The redd cut in the Ennig brook outside WUF’s office is a nice reminder that the salmon and trout spawning season is upon us.
Every year we ask winter grayling and coarse anglers to take extra care not to disturb spawning fish or their redds. A misplaced wading boot can have serious consequences for the fragile eggs buried in the gravel.
Of course, having more legitimate anglers out at this time of year means that there are more eyes on the river at what is a crucial time for salmon and trout. Last weekend the Foundation received a report from an upper Irfon grayling angler of a man fishing without the owner’s consent with a “telescopic rod, fixed spool reel and something on the end that looked like a multi hooked Devon minnow.”
Grayling are the only upper Irfon species currently in season and they are rarely, if at all, caught on large lures. This was, therefore, certainly a case of someone fishing illegally for salmon and trout.
Most winters we hear first and second hand accounts of such activity. Any angler who has an interest in the conservation of fish stocks (and we know that is most!) has a duty to report these incidents as soon as possible to Natural Resources Wales on 0300 065 3000 or, if in England, to the Environment Agency on 0800 80 70 60.
Bailiffing on our rivers is certainly not at the levels of yesteryear and it is all too easy to ask “What is the point of making a report?” However, something we can be 100% sure of is that not reporting illegal fishing does fish stocks no good at all.
Fewer reports indicate to those that hold the purse strings within regulatory bodies that there is less of a problem and that enforcement teams do not need any extra resources. In other words, by not reporting something, the chance of future incidents being acted upon are reduced.
It is also worth remembering that even if a fisheries enforcement team cannot attend in time for a particular incident, your report still helps to build up the intelligence they need to better target their limited resources.
We are very much looking forward to our autumn river walk this Sunday. The event was fully booked at the start of the week but due to a couple of cancellations, we now have 5 places remaining. Anyone wanting to spend a few hours in the glorious autumn countryside watching (hopefully!) spawning or ascending salmon and trout please call us by 5pm today on 01874 711 712 or see more details
The Monnow Rivers Association’s latest newsletter has just been published. To catch up with the latest on efforts to tackle invasive species such as Himalayan balsam and mink, along with news about the eel initiative and a programme to increase ranunculus in the Monnow, please
Finally, bidding for our fundraising auction is now open! Details of all the lots and bids can be made here.
All the best from WUF.
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