SEVERN SALMON IN DECLINE – OR ARE THEY?
Is this food for thought!
The main reference point that the Environment Agency England & Wales has to evaluate Salmon fish stocks within the Severn catchment is your annual returns for Salmon caught. The simple lack of sending in your annual returns can configure, lack of catch relating to lack of Salmon stock.
I for one do not subscribe to present day levels as showing a deficiency. I say present day levels, I am not referring to the 1960’s, and the last fifteen years would be more akin to my thoughts. Catch ratios seem to be set on a good average each year. My gauge on this is based upon the Weir at Shrewsbury. In a broader aspect many fish are seen to rise on many of our waters and clearly hotspots, however unfished and in danger of giving a false impression. If the Weir for sake of argument produces 25 Salmon in the season and waters other than the Weir were fished is it plausible to imagine this figure could double. Thus the reported catch ratio would double and thus remove the Severn from “At Risk”.
That said, what is the ratio of E/A Salmon returns sent in pro-rata to licences issued? If we say 50% of Game licence holders fill in returns, again we see a false benchmark from which the E/A have to take account of.
My opinion is that all and any Club, Federation, Association, institution related to standard acknowledged Salmon waters should register with the E/A. Of these entities the Bailiff reports catches in his / her remit all and any catches to his committee Secretary and these figures be submitted annually to the E/A. Unlike the game angler reporting or not reporting his catch ratio. Club, Federation, Association, institution has an avid interest in investing such information for the benefit of itself, encouraging permit sales to the individual waters.
The spin-off would be a more accurate relationship of catch ratio pro-rata to catchment stock prospects. Thus maybe removing waters from an “At Risk” registration, net result is that less legislation or rule changes may be required. Catch up with our brothers in arms under Salmon TAB above………………………
LURE FISHING POOLS:
Some weeks ago a Bailiff witnessed a lure angler on Oxon Pool cast over basking Carp. Foul hooked and landed the angler was very keen for a photo opportunity and asked the Bailiff to take the photo, obviously this was refused. Further discussions took place and the matter reported to committee, following correct procedure.
Initial reaction of committee was to ban lure fishing on pools with immediate effect, allowing time for the matter to be considered fully from many aspects and points of view. The outcome of this review is that the matter was surely a “one off” and Oxon has a very strong following both in lure and carp fishing. Based upon this constant support for the pool the ban has been lifted as from 1st May 2017. It goes without saying to all lure anglers, fish with the above in mind please stay away from basking / spawning carp areas.
Also Alfie Stevens who has worked Oxon with Neil Jackson as Bailiffs to the pool has retired, due to a change in work profile and availed time ability. We thank him for his time and effort spent with SAF as Bailiff and hope he enjoys continued sport on Oxon as a leisure angler. Gary Dodd Assistant Head Bailiff will up his game on the pool working closely with Neil Jackson, to ensure no lack of cover.
SAF inter club match scene, after a ten year lay-off and previously mentioned, a TAB on the website to keep up date with details and diary as it develops, SAF Affiliated Club Match Season is being re-created. Including over twenty club venues being made available on canal, pool and river, Affiliated Club teams are expecting a very interesting season ahead, supported by a vast array of sponsorship. Thanks to committee member Andy Jones SAF Match co-ordinator.
Sadly, due to one angler being observed “snecking” carp with a pike plug on the shallows at Oxon Pool, the decision has been taken to ban on all pools pike lure fishing, with only dead or live bait as being options for the future, with immediate effect.
Bailiff Gary Dodd, designated as Assistant Head Bailiff, has taken over responsibility for the SAF Bailiff group, enabling better communication within the group as to the infrastructure and new general duties being created. I am certain this will add value to ability and effectiveness to the core aims of the SAF with regard to Bailiff support in general.