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Thread: Paddling can interfere with other water-users. An angling perspective.

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    Default Paddling can interfere with other water-users. An angling perspective.

    Let me begin by stating that I have no hidden agenda, no preconceived notions about how good VAA's are, and no wish to start World War Three.

    Some paddlers hold the view that paddling does not scare fish, and this view then lends a legitimacy to the notion that anglers who complain about canoes are simply being awkward. I recognise that there are legitimate concerns by paddlers, particularly involving the bad manners shown by some anglers to paddlers. I personally don't think that it's worth making a huge fuss about wire or rope across a river. Call the police and get it removed, or do it yourself. It's illegal after all.

    Obstructing passage on a river, or vandalism to cars, are symptoms of how high feelings are running. It doesn't and won't happen on my club water, because our bailiffs are sensible men who recognise the right of other river-users - and I as club chairman (and a paddler) am sympathetic to the views of other river-users.

    It is a fact that paddling can scare fish. Paddling can either put fish down (they stop feeding) or scare them away to another part of the river. Some paddlers recognise this, and in fact we had an instance recently of a party very considerately putting in at Builth Wells Car Park above two anglers, paddling over to the other side of the river and then moving down. This was not unnoticed by the bailiff on duty at the time. That kind of action goes a long way towards good relations on the river. One of the anglers (they were not club members mumbled about "bloody canoes". Our bailiff put him right.

    Would anyone like to argue their point? I'm happy to discuss anything related, as long as it's presented in a sensible manner.

    David

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    "It is a fact that paddling can scare fish." That seems to be the heart of this whole issue, doesn't it? Is it really a plain hard fact, writ large, as you would have it?

    I honestly cannot speak to the UK situation on this. UK waters are apparently very different from North America's, as are, seemingly, the fish. I have never either paddled or fished over there, so I have zero knowledge of it.

    BUT, I do paddle and fish extensively over here, and have for over 60 years in all sorts of water in all sorts of places. And, just by-the-by, I also snorkel and photograph under the surface a lot as well, usually because I see something I want to see, while paddling over it, and just hop out and go down and take a photo or two.

    I won't bother posting even more pictures of catches over the years - I have put many on here already - but here's one just to illustrate that, here at least, you can paddle over fish, see them in crystal clear water, jump into the water and swim with them, and none of it frightens them.





    So I guess I'm just trying to say that starting off a discussion like this one with a flat-out unmitigated statement, as you have, might not be the best way to foster a genuine discussion of the UK issue of canoes and fisher-folk on the same water. I, for one, haven't found it to be the case, albeit in a far-off country in very different conditions. Just my foreigner's two-cents.
    Last edited by sk8r; 8th-December-2016 at 11:46 AM.

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    This doesn't sound like a new or contentious point. "Paddling can scare fish" is of course true - but reasonable people talk about acting with consideration to other river users, including anglers - especially anglers - and adjusting position in the water to minimise disturbance is oft discussed & practiced.
    "Paddling need not scare fish" is also true. We have to differentiate between different behaviour & attitudes. I'm sure most people would agree that a noisy, splashy, loud group acting without consideration is a different prospect to drifting past as silently and unobtrusively as possible.
    Response should be in proportion to event & if the first step to resolving differences in interest is not polite & respectful conversation then there is something very wrong.


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    Quote Originally Posted by davidh View Post
    Let me begin by stating that I have no hidden agenda, no preconceived notions about how good VAA's are, and no wish to start World War Three.

    Some paddlers hold the view that paddling does not scare fish, and this view then lends a legitimacy to the notion that anglers who complain about canoes are simply being awkward. I recognise that there are legitimate concerns by paddlers, particularly involving the bad manners shown by some anglers to paddlers. I personally don't think that it's worth making a huge fuss about wire or rope across a river. Call the police and get it removed, or do it yourself. It's illegal after all.

    Obstructing passage on a river, or vandalism to cars, are symptoms of how high feelings are running. It doesn't and won't happen on my club water, because our bailiffs are sensible men who recognise the right of other river-users - and I as club chairman (and a paddler) am sympathetic to the views of other river-users.

    It is a fact that paddling can scare fish. Paddling can either put fish down (they stop feeding) or scare them away to another part of the river. Some paddlers recognise this, and in fact we had an instance recently of a party very considerately putting in at Builth Wells Car Park above two anglers, paddling over to the other side of the river and then moving down. This was not unnoticed by the bailiff on duty at the time. That kind of action goes a long way towards good relations on the river. One of the anglers (they were not club members mumbled about "bloody canoes". Our bailiff put him right.

    Would anyone like to argue their point? I'm happy to discuss anything related, as long as it's presented in a sensible manner.

    David
    Most paddlers I know will, when they see an angler, attempt to catch their attention and enquire how they would like them to pass, ie close in or over on the far side.

    Obviously this is dependent upon catching the eye of the person fishing or blowing a whistyle if they haven't seen you (giving reasonable time to allow for notice pre whistle)

    Most Fisher folk are ok, we are all having a day out and try to limit interferace, however I have came across numerous Fisher folk who responded to my query re passing as;

    "On the f***ing bank"

    "Whatever you want to f***ing do as you have ruined my day"

    "Not at all, your not allowed here. I will meet you at the get out"

    Etc etc

    I will admit that I have very rarely came close to a line before oticing it and asking how to pass. This is not something I do often as I don't want to disturb others and it's dangerous to me, but it is normally due to very camoflage fishermen hidden well up the bank and fishing through a tree. Equally I know some (very few) people who have got to the point where it's better just to go quickly past to avoid any conversation.

    So to sum up, I agree that asking where to pass is the best way. Unfortunately the response received does not always lend you to ask again.

