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When I read about the evils of drinking I gave up reading.
I practice rolling at Matlock. If there's an angler in my favourite pool I move down a stretch . Don't want observers seeing how bad my roll is.
I came across this this afternoon with regard to trout and salmon eggs, since it is often given as a reason for not allowing paddlers onto water that "they disturb and/or damage salmon eggs". Please note that there are five different types of salmon. Our native salmon in the UK is the Atlantic Salmon.
Once eggs are laid and fertilised they become "water-hardened". This is clearly for protection. The eggs are vulnerable to damage at this stage until they are "eyed" - that is, an eye is visible. I believe it takes about two weeks for the eggs to become less vulnerable. Trout lay their eggs in December, Salmon in November. The hatchings are also vunerable to disturbance, although less so.
The ref can be found here
So what can damage eggs, apart from paddlers? Well, fishermen, particularly grayling fishermen, trout, greenlaning 4X4s, and barbel.
So using spawning salmon as a stick to beat the paddlers is not only wrong, it is also misinformed. The data about egg fragility is clear - the grayling fishermen and the 4X4s can be seen on the upper Wye most weekends in the Winter. If a paddler feels so inclined it would be perfectly reasonable for him or her to remonstrate with either.
Last edited by davidh; 9th-December-2016 at 04:24 PM.
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Am I right in thinking that the gravel needs to be disturbed to put the eggs at risk? So either direct contact with the river bed or turbulence at the bottom of the river?
Presumably in adequate water depths this would be unlikely from a passing paddler, but a risk in shallow water, and a certainty from wading people, livestock, horses and vehicles. As I mentioned earlier, I'd certainly be happy to avoid paddling sensitive bits of river to avoid disturbance to redds and would welcome clear guidance on that - times of year and minimum water depths, sites to avoid at these times etc. I think most paddlers would support that, particularly if presented as a conservation measure. And it would be great if things could be made even easier to do the right thing with clear signage and marked ways round these sites, whether by portage or a particular route on the river.
An analogous approach works at Stanage for ring ouzels in their nesting season, when a significant number of popular and classic routes are closed and an area roped off around the base and top of the cliff. Everyone respects it, and there is a sense of communal pride when the notices recording a successful breeding season are put up afterwards.
Yes, the gravels would have to be disturbed. I have no doubt that paddlers would be cooperative, and that anglers would be horrified if they knew of the damage they were inadvertently causing by wading over spawning gravels. You are absolutely right about the communal pride.
The situation is not helped by the fact that a VAA sign on the upper Wye (inviting paddlers to launch here) is right next to spawning gravels .
I'm very heartened by the responses to this thread which have all been positive, to a greater or lesser degree.
It only needs a few attitudes to change on the other side to start a paradigm shift about other river-users which will eventually bring about a quantum change for the better.
The anthropomorphism of fish, of any species, where attributing powers beyond their 'threatened prey" status is in the least silly.
The fish eggs with a specific gravity of little more than the water are scattered on gravel beds are washed away by spate conditions. Some eggs remain by virtue of getting into the gravel, deep enough for normal river condition but spate can move gravel and destroy the redd. I have been by rivers when loud noises created by boulders being moved have been clearly audible, where are the eggs then, washed away to feed fish and other creatures down stream.
Crayfish will dig out eggs to feast on.
Various quotes showing the main loss of fish eggs.
Studies in spate rivers in North West Scotland and North America have shown that egg loss during winter spate floods can be a major bottleneck for salmonid productivity. Gravel movement in the River Stinchar is a major concern, and may be becoming more serious as spate flows have increased.
With the spawning becks in full spate so often, it will be very fortunate indeed if any of the eggs have survived this year. (2015)
There are many more statements by Environmental Authorities that point out the losses due to washout are often total.
So the biggest disturbance to fish eggs is spate conditions that simply wash them away.
The other point is obstructions to migration, such as weirs.
So we have it, fish stocks are reduced by floods, pollution and man made obstruction.
