The ACA has secured a settlement for one of its commercial fishery members. After terse negotiations, insurers have paid out £3,500 to compensate Cuttle Mill Fishery in the Midlands for the damage they suffered following pollution with milk over the Christmas period back in 2006. The milk, which spilt from a tanker in a nearby haulage yard, entered the fishery via a feeder stream.
The oxygen levels in the receiving water fell dangerously low and, despite the best efforts of the fishery owner to limit the damage using bunding and aerators, large specimen carp and a number of roach were lost. The timing could not have been worse for the fishery which had to close at what is usually one of its busiest times of year with anglers hoping to escape for a peaceful days fishing over the festive season.
In Wales, the ACA continues to fight for damages on behalf of the Islwyn & District Anglers following the devastating chemical pollution of the River Sirhowy, in Gwent, by a private company situated on the banks. The ACA has now issued a claim in court. In May 2007, whilst decommissioning a chemical treatment plant, the company emptied treated effluent onto the floor of the treatment plant building which subsequently found its way into a surface water drain that discharges into the Sirhowy. Despite being successfully prosecuted by Environment Agency Wales for breaches of the Water Resources Act 1991 and the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975 the company is determined to defend the ACA civil claim in court.
In Leicestershire we are representing the Gopsall Fishing Club after illegal in-river dredging on the River Sence. It is thought that the dredging destroyed spawning grounds and also altered the river width due to the excavation of the river bank which affects the river flow. The Environment Agency decided not to prosecute for the offence, even though those responsible were forewarned that any damage caused as a result of their works could result in criminal prosecution.
In Scotland, the ACA has taken on two new cases. The first involves our fifth active case of damage caused by the fish farming industry. The River Devon, a tributary of the River Forth in Clackmannanshire, has been damaged by both the escape of farmed smolts and the apparent flushing out of detergents from a fish farm. The second case, pursued on behalf of the United Clyde Angling Protection Association Ltd, relates to a major siltation incident on the Logan Water in South-West Scotland, following works carried out by Scottish Water on the Logan Reservoir. Logan Water is one of a number of tributaries that feeds into the Nethan River, an important spawning river that in turn flows into the River Clyde. SEPA are currently investigating the incident.
In further Scottish news, the ACA has been forced to refer another case to the Scottish Information Commissioner following the Scottish Government’s refusal to release fish farm inspection reports relating to rainbow trout farming operations in Loch Lochy. The Scottish Information Commissioner will decide whether the Scottish Government is justified in withholding dive reports, mortality reports, grid plans and a containment audit report that relates to recent escapes of rainbow trout into the loch. The ACA represents the Lochaber District Salmon Fishery Board in this matter after escapes of farmed fish into the Lochy system from the floating cage farm operated by Kames Fish Farming Ltd.
The ACA will be holding an EGM on Monday 8 December in Birmingham to vote on a resolution for the ACA to take part in the unification of angling and conservation organisations. There is much more information about these plans in the autumn update which will be arrive with all members this week and on the temporary web site for the Angling Trust: www.anglingunity.co.uk
If you can’t make the EGM, please complete the proxy voting form included with the mailout in the postage paid envelope. You could send back your raffle books at the same time…
Thames21, a charity working in the London area, is organising a free training day for anyone wanting to organise river clean-ups at Fishmongers’ Hall on Monday 24 November. Please go to www.thames21.org.uk for more information.
The Artist Richard Bramble is donating 10% of profits to the ACA from members’ orders of his new Brown or Rainbow Trout porcelain 30cm dinner plates at £35 each, which are from a set of Trout and Grayling designs available on plates, mats, boards and clocks by the artist. When ordering, either by telephone 01935 815236 or online at www.richardbramble.co.uk Just mention ‘ACA’ for the donation to go through.
Finally, Hugh Miles is hosting a ‘sort of world premiere’ in Dorset of his new series of films “Catching the Impossible”, with stars Bernard Cribbins and Martin Bowler present, but with red maggots instead of the red carpet. All proceeds go to the ACA and the Wimborne Angling Club. The films will be screened on Tuesday 25 November and Tuesday 2 December at the Barrington Theatre in the centre of Ferndown, near Bournemouth. Tickets are just £5 from: Bob Simmons, 1 Cuthburga Rd. Wimborne, Dorset, BH21 1LH Tel: 01202 889283 Please make cheques payable to Wild Wise Ltd. and enclose an SAE.