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    Good and reasoned start to the thread folks - thanks .

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidh View Post
    Let me begin by stating that I have no hidden agenda, no preconceived notions about how good VAA's are, and no wish to start World War Three.

    Some paddlers hold the view that paddling does not scare fish, and this view then lends a legitimacy to the notion that anglers who complain about canoes are simply being awkward. I recognise that there are legitimate concerns by paddlers, particularly involving the bad manners shown by some anglers to paddlers. I personally don't think that it's worth making a huge fuss about wire or rope across a river. Call the police and get it removed, or do it yourself. It's illegal after all.

    Obstructing passage on a river, or vandalism to cars, are symptoms of how high feelings are running. It doesn't and won't happen on my club water, because our bailiffs are sensible men who recognise the right of other river-users - and I as club chairman (and a paddler) am sympathetic to the views of other river-users.

    It is a fact that paddling can scare fish. Paddling can either put fish down (they stop feeding) or scare them away to another part of the river. Some paddlers recognise this, and in fact we had an instance recently of a party very considerately putting in at Builth Wells Car Park above two anglers, paddling over to the other side of the river and then moving down. This was not unnoticed by the bailiff on duty at the time. That kind of action goes a long way towards good relations on the river. One of the anglers (they were not club members mumbled about "bloody canoes". Our bailiff put him right.

    Would anyone like to argue their point? I'm happy to discuss anything related, as long as it's presented in a sensible manner.

    David
    Quote Originally Posted by davidh View Post
    I personally don't think that it's worth making a huge fuss about wire or rope across a river. Call the police and get it removed, or do it yourself. It's illegal after all.
    I would assume that you don't normally paddle moving water, as I find the idea of a wire or line across the river at chest or neck height without advanced warning not only worth causing a fuss over but I also feel that its worth bringing criminal charges over. This has the potential of not only hurting someone but evening killing them.

    Quote Originally Posted by davidh View Post
    It is a fact that paddling can scare fish. Paddling can either put fish down (they stop feeding) or scare them away to another part of the river. Some paddlers recognise this, and in fact we had an instance recently of a party very considerately putting in at Builth Wells Car Park above two anglers, paddling over to the other side of the river and then moving down. This was not unnoticed by the bailiff on duty at the time. That kind of action goes a long way towards good relations on the river. One of the anglers (they were not club members mumbled about "bloody canoes". Our bailiff put him right.
    Wouldn't it be more accurate to say that people or even any disturbance scare fish, not just paddling. The dog walker who throws a stick in the water which the dog then chases, the kids that throw stones in the water as they wander down the river bank they all scare fish, not just the paddler.

    Also this isn't a FACT. This is your opinion, which Sk8r has already said. So here is a counter argument for you, Sk8r has already pointed out that she doesn't experience the issue that anglers over here have. Could that be maybe because the fish that she catches are mostly eaten, so they haven't then learnt to fear humans in the same way, they haven't been trained by fishermen that humans = pain in the mouth by being caught and then released.

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    I won't dispute that paddling can scare fish and make it more difficult for fishermen to catch them. I don't believe that this does even a tenth of the harm that catching them does. As you know from the other thread, I have an issue with catching wild animals for sport.

    In addition, on the rivers I paddle, I'm actually seeing very few anglers. And it's only 50% of them or less that have an issue with me being there (either grumpiness or just outright hostility.) On the the bits of the Dee above and bellow Llangollen, which I paddle regularly, it's rare to pass more fishermen in a day than are in our group - and that's not including the other groups that may be putting in before and after me. Realistically, on a run down from Glyndy to Horseshoe on a Saturday or Sunday throughout the year, you're more often than not maybe passing one fisherman... or none.

    I also don't believe that it can be ethically justified to restrict responsible access to our natural places. Nobody owns the river in my opinion - and even if they did, they shouldn't.

    I feel like fishermen that have an issue sharing the river with me are like spoilt, selfish only children that have had it their own way for too long and are going to come up with any reason they can think of why they should be the only one allowed to play with the new toy. In the light of everything that goes on - car keying, shouted abuse, no canoeing signs all over the place, rivers getting blocked, bullying legal letters being sent out - at this moment in time, a represenative of the Angling Trust could tell me that the moon orbits the Earth and I'd fact check him on Wikipedia!

    So my question to you would be; given the above, why should I care that I am (debatably) ruining your day's fishing?

    NB: I'm not trying to be insulting and I'm not trying to be controversial for the sake of being controversial. And I would make it clear that I go out of my way to work politely with fishermen - even when polite enquiries are met with a torrent of abuse or disdainful grunt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sutchy View Post
    I would assume that you don't normally paddle moving water, as I find the idea of a wire or line across the river at chest or neck height without advanced warning not only worth causing a fuss over but I also feel that its worth bringing criminal charges over. This has the potential of not only hurting someone but evening killing them.



    Wouldn't it be more accurate to say that people or even any disturbance scare fish, not just paddling. The dog walker who throws a stick in the water which the dog then chases, the kids that throw stones in the water as they wander down the river bank they all scare fish, not just the paddler.

    Also this isn't a FACT. This is your opinion, which Sk8r has already said. So here is a counter argument for you, Sk8r has already pointed out that she doesn't experience the issue that anglers over here have. Could that be maybe because the fish that she catches are mostly eaten, so they haven't then learnt to fear humans in the same way, they haven't been trained by fishermen that humans = pain in the mouth by being caught and then released.
    Let me answer as best I can. The first point is about rope or a wire across moving water. If it was a direct threat to me I'd either get it removed lawfully, or do it myself. Now.

