Coincidence

Or Not

Our club are members of the Wear Anglers Association (WAA) which is a body formed by various angling clubs that have angling rights on the river Wear and try to look after the interests of these clubs and their members.

In September of 2016 a number of dead salmon and sea trout where found below the weir at Durham. The WAA contacted the EA expressing their concerns about the dead fish. The EA visited the area and their reply was that the fish were dead kelts.. Remember this is in September.

In October 2016 a member of the WAA was having at close up look at the new Archimedes screw at Durham and was horrified at what he was watching as salmon and sea trout, instead of running either of the fish passes were actually ruuning up the archimedes screw and being killed in the process. Videos were taken of the horrific events and the WAA believed that some serious action needed to be taken.

All clubs being members of the Angling Trust/Fish legal contacted them in order to see what could be done about these horrific and needless death of fish. After lenghty discussions with their representatives over the following months formal notification has been sent to the EA. Below is the letter issued on behalf of the WAA. I am sorry but not able to re-produce the videos mentioned in the letter.

Award-winning Durham hydro being brought into question after video shows trapped salmon

Fish Legal has written to the Environment Agency highlighting local anglers’ concerns about potential over-abstraction and design flaws in a hydro-electric scheme on the River Wear resulting in fish deaths at Framwellgate weir in Durham city centre.

      

Enclosed with the letter are photographs and videos showing fish caught in the turbine chamber being hurled and battered, despite the hydro-electric scheme receiving the full approval of the Environment Agency at the time of construction as being in line with its own guidelines on hydro-electric scheme design. The letter in particular highlights a lack of adequate fish screens.

      

In addition, Fish Legal has raised concerns that the Environment Agency does not measure the adequacy of the flows in the River Wear, from which the hydro-electric scheme takes water to generate power, next to the hydro-electric scheme in Durham but instead takes measurements at Chester-le-Street some five miles or so downstream, where flow is enhanced by a number of tributaries. This casts great doubt over the accuracy of monitoring the sustainability of operation of the scheme at times of low flow. In addition, a gauge-board, designs of which were included in the licence conditions to show the public the river levels adjacent to the scheme, has not been installed.

  

Geoff Hardy, Solicitor for Fish Legal, said: “We consider there are some big questions about why this hydro-electric scheme is allowed to continue operating when it is damaging salmon and sea trout and licence conditions have not been met.

  

"Our letter to the Environment Agency makes it clear that we expect answers and modifications to the way the hydro is monitored and operated. At the moment, as video footage that we have provided to the Environment Agency shows, salmon and sea trout are being damaged and killed as they travel upstream and downstream of the generating equipment.”

      

The Wear Anglers Association (WAA) represents several clubs who are Fish Legal members. One of their spokesmen explained: “Following an invitation by the Environment Agency, members of the WAA visited the hydro scheme and identified areas of concern. Unfortunately, those concerns were dismissed or not followed up.

"One of our concerns was that the gaps between the bars on the screens that should protect migratory fish from entering the Archimedes screw are too wide to prevent migratory fish accessing the turbine. This concern has now been realised with video footage showing salmon and sea trout trapped in the hydro scheme chamber, resulting in damage and mortalities. We believe this could and should have been avoided had the EA sat down with the WAA and listened more and corrected this problem.”

      

He continued: “The WAA are very disheartened to see the needless mortalities of salmon and sea trout by the hydro scheme at Durham. We are in principle not opposed to hydro power but we would question whether hydro should be installed in a major salmon and sea trout river such as the Wear.”

      

The Angling Trust is currently spearheading a ‘Save Our Salmon’ campaign, and the Environment Agency has developed a Five Point Approach in response, which includes easing barriers to fish migration.

      

Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust & Fish Legal, said: “The continued operation of this scheme under licence from the Environment Agency, which has been shown to kill and damage fish, is inexplicable considering the serious national decline of salmon stocks.”  [Note 6 in editor’s notes]

Please note: Video is a compilation of footage shot over two days.

Editor's Notes:

   

1. Fish Legal’s letter to the Deputy Director of Operations at the Environment Agency, dated 12th June 2017, is available here.

             

2. Stills from video footage showing salmon caught in the hydropower turbines at Framwellgate weir are available here.

             

3. The Wear Anglers' Association was formed four years ago from angling clubs and syndicates distributed about the whole length of the river Wear.  It is dedicated to protecting the habitat of all animals as well as the flora and fauna including the wellbeing of coarse and migratory fish. As an example, last year, with the backing of various organisations in Durham city, the area immediately below the hydro scheme was identified as a serious threat to migratory fish due to poaching and was declared a conservation area banning all fishing.

             

4. Fish Legal is a membership association using the law to protect fish stocks and the rights of its members throughout the UK. It is united in a collaborative relationship with the Angling Trust, the national representative and governing body for angling in England. Joint membership packages with the Angling Trust are available for individuals, clubs, fisheries and other categories.

             

5. For more information on Fish Legal please visit the Fish Legal website.

             

6. More information on the Angling Trust’s ‘Save our Salmon’ campaign

             

Media enquiries:

   

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Good River heights

Following the rains from Tuesday to Thursday last week our rivers burt  into spate conditions and hopefully began bringing more fish into our sytems for our members to get out and wet a line. As of today all of our rivers are in fine fettle apart from the river Till which should be fishable from Tuesday or Wednesday. It is also good to see members on our club forum helping other members with updates on river levels along with the odd picture or two to give members an insight into the river conditions.

Interim Returns

As required by the Tweeed Commision members should by now have sent in the interim catch returns to Secretary Dave Wilson for the rivers Tweed and Till. If you have not already sent in your returns then plaese take this as a gentle reminder to send them in asap.