Anglers weaken fish they hook and play with, reducing their breeding potential and killing even those released after they play with them. Even when they nurse them in attempts to resuscitate them. On rivers like the Wye, dead fish can frequently be found along the river. We paddlers also see lots of dead fish along stretches of canals. The mortality is probably due to over playing, clumsy hook extraction and other trauma from handling.
So, many salmonids are reared artificially for the anglers, fish being caught by electric fishing then eggs and sperm removed for growing on in and artificial setting.
Paddlers therefore remain innocent, we don't kill fish or or disturb, or remove redds.
Nature and the anglers can do it all by themselves.
I missed crayfish out, not on purpose, but because I'm not a fisheries scientist and can't remember all the threats to salmon eggs.
Spates are natural. The decimation of high woodlands, the presence of which tends to soak up water and reduces flash floods are not, and since not many anglers chop trees for a living someone else must be responsible.
Pollution - is that all down to anglers, do you think?
And man-made obstruction. Are those down to anglers, and are some older weirs really so bad anyway?
Many floods are associated with bad land management some from the grouse killing industry.
My point was to highlight that there are many serious issues associated with fish and spawn disturbance including the hobby of angling.
Canoeing is a very minor issue, it is only grumpy and selfish anglers that escalate this point and try to attribute blame to the passing of a canoe/kayak.
The "grouse killing industry" is responsible for land management on moors. I can't comment on flooding caused by grouse moor management. Do you have specifics?
I don't seek to defend the escalation of blaming paddlers for anything.
I see an opportunity to educate paddlers about salmon and trout eggs (maybe they don't need the education) so that they can be more pro-active in the welfare of the river, if they wish. If they don't wish, then fine. I'm not going to stop building bridges.
When I managed my SNR pond to grow on young salmon I did it because I wanted more fish in the river. I'm not particularly bothered if some were caught or not, but my main purpose was that I wanted a breeding head of fish to survive for future generations.
The rivers and fish are our heritage.
Without anglers giving their time and money freely the SNR project could not have happened. Some of us did this work without being paid and without wanting to fish for salmon. As it was the plug was pulled early. Very short-sighted in my opinion.
However, what we have now with SNR is a quantifiable, proven and workable solution to replace the fish for when (there is no doubt in my mind that this will happen sooner or later) the Atlantic salmon crash comes to the UK south and west coast rivers. The east-coast salmon run on a different route once at sea.
The real threats, besides which paddlers, anglers and all the other in-river problems, if we want to call them that, pale into insignificance, are UDN or a similar disease, the Severn Barrage, which is shelved for the moment but not forgotten, and super-trawlers at sea, which are capable of catching a full year of young fish in one go.
The grouse killing industry manages land for greater production of their live targets. Amongst the issues are, draining natural blanket bogs, burning heather and removing tree growth, all these contribute to fast runoff including moorland peats and soils washed out.
Canoeing and kayaking, carefully, is not a threat to the ecosystem it just disturbs those that don't want us there. Much of your blog puts you against canoeing, even the title says so, rather than against issues that cause real damage.
On another note…...
These are some of the gravels which salmon spawn on, on the River Irfon. At summer level they are exposed, but at normal Winter levels they are about a foot below water.
I'm posting this for interest's sake alone, just in case anyone thinks I'm saying paddlers are disturbing these gravels. In my experience anglers do wade down this stretch in the Winter, paddlers go through in deeper water..
Last edited by davidh; 10th-December-2016 at 04:09 PM.
Different ball game altogether, over here sk8r, grouse shooting is mainly the preserve of the idle rich.......vast tracts of the Scottish Highlands are given over to the production of grouse......to the detriment of everything else. It is actually part of the same mentality that causes the owners of fishing rights to go ape when we paddle "their waters" a hold over from the class system that still permeates British society
I bet just about everything you shoot is for the table..............you will find whole skips full of grouse just dumped after some of the shoots in Britain.
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Our grouse are a different species from yours. Your Spruce Grouse lives in forest for example, our Red Grouse (indigenous to the UK) is quite a different a species and only lives on heather moorland and won't go near a tree at all!
It matters little in the argument of access whether fisherman are damaging rivers, or fish or anything else. Nor does it make much difference to the argument for/against access whether paddlers do either.