    You are right about kids and dogs. I've had a dog swim up to me to say hello while I was up to my nadgers in water casting for trout. Of course it put the trout down, but what can you do except smile? You can't compare that to paddlers doing a loop on a piece of water for, it seems, no other reason than to disturb fishing though. Happened several times on Glanwye this year, which is the next beat down from our water.

    Now to the "paddling doesn't scare fish" question. It has been pointed out that we don't have any robust research to show how fish are scared and what scares them. I'm loathe to go down that route, I've never looked frankly, it being far simpler to come and scare a fish on the Wye, then try to argue that paddling doesn't scare them.

    I would imagine that sktr doesn't scare fish because her fish never see another canoe. Rather like penguins being tame because they've never seen a human before.
    Some fish, salmon for example, will be scared by anything vaguely seal or porpoise-shaped, but not later in the season when, frankly, they have their minds firmly in their trousers.
    I'm not sure that fish connect humans with pain in the mouth. There are numerous instances of the same fish being caught within minutes of being previously caught.

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    If paddling ruins a days fishing how does one explain the growth in kayak fishing. There appears to be plenty of folk on UTube quite successfully catching fish from canoes and kayaks.

    I have had fishermam catch big fish just after I have politely passed their spot. Others have packed up swearing at me saying I have wrecked their day.

    Funnily enough when when I jump into my canoe I'm not seeking a confrontation with anyone. I want to enjoy the great outdoors.

    i can understand people's frustration when a club of uni kayakers comes bashing down a river. Some barely in control of their boats and others just out to play.

    Group size should be kept small to minimise disturbance.

    I dispute the bold paddling scares fish. Define sacred and what peer reviewed evidence do you have to back up such a statement. a fish moving away from a shadow may not be in awayway frightened.

    How much damage is done to the river bed wading casting a fly. Those spawning grounds are supposed to be ultra sensitive to disturbance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Per View Post
    In addition, on the rivers I paddle, I'm actually seeing very few anglers. And it's only 50% of them or less that have an issue with me being there (either grumpiness or just outright hostility.) On the the bits of the Dee above and bellow Llangollen, which I paddle regularly, it's rare to pass more fishermen in a day than are in our group - and that's not including the other groups that may be putting in before and after me. Realistically, on a run down from Glyndy to Horseshoe on a Saturday or Sunday throughout the year, you're more often than not maybe passing one fisherman... or none.
    On a paddle from Llangollen to Trevor a couple of weeks ago we passed four or five anglers. Given recent events I was braced to receive some aggro, but they were all fine and some even smiled.

    We were courteous and did our best to give them a wide berth, but even when one of our group capsized and swam right opposite one of the anglers he didn't seem particularly bothered.

    It's easy to fixate on the minority of aggressive and vocal anglers, but it's really important to remember that the majority appear to be just as happy as we are to share the rivers.

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    We can provide a service too - I have removed some barbarous barbs & tackle from failed casts hanging from trees over deep water where the angler can't easily retrieve it but where it creates a significant menace to wildlife and other river users.


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    Quote Originally Posted by wayne View Post
    If paddling ruins a days fishing how does one explain the growth in kayak fishing. There appears to be plenty of folk on UTube quite successfully catching fish from canoes and kayaks.

    I have had fishermam catch big fish just after I have politely passed their spot. Others have packed up swearing at me saying I have wrecked their day.

    Funnily enough when when I jump into my canoe I'm not seeking a confrontation with anyone. I want to enjoy the great outdoors.

    i can understand people's frustration when a club of uni kayakers comes bashing down a river. Some barely in control of their boats and others just out to play.

    Group size should be kept small to minimise disturbance.

    I dispute the bold paddling scares fish. Define sacred and what peer reviewed evidence do you have to back up such a statement. a fish moving away from a shadow may not be in awayway frightened.

    How much damage is done to the river bed wading casting a fly. Those spawning grounds are supposed to be ultra sensitive to disturbance.
    Great last point - I fully agree that wading over eggs is not a good idea.

    I'm trying to keep away from peer-reviewed evidence, but I'll go there if needed, obviously.
    Last edited by davidh; 8th-December-2016 at 02:08 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Starr View Post
    We can provide a service too - I have removed some barbarous barbs & tackle from failed casts hanging from trees over deep water where the angler can't easily retrieve it but where it creates a significant menace to wildlife and other river users.


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    That goes hand-in-hand with (some) anglers doing riverbank clean-ups. Hanging line is a pet hate of mine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Per View Post
    I won't dispute that paddling can scare fish and make it more difficult for fishermen to catch them. I don't believe that this does even a tenth of the harm that catching them does. As you know from the other thread, I have an issue with catching wild animals for sport.

    In addition, on the rivers I paddle, I'm actually seeing very few anglers. And it's only 50% of them or less that have an issue with me being there (either grumpiness or just outright hostility.) On the the bits of the Dee above and bellow Llangollen, which I paddle regularly, it's rare to pass more fishermen in a day than are in our group - and that's not including the other groups that may be putting in before and after me. Realistically, on a run down from Glyndy to Horseshoe on a Saturday or Sunday throughout the year, you're more often than not maybe passing one fisherman... or none.

    I also don't believe that it can be ethically justified to restrict responsible access to our natural places. Nobody owns the river in my opinion - and even if they did, they shouldn't.

    I feel like fishermen that have an issue sharing the river with me are like spoilt, selfish only children that have had it their own way for too long and are going to come up with any reason they can think of why they should be the only one allowed to play with the new toy. In the light of everything that goes on - car keying, shouted abuse, no canoeing signs all over the place, rivers getting blocked, bullying legal letters being sent out - at this moment in time, a represenative of the Angling Trust could tell me that the moon orbits the Earth and I'd fact check him on Wikipedia!

