Should we end the closed season on rivers?

GrahamM

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Which is fine if you think that all Drennan weekly winners are bent. But if not, then why stop an award scheme for angling merit (in spite of some flaws) because there are unscrupulous anglers amongst us, as there are in all walks of life.

Read Barrie Rickards article again, particularly the bit that says 'You cannot penalise the majority for the potential sins of the few. Or, to quote Thomas Jefferson: “I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education.”

As one of the 'heroes' you refer to, but an honest and several times winner of weekly Drennan awards, and runner up in 1995 for the annual trophy (which isn't bad for a bloke who got there with fish caught in the north of England)I reckon Thomas Jefferson (and Barrie Rickards) mean you shouldn't tar everybody with the same brush, or penalise everybody because there are a few who deserve it.

I'm off to France first thing in the morning for a week, so when I don't respond to any follow-ups to this message you'll know why!

And incidentally, entry to the Drennan Cup is automatic, by default, when you appear in AT with a big fish. It isn't something you have to fill in a form for. The great thing about the Drennan Cup is that the winners are judged by their peers, not by AT staff. Why should that end simply because the competition, like any competition, is open to abuse?
 
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STEVE POPE

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I must respond on this thread if only to enlighten the readers that I am the person in Barrie's article whose name he forgot.
I stand by every word I have spoken or written on this subject,and do not agree that a decision has already been taken.
With the support of the E.A, I am sure the closed season will stay in place.
The next issue of the Barbel Fisher will be out in a few weeks time and carries five pages on this topic.

Good Fishin'
 
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STEVE POPE

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And another thing,I'm not convinced at all by Barrie's article,if you are going to quote from other peoples letters or articles you must surely offer more detail rather than just cherry pick a statement that falls in line with the point you are trying to put across.
Quoting Thomas Jefferson is all well and good, but those words were spoken two hundred years ago !
I would suggest if TJ were around today in America, he might have a different point of view.
I would prefer to quote the following, "
Our fish need protection, our waterways and bankside habitat need protection, but most of all we need protection from ourselves. "
Now Barrie and some others may say that is arrogant,patronising and heaven forbid promoting the "nanny state" attitude.
But in the year 2000, I do not have the same faith in the human race that TJ had back in 1800.
It's called being realistic.

Good Fishin'
 
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Philip Inzani

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Dear oh dear. Although I do admire the people trying to desperately hold onto the close season on rivers the bottom line whether you like it or not is that it WILL be abolished, at least in its present state of a fixed period. Forget fishing and think money and business, it will go for those two reasons alone and there a?int nothing anyone is going to do to change that. Perhaps we should be focusing on what can be done once it is gone rather than fight a losing battle to try and keep it and I have yet to hear anything better than a floating period left to the discretion of the fishery controller.
 
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paul williams

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All this quoting does nothing to convince me one way or another,we need balanced facts to help decide which way to go.
Originally i was all for keeping the close season along with a lot of other passionate "rivermen" but passion can blind us to the facts and even result in rash accusasions flying about!!! so if the debate is to continue constructivly we must become less passionate and more balanced.
Steve it is no longer enough to say "fish need protecting", who do they need protecting from? also it is not of importance just to the Barbel society and plenty of anglers who don't read your mag may like to hear more, personally i am ex BS member and have no intention of purchasing the mag so the guys who are constructivly pushing for the lifting of the close season "openly" may well win over more recruits.
I used to fish a water were night fishing was banned, it was poached, fish were stolen and crops were ruined,it was opened to night fishing and the problems disapeared, is there something to be learned there?
 

Alan Roe

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Graham I am aware that it may be a little time before you get to see this response.
However I am in no way implying that the Drennan cup is bent in any way shape or form.
What I do say is that the image of an angling "hero" holding what looks to the general public like a pregnant fish does nothing for our positive image with them.
Such pictures with the grossly emotive language of the antis can construe us as being cruel.
Ultimatly it will be public opinion that will decide whether or not angling survives the anti's know this far better than we appear to.
 