What matters I think, is that whether anglers like it or not, paddlers believe they have a legal right to be on the water too and there is no law preventing paddlers from paddling in rivers. Both sides need to recognise this and until the law is clarified in court - if it needs to be - then both sides, but probably more so by fisherman need to accept this fact.
There are many 'rights' in which one user will come into conflict with others with similar rights. Horse riders, cyclists and pedestrians for example have a right to use bridleways. Sometimes these rights clash with what another user sees as acceptable use. They just have to accept that that is the way it is. Similarly I like birdwatching. People disturb birds but I've got to accept that fact.
The red grouse the "sport of choice for those with too much money and little brain" are raised on moorland where heather grows (red grouse eat heather). The moorland is cleared of all predators including our protected birds of prey, illegally. The production of these "wild" birds is crowded and excessive which leads to problems with parasites and illnesses. They are medicated with chemicals and drugs to keep alive the increased population.
On 12 August (called the glorious 12th by those with too much money and little brain) and for several months after, they are blasted out of the sky by hoards of, yep you've guessed it! In order to do this with little effort they hide behind screens called butts while minions of poor folk waving flags and blowing whistles chase "drive" the grouse across the moor towards the guns. The shooters have gun loaders doing just that to allow as many shots to be fired as possible. Hundreds of the "precious" grouse are killed and maimed and the shooters have a "jolly good time" get back in their 4x4 vehicles and driven back to some grand house to brag about the fine sport they have had. The grouse are mostly wasted, few are eaten and a few sold but this is rare because these shooters still use lead shot. The heaps of corpses are surrounded by snares to catch unwary foxes. This is what the gentry call sport and the country decimation that goes with it is supported by our government, they even get huge "farming?" subsidies gathered from our taxes to ease the burden on the rich's pocket?
If this all seems far fetched, sorry but it is true. This mindless activity is clearly demonstrated here video showing all the skill of the fairground along with the stupid mentality, also look out for the army of minions driving the birds by waving flags and blowing whistles. How they avoid killing each other is disappointing. These shooters also do the same with pheasants (hand reared in pens, at about 40million per year to be shot and mostly wasted), partridges too. Costing each shooter over £1000 (1700 Canadian dollars) per day.
I have no objection against shooting for the pot but the idle rich in the UK consider this mass slaughter "Sport". Prehistoric man did it to live, these folk do it for what???
Sadly, most of these people have too much power over us. The current government is full of those that love mindless killing.
A sad, sad world.
It's such a different game, and far lazier than you could possibly imagine.
In one of it's forms, there's a giant open air shooting range, where the old idle rich and the newly rich who want to be seen as idle, have birds (that are bred for the purpose) driven at them by dogs (that are bred for the purpose) or local peasants (not bred for the purpose, but you have to put the vermin to some use), over heather that's regularly burned to keep it around 2 feet high. There's a uniform (a tweed suit, a shooting vest and green wellies), a strict code of etiquette (a set percentage of the shooting party must be called either Tarquin or Jemima and everyone must have a double barrelled surname), and because you are too idly rich (or too drunkenly idle) to load your own gun, a peasant is supplied to do that for you. Most of the birds are thrown away, but if there's a couple that haven't been vapourised by your overpowered blunderbus of a shotgun, you might have your cook prepare one for dinner.
I've never experienced hunting in Canada, but I understand it's a little less "civilised".
As for it's part in the increasing number and intensity of floods, unless there has been a recent, significant increase in moorland area in the catchment of the river (which I don't think there has been round here), I'm not sure it's really the problem. Increased rainfall, drier summers and wetter winters, and covering flood plains in concrete and houses seems a more likely set of factors. But blaming climate change or the stupidity of where we build our houses apparently isn't an option.
All of this is very off topic, but hopefully it opens a window through which our Canadian cousins can understand that restricting paddling isn't odd or silly, it's perfectly in keeping with Great British Culture.
The only thing you have to fear is Mergatroid the vengeful, man eating bear.
We seem to have moved off-topic a bit and onto an anti grouse-shooting-fest. Carry on chaps - I don't shoot grouse, pheasant or partridge.