    So my question to you would be; given the above, why should I care that I am (debatably) ruining your day's fishing?

    NB: I'm not trying to be insulting and I'm not trying to be controversial for the sake of being controversial. And I would make it clear that I go out of my way to work politely with fishermen - even when polite enquiries are met with a torrent of abuse or disdainful grunt.
    Thanks for contributing Per,

    I'll cut straight to the chase - there is no good reason why you should care, except that we share the river and I would care if I spoilt your day's canoeing.

    The reality is that you wouldn't spoil my fishing. If you scared fish or whatever I'd simply move somewhere else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidh View Post
    I'll cut straight to the chase - there is no good reason why you should care, except that we share the river and I would care if I spoilt your day's canoeing.
    Except - the extremists on the angling side would seem to be arguing that they can only pursue their activity with exclusive use of the river when they are fishing. All that is required for me to enjoy my activity is that my access isn't blocked, my car isn't keyed and a load of abuse isn't thrown at me. If you can accept that we both have a right to be there, I'll happily bend myself in knots to minimise my impact on your activity.

    But can you understand how I feel the 'you shouldn't be on this river' angler's position is selfish and unfair?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Per View Post
    But can you understand how I feel the 'you shouldn't be on this river' angler's position is selfish and unfair?
    Yes, and it's not an attitude I have or that we encourage on our stretch.

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    I'm lucky enough to live on a waters edge and have been fishing for over 40 years. Fishing at the bottom of the garden I can only say the fish seem to feed more after a boat has passed by and during the summer when the waters clear you can see them just sink lower as the boats pass over themand continue feeding.
    I know David is talking about game fish and I suppose they react differently or so we are lead to belive. Having paddled in lots of places and being a bit of a fish spotter I've managed to float over many solo and shoaled fish in a canoe.
    Personally I couldnt care less about boats passing me but I like to get along with folk
    Pretty sure this is just going round in circles and has been covered many times in the past and will be again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidh View Post
    Yes, and it's not an attitude I have or that we encourage on our stretch.
    So what do you think should be done for us to all play nice?

    You seemed to be arguing against open access in the other thread.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirus View Post
    Pretty sure this is just going round in circles and has been covered many times in the past and will be again.
    I think these are all pertinent points of view. Coarse fish do tend to react differently to trout and salmon. And chub, which, if you know your Compleat Angler "are the most fearful of fishes".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Per View Post
    So what do you think should be done for us to all play nice?

    You seemed to be arguing against open access in the other thread.


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    On our stretch of the Wye we already play nicely. We did before I became Chairman. We are happy with boats going through, but please don't walk or take boats through private property without permission, or I'll come and picnic in your garden.

    I think that for open access to work paddlers need to understand anglers - and the river, in terms of fish and wildlife generally. I see some businesses (canoe hire companies) doing quite nicely thank you, but to the detriment of other businesses (riparian owners selling fishing) from Hereford down, and I really don't have an answer for that, but I can't see how open access can improve matters in that regard.

    Anglers, of course, need to understand paddlers too, and why they paddle. I see no particular problem with providing a safe parking, a put-in and toilets, but I also see no reason why paddlers should not be charged a small fee for that.

    The moral argument for open access is a wider one, and I am broadly in agreement. However there is much to be sorted out. If the VAA's have done nothing else they have shown that without proper agreement from all sides a contract and a couple of notice-boards will only foster bad feeling. In the case of the VAA's the bad feeling has been on all sides. What are the odds of pi$$ing everyone off?

    Back to fish being scared, three seasons ago I was wading in very shallow water - about three inches - and I had a large shoal of fish swim past me, some swimming over my feet and between my legs. They were absolutely unafraid. Those not in the know could be forgiven for thinking that fish generally are unafraid. The month was May, and that is important, because it is when the shad (if you don't know what a shad is, Google it) run upriver to spawn. They are interested in one thing only. Big fish too - all between a pound and a half and two pounds.
    Shad are protected and no-one can fish for them. If they are caught by accident they must be returned.
    Last edited by davidh; 8th-December-2016 at 03:55 PM.

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    Angling can interfere with other water users. A paddling perspective.

    As many have reported, anglers can be obstructive, rude, or even threatening to paddlers. Barriers can be dangerous. It's all very well saying they should be reported or removed if found, but they may not be seen in time and could cause serious injury before any reporting or removal is possible.

    I have also experienced mess and detritus left behind by anglers. From beers cans, bottles, half burnt rubbish and broken chairs, to lines and hooks left in places dangerous to wild life.

    So obviously there are two sides to this.

    Having said that, the majority of anglers and paddlers do behave responsibly and can share the water quite happily.

    Surely the solution is not to restrict access to one particular group or another, but allow the right to roam responsibly to all (as is practised in many countries) as a basic right for everybody.

    I take the optimistic view that people can cooperate and behave with consideration for others, and that most of the time they do. A bit of education might help, but the basic principle should be not to restrict access.

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    Well said Crow!

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    It's intersting that on some of the very best and most expensive inland fishing waters in the UK, fishing is done from boats and paying fishermen are put on station by boat. Often boats with petrol outboards.

    https://youtu.be/kwEUNtZGnA0

    Hard to square this circle.
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    If the paddling traffic is so high on the Wye, aren't the fish used to canoes? If they are getting scared every 10 minutes and they won't eat for an hour afterwards they'll quickly starve.

    My personal experience of fishing for trout is that if they are biting you could drive a tractor through the river and end up with one swallowing the towing hitch. If they aren't biting nothing will change that until the fish decide to change it for you.

