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Thread: BOPA, is it DEAD?

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up BOPA, is it DEAD?

    I have been keeping a watch on all the organisations connected with the so called "Upper Wye & Welsh Dee agreements" the Dee has now been rebranded as an "arrangement", that means the Anglers arranging for us to be kept off the water a long as possible.

    I am pleased to report the apparent death of BOPA, there has not been any activity on their website for the last year and they are still advertising workshops for 2013/4. They claimed a membership of 1000, this has always been suspicious as no one seems to know anyone who is a member. The last update on their Facebook page was August 2013. Hopefully Chris Charter has gone down with it and has found a dark place to hide and contemplate the wisdom of betraying the paddling community he was once a part off. He would have been putting the BOPA name to the Dee agreement at the same time as closing down the operation, how cynical is that. He is still listed as a director of Welsh Dee Partnership Ltd

    This now removes any trace of legitimacy left in the "River Dee & Upper Wye agreements" all paddlers can now confidently dismiss any reference to these agreements made by Anglers as irrelevant, the demise of BOPA renders both agreements stone dead. In fact I believe that if the WUF continue to use their "agreement" to stop anyone paddling, they could be committing an act of fraud. The Welsh Dee Partnership have already changed the name of theirs to avoid being accused of the same.

    http://www.bopa-sport.co.uk/

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Briti...82?sk=timeline

    http://companycheck.co.uk/company/08...people-summary
    "Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men"
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    I’d just like to point out the upper Wye “agreement” has also been renamed an “arrangement”, and has been for a number of years now.
    I don’t know about BOPA but Chris Charter is still active (I almost ran him over in Llandrindod Wells this morning). He has been present at all the meetings of SACC (http://www.accesscymru.org/index.html ) at Builth Wells Showground where he was the sole representative for canoeists. He announced he was involved in the creation of the upper Wye “arrangement”, which was said to be “working quite well” by WUF. I expect he’ll be at the next meeting which is due sometime around the end of October.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wrongangle View Post
    He announced he was involved in the creation of the upper Wye “arrangement”, which was said to be “working quite well” by WUF.
    As long as the WUF are happy then all is well with the world, or maybe not.
    "Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men"
    Grp Cpt Sir Douglas Bader CBE,DSO,DFC,FRAeS.

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    Interesting, Cloudman. On another note concerning WUF, we interested parties learned this week that WUF's much-vaunted habitat work on the Wye (total spend in the region of £14 million evidently) is not paying off in terms of salmon juveniles. The situation is actually rather poor - in fact the only site that Natural Resources Wales - called the EA in England - were able to say with any certaintly that the little fish were present in any numbers was the Dernol. This was the "control" brook. The one which was not meddled with by WUF. It was to be used to measure how well all the other sites WUF worked on were doing!

    Some, at least, of the high-ups at Natural Resources Wales are not fooled by the rhetoric and dodgy fish-counting methodology from WUF.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidh View Post
    The situation is actually rather poor - in fact the only site that Natural Resources Wales - called the EA in England - were able to say with any certaintly that the little fish were present in any numbers was the Dernol. This was the "control" brook. The one which was not meddled with by WUF. It was to be used to measure how well all the other sites WUF worked on were doing!
    Has any work been done on the effect of Catch & Release on successful breading, in theory the idea is that the caught fish is patted on the bottom and put back in to happily make it's way to the "Redd's" unaffected. So my question is does the stress of being caught put them off breading (it would certainly put me off ), there have been surveys done to assess survival rates that suggest 5/20% mortality but none that I can find to assess breading success. From my experience wildlife recovers best if it is just protected and left to get on with it, maybe a big reduction or halt in fishing activity for a couple of years is needed to see how the fish respond, it seems to work at sea.
    "Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men"
    Grp Cpt Sir Douglas Bader CBE,DSO,DFC,FRAeS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cloudman View Post
    Has any work been done on the effect of Catch & Release on successful breading, in theory the idea is that the caught fish is patted on the bottom and put back in to happily make it's way to the "Redd's" unaffected. So my question is does the stress of being caught put them off breading (it would certainly put me off ), there have been surveys done to assess survival rates that suggest 5/20% mortality but none that I can find to assess breading success. From my experience wildlife recovers best if it is just protected and left to get on with it, maybe a big reduction or halt in fishing activity for a couple of years is needed to see how the fish respond, it seems to work at sea.
    That would be an interesting study - perhaps one river with paddlesports but no fishing, and another with fishing but no paddlesports - and see which one recovers first!

    The quote above eludes to one of the many flaws I have with the arguments from the fishing community. The claim is that they protect the rivers and want to improve the stock of fish - and i am sure that some do, although there will be a selfish element in that argument. They also claim that paddlers disturb the fish to such an extent that numbers are falling. Given that a passing paddler is probably no differnt to a passing tree, surely the act of fishing, catching and then releasing is going to have a far greater impact than a passing paddler / tree?

    Morally, I have a problem with fishing for sport. I am quite comfortable with fishing to eat, but disturbing a wild animal, putting a hook in its mouth and taking it out of it's natural environment just for fun appears wrong.

