It is looking good Graham, and that is in no small part down to excellent angling sites like Fishing Magic, the recent debates on here relating tothe new Angling Trust, have helped anglers to come to an informed opinion, helped them to make an informed decision to join or opt out.
If anglers are prepared to invest just £20 for individual membership, I am of the firm opinion, they will more than get their money's worth, indeed , all things considered it is an absolute bargain!
They've got my 100% backing. If, after a reasonable period, they look like they've got it wrong, or something wrong, I'll be the first in the queue to take them to task.
Until then I'll do everything I possibly can to help them succeed.
I believe that any and all personal misgivings about certain aspects of the Trust should take second place to giving them our trust and our backing at this important and delicate time in what I hope will be an historic turn of eventsfor angling.
I've joined, too. Their greatest challenge in the first couple of years is likely to be building membership. Campaigning can take time to deliver results, so those who wait for them might have to wait some time. Better IMO to see joining as an act of (good) faith. They'll need a mass membership before they can really start motoring, and I don't mind supporting them without expecting too much in the early years.
Anyone know membership figures for the Ramblers Association, National Trust, RSPB etc.? The Countryside Alliance have around 100,000 members, BASC (for shooters) claimed 130k last week. I wonder how long ot took each of these to build their not inconsiderable membership bases?
It's just a great pity that there will be so many anglers who won't join the AT until a threat to angling becomes sucha clear and present danger.
How much better to join now and preventany threats beforethey even get off the ground.
Anglers have always been an apathetic bunch and I should be used to it by now, but I still despair every time I see evidence of it.
For Christ's sake -more important, for angling's sake - anyone hesitating to join the AT put your doubts to one side just for now and give the organisation the finance and consequently the balls to make an impact NOW, while it reaches out to the various powers that be.
Remember, we can't be worse off than we are now if it doesn't work and at least you'll know you didn't withold your money andconsequently contributed to its downfall!
After our conversation Graham I can see the sense of what you are saying and I will be acting on your guidance but I can't understand a thinking angler like my good friend Peter who offers his financial help to a number of angling related associations yet declines to help get the AT off the ground and make it work. £20 isn't a great deal to most anglers and I think Peter and like minded anglers should at least make the effort to try and make it work because one thing is for sure if no one supports it, it will fail if only for lack of finances and no one can argue that a controlling body isn't needed surely.
I shall come down for a weekend Peter and bully you into joining.
I'd like to make it clear that I don't include Peter Jacobs,or Ray Clarke, or anyone else who has posted doubts about joining the AT,in my remarks about being apathetic. They may not have seen the light regarding joining the AT but apathetic they are not.
It's those anglers who don't give a damn and have nothing to saywho are guilty of being apathetic,and that can't be said of either Peter or Ray.
Interestingly enough, if enough anglers do not join voluntarily, Angling Trust will be FORCED to look for measures ofmaking it compulsory to join, indeed they are already looking at ways to make it so, I know this goes against the grain for several well respected posters on here, so for those posters I ask, what better incentive to join while the CHOICE is still available?, indeed , if Angling Trust gets enough numbers through voluntary membership, it is quite feasible the status quo would remain, Mark Lloyd the Chief Executive of Angling Trust,has already expressed his views on here, he has made it clear hewishes membership to remaina choicefor anglers, not compulsive via a rod licence........food for thought gentlemen?
I'm a little disappointed (already made my views known to AT) in that the web site, nor the two membership packs (individual and Club) make no mention of Specialist angling/anglers
The web site gives space to: Competitions, game, sea and coarse fishing, coaching, club development, the ADB and even Fish 'O' Mania, but not one single reference is made of Specialist Angling or SA groups. Had I not been involved on the peripheral through NAFAC I would be asking whats in it for me as a SA or Specialist Group or the 10,000+ SA the SAA represented (playing the Devils advocate here)
I do know there is a Specialist anglers sub committee (headed by Mike H) and we are told that the AT site will be developed over the coming weeks but as the SAA were partners in FACT I do believe that specialist angling should have had equal 'billing' on the web site from the start.
