The Angling Trust has written to the Environment Agency asking for answers to questions raised by anglers on the state of coarse fish stocks in the River Severn and its tributaries, notably the River Teme.
Because of the decline in fish numbers on these rivers, clubs and businesses are losing members, day ticket and tackle sales on a daily basis. These are important rural businesses which rely on healthy fish stocks to continue employing staff and providing benefits to the local economy and to people and communities.The letter to Dafydd Evans, Area Manager at the Environment Agency is copied below.
Andy Jones, Secretary of Montgomery Anglers Association and Assistant Manager at Total Angling, Shrewsbury said:”We have been asking the Environment Agency questions about the downturn in match and pleasure angling catches for over five years and not one representative from the Agency has been able to answer us or has seemed willing to do anything to improve the situation. The Environment Agency just will not admit that there is a serious problem with fish stocks and they continue to ignore a simple fact, which is how good the fishing has been on the river Severn in the past and how poor it has become now. Local anglers fully support this letter from the Angling Trust and hope that now, at last, something will be done to improve things. Our club memberships, retail income and the local economy have been affected by fewer anglers coming to fish the Severn here and that’s a real shame because in the past the river has produced amazing catches of roach, dace and chub. If the Environment Agency act now then things can get better.”
Sir John Roberts, Chairman of Shropshire Anglers Federation commented on the decline in fishing on the Severn:
“It is now time for anglers to shout and shout loud. This has to stop. Summer floods have played a part in natural egg and fry losses and the constant onslaught of predation cannot be accepted by us.” Sir John continued “The competition scene in Shrewsbury has seen income in the £1,000s five years ago reduced to less than £100 in 2012. Local clubs and Federations alike have seen their revenue halved.”