GrahamM

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Okay, there was an element of misunderstanding about the Drennan Cup.

Have you seen many of the pictures of big carp? The ones that look like they've swallowed a football? Not all of these fish are pregnant. So do we ban pictures of those too, because we're afraid of what the general public might think?

We should be big enough to conduct our behaviour according to what we know is right. NOT according to what the general public might think.

We can safely assume that we know a damn sight more about the welfare of fish than do the general public and therefore we should not be dictated to by ignorance.
 

Alan Roe

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Yes I have seen the pictures of the big carp complete with boillie bellies and I am aware that these fish are not spawn laden merely gross.
I would take issue with yor sweeping statement that "we" know more about fish welfare than the general public.
Having seen on both club and public waters countless Lipless crucians and fish with scale and fin damage due to poor handling and the in appropriate use of keepnets I would venture to suggest that there is a percentage of us who know about fish welfare and a significant percentage of our brothers of the angle that either don't know or care.I would venture to suggest that these are the same brethren who leave the banks of our waterways strewn with nylon and other rubbish for others to pick up. A walk along any of the banks of some of our popular fisheries will reveal the truth about what I am saying.
The hedgerows along the banks of the Lancaster canal look like the outsite of a chippie on a Saturday night following some matches where bloodworm wrappings have been left. The River Severn from Bridgenorth down to Bewdley will also provide plenty of evidence of the "caring " approach of some of our brothers.
I am aware that we should nor regulate ourselves out of business but we are going to have to take some steps to show that we really are a bunch of caring sportsmen and women who have due and appropriate respect for our quarry and not a crowd of self-centered egotistical uncaring slobs.
My argument is and remains that we need to be aware of the image we portray and the close season debate needs to take that into account, most of us are aware that it's value may only be symbolic but it is an important symbol.
As I have said before it will be the opinon of the general public that ultimately decides whether or not angling continues. Remember how easily we lost the lead shot debate that should serve as a warning not to be complacent.
The so called might of three million adherents counted for nothing in the face of a small but vocal group.
I am utterly devoted to my sport wich I have persued most of my life and my son is following in my footsteps I want him to have the years of pleasure and joy that I have enjoyed and I do not wish to see it placed at risk for the short term gain of a few.
 

GrahamM

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My 'sweeping statement' happens to be true - we do know more about fish welfare than the general public. And no amount of quotes relating the bad habits of some 'anglers' will alter that.

I agree that we should be aware of the image we portray, but not to the point where we go against what we know is right merely to appease an ignorant and media-confused general public.

We lost the lead shot battle because we gave in too easily, and not for any other reason. Which is why I'm advocating we fight a harder battle and not give in to ill-informed public opinion
 
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Dan Wellington

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Blimey, everybodies got alot to say on this subject! Yes I agree that quoting old sayings is perhaps not the best way forward, but when these 'old' sayings are standing for perhaps what we should be believing in and for the morals that we should be teaching into the youngsters and the newcomers to our sport then yes we should be looking back for a bit of guidance or inspiration to help us get through a time when the fishing public has never been so divided and stop worrying whether we should be banning boilies or whether a fish is too heavily spawn bowned or not and trying to sort out the in-sport differences between club anglers and the carp boys, and the trout and the pike men etc, because if WE don't stand united then we don't stand at all! This may seem a romantic notion but it is a fact!
 

