The Thames Fisheries Consultative Council Seminar at Hampton Court Palace proved to be a day to remember with all of the speakers leaving delegates with something to think about.
Professor Brian Moss, of Liverpool University, opened everyone’s eyes to the problems which climate change will bring to fisheries and the human race. He described how the government, and all the other political parties, are planning for a four degree rise in average annual temperatures.
Such a change will see our fisheries reduced to Carp, Tench and Crucians. The traditional targets for anglers of Roach, Rudd, Perch, Pike, Bream will be a distant memory with the temperature increase negatively affecting the potential of water to hold oxygen over a twenty-four hour period and those species in particular failing to survive the conditions. As a result here were few leaving Hampton Court who did not seriously consider what they could do to reduce the carbon footprint of their family.
Graham Scholey of the EA and Chris Burt of SAA showing how they had worked with others in the conservation movement to explain the impacts Otters were having on stocks of large carp in some fisheries, and to reach agreement on how Otter introductions would be managed in the future.
They described how they had successfully developed a fencing solution which was now available to angling organisations with the prospect of some funding from the EA. Graham’s exposition of the life style of the Otter was fascinating and informative. Chris demonstrated the responsible attitude being taken by anglers and the importance of their working with others to successfully resolve potential and real problems.
For the annual Big Debate, Keith Arthur and Trevor Johnson mixed it on the subject of the River Close Season. Though the discussion was heated and entertaining, neither protagonist was able to persuade many present to change their views.
The day closed with a Forum made up of Trevor Johnson, Keith Arthur and Matt Carter from the EA and discussed items of burning interest to those present, and those raised by the issues covered during the day.
Trevor and Matt as Club Official and Environment Agency Officer were predictably tuned in to the issues of the day and Journalist and Broadcaster, Keith Arthur, demonstrated the genuine concern and passionate interest he had for angling and which had led to his career and his volunteering to attend the TFCC seminar in the first place.