ENVIRONMENT AGENCY - NOTICE OF EXTENSION TO THE RIVER CAMEL EMERGENCY SALMON PROTECTION BYELAW
As you will be aware, in October 2017, the Environment Agency implemented an emergency byelaw to protect Atlantic salmon in the River Camel. This was in response to an unprecedented and widespread decline recorded in juvenile salmon stocks that was detected through a comprehensive catchment wide juvenile fisheries monitoring programme conducted throughout the summer of 2017. It had been evident that the River Camel salmon rod catch has been declining in recent years. However, the extent of the loss of juvenile salmon is of particular concern and suggested a significant failure in adult salmon spawning success. Adult and juvenile trout stocks remain relatively healthy across the catchment suggesting that this is a salmon specific issue.
We are fully aware of the concerns expressed by the River Camel angling community regarding the status of salmon and the implementation of the salmon protection byelaw. This had been implemented with the intention of enabling salmon and sea trout fishing but in such a way that it protects salmon and helping to ensure that most adult fish are able to spawn successfully. We believe that this is the best approach to maintain the important River Camel migratory salmonid fishery whilst seeking to maximise the recovery of the juvenile salmon stock
In recognition of the concerns expressed by River Camel angling interests, we agreed to review the need for the byelaw following additional juvenile fish surveys conducted by us and the West Country Rivers Trust in 2018 and an appraisal of other catch data. These surveys identified that whilst salmon fry abundance had improved at a small number of survey sites, it was clear that salmon fry and parr populations remained exceptionally poor across much of the catchment and therefore of continuing concern. There is now no doubt in our view that within two years, very few Atlantic salmon will return to the River Camel reflecting the exceptionally poor number of smolts that are likely to have left the river.
In September 2018, following completion of the most recent juvenile survey programmes, we attempted to convene a meeting with all of the key salmon angling clubs and riparian interests on the River Camel to present the results of the recent juvenile survey data and the trends evident within the rod catch data. The overall consensus of those who attended and reviewed the data with us was that there is a significant issue with the salmon stock and its population status on the River Camel.
At this meeting and subsequently, there have been extensive ongoing discussions over the best way to implement the necessary protective measures, with a Catchment wide voluntary agreement being preferred by the Environment Agency. Unfortunately a consensus on the voluntary application of the protective measures was not reached across the catchment at this time.
It has unfortunately become clear that obtaining this universal agreement and adoption of these measures cannot be achieved by angling interests across the River Camel at present. Therefore, we have decided, with the support of Defra, to extend the emergency byelaw period from 1st November 2018 for a further 6 months to the end of April 2019. This will provide a further opportunity to discuss the required measures with the angling interests or provide us with the necessary time to seek the implementation of a longer term salmon protection byelaw.
The measures enforceable by the Emergency Byelaw are:
100% catch and release - all salmon caught on rod and line are to be returned with minimum delay.
The use of worm for salmon fishing is prohibited.
Spinners, plugs and other artificial lures must be fitted with single, barbless hooks only.
Hooks used with artificial flies must have a maximum gape not exceeding 8mm.
Prawn or shrimp may be used in conjunction with a single, barbless hook with a maximum gape not exceeding 8mm.
Closure of the River Camel salmon and sea trout net fishery
The above measures will be in place until 30th April 2019 unless revoked by the Environment Agency.
We are currently working on the River Camel Net Limitation Order (NLO) 2018 which will also consider the necessary package of measures to protect salmon and sea trout for rod and line and net fishing on the river. We will be continuing our consultation and would appreciate confirmation that your club or fishing interest would approve the suggested voluntary NLO measures. If a voluntary consensus cannot be reached a mandatory byelaw will have to be implemented across the catchment. We have also identified the River Camel as a priority catchment and identified a number of issues that we intend to investigate and deal working with the angling clubs and other partner organisations to maximise the opportunity for the recovery of salmon stocks within the Camel catchment.
If you have any question about this please do not hesitate to contact me. Bryony Devoy
Fisheries Technical Specialist DCiS and Net Limitation Order Specialist National Fisheries Team Agriculture, Fisheries and the Natural Environment Department Environment and Business Directorate Environment Agency.
At the LDAC AGM in February 2018 - The Chairman, Rob Williams, gave his report for the year - noting that the 2017 season had started well,
spring salmon and a few large sea trout being caught, aided
by frequent rainfall ensuring river conditions were often
favourable for fishing. Fair numbers of summer grilse and sea
trout were also caught on both the Lynher and Fowey but
once again the later (Autumn) run of Salmon in the two main
rivers were disappointing and fresh fish were very scarce. Despite this, intensive fishing efforts meant both hatcheries
managed to meet their brood-stock quotas for the year.
The Fowey river counter figures were discussed and it was
noted that the numbers were, once again, lower than the 10-
year average with salmon fairing less well than sea trout.
Recent in-river survey figures produced by the EA and WRT
also show worrying trends. The implications were to be
discussed fully later in the meeting.
Heavy rain throughout this winter meant that rivers were
untypically high over a longer period of time and it was hoped
that this would not negatively impact on juvenile production in
The FRA has now secured much of the sanctuary area on a
permanent basis and Chris Janes has resurrected the gravel
cleaning to improve it. Efforts to extend sanctuary leases on
other parts of the Draynes for a further 5 years have also
There is further good news:
The Water 4 Growth Project (to be discussed by guest
speaker from WRT)
New beat maps (printable and interactive)
New restrictive Estuary Netting bye-laws in force.
