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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


Lets Close Some Of Our River Fisheries

I have just returned from the River Aire, where there is the chance of a fish kill from some horrid stuff on the river bed at the Funkirk Farm stretch near Skipton. The fishing is controlled by the Bradford No 1 AA.and just downstream a few yards are Bradford City AA. I have notified both associations. The thick grey like substance is a problem. Its a pollution problem that needs to be dealt with. The Environment Agency are letting us down, they don't seem to care.The stuff needs to be removed. What do we pay a licencee fee for?

Secondly the Aire like several other rivers, is extremely low. The Aire is weedy with high water temperatures and low oxygen content, the bed of the river in most places is covered with a slimy dead looking weed. How many nymphs will die and what chance of fish getting enough food? One only has to watch the fish to see they are distressed.
On this same stretch of river, two members were going fishing. After checking their permits I then suggested in a polite way that perhaps they shouldn't fish under these conditions. I explained all the problems ending with the words "Its cruel to attempt to catch fish at the present time". One angler said "Thanks for telling me about the problem" and decided to leave. It didn't make any difference to the other person. He was quite happy to help the fish die by catching them. On the Ribble and Calder we still have people using a keepnet. How crazy. Sadly the EA do not have any legislation to stop fishing. but I feel our angling clubs could do a lot more, where there are problems on river fisheries. Lets act now and stop fishing on waters where we have problems. Are we not sportsmen and woman.

We can easily close down our rivers stretches that are in trouble by quickly erecting notices saying NO FISHING until further notice. It can easily be done, as it was during foot and mouth crisis. River watchers, river keepers, bailiffs and willing club members can soon erect notices. I am certain it could be publicised in the press, on the TV and Radio. I really do feel we must set an example and act in a responsible manner. Sorry to be full of woe, but we really do have problems on some of our rivers. Let me have your thoughts on the subject?

Martin James Fishing