    As has been said already, anglers disrupt paddling just as much as paddlers disrupt anglers. On the Tweed, in the off season, if I push on, I can get from Peebles to the A1 in two days. As a polite paddler there isn't a hope of achieving that during fishing season, every angler wastes my time and kills my momentum. Now I wouldn't normally put it like that, I think of winter trips as having bonus speed rather than summer having delays, I'm demonstrating how a little of the entitled attitude often displayed by anglers sounds when shown from the other side.

    I can understand frustration with a hire company increasing traffic to a disruptive level, but your problem is with the comercial venture, deal with them, don't restrict one hobby in favour of another.

    The safe parking, toilets and a small fee thing is silly. How safe will the parking be? Will it stop anglers keying cars? Did Ronnie and Reggie Kray come up with the idea? Will the anglers, dog walkers, tourists etc. be paying the same fee for upkeep of the toilets and car parks or are these paddler only facilities? Are we going to have to pay for wardens to make sure only paddlers are using these facilities? I'm quite happy using bushes and laybys for parking and toilets (not in that order), if there's a car park with a fee, I'll pay for parking but I don't need anything else thank you.
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    Hi Crow, I was just about to write the same answer about how other river users interfere with paddlers.

    I too have had the wrath of anglers while I peacefully paddled OUR rivers. One fairly polite angler pointed out to me that it was illegal to canoe on this river. When I pointed out that there was no law that suggested that my activity was illegal. He responded with, "but what about the fishermen?" I answered that I was happy to let them share OUR river. He immediately got his phone out to make a call. All along that stretch of the Ribble, the anglers are grumpy (about 75%) and can be seen calling on their phones to report the passing of a canoe/kayak, I assume to the fishery or bailiff, to report "illegal activity".

    The Ribble was a favourite river of mine but because of the aggression frequently shown by other water users and my deteriorating mental health, I have stopped paddling this river and any others where anglers and fishy folk want it all to themselves. It is a sad situation that I am not well enough to cope with the aggression that so often spoils a paddle. Their intimidation has achieved its goal on me.

    Add to that all the stirrings by the Angling Trust and we have a bad situation.

    I do canoe in peace on Scottish rivers where respect is mutual and many other non-UK places.

    Another point to demonstrate careless anglers and damage to other wildlife. It is not the first I have found.



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    It seems to me that the problem comes partly from commercial pressures on both sides - on a heavily used stretch of water such parts of the Wye sensible companies with partly conflicting interests could be expected to reach an agreement that would reduce the inconvenience to each other as much as possible. If it can work in places like Everest base camp with guiding companies in direct competition with each other, high financial stakes and very limited space and time to make a successful ascent, it should be possible in less pressured business environments.
    But this of course has nothing to do with non-commercial use of the resource by individuals and clubs, and as a private individual I wouldnt want to be restricted by an agreement between businesses that was intended to allow wider commercial use of a limited resource (water space in this case). I would however be happy to abide by restrictions to protect that resource and the environment around it (e.g. the very effective climbing ban on bits of Stanage to allow ring ouzels to nest undisturbed).
    I'm happy to take David's statements regarding the attitude of his angling club at face value, and applaud his stance of co-operative and friendly use of the river, but even in his language there are hints of the sense of entitlement that seems to lie behind a lot of the 'anti-paddler' sentiment expressed by some anglers. Phrases such as 'our stretch' of river, for example. On the relatively rare occasions I have met 'anti' anglers, they often open with phrases like 'You shouldnt be on this river, you dont own it', or 'Got a licence, have you?'. Round my way, most of the rivers and canals where I have been challenged like this are CRT-regulated, so I can happily say yes to having a licence and ask after theirs, which seems to end the discussion quite quickly...
    The point I'm trying to make is that there seems to be a feeling that having made a financial outlay in pursuit of their hobby, they have every right to enjoy it to the exclusion of any interference, particularly from a bunch of freeloaders who are taking advantage. Most anglers I meet on local trips dont have that attitude (maybe they dont have licences ), but perhaps this attitude could be countered by more publicity for the good work a lot of paddlers and clubs do to maintain their local waters, or angling and paddling clubs sharing costs of maintaining access points, car parks and the like.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dougoutcanoe View Post
    Hi Crow, I was just about to write the same answer about how other river users interfere with paddlers.

    I too have had the wrath of anglers while I peacefully paddled OUR rivers. One fairly polite angler pointed out to me that it was illegal to canoe on this river. When I pointed out that there was no law that suggested that my activity was illegal. He responded with, "but what about the fishermen?" I answered that I was happy to let them share OUR river. He immediately got his phone out to make a call. All along that stretch of the Ribble, the anglers are grumpy (about 75%) and can be seen calling on their phones to report the passing of a canoe/kayak, I assume to the fishery or bailiff, to report "illegal activity".

    The Ribble was a favourite river of mine but because of the aggression frequently shown by other water users and my deteriorating mental health, I have stopped paddling this river and any others where anglers and fishy folk want it all to themselves. It is a sad situation that I am not well enough to cope with the aggression that so often spoils a paddle. Their intimidation has achieved its goal on me.

    Add to that all the stirrings by the Angling Trust and we have a bad situation.


    Doug
    Totally agree re parts of the Ribble. Also, what is it with getting phones out to video us paddling past? I don't mind anyone taking photos for enjoyment but this feels sinister at times.