Finally RW thanked the Committee and Officers for their
efforts and R Grieve for continuing to support the website. He concluded by wishing members an enjoyable season
At the LDAC AGM in February 2018 The Secretary noted that the Committee had met 5 times in
the year and that their attendance had been excellent.
Key issues in the year have included
Renewing leases for 2018 and beyond
The Coodes Lease for the Ashford Beat on the
Fowey to be extended for 3 more years.
4 leases on the Lynher. With positive responses
already received from 3 of the riparian owners. It
is felt likely that all will be satisfactorily negotiated
before the beginning of the season.
No additional fishing rights came to the market during
Access at Turnpike Cottage (Newbridge, Lynher) is
proving problematic as new owners’ are now in
residence. A site meeting has taken place and whilst
the Club’s legal rights are assured we will try to
conclude the dispute without resorting to legal
intervention. Please bear this in mind if accessing
above the road bridge.
LDAC organised the Trout and Salmon
Magazine writers visit to the Fowey in August
2017. This was part of the push to recruit new
members. Whilst the river proved out of sorts (with
only one salmon taken by the fishing party) an
excellent piece was published advertising the
efforts of the hatchery at Colliford. Hopefully the
publicity will be reflected in new membership
EA salmon consultation: Liaison and lobbying of
the FRA. More to follow under Item 5 of the
Looe-Liskeard cycleway: The Club met with the
project manager for this tourism project. It was
clear their proposals would have a major impact
on the fishing environment along the West Looe
beat we rent from the Duchy. Our concerns have
been fed back to the Duchy and the Project Team.
It is hoped that these objections will result in a
new route being found.
Beaver re-introduction in Cornwall: Cornwall
Wildlife Trust has now established a small beaver
breeding colony on the Tresillian River at Ladock.Feedback was given to WRT, SWRA and the
FRA. Despite objections this private project was
launched in June 2017.
Emergency Bye-law on the Camel published to
Club website: to remain in force until end October
Website Manager: Pleased to advise that
Richard Grieve has agreed to continue to support
the website even though he has departed the
Committee. He has our thanks for this important
At the LDAC AGM in February 2018 - Trevor Sobey, The Treasurer, presented and reviewed the P&L account for
year ending December 31st 2017
It was noted that exceptional capital purchase items (the
purchase of Hendergrove and a significant contribution
towards the FRA purchase of much of the Draynes sanctuary) had necessarily depleted the club’s capital reserve by some
£12,000.00). This, when coupled with shrinking membership
numbers, had placed the club under some financial strain.
Despite this, Club fees (for 2018) had been increased
marginally (£2.50 pa for adults) and all other
subscriptions/day/weekly tickets had been frozen.
Following consultation with riparian owners the majority have
agreed to forego the annual RPI increase we normally provide
in the rents payable.
The Club thanks them for their
generosity and continued support.
At the LDAC AGM in February 2018 - Richard Grieve gave an update on Colliford Salmon Hatchery acitivy, including -
Thanked LDAC for continued support for the
Noted the good collaboration between
EA/SWW/FRA/WRT in making the hatchery
Noted the first year of operation with good outputs
Noted that brood-stock had been collected from
across most of the catchment for 2018
Provided an interested commentary on some of the
lessons learned from the first year of operation. It
had, for instance, become clear that water
temperature was critical in hatching and normal fry development. To this end an innovative and cost
effective chilling system had been installed which recirculated
chilled water across egg trays, thereby
reducing the volumes required. This concept had
also been transferred to the Lynher hatchery as best
Recommended the excellent short film (Lost at Sea)
as an interesting learning tool for all salmon anglers.
Noted the importance of judging the hatchery and its
success on facts, not supposition. In particular he
touched on the motivational impact negative
statements could have on the small pool of
volunteers that kept the hatchery going.
At the LDAC AGM on 13th February 2018 the LDAC Committee announced that a new set of
fishing rules had been approved for the 2018 season
These new rules reflect the current
pressure the salmonid stocks are under in the rivers we fish
The EA has recently enacted an emergency bye-law on the Camel, restricting much of the
fishing methods available to anglers and requiring 100% catch/release. In addition the EA has
carried out a national consultation and is in the process of setting out new rules for salmonid
anglers across all of England. These will be published shortly
The EA has also contacted the Fowey River Association/Clubs directly and requested
voluntary measures now be enacted to further preserve salmonid stocks that are deemed
probably-at-risk. At the same time the EA is enforcing new estuarine bye-laws and supporting
a Net Limitation Order of zero
LDAC, as the largest Club on the river has agreed to
implement new rules to help sustain stocks
To prevent over-exploitation of other Club waters
they are also applicable to all other LDAC waters (Lynher, Seaton, Inny, West Looe and
Camel - once that emergency bye-law is removed) the following rules supersede those found on your 2018 season ticket and must be followed
by all anglers from 1st March 2018
Fowey Season to close on 30th November
Other rivers’ season dates remain unchange
No trebles at any time
No circle hooks at any time
Single barbless hooks at all times
No worming for salmon before June 16th / after 31st Aug
Prawn /Shrimp permitted all season
Single barbless hooks after 31st August
Return first salmon of season on each river
Retain maximum of 1 salmon per season per river
Retain maximum of 10 sea trout per season per river (2 per day,
4 per week)
Return all sea trout under 1.5lb (35cm) and over 4lbs (55cm)
If you require any further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or
any Committee member.