December 2013, Annual General Meeting held 11th December.
The Secretary, Ray Lockyer, reported on the 2013 season on Society waters, progress with leases, etc, action taken in connection with the proposed tidal lagoon, action taken in connection with the campaign for unrestricted access to inland waters, etc.
The TDF Secretary, Des Williams, reported on 2013 safaris and the purchase of a new Wheely Boat.
The Treasurer, Phil Jones, gave a financial report.
For more details of any of these, contact the officers, whose details are here…
Appointments for 2013-14 are here… Dave Hooper was appointed a Life Member of the Society for tremendous service over many years.
Various changes to the Byelaws were agreed. The background to the proposals is that:
The changes are intended to:
The revised byelaws are here (PDF 46KB)…
Latest assessments by NRW (Natural Resources Wales, the successors to Environment Agency Wales) indicate that, after a few promising years, salmon stocks in the Tawe are declining and are classed as “probably at risk”. The numbers of salmon caught in the Tawe in recent years (and numbers and percentages released, in brackets), according to catch returns, are:
2012 - 65 (24, 37%)
2011 - 109 (37, 34%)
2010 - 230 (105, 46%)
2009 - 113 (45, 40%)
2008 - 195 (63, 32%)
2007 - 183 (74, 40%)
2006 - 184 (72, 39%)
2005 - 164 (50, 30%)
2004 - 155 (50, 32%)
2003 - 61 (8, 13%)
NRW have produced this chart which shows that the “conservation limit” (CL, red line) has not been met for the last two years and that the trend (black line) appears to be a decline.
A detailed explanation of “conservation limits” and the methodology involved can be seen here…
If the yellow band is wholly above the CL line, stocks are classed as “not at risk” and responsible exploitation is OK. If the CL line is within the bottom part of the yellow band , stocks are “probably not at risk” but care has to be taken. If the CL line is within the top part of the yellow band (as here, just) stocks are “probably at risk” and NRW look for options to let more fish spawn - the main options being increased catch and release or strict bag limits. If the yellow band is wholly below the CL line, stocks are “at risk” and NRW look for immediate options to stop the killing of salmon, eg through mandatory 100% catch and release (as on the Wye and Taff currently) or the closure of a fishery.
To date the catch and release rate for salmon on the Tawe has been modest, compared with other rivers. Throughout England, for example, C&R is around 75%. Feedback suggests that 2013 has not been a good year. NRW are therefore asking clubs and others who control fisheries to consider further voluntary measures to increase the number of fish that spawn, before the need for more drastic action becomes necessary.
Please exercise restraint in 2014 and practice catch and release.
The chances of survival of a released fish depend on how it has been handled. If you handle a fish properly, you can be very confident that the fish will have the greatest chance of going on to spawn. Catch and Release is one of the most effective ways in which Anglers can contribute to the future of their sport. Please follow the guidelines in this new leaflet produced by the NRW and leading angling bodies. Bear in mind that the tackle you use and the way you play the fish are as important as the way in which you release it.
2 August 2013. Proposed Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon. If you aren’t already aware of the proposed scheme from the press and publicity material pushed through your letterbox, details can be seen here…
A consultation has been running for the last month on the Preliminary Environmental Information Report (PEIR) to be seen here…
If you really want to drill down into the detail, the PEIR was preceded by an Environmental Scoping Report and and a Scoping Opinion issued by the Planning Inspectorate, the body which would decide on any application. These can be seen here… The Scoping Opinion includes (in an Annex) some interesting and useful responses by Environment Agency Wales and Countryside Council Wales (both of which have now been absorbed into the new body Natural Resources Wales).
We believe that such a scheme would devastate runs of salmon and sea trout into the Tawe. We have submitted a response to the PEIR consultation, which can be seen here (PDF 71KB)… Our response has been supported by other local clubs (on the Tawe, Neath, Afan and Ogmore), the Welsh Salmon and Trout Angling Association, the Angling Trust, Fish Legal and the Carmarthenshire Rivers Trust. The Angling Trust and its legal arm, Fish Legal, have submitted a strong response, which can be seen here (PDF 4MB)… challenging the quality and timing of the consultation, because a full environmental impact assessment has not yet been completed and scientific evidence as to the effects of the scheme is not yet available.
The developer is now carrying out detailed research into the likely effects of the scheme. If the arguments of Angling Trust / Fish Legal are accepted, there might then be a further consultation before a formal application for consent is submitted. Even if the scheme proceeds straight to the application stage, without a further consultation, there will be opportunities for us to make further representations. Watch this space!
Let us have your views by emailing the Secretary…
Our response to the PEIR is here (PDF 71KB)…
The Angling Trust / Fish Legal response is here (PDF 4MB)…
May 2013. Lower Swansea Valley Flood Scheme.
Environment Agency contractors will be carrying out major flood alleviation works between the M4 and Landore this season. There won’t be any in-river works but riverside paths could be closed for lengthy periods - mainly on the left bank looking downstream. Please observe any signs restricting access and find another safe way of getting to the water. Some future access improvements and an easy fishing platform in Morriston will be provided for us as part of the scheme. More details here… (Swansea Council website) and here… (contractor’s newsletter May 2013, PDF 769KB)
January 2013. The annual Newsletter sent to last year’s members, can be seen here…