I shoot the ocassional bunny for the pot - better just declare that interest
Anyway, We were out paddling this morning - very nice indeed.
Sadly not on Cardigan Bay though - not this time…..
I have stood and watched carp in the canal for ages even while they have been feeding , also seen a very large pike eating a smaller pike when I was just a few feet away.
Similarly I have tried to get close to other fish and the slightest noise , or vibration or shadow will scatter them.
I would imagine that there would be very many circumstances where a number of canoes passing through a swim , especially where fish are being stalked in a stealthy manner, would scatter them.
Its a basic requirement of many forms of angling to be stealthy.
If some guy has spent a couple of hours stalking a fish then whatever disturbs them - a dog , a cow , people breaking the sky line could undo a lot of hard work
It can be extremely irritating, and I will admit to sometimes having very uncharitable thoughts about that person when it happens, but the thing is that that is just life. I don't dispute the walker their right to be there enjoying the same space as me, and I don't have any expectation of carrying out my chosen activity free from interaction with other users of the same space. I certainly don't voice those thoughts, let alone threaten violence or damage their property. To do so would be a completely inappropriate, and grossly disproportionate, reaction. Far better to let them enjoy their day, and at most ask politely if they would mind stepping to one side for a minute. My reaction is my problem, and I really don't need to make it theirs! I tell just myself to get a grip and lighten up!
Too many paddlers, though, have had the experience of meeting an angler who does appear to have that expectation, and doesn't show much restraint in sharing their reaction with the 'offender'. Paddling today at Matlock, I met two paddlers who last week were told by a pair of anglers that they shouldn't be on the water below Darley Bridge on the Derbyshire Derwent because it was illegal. This is a well established run, and they made sure they passed quietly by on the oppposite side of the river, but were then photographed by one of the anglers. Pretty minor hassle in the grand scheme of things, but it leaves a bad taste when you experience it.
Despite this common experience, there does seem to be a reservoir of tolerance and willingness to share amongst paddlers, which hopefully will grow in angling society too through debates like this.
I do find grouse shooting silly and ridiculous, it's hard not to, but it's no more silly and ridiculous than throwing a plastic bathtub down turbulent water. I was just pointing out how different it is to what sk8r does.
I stopped fishing regularly because I was uncomfortable with catch and release, but I have no objection to others doing it. I'm quite in favour of our local angling industry and their part in the efforts to clean up my local river. I can watch otters 10 minutes from my front door on water that 40 years ago gave off choking fumes. There are few more angry about pollution on rivers than anglers and I applaud that (they seem to do a good line in anger).
I do object when anglers think that their fun is more important than my fun so my fun should be restricted. The arguments of disturbing spawning beds are questionable. While it may not get the general traffic of the Wye the most popular months for paddling on the Tyne are November and December, the largest mass participation paddle event in europe is on the Tyne in November, yet the salmon and trout are breeding fine. It could be that brown ale in the water makes the eggs extra hard or it could be that seeing flashes of colourful plastic turn the fish on, those are about as scientific as evidence I've seen for canoes disturbing spawning and spawning beds. I've curtailed my activities for conservation reasons in the past, and I'll do it again, but not on the say so of a group who will spout any post fact excuse to get paddlers off "their" water.
Angler's complaints about paddlers boil down to the fact they want their vision of a peaceful, undisturbed day on the river and paddlers are spoiling it. I'd like to paddle without having to stop and take less than optimal lines down rivers to avoid anglers, but that's not going to happen. The difference is that paddlers aren't being aggressive about it, I've never swung a paddle at an angler or aimed my boat directly at a wading angler, but I've had my hat taken off by a cast fly, and had weights land in my boat, I've never sworn at an angler, but have been sworn at plenty (including when I've been leading groups of children). It's not always like that, I've made coffee and given cake to anglers and was once offered a wee dram by an angler who'd just caught a very impressive salmon, but when there is aggression it not paddlers starting it. So, from what I see, if compromise and cooperation is the way forward, it's the anglers who need to take a step forward, drop their entitled attitude and lose the aggression because that isn't the language of cooperation. If that's wrong, what should the paddling community be doing that's different to what we do now?
I applaud your efforts to find compromise David, but this isn't where you should look for the first move towards compromise, if this topic was on an angling forum and titled "anglers can interfere with the enjoyment of paddling", do you think the discussion would differ in character? Because I suspect that's where the most movement is needed to find a cooperative solution.
The only thing you have to fear is Mergatroid the vengeful, man eating bear.
Anglers have been told repeatedly, and now largely they believe, that they have a right to be on the river and paddlers do not. I think the law will have to be invoked at some stage, but since neither party want to go to law I also believe there is no clear answer (except in the instance of PRN's).
This thread, for example, could never have taken place on an angling forum.
Your Tyne trout and Salmon are safe from anglers in November - it's the close season for both . Activity on the river at that time mostly disturbs poachers - no-one else!
I accept that that I can not have exclusivity when I'm out and about and have to live with that, but, A lot of fishermen see this differently as they have paid for their 'exclusivity' in their eyes. They pay a charge to EA/NRW for using water for their activity (it's the law and they have no option) they then have to pay the person that holds the fishing or sporting rights so that they can fish there, (if they don't pay they are poaching, again covered by law).
What I'm trying to say is that one user group pays a specific charge and one doesn't and that is a fundamental difference. I despise paying individuals so i can carry out a particular activity but I would be happy to pay in form of a licence as I do to go fishing. Some parity in payment would go a long way to diffuse some of the situations that have been witnessed.
I'm also glad you opened a debate on this. No doubt those that have had bad experiences will be inclined to respond slightly more ... "enthusiastically" than people like me. I've never had a run in with an angler. I try to do what I can to reduce the impact and stress on any wildlife when I visit their environment.
You wrote, in bold, "It is a fact that paddling can scare fish". Could you please reference the research that proves this? Just so that it's clear it's not an opinion disguised as fact. I don't know and I have not seen any research on the topic, but I would hazard a guess that it depends on the water, river/lake bed, type of fish, and style of paddling. The number of fish I've caught from my SOT kayak also seems to prove that Sea Bass and Pollack at least are not too bothered by my style of paddling. My thoughts on fishing for sport rather than food is that I'm pretty sure pulling them from the water to weigh them, take a photo and kiss them before returning them is probably more scary than paddling past them.
You also wrote "I personally don't think that it's worth making a huge fuss about wire or rope across a river". I disagree and think it is worth making a fuss about illegal activity that endangers lives. It is after all an act of terrorism - "... done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear". The mere existence of such life threatening obstacles is probably enough to keep some paddlers away from certain rivers. Paddlers like me don't want the risk nor the aggravation. I paddle to relax, to get away from the stress of my daily job; I don't need even more when I'm out paddling.
What I'd really like to see is some way that we can share our rivers. (It doesn't appear to be an issue on lakes, estuaries, lochs or the sea.) I'm deeply saddened by the lack of attention or progress made on agreements on when, where and how we paddle/fish so that we can all get along and enjoy our natural resources. Most times when I'm paddling a river I don't see many fishermen/fisherwomen or many other paddlers. My ideal outcome would be if we can agree a style of paddling or passing that would minimise the disruption to people fishing. I stop paddling (if the flow is sufficient) and try pass outside the "swim" of the person fishing, but this is not always possible. Is there anything else I could/should do?
I hope this helps move us towards a way we can share our rivers.
Thanks for joining in.
I can't show research material which shows conclusively that paddling can scare fish. What I mean is that I probably can, but then someone will come on and reference some work which says that paddling doesn't scare fish, and then it goes goes on.
Come for a walk up here and scare some fish. It's pretty easy to do.
Regarding fish caught from a SOT, and aggro too, you are fishing in very different types of water and while bass can be caught in shallow water when they are actively feeding, pollack are much more likely to be caught from the drop into a kelp bed (as I remember).
Over on AnglersAfloat forum, which you probably know about, there are reports from time to time of shore anglers actively casting at SOT's. These are not piffling little lures with trebles either. These are 4 and 6oz leads cast at considerable speed, which if they hit would stand a good chance of killing someone.