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    Just to pick up on the points made about anglers interfering with other water users, I have certainly had problems on the canals with this, both as a towpath user, a paddler and when driving a narrowboat. Large piles of boxes and bags obstructing the towpath, poles and rods stuck across it, enormous umbrellas impeding walking... and often their owners are not paying attention to the hazards they have created for the passer-by. (It is even worse on a mountain bike, at least a walker can step over.)
    On the water in a canoe or kayak, it can be difficult to make straight progress, but at least in these craft you have room to maneuver. A 50 ton 60' long narrowboat doesnt, and even when travelling at a drift, takes some time to stop. I have more than once collected a pole with the bow when an angler tried to keep his hook in the water for a few too many seconds. They wouldnt do that across a road, but didnt seem to worry about obstructing a waterway. Fortunately these high numbers of anglers in short stretches seems to be getting much less frequent (it used to seem like every Saturday and Sunday on the midland canals 30 years ago), and indeed overall numbers of anglers seem to be reducing as well. Paddling on the Sheffield canal this summer on a lovely bank holiday weekend, there were only a handful of people fishing, and no conflict at all...

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    Everything scares fish, paddling, fishing, dogs, otters, swimming, the sun poking out from behind a cloud, the wind blowing bankside vegetation, birds flying over the water, a branch floating down the river, other fish scare fish........for about 3 seconds and then they start feeding again. If they didn't there wouldn't be any fish.
    Out of the list above by far the most damaging activity to the health of the fish is fishing itself.
    The golden days of fishermen having domination over the rivers have gone. We will paddle. Personally I will try and do it with consideration for the other river users, even if they don't have any consideration for me, but I will paddle.
    The key difference between some anglers and most paddlers is that they want to restrict paddling whilst almost no paddler I've met wants to restrict fishing. although some have objections to fishing from the general moral standpoint that fishing is cruel.
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    Quote Originally Posted by saarlak View Post
    If the paddling traffic is so high on the Wye, aren't the fish used to canoes? If they are getting scared every 10 minutes and they won't eat for an hour afterwards they'll quickly starve.
    Bit to read through this morning.

    I'll answer this and one other point.
    Not all fish are the same, and not all fish are the same all year round.

    The other point is someone mentioned that I referred to "my stretch of river" in my first post. Of course it isn't my stretch of river in reality. I'm only the chairman of a little club which leases (doesn't own) most of their riverbank access. Really very insignificant in the greater scheme of things.
    I'm happy to share the river. Not, please note, put up with paddlers whilst gnashing my teeth. I'm actually happy to share the water.
    Last edited by davidh; 9th-December-2016 at 08:42 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mayobren View Post
    The key difference between some anglers and most paddlers is that they want to restrict paddling whilst almost no paddler I've met wants to restrict fishing. although some have objections to fishing from the general moral standpoint that fishing is cruel.
    One more….

    Not true. By denying that fish are spooked by boats sometimes, and that that will affect fishing, some paddlers are restricting fishing. To be pedantic, they are not restricting the dangling of bait or a fly, but they are certainly restricting the catching of fish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidh View Post
    One more….

    Not true. By denying that fish are spooked by boats sometimes, and that that will affect fishing, some paddlers are restricting fishing. To be pedantic, they are not restricting the dangling of bait or a fly, but they are certainly restricting the catching of fish.
    But again with that argument, we're back to appearing selfish and appearing to want exclusive use, at certain times at least.

    You haven't made that leap there - but fishermen wouldn't be making that argument if, in their minds at least, it didn't lead to that.

    Fishing isn't special. If I took up a hobby that required the absence of other people in a public place - for the sake of argument, taking pictures of hares in public parks and kept getting disturbed by dog walkers... Well, that's just tough luck. Work around it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidh View Post
    ...., but they are certainly restricting the catching of fish.
    You were doing well - right up to the point where you used the word "certainly".

    Fancy trying a double blind test of that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Per View Post
    But again with that argument, we're back to appearing selfish and appearing to want exclusive use, at certain times at least.
    But the paddler wants exclusive use too. For the time that he or she is paddling over my line (or whatever) he or she wants exclusive use of that 16' of moving water.

    This is precisely why each river-user should understand the needs of other river-users.

    I agree that fishing isn't special. Neither is paddling. The river is though, and so is harmony on the river.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidh View Post
    But the paddler wants exclusive use too. For the time that he or she is paddling over my line (or whatever) he or she wants exclusive use of that 16' of moving water.
    There is no equivalence there. I want to slip quietly by... on a wide enough river, not even being likely to make the fishermen pull his line in. The grumpy fishermen doesn't want me on the river at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Per View Post
    There is no equivalence there. I want to slip quietly by... on a wide enough river, not even being likely to make the fishermen pull his line in. The grumpy fishermen doesn't want me on the river at all.
    And to jump the gun a bit - if the angling bodies were more willing to work with paddlers, stop denying our right to be on the river, condemn the actions of the idiots blocking rivers amonst other things and encourage their members to be polite and friendly - I don't think the majority of paddlers would be opposed to staying off a river for a small amount of days each year. As I understand it, ideal paddling and ideal fishing conditions aren't the same.

    As it stands in the current atmosphere, it's very difficult to not view every argument anglers make as a slippery slope to keeping us off the river entirely.

    Wouldn't it be fantastic to have mutual trust and respect? To be in a situation anglers could say, "First day of the salmon season tomorrow and conditions are perfect, they're going to be pratically leaping into the catch net - do you guys mind letting us have the river for the day?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidh View Post
    One more….

