PAC and EA News Nov 2018

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Jason Skilton
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PAC and EA News Nov 2018

Post by Jason Skilton » Mon Nov 26 2018 08:03

Message from John Currie PAC14 General Secretary

Message from John Currie PAC14 General Secretary

“The Environmental Agency (EA) are having a bylaw review, and I met with the man who is tasked with sorting this out last week. Andy Martin from the EA will be travelling the country meeting with EA reps to hear their opinions on what should be changed or updated. I was very pleased to be invited along to talk about my concerns regarding Norfolk, Suffolk and Lincolnshire. My patch was represented by EA fisheries officer Steve Lane and Enforcement Officer Nick Beardmore. It was a very long meeting and some of it was held in confidence. What I can report back on is specific to the Broads. I have asked for Pike to be taken off the permitted list of fish that can be used for bait and the list of fish that can be taken away, i.e. for the table. The main reason for this is we feel we have proven that pike are in decline on the broads and for numbers to be further decimated is madness. I had the backing of local EA in this request. After an explanation to Andy of the main points of our concerns and a rundown of our tagging project and other points indicating a decline, he agreed we had enough reason to ask for a bye law to be put into place.

I also asked for a minimal tackle recommendation to be put into place as a bylaw for the Broads.This would be along the lines of what Pike Anglers Club have recommended for years.A lengthy debate followed ,Andy suggested that a recommended code of practise should be tried first .We pointed out what we have done for the last 7 years to try and educate and help beginners ,and felt enough had been tried and a bye law was needed to protect pike. Once again, we had the facts and figures at hand and Andy agreed we were justified in our request.
I was happy enough with this, but it was pointed out by the EA that the points we made were applicable to pike nationwide and not just the declining pike stocks of the broads. So, it was suggested that a national minimal tackle bye law would be worthy of debate.

These requests will be presented to Defra and further debates will follow.
We also took the opportunity to discuss warm water piking and the deaths we have seen in the broads this summer and other summers because of it.
Due to the shallow nature of the broads and a huge tourist industry we see a lot of pressure from ill prepared anglers fishing in at times dangerous conditions to pike. This further adds to the many reasons we have a declining pike population. The local EA are in full agreement that we must do something to alleviate the pressures caused by warm water piking. If this is a recommendation not to fish at certain temperatures or a full ban on summer piking in the broads will be further discussed at senior level. It has always been an interesting point that general fish stocks are very good in the Broads, yet pike are in decline. We have presented scientific papers to prove that capture of pike associated with warm water temperatures does amongst other negatives effect the long-term fertility of the pike.
We rounded up the meeting on with a request that the wording of the bylaws be brought up to date and clarified.”
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Re: PAC and EA News Nov 2018

Post by Will Smith » Mon Nov 26 2018 11:49

Well done John, I am sure that members of other pressured regions will be watching how this progresses with great interest.

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Re: PAC and EA News Nov 2018

Post by hb904460 » Mon Nov 26 2018 19:24

Be careful what you wish for.....the points that you have made could easily be misconstrued by a less knowledgeable bureaucrat as being for the abolition of pike fishing on the broads.
Rather than add complicated, unenforceable byelaws about water temperature and tackle requirements, it could be easier to impose a blanket ban.

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Re: PAC and EA News Nov 2018

Post by John Currie » Mon Nov 26 2018 20:27

what would anyone achieve imposing a blanket ban? If the EA suggested it ,then Defra would ask them to justify it.They would have to take into account the massive economic blow to the area,never good for votes.The fact that NO scientific paper exists that suggests winter piking is as dangerous to pike as warm water piking would also be an influence. The bye law manager saw the wording would be a challenge but he certainly wasn't negative about it been achievable. I agree these changes have to be enforced and EA are weak on the ground but that applies to all there bye laws.Then you should add to the mix the reaction from the fishing fraternity objecting about a bye law been passed without justification or any science evidence to back the ban.

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Re: PAC and EA News Nov 2018

Post by Happy Hayes » Tue Nov 27 2018 12:36

Well done John :thumbs:
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Re: PAC and EA News Nov 2018

Post by alan behenna » Tue Nov 27 2018 13:18

It's good to see that things in this region appear to be moving "in the right direction", at least the initial momentum is underway and let's hope something positive will eventually emerge.

Would that something like this were UK wide

However as JC has intimated, you can have "whatever" in the way of bye laws or rules in place, if the enforcement is weak overall...(and it IS)....then "paying lip service" comes to mind.

:eek:

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Re: PAC and EA News Nov 2018

Post by davelumb » Tue Nov 27 2018 13:29

I'm in the careful what you wish for camp.

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Re: PAC and EA News Nov 2018

Post by John Currie » Wed Nov 28 2018 12:17

davelumb wrote:
I'm in the careful what you wish for camp.
I understand your caution ,but we are near a time when any action will be to late.I have seen or heard of no effort by any organised group or Defra or EA to try and stop live baiting.

