Last month Charlie Newington-Bridges took over as the Foundation’s new Chairman. Charlie replaces Elizabeth Passey, who had been in the position since 2012 and whom we would like to thank for steering the Foundation’s strategy and governance so ably during that period.
Charlie has been a Trustee since 2016. He lives close to the Usk and, in his own words, is a “keen, but at best moderately successful salmon and trout fisherman”. He also loves running long distances, including the amazing “” last year in which Charlie and two friends ran the length of the Wye to raise money for the Foundation.
Meanwhile, we would also like to welcome Phae Jones, who has recently joined the Foundation as Head of Fundraising. Phae has worked in charity fundraising for over 15 years. Her wealth of experience in this area will help ensure the Foundation’s financial resilience during the changes and uncertainty in funding opportunities that are likely over the next few years.
There has been much publicity about the plight of the European eel in recent years. We have been helping this beleaguered species in the Lugg and Arrow catchment in a project financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Eel passes have been fitted to two Arrow weirs while an existing pass has been improved. The DNMP Project has also enabled us to ease the downstream migration for salmon smolts and other species at 8 weirs.
Meanwhile, the Foundation’s monitoring team carried out their spring surveys in the Elan last week. Around half of the gravel introduced last year remains at the introduction site, awaiting distribution by higher flows. As a result, there has been a slight reduction in the amount in the river channel compared to last year.
Encouragingly though, the surveys confirm that there has been an improvement in the number and variety of invertebrates in a section of river that was impoverished before the gravel re-introductions began. The team also spotted salmonid fry in these sections, so we are hopeful of more good news when the electrofishing surveys are carried out in the summer.
Patagonia, the premier outdoor clothing company with strong environmental credentials, have produced a film about wild salmon and the dangers they face particularly from hatcheries and salmon farming. We are planning to show the full version of “Artifishal” at our annual meeting in October (details to follow in due course) but in the meantime, you can watch a trailer of it here.
New Passport Fisheries
Finally, we are pleased to announce that two clubs in Wales have joined the Fishing Passport in the past few days offering day tickets on their waters. Aberystwyth Angling Association have access to 16 miles of sewin and salmon fishing on the river Rheidol while Llandeilo Angling Association has around 10 miles of salmon and sewin fishing on the Towy and Cothi as well as trout fishing on the Cennen and Dulais brooks.
All the best from WUF.
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