    As an aside, I recently visited one of the largest salmon hatcheries in the world. I hadnt ment too, but i was passing in my sea kayak and they invited me in for a tour. It was great to see this really successful operation and learn how they barcode their fish (diff water termperatures create different bone circles), but what impressed me most, apart from the fact that the suvival rate of the juvernille fish was so much higher than natural, was how welcoming off paddlers they were. Needless to say this was not in the UK.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by cloudman View Post
    Has any work been done on the effect of Catch & Release on successful breading, in theory the idea is that the caught fish is patted on the bottom and put back in to happily make it's way to the "Redd's" unaffected. So my question is does the stress of being caught put them off breading (it would certainly put me off ), there have been surveys done to assess survival rates that suggest 5/20% mortality but none that I can find to assess breading success. From my experience wildlife recovers best if it is just protected and left to get on with it, maybe a big reduction or halt in fishing activity for a couple of years is needed to see how the fish respond, it seems to work at sea.
    Well……….,

    WUF's remit initially was to bring the salmon back to the Wye, or at least help them return. The EA, and now NRW, subcontract some of their contractual obligations out to WUF, so WUF do the work and get paid for it.
    What this means in real terms is that we are dependent upon WUF for much of the information about how well the fish are doing.
    Is that information accurate? Who knows.

    The salmon rod catch on the Wye is going up slowly, but of course that may only mean more people fishing!
    I agree with you, and some other fishermen do too. It wouldn't hurt to give the salmon a rest for several seasons. I voluntarily don't fish for salmon on the Wye, and haven't for a couple of years now. There are also fishermen who would like a return to killing salmon on the Wye.

    To answer your question, best case scenario - my understanding is that the stress of being caught probably doesn't affect more than 30% of fish.
    Worst case scenerio - some fish die after being caught, and they are certainly not going to breed. C and R is not a perfect solution by any means, but it keeps the riparian owners happy and it's better than all salmon being clunked, which is what used to happen.

    I don't think that C and R is why there are no or few juvenile salmon. I think the reason is probably multifactoral. It certainly includes FEB's (fish-eating-birds), and big trout.
    The wild trout on the Wye can grow to 8lbs+. They mostly feed at night, and as well as being expert at surviving are absolutely voracious. They can easily eat ten little salmon in a session. Thirty cormorants in a pool can eat ten little salmon in a session, each.

    This is the reason we tried stocking the Wye using SNR ponds. That experiment was stopped half-way through (WUF pulled out early-on), but we estimate that we had an extra 1000 mature healthy salmon return to the Wye from Greenland from three years-worth of stocking SNR immature salmon.
    Last edited by davidh; 30th-November-2016 at 12:03 PM.

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    I won't get into the rights and wrongs of fishing but I would say that FEBs are part of the natural world. If you increase the number of fish and don't put nets over the rivers, expect that other predators will be participating in the same sport. If a cull is needed then maybe all players should be subject?

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    Mike,

    I understand your anti-"fishing for sport" stance, and although I don't agree with it totally, I do tend to fish for wild fish only, and slip them back quickly and quietly. I'm not justifying or defending the practice, you understand, but simply explaining what I do.

    I don't think there is a logical reason for saying that paddlers are causing fish numbers to fall. The only situation I can think of where this may happen is paddlers launching directly over salmon redds, and of course we now know that grayling anglers wade directly over salmon redds too, so who does the most damage?

    Our hatchery was run by the EA on a small scale, and the little 3-inch fish were transferred to SNR (semi-natural release) ponds, I was oine of the volunteer managers. The fish were grown on to 6 inches or so, ready to run to sea. Our ponds were all spring-fed, and contained natural food (hence the semi-natural). The fish were "street-wise" long before being released (via a small culvert into a brook, or in one case straight into the river). You have grasped the important point - they all, or mostly survived to run downriver straight to the sea.

    It was an experiment which could have been rolled out. Why was it stopped early? Who knows. A "symposium" was organised pretty quickly to show lots of "good" reasons why hatcheries were a bad thing, and some pretty poor scientific evidence was used to justify closing the hatcheries. Most of this evidence was available long before the EA gave the go-ahead for the experiment in the first place. There was a rumour that one of the hatcheries was on viable building land which could be sold off by the EA, so who knows.

    You can be sure that if, in the future, there are any grants going for Wye hatcheries to be reinstated WUF will be first in the queue!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Cooper View Post
    I won't get into the rights and wrongs of fishing but I would say that FEBs are part of the natural world. If you increase the number of fish and don't put nets over the rivers, expect that other predators will be participating in the same sport. If a cull is needed then maybe all players should be subject?
    I was very careful not to mention a cull .

    Talking about the natural world, and with regard to the damage that FEB's do, have you seen that island at Ambleside lately? The one the cormorants have taken over and totally wrecked?
    And are you happy about herring gulls attacking people in seaside towns? Or rats in your house?
    The herring gulls don't bother me btw - I grew up in a seaside town and got used to them.

