but Defra will consult us on the new guidance regarding the implementation of the Bill if it becomes statute law.


We are very grateful to all our members for your support. We are making good progress and with your help we can achieve much more for the benefit of all angling.

With all best wishes from all the staff and volunteers at Angling Trust and Fish Legal, and a very happy Easter!  We're all hoping that the weather improves so that we can go fishing over the long weekend...

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