As the coarse fishing season for rivers and its tributaries has closed, for those that need to know the close season is from 15th March up until the season reopens again on June 16th, I would like to give you an update on some of the plans we would like to implement this year.
To add to the 58 fishing platforms that we have installed on Mousecroft, County Ground, Oxon Pool,Sydney Avenue and Monkmoor in the last 4 years, we wish to install another 10 river platforms. These will be 2 replacements on Sydney Avenue, 3 more on Monkmoor and 5 in the farm area at Emstrey. One of the platforms for Monkmoor will be installed in memory of Darren “Polly” Perkins who sadly passed away last year. He left us a donation of £500 in his will of which we shall use towards the work. It will be named “Pollys Peg”. These platforms will further improve access to fishing on our river fisheries for all anglers.
In the summer, starting in June, we shall be running more fishing coaching sessions on Mousecroft Pools for our Junior anglers. On the final event there will be a Junior fishing competition for those that wish to take part and win some prizes etc. The coaching event details will be promoted via our website and Facebook pages at some point in April.
A couple of suggestions listed on our anglers poll was to run some competitions for full members on Monkmoor and also “Bring a friend fishing scheme”.
This summer we will look at running a couple of river matches on Monkmoor for full members. Dates and how to take part will be promoted once again via our website and Facebook pages in the summer.
“ Bring a friend fishing scheme” is a bit more involved and I am looking at the best way to administer the scheme. Details of the scheme will be announced once it can be set up.
We have 18 water keepers and bailiffs who devote their time looking after our fisheries,Tom who takes care of our media and warden of the Reabrook,Ian James our head Junior coach and his team and our team of six water testers,who all do a marvellous job on our fisheries. We are going to contribute to the renovation of a storage facility,that we badly need, to store all of our tools, Junior coaching equipment etc. This will give us a safe and secure lockup that will be easy to access for our equipment by our team.
We have very recently completed the last of three platforms on Mousecroft Pool. These were funded by a grant that was made available by the Environment Agency. I would like to thank the EA for their continued support and a special mention for Dave and Harry from the EA Fisheries team for all your help. It all makes a big difference. In addition we have stocked a few more crucian carp and skimmer bream in Mousecroft.
A new boundary fence at Oxon Pool is also being planned to help secure the pool. A grant application is being looked at to help us with this.
Due to increased costs in fisheries operations, including materials, fuels etc, we are having to increase all our season permit fees from 5th April by £5. All our team, including myself run the fisheries totally voluntary at no cost to the fisheries, work long hours improve the prospects for the recreation of angling in Shrewsbury.
Our normal maintenance, repairs and fisheries works continue as always.
Finally, a quick word about pollution. The River Severn is now listed as the most polluted river in the top 20 of the most polluted rivers in the Uk. My first fishing experience as a 6 year old was at Welshpool on the upper Severn with my father and my first fish caught was a dace. I was hooked and over the years spent hours pleasure, match fishing and also angling club activities on the Severn. My first encounter at Shrewsbury was in the early eighties and I was drawn by the fantastic roach fishing in the Quarry. Sadly our river has been on a slow slippery slope of decline for its wildlife and fish stocks over the last 25 years or so. A huge emphasis is happening on the pollution subject as it is affecting all rivers in the Uk and we must try a stop the decline. Work has already started in some areas with various projects taking place with the River Trust and Shropshire Wildlife Trust and farming communities to make a difference and help the Severn and it’s environment. I applaud this work. I am doing my best, as a voice for the anglers of our fisheries, to voice my opinions to try and make a difference wherever I can. For any change to happen, everyone has to work together to achieve this. We have increased our water testing volunteers,collecting data for ourselves and the Angling Trust Water Quality Scheme, from three to six volunteers.They are now covering 9 locations throughout the length of the Severn in and around Shrewsbury. The testing will give us a good idea of the quality of the water over at least a minimum of a 2 years period if not longer. As seasons and conditions change, so will the effects on water quality and so over a long period of time we will be able to see what is happening, whether is is getting better or worse etc. So if the polluters say they are committed to making water quality better, we shall see if this is actually happening. At the moment the Severn is of concern. I hope that the appropriate people who can make decisions, make the common sense ones and protect our rivers from pollution and protect our valuable wildlife, fish stocks and habitats so that future generations can see it in full flourish once again. This is a mammoth task. I hope they “do the right thing.”
I would like to thank Shrewsbury Town Council, Shropshire Council, Environment Agency, Shropshire Wildlife Trust, Angling Trust, Countryside Team, Police, Fire Service,Communities, Angling Clubs, Contractors, Fisheries Team and all our Anglers for your help, advice and support.