I noticed that myself John but was holding back while the site is under construction, hoping that it will be sorted. On the other hand, if the SAAgets a mentionI wouldn't like to think that opens the door for all the single species groups to start clamouring for recognition. It has to end somewhere.
Ido hope that this kicks off and we can move forward as both a coarse and sea angler . The only reason I can't see it working will be down to those who want it to fail , then say I told you so but don't come up with any alternative.
Anger over 'green' plans to harness energy from UK rivers
Anglers have attacked plans to build hundreds of "environmentally-friendly" water mills in British rivers.
By Jasper Copping
Last Updated: 1:30AM GMT 11 Jan 2009
The small-scale hydroelectric schemes, which are subsidised by energy customers, are being introduced to help reduce carbon emissions. Several of them use old water mills and weirs to produce power for homes. Around 500 schemes are already planned across the country.
However, fishermen have warned that they will deplete stocks, by destroying biodiversity on long stretches or waterways and blocking the movement of fish.
Mark Lloyd, chief executive of the Angling Trust, which will become Britain's largest fishing organisation when it is launched on Wednesday, said: "These schemes get big subsidies to make them economically viable, but we question whether the money is being spent in the right way. The amount of power these things generate is not that great and they cause big problems."
By diverting water from rivers to drive turbines, anglers say the schemes create "dried up" stretches of river, with less habitat for fish and for invertebrates – on which fish feed – while the structures also prevent the movement of migratory species like salmon, sea trout and eels, as well as other, coarse, species like shad, barbel, roach and chub that cover large stretches of waterways.
Mr Lloyd added: "We should be trying to remove barriers from our waterways, not finding new uses for them or creating new ones. Many of the proposals being put forward at the moment generate very small amounts of energy for the level of subsidy which they attract and the amount of damage they cause to fisheries and flow regimes in rivers. We don't want to see government subsidies being used up on such schemes."
He said "fish passes", which are designed to allow fish to move safely past the mills, had only limited benefits.
Schemes require planning permission from the local authority as well as approval from the Environment Agency. However, Mr Lloyd said the interests of anglers had been overlooked by the agency in the past.
"Fisheries' interests haven't been given the recognition they deserve, given the income they generate," he added.
The perceived lack of influence is one of the reasons behind the creation of the Angling Trust, which has been formed from six angling and conservation bodies.
Senior fishery figures at the Environment Agency also have significant reservations about the hydropower mills. One said that its schemes could be "hugely damaging".
The Wildlife Trusts have also expressed concerns about the schemes. A spokeswoman said: "Hydro schemes can have significant and lasting impacts on wildlife due to disturbance during construction, direct loss of habitat and dramatic changes in physical and hydrological conditions. These developments can result in a permanent loss of freshwater and terrestrial habitats, drainage of wetlands and bogs, and subsequent loss of habitat and species diversity."
Several mills are already in operation, with others at various stages of planning or construction. The Environment Agency and their counterparts in Scotland and Northern Ireland have received around 500 applications.
There are more than 20,000 historic mill sites across the UK, many of which could be fitted with modern turbines.
Government figures suggest that if the resource is fully tapped, small-scale hydropower from the old mills and weirs could provide up to 10,000GWh per year – three per cent of the UK's electricity needs.
The energy from rivers and streams can be harnessed relatively easily using propeller-based turbines. Most individual systems would be small, probably no more than 50KW.
One of the schemes, which has been criticised by anglers, is at Settle, in North Yorkshire, where a 50KW electricity plant is being built as part of a community project. Shares in the scheme cost £1 each and the £300,000 plant will generate enough electricity for 50 homes.
The schemes receive subsidies from energy companies, ultimately paid for by customers. Some community projects also receive Government grants to get started.
David Williams, the chief executive of the British Hydropower Association, said: "We're working with the Environment Agency to make sure we can maintain flora and fauna on rivers. The main issue is to do with helping fish. There should be no fears for fishermen from hydropower."
A spokeswoman for the Environment Agency added: "We want to encourage the development of hydropower where appropriate and encourage use of the right technology while ensuring protection of the environment."