Tuesday, 12 March 2013


There’s a toxic concoction of threats out there and at risk of putting a dampener on your end of season fishing, the reality in the world of wildlife is alarming. We live at a time of unprecedented declines in many species of freshwater wildlife and unless we all work together to reverse the declines, it ain’t going to get better any time soon. The list makes depressing reading.
seriously cute - c. Stewart Canham

- Water voles down by 90% - the fastest declining mammal in Britain.

European eel - maybe 20yrs. old
- Freshwater eels down by 95%

- White-clawed crayfish facing extinction.

like a little jewel c. Sarah Williams

Royalty grilse - one of the few survivors

Hen salmon heading for their redds

- Southern salmon threatened by global warming.

- Many river species in decline, especially roach.
Hampshire Avon roach at Britford
The list goes on and sometimes I feel powerless to do anything to help … but I try, not just by making conservation films but by supporting the Angling Trust, the Salmon and Trout Assoc. the Dorset Wildlife Trust, the British Trust for Ornithology and the RSPB. They don’t always say what I think they should! but at least I have a voice through them and access to the facts to carry the protection of our beleaguered freshwater habitats forward.

  The Avon at Downton - roach heaven - in the good old days!
a fish's last look c. David Kjaer
The good news is that nature, given half a chance, has wonderful powers of recovery. The bittern is a classic example. Extinct in the UK in 1886, recovered to only  eleven booming males by1997, the creation of habitat by the RSPB and other conservation organisations has seen them increase to a present population of seventy five breeding pairs ; a brilliant result. If we anglers did more to create habitat for fish they might well recover too and it won't be just bitterns that are grateful.

If every conservation organisation worked together to create a healthier freshwater environment then we would all be a lot better off - our wildlife too. And if each of us joined at least one of the Trusts we might influence the government to change things for the better. I know times are hard financially but joining the Angling Trust is not expensive and we sure need them to fight our corner.

another perch down the hatch c. Steve Allen
The excessive predation by cormorants is just one issue and it’s reaching the crucial stage when decisions will be made by the government on future licensing controls  – or not – so please read the attached and support the work of the Trust in protecting our threatened fish.

Cormorants - Dossier of Destruction



  1. Well said Hugh. Anglers do need to stop wanting to simply catch to order and start creating the chance of catching by improving and creating wild habitat wherever it's denuded or destroyed.

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