On the wire or rope across a river. If it affected paddlers, or was deemed a risk to paddlers, as I understand the one on the Dee does, I would either have it removed or remove it myself. I did not mean to trivialise the risk, which I quite understand. I suspect there are some people though, who would rather leave the structure in place - all the better to show how awful those anglers are .
Your point about agreements is a good one. Look around.There are no effective working agreements between padllers and anglers in England and Wales, except local ones. The VAAs are nonsense of course.
On the plus side, I believe there is less friction than there used to be, and I do detect a softening of attitudes on both sides.
Last edited by davidh; 12th-December-2016 at 10:36 AM.
No, I think by and large paddlers are doing ok on this, as is shown by your helpful attitude, and tbh from most of the posts on this thread.
Y'all really just have too many people trying to use too little space. Perhaps a re-visit to 'A Modest Proposal' ?
I do have a license for the canals and navigations. I will pay for artificial courses and I pa for car parking.
However, paddling a natural river is no different for going for a walk in the countryside. Therefore, unless walkers are require permits to walk in the countryside (like they do in some of the US parks), there is absolutely NO reason why EA or NRW should have a water user license. Taken to the extreme then where would it stop? Do families with inflatable rubber dinghies need them for a day out splashing? How about someone going for a swim on a hot day or simply paddling their feet.
With regards to the argument that anglers have permit, so why not water users? I would say that the angling permit is more akin to an extraction permit or hunting permit, ie you are paying to try and take something from nature. Water users are not taking anything.
What do we get if we pay a licence?.......... the right not to be abused by anglers.......
What part of paddling requires a tariff to be placed on it?
Is that what it boils down to.......jealousy on behalf of the angling community?
What is it about this country that wishes to see everything in commercial terms?
Last edited by mayobren; 12th-December-2016 at 11:38 AM.
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Quote picked not to direct this at you, but to put it in context of this part of the discussion.
I often stop above an angler and put a hand out to either side and do a big, pantomime shrug. Some anglers recognise it and point to the side they'd rather I passed them on, some point at their line and I'm never sure if it's where they want me to avoid or if they want me to stir the fish up a bit (many just ignore me or don't notice I'm there). It would be nice too if anglers recognised I need as a bare minimum, a foot of water and 18 inches would be better, otherwise I'll be clattering the paddle or boat off the bottom and I'm sure that sort of noise isn't going to cheer them up.
For getting attention, I'm guessing a whistle wouldn't disturb fish, but unless universally recognised as a courtesy, and request for how best to pass, they can seem rather rude.
Not sure what to do about anglers who are fishing behind an obstruction that makes them invisible from upstream.
Unfortunately, if we asked for suggestions and input from anglers on this, I suspect I'd already recognise the majority of hand signals they'd suggest.
The only thing you have to fear is Mergatroid the vengeful, man eating bear.
This is in many respects similar to the Vehicle Excise Duty for the right to use a vehicle on the any roads subject to any other factors that come into play eg. car parking charges/ tolls.
The use of roads is free to pedestrians, cyclists, horse riders etc. who no doubt from time to time inconvenience the vehicle drivers.
While it may seem to be unfair to some, the "paying to do it argument" is not a particularly good one.
Paddlers are not using up anyone's resources so what would they be paying for?
It may be that boats passing discourage fish from biting (this needs to be properly tested, instead of relying on the opinion of either side)
I expect that this, along with a desire to just enjoy an activity without other distractions, does result in some people who are there to fish feeling their experience has been devalued. So its that perceived 'value' that can be impacted by other river users and is really the issue here.
1664 - a great year for river access
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I think the problem with paying to use a river is that it would be seen as accepting that the party to whom the fee is paid has control of navigation & can charge whatever they like or simply withdraw any access to navigation.
Hi Bhofmann, The only way to minimise irritation to anglers and davidh is to stay off the rivers, that is what they desire. The title of this blog says enough.
I see the problem is down to how river fishing is sold to the anglers. They pay high prices to go to artificially stocked places where their comfort and safety is catered for. On the Ribble I have seen long walkways, of wood and laid gravel, along the banks, solely for the use of anglers and I am sure EA money subsidises the fish stocking along with the infrastructure.