    Not true. By denying that fish are spooked by boats sometimes, and that that will affect fishing, some paddlers are restricting fishing. To be pedantic, they are not restricting the dangling of bait or a fly, but they are certainly restricting the catching of fish.
    I don't believe I denied that boats spook fish........they do.......so does everything else...........for a moment...........when I pass over fish they almost invariably dash upstream beneath my hull..........so even if I spook a fish momentarily out of a swim it will be replaced by others from further down the river and species like brown trout are also quite territorial they have patrol routes they will return to.
    Actually an increase in boat traffic conditions fish to their presence.......as noted on the heavily fished and heavily paddled Matlock stretch of the Derwent. I've paddled down there with wild brownies rising all around me. As soon as fish realise they aren't getting attacked by canoes they very quickly adapt.
    By far the most disruptive effect on the fish is caused by fishing itself.....own it
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    Quote Originally Posted by Per View Post
    There is no equivalence there. I want to slip quietly by... on a wide enough river, not even being likely to make the fishermen pull his line in. The grumpy fishermen doesn't want me on the river at all.
    The grumpy fisherman can f. off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Per View Post
    Wouldn't it be fantastic to have mutual trust and respect? To be in a situation anglers could say, "First day of the salmon season tomorrow and conditions are perfect, they're going to be pratically leaping into the catch net - do you guys mind letting us have the river for the day?"
    Agreed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mayobren View Post
    As soon as fish realise they aren't getting attacked by canoes they very quickly adapt.
    By far the most disruptive effect on the fish is caused by fishing itself.....own it
    Not all fish are the same. Not all fish are the same all the time.

    You are a salmon, newly arrived in the river from Greenland. You've managed to avoid various predators along the way, including orcas, dolphins, porpoises and seals. You see a long dark shape above you - are you going to be spooked, do you think?

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidh View Post
    Agreed.
    Ball is in your/the angler's court then.

    If you want to take a run for chairman of the AT, I'll join and vote for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Per View Post
    Ball is in your/the angler's court then.

    If you want to take a run for chairman of the AT, I'll join and vote for you.
    Thank you for your vote of confidence. Unfortunately I have no intention of joining, never mind being an official!

    I had a very fruitful meeting and river-walk this morning with a paddling representative, and heard from him of another instance of paddlers and an angler - a ghillie actually - working together on the Wye. So it isn't all doom, gloom and dead swans!

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidh View Post
    By denying that fish are spooked by boats sometimes, and that that will affect fishing, some paddlers are ... restricting the catching of fish.
    But this is the whole point isn't it.
    Surely showing consideration to others implies, almost necessitates, compromise. It seems that restriction on fish catching is completely analagous to restricting paddling behaviour to minimise disturbance. That is the compromise. I'm happy to make it and you are too, therefore this discussion is an argument between reasonable people that already (broadly) agree with each other - therefore, how do we tackle the unreasonable, inconsiderate or aggressive people?
    Perhaps each interest should focus more on addressing the behaviour of it's own unreasonable members rather than try to fix problems on the 'other side' that is almost certainly going to be resisted...
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    Of fishermen and boaters
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    Of course they spook.......for a moment.............and it is at that point salmon are most easily caught.
    I've been a salmon fisherman all my life...........at first back home in Mayo, our farm backed onto the river Moy and from the moment I could walk I was out fishing. Everything we caught, we ate.......Ireland was poverty stricken back then and the stuff we hunted and fished for went a long way to supplement our diets.
    There was always a greater chance of catching Salmon when they were disturbed. A sudden downpour, a gust raising waves or even us throwing boulders in the water to stir them up.......the activity stimulates the aggressive tendencies of the salmon and it is far more likely to attack a lure or fly. If we hooked a fish anyone fishing next to us also had a greater chance of catching a salmon as the disturbance caused by playing one fish roused others into action. For years fishermen thought this was because a shoal was passing through......it's not........salmon don't constantly travel but take plenty of rests throughout their journey to the spawning grounds. Salmon are quite unique, you're far more likely to catch a disturbed one.........and again any disturbance caused by a boat is fleeting....the fisherman will be disturbing the water for hours
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Starr View Post
    therefore, how do we tackle the unreasonable, inconsiderate or aggressive people? .
    Pete whilst I broadly agree with your statement and would love to see acceptance on both sides................almost without exception ....almost.......the aggressive behaviour is coming from or initiated by fishermen.

    Not once on any thread on this forum have I seen anyone advocate aggression against a fisherman.......it is much different on fishing forums, go on there and you will see open threats....advocating the use of catapults.....advocating heavy leads and lures being cast directly at paddlers........the aggression on rivers is almost entirely one sided
    Last edited by mayobren; 9th-December-2016 at 10:51 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidh View Post
    Not all fish are the same. Not all fish are the same all the time.

    You are a salmon, newly arrived in the river from Greenland. You've managed to avoid various predators along the way, including orcas, dolphins, porpoises and seals. You see a long dark shape above you - are you going to be spooked, do you think?
    Ironically the harmless, long, dark shape has just helped our intrepid salmon avoid another predator... i'm not sure that telling the story from the Salmon's perspective is helping your argument very much ;-)
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    Quote Originally Posted by mayobren View Post
    Pete whilst I broadly agree with your statement and would love to see acceptance on both sides................almost without exception ....almost.......the aggressive behaviour is coming from or initiated by fishermen.

    Not once on any thread on this forum have I seen anyone advocate aggression against a fisherman.......it is much different on fishing forums, go on there and you will see open threats....advocating the use of catapults.....advocating heavy leads and lures being cast directly at paddlers........the aggression on rivers is almost entirely one sided
    And anecdotally, I bet most of us here have experienced the aggression. It isn't just a few bad eggs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mayobren View Post
    Pete whilst I broadly agree with your statement and would love to see acceptance on both sides..the aggression on rivers is almost entirely one sided
    I have been threatened with a shotgun - not in the sense that it was pointed at me you understand, but there was a very pointed comment about proposed use of one.
    That aside, I think your comparison is not quite representative - a stag party of canoeists mashing their way down the river are unlikely to be aggressive but will certainly be oblivious of the impact they might have on other users (not just anglers!). But taking your comment at face value, that most of the vitriol is on the side of the anglers then I maintain that reasonable anglers (like our David!) will have more influence on their own communities than we will have - because we are already 'the enemy'.
    I simply feel that setting, promoting and managing expectations of reasonable behaviour within our own interest groups is likely to be more successful at breaking up a gnarly impasse!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Per View Post
    And anecdotally, I bet most of us here have experienced the aggression. It isn't just a few bad eggs.

