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River Camel - Extension to the EA Emergency Bylaw


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.

LDAC featured in Trout & Salmon - Autumn 2018

Liskeard & District Angling Club were very pleased to invite Trout & Salmon magazine to fish our water.

See the article and please share it as it is great publicity for the Club.

Download here -

Trout & Salmon downloadClick the image to download

Chairman's Report 2018

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 2018.

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 been successful.

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 ahead.

Secretary's Report 2018

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 the year.
  • 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.
  • Other news
    • 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 enquiries.
    • EA salmon consultation: Liaison and lobbying of the FRA. More to follow under Item 5 of the agenda
    • 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 2018.
    • 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 role.

Treasurer's Report 2018

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.

Colliford Hatchery Update 2018

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 hatchery.
  • Noted the good collaboration between EA/SWW/FRA/WRT in making the hatchery successful
  • 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 practice. 
  • 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.

Lynher Hatchery Update 2018

At the LDAC AGM in February 2018 - Arthur White a brief overview of the Lynher Hatchery activities including

  • The 2017 output of 30,000 fry
  • The cost of the operation being solely dependent upon donations and acknowledged the contributions made by LDAC in sustaining the operation
  • 65,000 eggs in 2018, stripped from 8 fish
  • Hatching had progressed well with just 4% losses – aided by lower water temperatures.

IMPORTANT : New 2018 LDAC Club Rules now in force

Please read the following update to the LDAC Club rules - for 2018 season (onward)

You can download a copy of this information here

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
  • Hooks
    • No trebles at any time
        • No circle hooks at any time
  • Bait fishing
        • Single barbless hooks at all times
          • No worming for salmon before June 16th / after 31st Aug
          • Prawn /Shrimp permitted all season
  • Spinning
    • Single barbless hooks after 31st August
  • Catch/Release
    • 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 secretary@ldac.org.uk or any Committee member.

P Jordan, LDAC Secretary, 19th February 2018

URGENT - EA Emergency Bylaw - River Camel

IMPORTANT: EA Emergency Bye Law - River Camel
( includes LDAC Beat 22, Wenfordbridge).

All members:
The Environment Agency (EA) have issued an Emergency Bylaw on the River Camel.

EA fishing restrictions effective 1st November 2017 on the River Camel.

Please ensure you have downloaded and read the attached documents -

Barbless hooks before 16th June

The LDAC Committee asks that all members follow the following guideline Before June 16th in any season:
Barbless Hooks Only on all rivers

"This will help to preserve salmon stocks and aid successful catch/release before June 16th of each season".

Angling Trust South West Fisheries Forum

The Angling Trust, in association with The Environment Agency invite all anglers and fisheries owners to a meeting at Carvynick Country Club -

Carvynick Country Club - Summercourt, Newquay, TR8 5AF

Saturday 24th June 2017

Tea, Coffee and Biscuits served from 9.30am - Meeting begins 10.00am and finishes 12.30pm

This meeting is open to all anglers and fishery owners and is free to attend

Draft Agenda:

Stop Taking our Wrasse ! James Champkin, National Campaigns Officer for the Angling Trust talks about our work to try to halt the large scale removal of live wrasse from Cornish waters to be used as cleaner fish in Scottish Salmon farms.

Environment Agency Fisheries Update . Local EA staff talking about the work they do and explain how your rod licence money is spent.

How Can we support your club and help to improve your fishing ? Ian Shepherd and John Cheyne outline the ways in which your club can fund fishery improvements with rod licence money and how AT staff can help with a variety of key issues.

Chairman's Report 2017

From the 2017 AGM Minutes -

The season started reasonably well, spring salmon and some large sea trout being caught but it never really got going due to low water conditions during the year and fishing was, once again, challenging.
When rain did come, intermittent runs of small grilse and sea trout occurred on both main rivers but the back end of the year did not bring a winter run of large fish.

Fowey counter numbers were down on the 10-year average but large sea trout still arrived in the upper reaches of the system in good numbers and a large number of redds were evident from mid-November onwards.

No heavy winter spates occurred so hopefully the eggs will have developed well and will not be as vulnerable to attrition as they develop and hatch this year.
Predation at sea, lack of food sources, global warming are all taking their toll on our fish stocks – but what is critical is the survival of smolts and their return to the sea. Without these there will be no run. If we do not send smolts back to sea they cannot come back.

This brings me to some good news. We are now lucky to have two hatcheries operating in our area – the Lynher and Fowey Hatchery. I will let others update you on their excellent progress later in the meeting. It was obvious upon walking the banks up in the spawning sanctuary of the upper Fowey that the majority of the sea trout redds appeared in those areas where volunteers had been working – testament to the effectiveness of these efforts.
The work of Chris Janes and his small band of volunteers is gratefully recognised.
There is also excellent news in that the FRA has now managed to purchase the Draynes sanctuary – so we will have these sanctuaries in perpetuity. It will now be important to keep them in good condition.

We must also maintain our excellent efforts in catch and return – this can only benefit the overall spawning success and ensure the viability of future stocks. It also demonstrates to our riparian owners and Regulatory Authorities we care about our fishing and are committed to its conservation.
I must also stress to all the importance of careful handling of fish as you return them. Much can be done to ensure their survival after the enjoyment and privilege of catching them.

The Chair took to opportunity to thank, on behalf of the Club members

  • The Secretary for once again producing an excellent annual newsletter and for his efforts on behalf of the club.
  • The Treasurer and his auditors for all their hard work during the year
  • The Club Wardens.……..noting that if anyone wishes to step forward to look after any of our stretches they should approach the Chairman later.

Finally, the Chairman thanked the Committee Members for their continued support and hard work in the last year.

In closing he wished members a successful 2017 season.

Secretary's Report 2017

The Secretary noted that it had been quite a busy season behind the scenes.
All the usual activities took place (meetings, newsletters, membership correspondence, rental renewals etc.) and additionally -

  • The Duchy leases were re-negotiated and the club has moved from annual leases to 4-year leases on both the West Looe and Inny. This is much more acceptable to the club as it enables us to do longer term maintenance on the beats – work on which has already started.
  • We lost a rented short stretch of River Lynher (Beat 9, Lynher Farm, 2 meadows) up at Bathpool as the owners’ sold the property and fishing rights to third parties.
  • There was a lot of legal work including changing out the LDAC trustees (to T Sobey, D White and P Jordan) and other land registry matters -

    • Prevented the sale of a short stretch (110m) of our fishing north of the road bridge at Newbridge - as the Turnpike Cottage owners’ tried to include our fishing rights in their auction. 
    • Purchased the Hendergrove Stretch (800m) of the upper Fowey: (Beat 2b, lhb opposite Golitha). This stretch was offered to the Club offmarket and the Club agreed to purchase as it protects the Golitha fishing on the opposite bank – already owned by LDAC. Contracts have been signed and payment made in full. 
    • Unable to register Beat 15: Cadsonbury Beat; Lynher. The LDAC Trustees have had to withdraw the LDAC registration of this beat as the NT formally objected to the registration due to deed issues from the 1942 and 1967 sale/purchase agreements. We intend to continue to fish the beat and to explore options to complete the registration without resorting to an expensive legal tribunal. 
    • Sold c.50m (600m2) of LDAC land/ roadside verge to Highways England. This sale is progressing. Value to Club is approximately £850.00. Please note the on-going traffic restrictions and the need to enter Lewarne Coombe from the west now (Halfway House) as a result of their ongoing works. There is no access from the east (Trago) until end-April.

Other news -

  • FRA has purchased 5100m of the Draynes sanctuary stretch that they previously rented. This should protect these important sea trout breeding areas in perpetuity. They have control of over 70% of the valley now. Thanks to Chris Janes, Roger Lashbrook and Rob Williams et al….for all their efforts in improving the stretches over many years. 
  • ORVIS EXETER are now offering 10% on all fishing related items (incl clothing, waders tackle etc..) to club members in 2017. Present your 2017 season ticket to get the discount. Shop visits only – not online. Thanks to Arthur White for arranging this. 
  • We are now looking for a new website manager to keep the club website up to date. Please come and see Secretary after the meeting or get in touch if you can help. 

Finally - We need your latest email and postal address if we are going to keep in touch with you. That’s in your hands, not ours….