Federation of Anglers Meeting Minutes - 30/11/2023

2 months ago

Meeting: Annual Anglers Meeting  

Date: Thursday 30th November 2023

Time: 10:00am

Location: Grafham Fishing Lodge

Attendees:  Will Kirstein, Angela Tarry, Simone Tauber, Neil Atkins, Andy Ainscough, Emma Devereaux, Hannah Mitchell, Peter Hartley, Paul Wild, John Batter, Mark Brinkman, Chris McLeod, John Clarke, Grant Gibson, John Mills, Chris Bobby, Mark Mathieson, Allan Sefton, John Wadham, Nail Armstrong, Lianne Frost, Christopher Faulkner, Gary How, Mel Parrott

 

AGENDA 

 

Introduction 

 

Matters arising from minutes of last meeting 

None 

 

Overview of the 2023 season 

No. of trout stocked:  

  • Rutland 71,000 

  • Grafham 40,000 

  • Pitsford  25,000 

  • Ravensthorpe 7018   

  • Total over 4 waters 143,018 

  

Rod Averages:  

  • Rutland  6.08 

  • Grafham  5.38 

  • Pitsford 6.3 

  • Ravensthorpe 4.7  

 

General Overview

  • 2023 permit sales and boat hires have returned to average pre covid levels. 

  • Numbers of 8 and 4 fish day permits sold continue to fall year on year with anglers choosing to switch to the sporting or senior permit option. 

  • As expected, more competitions are reducing kill limits. 

  • Trout season ticket sales this year have reduced significantly, reasons cited by anglers for not renewing their season tickets in order of priority for the anglers who responded to our survey are 

  • Disagreemnet with the ‘no kill on browns’’ policy 

  • Cost of living  

  • Grafham Dam Closure 

  • Predator and spinning for trout permit sales remain relatively stable however the introduction of a carp syndicate has proved extremely popular amongst course anglers. 

  • Game fishing remains the majority fishing type at our Parks. 

 

2024 Permit and Boat prices: 

  • This year after discussions with our fish suppliers we are expecting an 8% increase in fish prices. We plan to stock the same quantity of rainbow and brown trout as 2022/23.  

  • Our 2024 stocking policy will be available on our website shortly. 

  • Therefore a 7-8% increase in the price of season and day permits is planned. 

  • All boat hire prices are also expected to increase by 7-8% as engine hire and servicing prices have increased plus many other operating costs over the last two years. 

  • Predator day and season tickets will also increase by 7-8%. 

  • Spinning for trout will remain at Pitsford Water in July and August only.  

  • The carp syndicate at Ravensthorpe will continue.  

  • The no kill on browns rule will continue on all waters all season to sustain fish stocks. Browns will continue to be stocked in their current numbers. 

  • Season ticket holders will continue to be offered, 1 x 20% retail voucher and 1 x beginner guest ticket. 

 

Bank access  

  1. Grafham : New programme put together for Grafham regarding bank access by GWFFA, concerns over access at Sludge bank, Wyndham Way and access through rock piles. Proposal of improvements written by GWFFA to be circulated with meeting attendees. Regular bank clearance will be happening over winter, as much will be done as possible. Document has been circulated to AW as part of regular catch ups. 

  1. Pitsford : Track, Bank growth. Work parties beginning at Pitsford in January. Track closures. AW re confirmed winter track closures would remain in place to protect the condition of the access track for all user groups. This is in line with our position from previous meetings. 

  1. Rutland : Winter restrictions (no fishing on the peninsula) at Rutland are stipulated by Natural England as the site is a SSI and needs to maintain its RAMSAR status AW are not able to lessen the extent of the closure. This is in line with our position from previous meetings. 

 

Online booking 

  • Boat and ticket sales now online 

  • Bookings can still be made over the phone, payments are taken at the time of booking (cash bookings only available in lodges) 

  • Open days planned for Winter months for online booking demonstrations. Dates will be advertised on our Facebook page and in our fishing reports. 

  • Bookings can be amended online via accounts up to 32 hours before the booking start time 

  • 3 day packages & retail items also going online 

  • Bulk boat bookings for comps and clubs to go through Neil Atkins with no payment taken natkins2@anglianwater.co.uk, the booking will then be followed up for number confirmation closer to comp/club date. 

 

Stocking policy 2024 

  • Concern raised over Stocking locations at Grafham and Pitsford. Request made to add more variation to stocking during next season. AW confirmed the areas which are available stocking points and why certain areas are chosen at particular times of the year. Considerations are made around, water/air temperature, weed growth, access for stocking vehicle etc. 

  • The 2024 stocking policy will be updated on the fishery pages on the website and circulated before the 24 season begins 

 

Grafham Management 

  • Currently recruiting for a new park manager to add to staffing at Grafham, Simone and Angela will continue to support the park through 2024. 

 

Clubs 

  • Club information will be updated on the Anglian Water website following feedback that information is outdated and links are broken etc.

 

AW Website 

  • Updates to our websites and social media are underway and happening in the background. Neil Atkins is currently working with our marketing manager to ensure pages are more user friendly. 

 

Staff Shortages 

  • The parks teams are not understaffed and the staff we have the correct support for all activity on the parks. 

 

Dates for your diary 

Fisheries Open Day – 17th February at Grafham Water  

New Season Open Days 2024 

  • Rutland: 8th March 

  • Grafham: 1st March 

  • Pitsford: 24th February 

  • Ravensthorpe: 23rd February 

 

AOB 

Q. Interest in testing and information regarding shrimp numbers  

A. John Wadham is working with the wildlife trust next year to undergo further testing at Rutland Water, with potential to deliver new information and findings at next years Federation meeting. 

Talk with INVICTA taking place at Rutland regarding the changes in ecology. John Wadham will circulate time and date information to all relevant people. 

 

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