Activity on the rivers warming up nicely

THE change in the region’s weather has brought about an increase in angling activity.

THE change in the region’s weather has brought about an increase in angling activity.

The interest in catching big grayling at this time of the year continues with fine fish of up to 2lb from the Eden – but just over the border the grayling are that much bigger.

Alan Scott had four grayling all over 2lb and the best at 2lb 6oz from the River Teviot.

On The Annan, James Loudon from North Yorkshire proved how good that river is for the species when he caught a superb 3lb 5oz specimen using float-fished redworm, the best grayling recorded this winter.

Yarm AA’s match on the Tees was won by Andy Dargue with 36lb 9oz made up of five bream plus perch to 2lb on feeder and worm.

Dave Waterson of Darlington was runner-up with 28lb 11oz, while Paul Healey made third on 28lb 3oz and Geoff Douglas with 26lb made fourth spot.

Sunday’s sweepstake on Whittle Dene saw venue specialist Steve Wood win again by netting 119 small roach for 7lb 9oz.

Ian Hunter took second place with 6lb 9oz while Phil Rippon was third on 4lb 12oz.

The RSPS River Swale Team Masters’ match at Morton Bridge saw Adrian Evans weigh in 21 chub to triumph with 32lb 4oz.

Stuart Tate was second with 25lb 12oz, Ian Bates third on 24lb 3oz.

The Ripon Piscatorials Open on the River Ure was claimed by local specialist John Taylor, with 18lb 4oz made up of five chub which all fell for steak

Wansbeck and Cramlington AC have gave their members a timely boost by introducing quality roach in the eight to 10-inch class into two of their club waters. The Milkhope fishery received 150 fish, while a further 650 went into their Horton Grange water. Angling rolled out its big guns to protect fisheries from alien cormorant invasion this week.

Campaigners from the world of angling were joined by celebrities Chris Tarrant and Feargal Sharkey to hand over a 16,000-signature petition calling for action to limit the devastating impact of the UK’s rapidly-increasing cormorant population and its effect on inland freshwater habitat and ecosystems.

Scientists have calculated each cormorant needs at least a pound of fish a day to survive and there are now an estimated 23,000 non-native invasive cormorants over-wintering in the UK compared to 2,000 in the 1980s.

This means an unsustainable loss of fish takes place every winter.

The petition has been organised by the Avon Roach Project headed by Trevor Harrop and supported by internationally renowned wildlife film maker Hugh Miles.

Miles added:”Non-native cormorants have invaded our freshwater rivers and lakes from Europe and threaten to wipe out our fish.

“Scientific estimates reckon their actions adds up to 1,200 tons of fish lost in four months and this level of predation is totally unsustainable and a direct threat to the survival of our precious bio-diversity”.

TV host and lifelong angler Chris Tarrant said:”It has taken absurdly long for people to realise the damage to fish populations, other wildlife and the whole environment cormorants have been doing for too many years.

“Some waters are now virtually devoid of fish and that threatens other bird populations like the kingfishers and grebes.

“It is time to redress the balance before it becomes too late.”

Martin Salter, former parliamentary spokesman for angling and now national campaigns co-ordinator for the Angling Trust, said:“Freshwater fish stocks cannot withstand the rapid growth in numbers of cormorants we have seen.”

DIARY DATES

Sunday: Big Waters AC fish a Winter League match on Aldin Grange, while a Springwater League Match goes ahead on The Broom Complex and Wansbeck and Cramlington AC fish a Winter League match on Horton Grange. Yarm AA will use this Sunday to reschedule one of their matches lost to the weather, while opens go ahead on The Angel, Woodlands and The Oaks.

Tuesday: The South East Northumberland Division of the Pike Anglers’ Club hold their monthly meeting in the Northumbrian Piper public house at Fawdon.

Wednesday: Midweek opens are scheduled for The Angel and Woodlands, while Big Waters AC hold their monthly meeting in Newcastle CIU Companions Club.

Thursday: The Oaks at Sessay hosts an open.

 

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer