Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Hope some of you can see the logic behind some of this nonsence below.   Beats me who comes up with this stuff,unless of course its the same old EA staff who have managed our river for the past twety years and mostly stood back and watched it happen.   Its a little sticking plaster over a gaping wound that is not caused by the angler.

Seems all your stock of treble flies and hooks are now defunct.  If they stopped us fishing altogether it would make no difference.   We need another twenty years and 14 mi,llions pounds and still we will be standing still under the present management.
Technical case supporting a
public consultation on proposals
for new fishing controls to
protect salmon and sea trout
stocks in Wales.

This technical document sets out the case for amendment of fishing controls to protect
stocks of salmon and sea trout in Welsh rivers, and presents the concluding proposals
for new byelaws to regulate fishing and the keeping of captured fish.
The technical case describes:-
a. The application for a renewed ‘all Wales’ 2017 Net Limitation Order
b. Proposals for new net and rod fishing byelaws across the whole of Wales (with
the exception of the cross-border rivers dee, Severn and Wye)
c. Proposals for new ‘Cross Borders (Wales) Byelaws’ to address matters in those
three rivers.
The NLO (‘a’ above) and the Wales net and rod byelaws (‘b’ above) are both being
progressed now with the NLO advertisement and the byelaw consultation being
launched simultaneously. The border rivers byelaws (‘c’ above) will be launched later
in the year.
It is the intention to seek agreement and approval by Welsh Government (‘a’ and ‘b’)
and, in due course, Welsh Government and DEFRA (‘c’ above) to implement new
measures prior to the 2018 fishing seasons.
There has been considerable investment in the science of salmon stock management
throughout the countries where they exist. This is a result of the iconic nature of the
Atlantic salmon and its extraordinary life cycle and requirements for high quality
environmental conditions. But it is also because of the high value placed upon them
for recreational purposes and as a sought-after food item.
Pressures on the salmon resource in England and Wales led to a Ministerial Direction
in 1998 requiring the development of a scientific basis for their management and the
production of Salmon Action Plans for 62 rivers designated as ‘principal salmon rivers’
and one estuary.

In Wales the sewin, or sea trout has a similar reputation and traditions. Its life cycle is
very similar to that of salmon and in many of our rivers it is the primary migratory
salmonid. However evidence for management of the species is constrained by its life
cycle, which is inter-twined with the non-migratory brown trout in most rivers. This
makes management on the basis of biological reference points challenging, however
NRW has developed and is commending a new methodology to do this on our 33 main
sea trout rivers.
Natural Resources Wales is now seeking views on its proposals to reduce the
exploitation of salmon and sea trout in the rod and net fisheries in Wales.
This follows our review of evidence of stock status derived from catch statistics, and
the emerging concerns of the status of juvenile fish populations across Wales.
The proposals would, if confirmed and implemented, see byelaws requiring statutory
catch-and-release (C&R) fishing for salmon and some sea trout stocks, by rods and
nets across most of Wales. We are also proposing byelaws to ensure that angling
methods used are commensurate with the highest rate of survival after release. Finally
we are proposing amendments to net fishing seasons to protect important stock
components of sea trout whilst also saving more salmon.
Our overall objective for salmon and sea trout is:-
“To protect, through the application of best-practice science and
management, the sustainability of our natural resource of wild salmon
and sea trout stocks in Wales.”
This paper sets out the technical case for our proposals by describing the status of
stocks across Wales and considering issues around the exploitation of salmon and
sea trout and the options to reduce this.
Over the past 20 years or so the status of most of our stocks of migratory salmonids
has declined. Catches have reduced and the uptake of fishing has generally mirrored
this. There is a complicated range of factors that has contributed to this, including the
survival of fish at sea, the pressures on freshwater habitats, and past unsustainable
fishing effort in high seas and other interceptory fisheries including some fisheries in
home waters. Where feasible some of these pressures have been addressed or
removed, however with few exceptions stocks have not returned to levels of historical
Although it seems clear that no stocks are at risk of extirpation, it is also clear that rebuilding
to a position of sustainability is essential if exploitation is to be allowed. Our
position is that stocks may be exploited when they are sustainable but until they are
we must ensure that pressures are moderated or excluded in order to achieve this
Salmon is a species listed under Annex 2 of the EC Habitats Directive and currently
supports the designation of 6 Natura 2000 sites across Wales. Both salmon and sea
trout are listed as UK BAP (Biodiversity Action Plan) priority species. Both are
therefore regarded as most threatened and requiring conservation action.

Under the Environment (Wales) Act 2016, there is a duty on public authorities to:-
“seek to maintain and enhance biodiversity so far as it is consistent with
the proper exercise of those functions. In so doing, public authorities
must also seek to ‘promote the resilience of ecosystems’”.
Both species are included in the list of the living organisms of principal importance for
the purpose of maintaining and enhancing biodiversity in relation to Wales.
We have considered 3 principal sources of evidence in concluding our preferred option
for management change:-
The most recent assessment of our stocks indicates that compliance with
conservation limits and management targets across the whole of Wales is very
20 of our 23 principal salmon rivers are either ‘At Risk’ or ‘Probably at Risk’ of
failing to achieve their management objectives in 5 years’ time. All but 2 of these
are continuing to decline.
The only exceptions to this are the rivers Wye, Usk and Severn but only the
Wye has a near statistically significant trend of improvement.
The status of salmon in 4 of the 6 Natura 2000 sites is unfavourable.
Sea trout
Management of sea trout stocks has been constrained due to the lack of a
system based on biological reference points. Such a system has been used for
the management of salmon stocks for many years. NRW has now developed a
similar process for sea trout, and this is described here together with the results.
21 of our 33 main sea trout rivers are ‘At Risk’ or ‘Probably at Risk’ of failing to
achieve their management targets. In many cases there are significant egg
Juvenile Salmonids
The results of recent monitoring programmes for juvenile salmonids have given
rise to very serious concern. Following the exceptionally wet and warm winter
of 2015/2016 there was a broad-scale reduction across most of Wales in the
numbers of 0+ fry in the majority of rivers, including near-absence in some.
This will result in shortfalls in adult salmon runs, and possibly some sea trout,
in coming years, mainly in 2019 – 2020. We have also considered this and the
general status of juvenile salmonids in concluding our options for managemen
It is important to note that there is inevitable uncertainty around the predictions of both
stock assessment assessments and caution is needed in triggering management
control. However by whatever measure, the current status of most of our salmon
stocks, and some of our sea trout stocks, gives increasing serious cause for concern.
Having considered the available evidence, and applied the National decision structure
for salmon stock management and the complementary approach for sea trout stock
management, it is concluded that further reduction towards zero exploitation of fish is
urgently required in most of our rivers.
The key sections of this document that have shaped our proposals are Chapters 5, 6,
7 and 8.
We have considered the following options:-
1. do nothing further, continuing to manage fisheries as we do now - this will not
achieve the required reduction in exploitation,
2. reduce exploitation by nets and rods through a combination of:
byelaw controls on rods and nets
and / or
fishing method control by voluntary catch-and-release fishing
Despite good uptake of this by most anglers in many rivers, it is clear that the
urgently required reduction in exploitation is not evident,
3. a ‘zero kill’ policy for salmon and some identified sea trout stocks through
statutory catch-and-release fishing with appropriate restrictions on fishing
methods – regulation of exploitation through new byelaws,
4. closure of specified net and rod fisheries - this would result in negative socioeconomic
We conclude that Option 3 is required and propose the following measures for
a 10 year period.
Salmon Rod fisheries
A. ‘All rivers in Wales byelaws’
Statutory C&R fishing at all times in all rivers in Wales
Method controls imposing prohibition on:-
bait (worm, prawn and shrimp)
treble hooks
barbed hooks (barbless acceptable)

Exceptions: The three cross-border rivers.
B. ‘Border rivers byelaws’
Statutory C&R fishing at all times on 2 of the 3 cross-border rivers
Wye no change to existing statutory C&R measures
(expiring on 31.12.21)
new method control prohibitions (to expire on
Severn no new byelaws proposed (currently ‘Probably Not
At Risk’). The Environment Agency takes integrated
lead for fisheries matters. The river falls within EA
planning under their “5 Point Approach
Dee statutory C&R fishing at all times
new method control prohibitions
Method controls prohibition on:-
bait (worm, prawn and shrimp)
treble hooks
barbed hooks (barbless acceptable)
Note: NRW is working with the Environment Agency on the technical case
and rod fishing byelaws for the Wye and Dee (“Border Rivers byelaws”).
Salmon Net fisheries
 Statutory C&R fishing at all times in all fisheries.
 Revised start and finish dates for seasons (see sea trout measures).
Exception: Wye (Blackrock heritage lave net fishery).
The supporting stock is ‘Probably Not At Risk’. Fishery
catch capped at <2 salmon per licence under terms of a
Sea Trout Rod fisheries
A. ‘All rivers in Wales byelaws’.
Statutory C&R fishing in rivers in the period when net fishing is also
Method controls imposing prohibition on :-
bait fishing before 1st May (targeted rivers)
treble hooks (all rivers)
barbed hooks (barb-removed acceptable)(all rivers)

Method control: single hook (<8mm gape) only for bait fishing
Slot length - 60cm (the maximum length of fish that may be retained)
B. ‘Border rivers byelaws’.
Wye No change to existing statutory C&R measures
(expiring on 31.12.21)
New method control prohibitions (to expire on
Severn no new byelaws proposed. The Environment
Agency takes integrated lead for fisheries matters.
Dee New method control prohibitions.
Method controls prohibition (Wye and Dee) on:-
treble hooks
barbed hooks (barb-removed acceptable)
Method control: single hook (<8mm gape) only for bait fishing
Slot length of 60cm (all larger fish to be returned).
Note: NRW is working with the Environment Agency on the technical case
and rod fishing byelaws for the Wye and Dee (“Border Rivers byelaws”).
Sea Trout Net fisheries
 Single consistent start of net fishing season in Wales on 1st May (delaying
start by 1 month on:-
Nevern, Teifi, Dyfi and by 2 months on the Tywi and Taf).
Other rivers to retain existing start-date of 1st May.
 Single consistent end date to net fishing season in Wales (bringing forward
end date to 31 July on:-
Cleddau, Nevern, Teifi, Conwy, Dyfi, Dysinni, Mawddach).
Other rivers to retain existing end-date of 31st July.
5. Proposed new NLO
A renewed NLO is important in order to regulate the number of net fishing
licences issued for fishing in the public net fisheries around the Welsh coastline
and estuaries
We are advertising a new NLO to maintain the existing cap on the numbers of
licences available. We are doing this as our proposals for new byelaws will
facilitate regulation of netting activity and catches.
Our proposals
We are proposing to seek confirmation of a new NLO and new byelaws for a
period of ten years for rod and net fishing in Wales. Separately we will consult
on and seek confirmation of new rod fishing byelaws for the border rivers Dee
and Wye.
Your response
We would like your views on our proposals and invite you to submit these using
the form designed for the purpose which is available on our website here:
Respondents on matters for the rivers Wye and Dee should note carefully where
representations for either Wales or England are to be sent

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