 

Fish on all fronts

Up and Running

We now have confirmation that migratory fish have been caught on ALL of our river beats. A member has confirmed catching a sea trout from our Coquet beat last week. 

It is that time of the season when more sea trout start to enter our rivers and a member had two off one of our Till beats on Monday. Rain is forecast today and depending on how much could again improve the numbers of fish coming into the rivers and further improving the chance of catching a fish.

Hot off the press

Or fresh out of the river

One of our members, Paul (first name only) caught and returned a fresh off the tide 9lb silver salmon with sea lice this morning And safely returned unharmed to the river. Oh, it was on our Tweed beat at the Start fishing. June is thankfully presenting members the chance to catch fish and just waiting to hear about any success on the Coquet which would mean all our rivers have produced fish for members this season.

Latest News

North East Fisheries Forum
Important news for anglers View in Browser http://anglingtrust-news.net/3XSU-8CUX-792RQUOG2A/cr.aspx |  Forward to a Friend http://anglingtrust-news.net/3XSU-8CUX-792RQUOG2A-0/fw.aspx Member News Monday, 26th June, 2017 Final Reminder North East Fisheries Forum (Tyne) 28th June, 2017   Newcastle Gateshead Marriott Hotel MetroCentre Marconi Way, MetroCentre, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, NE11 9XF Tea & Coffee served from 6.40pm Meeting begins 7.00pm In association with the Environment Agency This meeting is open to all anglers and fishery owners and is free to attend This meeting is free to attend and open to all. It is aimed at ALL freshwater anglers, Coarse and Game. It is a key opportunity to hear about the work of the Environment Agency and Angling Trust and is a chance to tell us what YOU think our priorities should be. Plus updates from key organisations in your area. It looks like being a fascinating meeting, so if you love angling and live within reach of the venue, make sure you attend. If there is a specific question you would like to ask at the meeting please let us know well in advance by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.?subject=Forum question ) It's not to late if you haven't already registered, just click the link below: REGISTER HERE ( http://anglingtrust-news.net/3XSU-8CUX-2RQUOG-4OOPW-0/c.aspx ) Please feel free to pass this on to angling friends and colleagues by using the link below, or better still, cajole them into coming along with you! Forward to a friend http://anglingtrust-news.net/3XSU-8CUX-792RQUOG2A-0/fw.aspx Draft Agenda Save Our Salmon Campaign – Mark Lloyd, Angling Trust Chief Executive talks about latest news on Salmon Five Point Plan and in particular the latest developments with nets Jon Shelley of the Environment Agency talks about the Net Limitation Order Consultation Environment Agency Update – The latest updates from The Fisheries Team, including their monitoring and project work

North Tyne
The releases from Kielder are continually bringing fish onto our beats, and it is
good to see the releases are actually doing what they were intended for rather than
at the back end of the season when they continually churn out between 30 and 50 cumics
to get the fish up for breeding purposes.
Further fish have been caught and also released as well as numerous fish being caught and lost.
Moving onto a couple of safety issues regular members that fish the Hunterly beat will know there
are power cables crossing the river and safety signs are in position informing anglers about this.
One angler has been fishing in the area of the power cables and his/her line has gone over the top
of the cables. The line has been cut but the line and lure are still hanging there. We have spoken
to Steve from Bellingham anglers and he will try to safely remove the line and lure sometime today.
Our yearly visitors to this stretch of the water, the sand martins, have been busy building their
nests into the river bank but these appear to have been destroyed by some locals. Not anglers but
badgers. It is only nature in its natural environment but there are some extremely large holes around
so please be careful where you are walking.

Armadale tracking project Tags Wanted
Reward Marine Scotland is tracking salmon from July 2017 and would like your help. If you catch a salmon
with a tag near the dorsal fin, then please remove it by cutting through the plastic cord to remove the
acoustic tag (black cylinder). Please note that the colour of the cord may vary from yellow.
Please send the acoustic tag, also with a note of day and location of capture, to: Armadale Tracking,
Freshwater Fisheries Laboratory, Faskally, Pitlochry, PH16 5LB Please enclose your name, postal and email
(if applicable) address and we will send you £20 in reward. If you have any other information about the
fish (eg a photo, length, sex) then please include it when you send in the tag. However, please do not
delay the safe return of the fish to the water to obtain any such information.
With thanks The Armadale Tracking Team

Back to fishing

Some decent catches

Last week produced some decent catches from a mix of our waters following the rain earlier in the week. We know of three salmon coming off our Tyne beats, two at 15lbs and one at 12lb, all clean fish and all safely returned. We are also aware of some decent catches from the Till with six sea trout caught on one day on the Fenton beat whilst the Shellacres beat had two sea trout on one day. There is the odd salmon and quite a few sea trout showing on our Wear beats but these are proving elusive to catch at present. After the recent short heatwave up north things have cooled down slightly today and we are expecting some thunder storms and a little rain so we hope this again freshens up the rivers for the members.

Vacancies

We still have a few vacancies available at present and if you are looking for a new club then why not give us a try. If the rivers are in fettle then as the above item states there are fish to be caught, but if they are not then you also have three stillwater fisheries for brown, rainbow and blue trout. We may be slightly more expensive than some other local clubs, but we are also slightly cheaper than others but we do offer a superb differing selection of river fishing and Stillwater fisheries That other clubs simply can't offer. If you are interested then please submit an application form that is on our home page.

Interim returns

We will be sending out a brief newsletter in the next couple of days asking for members to supply details of their catch returns for the rivers Tweed and Till up to the end of June. This is a legal requirement for the club to supply to the Tweed commission And ask that members supply their returns ASAP.

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