Angling Trust: Forums bring us all together
There is a wealth of knowledge, expertise and experience within our fishing community, but sometimes clubs, fisheries and individuals can find it hard to tap in to. That’s where our Fisheries Forums can really help. Maybe your club has issues with your stillwater fisheries that you need help with? Maybe you have concerns about the spread of invasive species on a nearby river, or need advice about fisheries enforcement issues?
Angling clubs, fisheries and ordinary anglers can all benefit by attending one of the many Forums we hold around the country to share your ideas and knowledge and tap into others. It was at a Fisheries forum in Kent that AT staff first chatted to members of the Royal Tunbridge Wells Angling Society that led to this inspiring piece about their “Monday Club” who have worked wonders on the River Medway.
A potent mix of angling knowledge!
The meetings are designed as a place for all those with a keen interest in fisheries to meet and discuss key issues. They always bring together a brilliant mix of people from different backgrounds and there is always great knowledge to share. Indeed, Fisheries Forums bridge the gap between freshwater angling’s key organisations and the individuals they work for. Whether it’s the Environment Agency, a Rivers Trust, or a Water Company, we aim to ensure that every Forum has both a useful and relevant mix of stakeholders in attendance. In few situations can such a wealth of expertise be found under one roof, making each Forum the ideal setting to raise questions and share ideas.
Our Partnership with the Environment Agency means there will always be a representatives from the local EA Fisheries Team on hand to answer questions and provide updates on the area they cover. As the ‘boots on the ground’, it’s always fascinating to hear about the projects and work made possible by fishing license income. You might see the results of a fish survey on your favourite river, or hear about how the EA is working with Rivers Trusts and other similar organisations to improve fisheries right round the country.
What can I expect at my region’s Fisheries Forum?
Fisheries Forums usually follow a simple format based on presentations and Q&A sessions. We often host debates, too, where everyone gets involved, which in the last 12 months alone have fed directly into the latest National Angling Strategy and the Coarse Fish Closed Season Consultation. By also providing a number of take-home messages for anglers to disseminate throughout their clubs and fisheries, Forums act as vehicles for positive change. The Anglers National Line Recycling Scheme (ANLRS) is just one such great idea we have had the opportunity to publicise.
Fundamentally however, Angling Trust Fisheries Forums are run with you in mind. We always welcome contributions to the agenda, with the simple goal of tailoring every meeting to the benefit of anglers in attendance. This is the strength of these events; every meeting has practical advice and useful ideas and everyone leaves with welcome knowledge, hopefully energised to take this away to help their local fishing.
If you would like to get involved, just check out our ‘Angling Trust Freshwater Regions Diary’ on your web browser for a full list of upcoming Fisheries Forums in each region. All Forums are FREE to attend and open to anyone, so we strongly encourage members to spread the word amongst their fishing friends and colleagues.
The meetings are funded through Fishing Licence Income as part of our contract work for The Environment Agency.
Want to learn more about Fisheries Forums? Contact Regions Administrator Alex Clegg on 07495 433613 or via firstname.lastname@example.org