The anglers on some rivers are at the least unpleasant sometimes violent and this sometimes includes the officials(what ever they are?). The Angling Trust have been instrumental in causing the anger from anglers, OK it was there before but they encouraged it. Because I tried to reason with them online their answer was to ban me. Many of their contributors were suggesting all manner of violence towards paddlers. I have no access to their online activity because of their one sided view of rivers, they are ONLY FOR ANGLING. The last joke from AT was wanting to kill a juvenile seal because it was eating THEIR fish.
There are too many excuses brought up about scared fish and disturbed eggs. Most is just opinion with no scientific study to support it. Fish will move away from shadows but will continue to feed shortly after, they stop feeding for 2 reasons, in simple, easy to understand terms, they have eaten enough or seek sex.
Sadly, the attitudes and aggression have driven me from most English and Welsh rivers. I love paddling but there are fishy folk determined to rid our rivers of us, they have won with me.
But I will continue to fight in words to get peace on our rivers for all. Just need to sort out the AT and anglers then problem solved.
I do worry that newcomers may read threads like these and enter into either hobby primed for trouble with the other. The slightly less than polite or not entirely enthusiastic meeting on the river is then far more likely to turn sour quickly.
The impression I got from reading (entirely canoe based) forums before buying my boat was that I can expect abuse from anyone fishing or living next to the river. In reality I have had nothing but pleasant experiences with both.
I offer this post for balance, but also as a cautionary note, lest we become locked in to this 'them and us' mentality. Way I see it, we both want to enjoy the river and we both inconvenience each other in doing so. Luckily we're British so we can be polite and cheery to each other before having a grumble about it when we're out of earshot.
I refuse to let the fact that I haven't got a clue what I'm doing hold me back in any aspect of my life.
I agree that the argument about paying is not a good one but it has been cited many, many times by anglers that this is one of the major gripes that they have, I have heard time and time again "why should we pay and they don't" all I'm saying is parity with this takes a large chunk of the argument and hard feeling away.
The EA nor NRW have the powers to introduce a charge for use of the rivers by small craft. If there was an intention to introduce a charge this would open up the whole issue of the current right of access. What do you think the ramblers would say if you suggested they buy a licence to walk in the hills? It would make much more sense to remove the rod licence, after all, it is entirely arbitrary, like the old tax on windows.
I'm not entirely against the concept of a licence.......but I would want fish passes that provided a safe route for canoes, I would want a Guaranteed right of navigation ....I might pay for that.......I'm not going to pay for one to appease anglers
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
The income from rod licence sales funds vital work to protect and improve England’s fisheries
As can be seen in the above image, rod licence income to the EA is £23 million (2013-14) but the expenditure seems to be £33 million. The books don't add up.
The Angling Trust
The Angling Trust was awarded the EA contract to deliver the National Angling StrategicServices (NASS) contract following a competitive tender exercise in the first half of 2015.The contract commenced on 17th August and will run initially until 31st March 2017 with theoption to extend for a further 2 years. This is worrying.
This comment from Mark Lloyd is from this year:
Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal said: “The law about navigation is absolutely clear: apart from on a few identified navigable rivers, there is no right of navigation without permission. The failure of this claim goes to show that such challenges to the law are bound to fail."
AT have failed to to show which law they have found that justifies their standing.
AT is the bad apple in the conflict from anglers against paddlers. They publish inflammatory comments and plain lies about PRN on rivers. This is their interpretation of DEFRA statement, After long running correspondence and a formal complaint from Fish Legal, Defra has now published its legal opinion confirming that there is no general public right of navigation (PRN) on non-tidal rivers or other inland waters in England and Wales.DEFRA statement was actually evasive and said that the law on PRN is UNCLEAR. DEFRA did not take the AT view in this matter, despite Lloyd's comment.
So I conclude that the anglers are following the lies and propaganda from AT and other activists, in order to rid the rivers of paddlers, swimmers and anything else that would disturb them (but of course all this activity disturbs fish???). If they achieve this then fisheries will charge more because they could offer exclusivity.
