SINCE Chris Tarrant took over as president of the Anglers’ Conservation Association, a total of 980 new members have joined up and the organisation says it has enjoyed a whirlwind few months.

Indeed, since Chris took over at the top, ACA staff have attended 26 events and given evening presentations to 14 clubs.

On the legal front, the ACA says it has been extremely active recently, issuing court proceeds on nine cases for pollution on rivers from South Wales and Cumbria to Northern Ireland, not to mention canals in Cheshire and lakes in Kent.

There are a further 25 cases on its books while more than 40 members are currently seeking legal advice on fishery and environmental law problems.

A landmark case recently involved the River Dove in the heart of the Peak District, the river which The Compleat Angler author Isaak Walton marvelled at.

Sheep dip pollution killed the invertebrates in the river, destroying the food the fish feed on. This made the pollution difficult to detect since there are not thousands of dead fish floating down the river, rather an absence of fish over a period of time.

The case, in which the ACA recovered substantial damages, is important because it is the first time it has brought a court case and won damages for pollution from sheep dip.

Bob James of the ACA said: “This represents major progress in the campaign that the ACA has been running for a number of years to highlight the damage to rivers from sheep dip. It sends out the message that farmers must dip their sheep safely and comply with all legislation otherwise they will face an action for compensation by anglers.”