Alan Roe

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Hello Dan
That was why I made the point about three million adherents counting for nothing in the face of a well organised campaign. Unless we clean up our act and are able to agree some form of code of conduct which we can all get behind angling will continue to get shafted by those who wish to see it banned.
Make no mistake these people are dedicated to their revolting little cause they know that there is no point talking to us about giving up our pastime. They are aware that they have to shift public opinion in favour of their view.
These people are suberb publicists and communicators they know how to present a case and make it sound convincing despite the case being made up of twisted evidence and dodgy facts. They are also prepared to dig in for a long campaign hence the packs that were distributed around schools to poison the minds of our children.
Angling and anglers are going to have to wake up to the fact that we are at risk in the longer term.
However I suspect that complacency and sheer self centeredness on the part of many will remain unchanged for a long time to come yet.
Graham made the entirely salient point that we lost the lead shot issue because we "Did not fight hard enough" the question is given the curent state of angling politics what do we fight with??
 
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Alan Cooper

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I have always thought it a sad thing that we lost the old close season - even when I wasn't fishing around that time. It also seems a sad thing that we cannot seem to agree amongst ourselves re this debate. I think Alan Roe is absolutely right when he says that public image is of paramount concern. Graham is also right when he says that "we" know (that is - many of us! But not all!) more about fish welfare than the general public. I find find myself appalled at the litter and find it very difficult to understand why people do it. I also, quite frankly, find the pictures of meaty hands gripping huge spawnbound tench somewhat disturbing and I KNOW that it doesn't make any real difference. When we are ill we seek "expert opinion" - we go to the doctor. We desparately need to make ourselves into a respected body of expert opinion - the current diversity of this grouping and that grouping is less than productive.
 

GrahamM

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Both Alans make excellent points and there is no real argument about what they say.

But just two points to add. Alan Roe mentions 3 million anglers. Where that figure comes from I don't know for there were only just over 1 million rod licences sold last year. Does anybody think for one second that those who fish without a licence will give a damn what happens?

And the fact that we debate issues (argue) amongst ourselves shouldn't count for anything other than that it shows we care.

What matters is that when it comes to the crunch we should be able to put our petty differences behind us and fight as one.

I think we will, but that shouldn't stop us rounding up the troops ready for when that crunch comes - as it surely will.
 

Alan Roe

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The three million figure is one that is frequently bandied about in the angling media and one must assume it takes into account sea anglers ang what must be a huge proportion of license dodgers!!
Grahm I agree with you in that we have to be able to put forward a united front in the face of a common enemy. The issue is how? angling is fragmented with numerous groups all following their own agendas and often not speaking to others
beyond these groups there is a vast pool of apathy.My own soution is a new national umbrella body funded by an additional levy on the license which would be extended to cover our sea angling bretheren the cost of the license would probably have to rise to assist with the additional enforcement that would be needed (the present license is too cheap anyway).
All anglers would be then automatically members of this body which would have the funding to be professionaly run and have access to good quality legal advice.
 

GrahamM

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I'll go along with that. And as far as I'm concerned, if that would bring what you suggest about, they could double the licence fee, with concessions for seniors and kids.
 
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Alan Cooper

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And I'll second Alan's suggestion! This is EXACTLY what is needed!
 

GrahamM

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Which all goes to prove that we can reach agreement when we have to, even if we may disagree on one or two finer points.

What matters is that when push comes to shove I think anglers, the real anglers, not the casuals, will come out on top.
 
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Alan Cooper

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OK, Alan, Graham and the rest of you! For those in agreement with this idea - what is the next step? How do we take it forward? Letters to the angling press? The national press? Petition? I suppose that the detail ideas really need to be worked through first. But where do the NFA stand on this sort of notion?
 
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Carp Angler

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I'd willingly part with 40 quid for a licence if I saw that it was going to benefit angling/the environment/ kids/ the future.
But how are we going to make sure that it's not used to supplement the already dwindling budget of the EA.
Not wishing to put a dampener on this but more letters are received in the press about the licence fee being too high already, rather than it needing to rise.
 

Alan Roe

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The thing that we would need to achieve is to communicate that the additional levy would be going to fund the new body and not to the EA this would help reduce consumer resistance to the increase.
As regards taking it forward a letter proposing a meting between the current heads of the main angling organisations to discuss the proposal may be a start
 
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