I don't fish much these days but for many years I did, and many years ago I took part in fishing competitions, including winning one national championship. I've also talked about fish intelligence on a national radio programme and have led a couple of fish identification and observation walks/talks. I have a couple of 'scientific' books on fish ecology and have kept some UK species as 'pets' and have bred some fish.
Canoeing/canoeists can and do sometimes disturb fish and can sometimes put them off feeding for the day. But there are so many variables it is difficult to not to make anything other than generalised statements. One day the fish can be fickle and hard to catch, another day on the same stretch of water the same shoal of fish can be predictable and easy to catch
Many people can catch fish from a canoe/kayak. This is relatively easy to do, especially if the water is very deep such as that you get when fishing for Pollack or other sea fish, but this type of fishing doesn't generally cause conflict with anglers based on rivers. Its relatively simple to do so on lakes and deeper stretches of rivers. I've done so hundreds of times. But there are no guarantees.
As fish are 'cold bloodied' they tend to be more active feeding when the temperature of the water goes up and if the water temperature has been consistently lower the proceeding days/weeks they may well be hungry and may return to feed quite quickly if they have been disturbed by a passing canoe or large log or other river debris passing close by.
Fish which often shoal in large numbers such as bream, roach, rudd can easily be frightened off by quite small disturbances in much the same way as a flock of birds will often fly off the smallest provocation. The simple fact is that as one bird or fish in a group perceives danger and flees, so to will the rest - they are not going to wait and check out the facts for themselves. These may well be some of the same fish that when on their own or in smaller groups accustomed to paddlers may well tolerate the same disturbance/s.
Some species, such as carp can become extremely sensitive to disturbance especially if they have been caught before. They learn that any disturbance may mean being caught and will refuse to feed for extremely long periods and/or move off a long way from such disturbance. Like most creatures, the older ones have learned to be wary of anything they think is dangerous which generally is why older, larger fish are harder to catch. Perversely larger carp can be acustomed to being hand fed and many places can easily be encouraged to feed directly out of your hand. Much more fun in my view than feeding ducks. Shoals of smaller fish, often the ones match anglers are after can often act unpredictably, sometimes by 'going off the feed', or fleeing up/down the river - into someone else's swim!
Water temperature can play a big part too. A change in water can cause fish to become more sluggish and less likely to flee, but it can also cause them to stop feeding if it drops quickly or if the temperature rises too much which may result in less oxygen disolved in the water causing them to reduce their energy expenditure.
Food availability also plays a part. Trout for example who may have spent several days without much to eat can be come extremely easy to catch when there is an increase in food such as mayfly larvae. They'll return to feed moments after a canoe has passed through their swim!! As no doubt other fish species do, unseen to human eyes under the same or similar circumstances.
In the same way you can sometimes get close to a wild animal or bird, I have quietly and slowly drifted over large carp and tench knowing the smallest sudden movement will scare them off. So a kayak/canoe/shadow suddenly appearing in the vision of a fish unseen to us in the water will drive it away in panic. And if I was the fisherman who'd spent some time attracting them into my swim by ground-baiting it for two or three days previously may not be too happy when that happens. Like birds they may simply go elsewhere after you've frightened them off.
Of course this isn't 'scientific' evidence, just observations in the same way that you or I learn how more observable birds and land animals behave. Surely we don't always want 'scientific evidence' do we?
Things have changed over the last 20 years. I could amend your text as follows:Originally Posted by davidhBoth parties believe they have a right to be there (although only on one side does anyone think their right is exclusive). Hence there will be conflict; belief is a very strong influence on behaviour. Some people from each side will believe it's important to defend their right. Others, disliking conflict, will go and do something else. What the Scottish Government have done is to level the playing field by removing the reliance on belief - you only have the rights if you're prepared to share - and most have then realised that they don't have anything to defend any more, and that sharing isn't as bad as they thought it would be; with reduced conflict, they have a better day overall.Paddlers have now been told repeatedly, and now largely they believe, that they have a right to be on the river, as all physically navigable rivers are PRNs.
Which does really sum up the problem.Originally Posted by davidh