    Remember the Troll of Hallcroft Weir?
    Absolutely........verbal threats ......tried to hit stu with a landing net......and then tried to kick him out of the boat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Starr View Post
    I simply feel that setting, promoting and managing expectations of reasonable behaviour within our own interest groups is likely to be more successful at breaking up a gnarly impasse!
    My point is your preaching to the choir............there is no issue with paddler aggression to be addressed.

    The drunken idiots on stag dos aren't paddlers...........thankfully this is mostly one river, the Wye.....and all the actual paddlers also dislike their behaviour
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    The different demographics of the two 'sports' may well render the entire argument pointless in the next 30 years.

    Running into an angler under 40, at least in my experience, is an event so rare as to be memorable. Likewise, there aren't very many female anglers. I know lots of young paddlers and lots of lady paddlers.

    I wonder what it is about the two activities that they have such a different appeal? A lot of the points raised in this thread and in the Dee thread this one spawned from are almost certainly relevant to angling's apparent lack of appeal.

    I'd argue that anglers need to get their own house in order, for their own sake.

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    From a 2012 survey of 29,000 anglers;

    "97% were male, with a mean average age of 51."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Per View Post
    The different demographics of the two 'sports' may well render the entire argument pointless in the next 30 years.

    Running into an angler under 40, at least in my experience, is an event so rare as to be memorable. Likewise, there aren't very many female anglers. I know lots of young paddlers and lots of lady paddlers.

    I wonder what it is about the two activities that they have such a different appeal? A lot of the points raised in this thread and in the Dee thread this one spawned from are almost certainly relevant to angling's apparent lack of appeal.

    I'd argue that anglers need to get their own house in order, for their own sake.
    Well at least the fish will be happy, if the anglers become extinct due to an ageing population and lack of breeding opportunities.

    (Having said that, the paddling world is still very male dominated - look at which gender mostly posts on here!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crow View Post
    Well at least the fish will be happy, if the anglers become extinct due to an ageing population and lack of breeding opportunities.

    (Having said that, the paddling world is still very male dominated - look at which gender mostly posts on here!)


    The lady paddlers I know are too busy chucking themselves off waterfalls in kayaks to post much on here. Much too cool for SOTP.

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    The drunken idiots on stag dos aren't paddlers...........thankfully this is mostly one river, the Wye.....and all the actual paddlers also dislike their behaviour
    Unfortunately though, they are paddling and this is what the angler sees. Can you tell the difference between a real angler and one who is just there for fun?.. . . . . or are they both the same? . . . and have you considered that the real anglers might dislike the behaviour of the inconsiderate anglers?

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    Quote Originally Posted by samB View Post
    Unfortunately though, they are paddling and this is what the angler sees. Can you tell the difference between a real angler and one who is just there for fun?.. . . . . or are they both the same? . . . and have you considered that the real anglers might dislike the behaviour of the inconsiderate anglers?
    Well hopefully everyone goes to the river to enjoy themselves.....I hate to think anyone was going there not to have fun

    The anglers who dislike aggressive behaviour of their own fraternity need to be far more outspoken then and drive their own idiots back into the shadows, you'll see comments on here from fishing paddlers condemning their behaviour but you won't see the same comments made on fishing forums.....and rarely from the various angling bodies.
    But actually its a moot point.........the aggression is mostly from fishermen................the only thing I want from them is to be left alone.........I'm more than happy to leave them alone.......I already do
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    Quote Originally Posted by mayobren View Post
    My point is your preaching to the choir............there is no issue with paddler aggression to be addressed. The drunken idiots on stag dos aren't paddlers...........thankfully this is mostly one river, the Wye.....and all the actual paddlers also dislike their behaviour
    No I'm not, I'm just not excluding the choir and I was also trying to establish the idea that it is not just aggressive behaviour that ruins other peoples day. I mean, if someone accidentally treads on your foot and apologises profusely it still hurts doesn't it?! .
    We still have a responsibility to promote responsible behaviour in our sport - so much the luckier for us if there is less work to do :-). I used the example of stag do's as an extreme example It could equally apply to a kayak club running the river and splashing around, practicing rolling etc. You might not think of them in the same way as 'our type' of paddling but they are all paddlers from a non-paddle sports point of view...
    When I read about the evils of drinking I gave up reading.

  59. #59
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    You make a good point Pete but without exception on every trip I've been on the paddlers both Kayak and canoe have tried to be considerate to other users.

    This is a small island with limited resources.....there will always be impacts from one set of water users on another..........but the impact of paddling on fishing is mostly in the heads of the fisherfolk

    The key difference between us and the anglers is that they want to dominate the river.......I'm/we're happy to share.
    Now there are of course anglers who don't mind us.........but the ones in charge.....the ones with the power and with vested interests just don't want us there
    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Starr View Post
    I used the example of stag do's as an extreme example It could equally apply to a kayak club running the river and splashing around, practicing rolling etc. You might not think of them in the same way as 'our type' of paddling but they are all paddlers from a non-paddle sports point of view...
    But why is a kayak club splashing in a river and practising rolling, a bad thing that needs correcting?

    For me the stag party issue or hire issue of canoes is a different matter, they should be educated before they are allowed onto the water that they aren't the only river user and to be considerate of the other users. But that wouldn't be done by us but by the company that are renting them the canoes.

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