Relevant notes (as below) from last nights meetingANGLING TRUST THAMES REGIONAL FORUM
Ordinary meeting to be held on Tuesday June 26th 2012 at the Lambert Arms, Aston Rowant OX49 5SB (off J6 of M40)
COMMENCING at 7.30 pm
1. Attendees and Apologies for Absence.
2. Minutes of Previous ordinary meeting of 28th February 2012
3. Matters arising from meeting of 28th February 2012
4. Chairman’s Report
5 Secretary’s Report
6. Angling Trust Update (Mike Heylin)
Review of historical data regarding Otters looking at how they may have affected fisheries in the past. General debate regarding Otters and if anyone has ever seen one, which was generally no, even from long standing anglers
Voluntary bailiff scheme seen as a success and the first training days has taken place. A total of 21 signed up and since the recent press release, a further 33 have applied making it very good news.
Cormorant announcement expected by DEFRA in November following the petition handed in to Richard Benyon asking for them to be added to the general licence, thoughts are the announcement maybe positive for angling.
The National Angling Participation plan is coming together, more to follow http://www.anglingtrust.net/page.asp?section=816%A7ionTitle=National+Angling+Survey
The Rivers day conference was deemed a huge success by all
The Trust are looking to starting getting all historical data from the EA to look at rivers trends over a long period. Much of the data is with the EA, NRA, old River Boards but in paper form and are working on a plan to gather it all together, possibly using under grads to help.
Mike H is retiring in the Autumn as he now sees the Trust requires someone to take it onto the next level, this in terms of membership, funding income and overall vision. (Will be missed as has done an incredible job getting them this far)
7 Hydropower Update
Abingdon top of the agenda, there is a meeting planned for mid July with reps from the ATr and middle Thames clubs and consultative. (The TAC has been in contact with developer as said would attend if available.)
There has been lots of correspondence go back and forwards regarding the scheme (TAC cc'ed on it) but has not got very far as with most Hydro developers. TAC noted that the scheme is unlike the other Thames sites as a. not on an EA asset, its a town weir, B. the scheme is not promoted by the EA so the Hydro team that we deal with is once removed and it is National Permitting who make the decisions.
Discussed it being played on on a public Forum, 19 pages so far on here, Jeff Woodhouse who has written is part of the ATTRF and sits on the Hydro sub group with the TAC and ATr. http://www.fishingmagic.com/forums/fm-news-feature-comments/307116-angling-trust-angry-shambolica-ea-19.html
TAC discussed the recent meeting with Ham Hydro regarding Teddington and was roundly thanked for pushing on with the battle against this potentially damaging scheme.
Question was raised regarding the reduction in FITS (Feed in Tarrifs), the outcome is unknown as of yet but thoughts that it maybe cut to 9%.8 England & Wales Fisheries Group Update (Mike Heylin)
Main item for us:England and Wales Fisheries Group 30 May 2012
Item 9. Fisheries byelaw review - information item
We explained at the 24 January meeting that we propose to review all our fisheries byelaws as part of government's Red Tape Challenge. This paper explains the reasons why, the approach we will take and how and when we expect to involve angling and fisheries stakeholders.Introduction
Prior to 1996, separate fisheries byelaws applied to each (National Rivers Authority) region. Even the first "national" byelaw, restricting lead shot use, was made as eight separate regional byelaws. Since 1996, we have consolidated a range of similar regional byelaws into fewer national byelaws (for example keepnet design and close seasons) and introduced new, single national byelaws where the same provisions are required across England and Wales (for example, salmon carcass tagging and coarse fish removal).
Despite some consolidation, the most recent Defra byelaw compendium extends to 150 pages. Why consolidate?
Anglers - "Why spoil a day's fishing with a myriad of rules?" We want to reduce the complexity of fisheries byelaws and the overall regulatory burden on anglers, without introducing unnecessary risk to fish stocks and fisheries.
Necessity - some byelaws have not been reviewed for some time. Circumstances and risks may have changed in the meantime and some byelaws may no longer be necessary.
Consistency - different regions have similar, but separate byelaws, for example, governing different types of fishing tackle and methods. By making these more consistent, we increase clarity among fishers and reduce administrative costs when we review and renew them.
New regulations - we now have powers to authorise certain methods and can place conditions on these authorisations to regulate individual fisheries. Conditions operate in lieu of byelaws.
Single body in Wales - prior to the separation of the Environment Agency from its Welsh equivalent we must identify and modify those byelaws that need to apply separately in each country.
Once we have checked our complete byelaw stock, we will be asking our local teams to examine each regional byelaw and indicate their preferred outcome. For each one, we will pose the following:
Is the regulatory measure still needed? If circumstances have changed and it is no longer needed or effective, we should consider revoking it.
Does it need to be local or national? We anticipate a number of similar regional byelaws could be consolidated into fewer national regulations.
Can the byelaw be replaced with a code of practice? For some activities, codes of practice might be more proportionate and allow more flexibility as advice on best practice is evolving.
Can byelaws be substituted by authorisation conditions? Some measure that regulate net and trap fisheries may be more effective if they are applied as conditions of authorisations.
Our proposed approach is summarised below.
Wider involvement and timescale
Once we have developed our proposals for change, we will carry out an informal (three month) consultation with fisheries and angling interests, including with the England and Wales Fisheries Group. The final proposal, modified by the feedback from the consultation, will be advertised as is required by law, to allow anyone an opportunity to object. We will then apply to ministers for confirmation. We anticipate completing the process by October 2013.9. Environment Agency Update
Will post up main document when through. Discussed out of season fishing and noted that the Thames region has seen marked drop, good news and reflected though our findings. Licence sales are down this year because of the cold wet spring, football, Olympics and the economy. A shortfall in licence revenue immediately hits investment in fisheries so we all need to promote sales to club members, a poster for all clubs has been sent out.
TAC rep asked the question about EA contingency plans during the Olympics as many rods in west Surrey are closed for 3 days due to the cycling events, they will come back with the info.10 River Crane Pollution Update
TAC gave an update of the current status including the £400K pledged by Thames Water. Noted that TW are the only water company who do this type of voluntary payment and are working closely with the CVP for the long term, credit where credit is due.11 Olympic Park and Angling.
The Trust are to keen to ensure there is angling representation in the Olympic park after the games and something based around the River Lee, funding will be available and are looking for suggestions. One suggestion was the Aquatic centre could be turned into a state of the art indoor fishery.. much mirth at the end of a long evening.12. Any Other Notified Business.
13. Date & Venue of next meeting