    And don't, for goodness-sake, mention nets over rivers. You'll give people ideas!
    We had nets over our SNR ponds. The heron which got under the net in my pond was not popular (but not harmed either).

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidh View Post
    Talking about the natural world, and with regard to the damage that FEB's do, have you seen that island at Ambleside lately? The one the cormorants have taken over and totally wrecked?
    And are you happy about herring gulls attacking people in seaside towns? Or rats in your house?
    Yep! I am perfectly happy with all of that. If you don't want to be attacked by gulls, don't eat food outside. If you don't want rats in your house, make sure your house is rat-proof. Rats don't understand the laws of trespass. You say wrecked but maybe the cormorants just call it 'home'; if they don't like it they will move on and time will allow nature to restore it.

    I think people want to control nature too much.

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    Do I come across like a hippy? It's not intentional.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Cooper View Post
    Do I come across like a hippy? It's not intentional.
    Not really.

    The gulls will quite happily swoop on you if you are near their nests - which are usually only "near" in their imagination, being on the tops of buildings.
    I don't know whether the trees are dead (the ones the cormorants roost in). They look pretty dead to me.
    Houses flooded? It's only nature. Don't worry, they'll dry out in time for the next flood (being built on a flood plain).

    Anyway, point made (you may not agree).
    The natural world in the UK is probably a lot less natural than we would like to believe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidh View Post
    The natural world in the UK is probably a lot less natural than we would like to believe.
    We can certainly agree on that.

    Flooded houses in the flood plain? Now there is no excuse to complain.

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    Thanks for the info David, at the end of the day there is no chance of a voluntary cessation of fishing because of the financial implications.

    The Icelandic fishing grounds are a good example of what needs to be done, they have made the hard decisions to close off certain areas to allow the stocks to build up again and are now reaping the benefits. Maybe a few gunboats on the Wye would help.
    "Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men"
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    We have a house by the seaside, well about half a mile from it. We are plagued by sea gulls, they crap on our house and car, screech all day, attack the bin collection prepared as requested by the council, scare the children and their parents, before we consider them taking food from the mouths, practically, of those seeking to enjoy the open air, and they are protected!!!!!!! No one can pretend that they are endangered.

    On the matter of building on flood plains. Councils are short of money ( we could all choose other ways of spending their income, but there is not enough to go round.) Virtually the only ways a council can increase its income is to have new houses built, and then receive the rates from them. A minor other method is the legalised bribery allowing a developer to provide something else the council wants but can't afford like a library building, or sport facilities. When the proposed housing scheme comes for planning approval, unless it is really anti- social, truly hideous, or against the zoning in the borough plan, all the pressure is on the council to accept, ignoring comments made by qualified experts about the wisdom. The developer will have thought out ways to appear to mitigate any perceived problems, and all councils will have seen sensible refusals over turned by Planning Inspectors because of problems over procedure or interpretation of the plan. Planning appeals are expensive to defend by the council, and often cost money that they don't have. So preventing the building of houses on the flood plain isn't as easy as that. A change in the law so that the developer was responsible for funding remedial work might help, and reduce our water rates as well.

    (Could this have been written by an engineer and one time senior local government officer?)

    Rant (S) over

    Impcanoe

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    Quote Originally Posted by Impcanoe View Post
    We have a house by the seaside, well about half a mile from it. We are plagued by sea gulls, they crap on our house and car, screech all day, attack the bin collection prepared as requested by the council, scare the children and their parents, before we consider them taking food from the mouths, practically, of those seeking to enjoy the open air, and they are protected!!!!!!! No one can pretend that they are endangered.

    On the matter of building on flood plains. Councils are short of money ( we could all choose other ways of spending their income, but there is not enough to go round.) Virtually the only ways a council can increase its income is to have new houses built, and then receive the rates from them. A minor other method is the legalised bribery allowing a developer to provide something else the council wants but can't afford like a library building, or sport facilities. When the proposed housing scheme comes for planning approval, unless it is really anti- social, truly hideous, or against the zoning in the borough plan, all the pressure is on the council to accept, ignoring comments made by qualified experts about the wisdom. The developer will have thought out ways to appear to mitigate any perceived problems, and all councils will have seen sensible refusals over turned by Planning Inspectors because of problems over procedure or interpretation of the plan. Planning appeals are expensive to defend by the council, and often cost money that they don't have. So preventing the building of houses on the flood plain isn't as easy as that. A change in the law so that the developer was responsible for funding remedial work might help, and reduce our water rates as well.

    (Could this have been written by an engineer and one time senior local government officer?)

    Rant (S) over

    Impcanoe
    Sounds about right. My late wife was an architect and used to explain things in much the same terms.

    The seagulls are "nature" and should be left alone . Stop whinging!

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    Quote Originally Posted by cloudman View Post
    Thanks for the info David, at the end of the day there is no chance of a voluntary cessation of fishing because of the financial implications.
    Precisely. The clubs wouldn't be a problem, well not much of one anyway. The riparian owners would.

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