More fish


As stated in our last blog about slightly more fish are heading into the rivers and our Fenton beat has again had some success this week. Another salmon and two sea trout have been reported as being caught and safely returned unharmed to the river.


The EA is holding its latest forum this coming Wednesday in Newcastle when the proposed new salmon bye laws will be top of the agenda. It now seems that the proposed Compulsary catch and release details announced along with the north east drift nets will now not come into operation this year. The words pigs ear seem apt at this moment in time. 

That went well

NE Drift Nets

Following the EA,s decision that drift netting in the north east will end forthwith  in 2018 it appears this is not so. Apparently lawyers acting on behalf of the Nets men appealed against the ruling by the EA in the courts and won their case. It is not known what the appeal was based upon but what we do know is that the north east drift nets will operate again this year from June through to the end of August. Will the EA appeal against this, it looks like that is a no.

Latest fishing

Still a shortage of migratory fish in the rivers at present but it is expected that more bigger runs of sea trout will soon start to enter our rivers with the Till and Wear expected to start fishing well in the up and coming weeks. With the shortage of fish and high temperatures members are forsakeing the rivers amd fishing our stillwaters with good effect. Hopefully with the Tour de Yorkshire on going our Reservoir at Thornton Steward will pick up extra day tickets and they should not be disappointed as it is fishing it's head off at the moment as is the members only fishery Rothley lake. What a nice option to be able to give this to our members.

All quiet on

The rivers

Still only aware of just the one salmon having been caught by our members so far this season. Looking round the river reports even the usual early beats seem to be devoid of fish so far. Well done to the Northumberland Rivers Trust for getting the fish counter operational again on the river Coquet. Two fish took the counter in March and up to the 20th June 119 fish had passed through.  Whist the rivers are quiet all our stillwaters have now been stocked and members appear to be having some good sessions, especially at Thornton Steward Reservoir, where members are catching up to ten fish in a session and pleasingly they are all behind returned, well done members. Rothley lake is also fishing well after its first stocking with members again catching their bag limits and again returning them unharmed to the lake.

Data Protection

New laws regarding data protection will be coming into force soon and this will have an effect on the club and the deatils we hold for members. As a committee we will be discussing this at our meeting next Monday and will no doubt have to contact each individual member. 

Action Required

River Till

Members will know that we have three beats on this river. One of them could be in danger of being badly polluted if planning permission is granted the next beat up on the opposite bank and we need to alert members to a potential disaster in the local community close to the Shellacres Beat, on the west side of the Till. We ask that members read the following submitted to the club by a member. We have discussed this item with our riparian owner Mr Frank Dakin and he is also asking that we as a club and as individuals object to the planning permission that is being requested. Please read and hopefully by following the link you can abject as an individual.

On farm land adjacent to the farm of Castle Heaton (who has one bank of the Shellacres beat) lies the farms of Stickle Heaton and New Heaton.  The owner of these farms is a firm called Dalbury Ltd, whose owner is John Laing.  He has lodged for planning permission to develop a 4.56ha site on his farm to build an agricultural gas-to-grid anaerobic digestion (AD) facility.  This vast site is to process 114,000 tonnes of slurry and waste.  Little wonder the EA have opposed it, not to mention the local community of residents, and famers alike.  The applicant has already been the subject of several court cases associated with his prosecution by the Environment Agency for pollution incidents affecting the Till.   Most recently, reported in the Berwick Advertiser only last week, Mr Laing has been held in contempt of court for exhibiting a complete disregard for the law.  He has failed to carry out remedial works required by the court and we are able to observe that effluent from New Heaton Farm continues to regularly pollute the tributaries of the Till.
Mr Laing and therefore his company have demonstrated at best incompetence in the management of high risk potential pollutants and at worst an utter disregard for the law and his fellow inhabitants of this locality.  We do not consider him capable of managing such a complex, industrial process requiring careful attention to detail to prevent local pollution.
On planning grounds we raise the following concerns:
1.  The very significant increase in heavy traffic flow along a minor unclassified road.  This will severely affect the amenity of The Old Schoolhouse and Tillmouth Park Hotel, both of which are important providers of tourism accommodation. The road is not designed to accommodate continuous heavy traffic and we believe that the SAC Consulting document significantly downplays the additional number of journeys that this development would generate.  We are so concerned that we are commissioning an independent review of this calculation.
2.  The noise pollution from the proposed plant will also affect the local residents and tourism destinations.
3.  The continuous odour emitting from the stored feedstock products will affect the amenity of the locality.
4.   We are extremely concerned that large quantities of liquid digestate will be produced.  It will, according the application documents, be spread on the land and it is inevitable that this pollutant will end up in the watercourses and ultimately in the Tweed or the Till through surface run off or by percolation into land drains as a result of this process.  Mr Laing's track record is such that we can be confident in predicting such pollution.     
5.   The plant will severely affect the visual amenity of the locality in this Area of Landscape Value.  The users of the public footpaths across Stickle Heaton as well as the path running south from Donaldson's Lodge will be affected by the visual impact spoiling their enjoyment of this beautiful area.
6.    In the SAC Consulting document there is reference to the screening of the plant but occupiers of properties on higher ground such as Melkington House, will have the plant in full view as well as the noise and smell affecting them.
I would urge members of the syndicate, if moved to do so, to write into the County Council to object to this unwanted development which potentially threatens the Till and its fish stocks and natural history.  By all means write as a club, but the feeling is that the more do so as individuals the better.
Crag Lough
Thanks to those committee members and club members that placed the boats onto the Lough yesterday and also stocked the Lough wit some excellent brown trout. The Lough opens for fishing on the 1st May and members are reminded that the venue/boats must be booked through committee member Jerry Macbeth
Rotley Lake
Thanks again to those committee members and members that carried out the first stocking on this lake last Saturday.
So all you need to do now is object to the planning application and then o out and enjoy your fishing. Tight lines to all.

A little help


We are putting the boats onto Crag Lough this coming Wednesday, 25th April, along with a stocking of brown trout. Whilst we have enough people for putting the boats on we could do with another 2 or 3 members assistance to help with the stocking side of this event. If you can afford the time to assist please give head bailiff Dave Cave a phone call. His phone number is on page one of your members hand book.

First success

We can inform members that the first reported salmon of the season has been caught. Member Paul Edwards caught and safely returned a fresh bar of silver 7lb salmon from our Fenton beat caught on a small copper mepps. Here's to a good season for all members.

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