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Re: PAC and EA News Nov 2018

Post by davelumb » Wed Nov 28 2018 12:38

John Currie wrote:
davelumb wrote:
I'm in the careful what you wish for camp.
I understand your caution ,but we are near a time when any action will be to late.I have seen or heard of no effort by any organised group or Defra or EA to try and stop live baiting.
I wasn't thinking about livebaiting. I am more concerned by the possibility of rules intended to save Broadland pike spreading nationwide and affecting other pikers whose pike don't need the same protection.

Broadland pike fisheries are not representative of pike fisheries in general, and that what is good for protecting them might not always be necessary for other areas.

Just sayin'...

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Re: PAC and EA News Nov 2018

Post by piker60 » Wed Nov 28 2018 13:22

Good proactive discussions John :thumbs: . I personally would welcome serious consideration being given to the blanket closing of fisheries during periods of high temperature, and even the introduction of a pike season Oct-March. I recognise that this wouldn't go down too well with the lure angling fraternity. There are areas, that Dave is possibly alluding too (Lake District), where high temperatures are not always encountered, in comparison to shallow fisheries such as the broads. Perhaps this could best be considered on a region-by-region basis.
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Re: PAC and EA News Nov 2018

Post by John Currie » Wed Nov 28 2018 17:56

davelumb wrote:
John Currie wrote:
davelumb wrote:
I'm in the careful what you wish for camp.
I understand your caution ,but we are near a time when any action will be to late.I have seen or heard of no effort by any organised group or Defra or EA to try and stop live baiting.
I wasn't thinking about livebaiting. I am more concerned by the possibility of rules intended to save Broadland pike spreading nationwide and affecting other pikers whose pike don't need the same protection.

Broadland pike fisheries are not representative of pike fisheries in general, and that what is good for protecting them might not always be necessary for other areas.

Just sayin'...
That's a fair comment,and with respect I know in the past you have put a lot of effort into the same work as I do now.The EA and Defra are a different kettle of fish nowadays ,pardon the pun.They would not just pass on a blanket ban on anything or have a nationwide bye law for convenience.,everything is evidence led.The other thing to remember is these are suggestions that were met with a positive attitude but we still have various stages to get past..Some new bye laws come in in March others will have lots of work on them before clearance, possibly another year.

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Re: PAC and EA News Nov 2018

Post by davelumb » Wed Nov 28 2018 17:59

John Currie wrote:
davelumb wrote:
John Currie wrote:
davelumb wrote:
I'm in the careful what you wish for camp.
I understand your caution ,but we are near a time when any action will be to late.I have seen or heard of no effort by any organised group or Defra or EA to try and stop live baiting.
I wasn't thinking about livebaiting. I am more concerned by the possibility of rules intended to save Broadland pike spreading nationwide and affecting other pikers whose pike don't need the same protection.

Broadland pike fisheries are not representative of pike fisheries in general, and that what is good for protecting them might not always be necessary for other areas.

Just sayin'...
That's a fair comment,and with respect I know in the past you have put a lot of effort into the same work as I do now.The EA and Defra are a different kettle of fish nowadays ,pardon the pun.They would not just pass on a blanket ban on anything or have a nationwide bye law for convenience.,everything is evidence led.The other thing to remember is these are suggestions that were met with a positive attitude but we still have various stages to get past..Some new bye laws come in in March others will have lots of work on them before clearance, possibly another year.
:thumbs:

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Re: PAC and EA News Nov 2018

Post by John Currie » Wed Nov 28 2018 18:00

piker60 wrote:
Good proactive discussions John :thumbs: . I personally would welcome serious consideration being given to the blanket closing of fisheries during periods of high temperature, and even the introduction of a pike season Oct-March. I recognise that this wouldn't go down too well with the lure angling fraternity. There are areas, that Dave is possibly alluding too (Lake District), where high temperatures are not always encountered, in comparison to shallow fisheries such as the broads. Perhaps this could best be considered on a region-by-region basis.
We are seeing more private fisheries suggesting a temperature related start time for Pike and that's up to them.I honestly don't think any change will come anywhere without proof of the problems.Defra won't do anything unless you prove your case .Cheers.

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Re: PAC and EA News Nov 2018

Post by hb904460 » Thu Nov 29 2018 18:45

John Currie wrote:
what would anyone achieve imposing a blanket ban? If the EA suggested it ,then Defra would ask them to justify it.They would have to take into account the massive economic blow to the area,never good for votes.The fact that NO scientific paper exists that suggests winter piking is as dangerous to pike as warm water piking would also be an influence. The bye law manager saw the wording would be a challenge but he certainly wasn't negative about it been achievable. I agree these changes have to be enforced and EA are weak on the ground but that applies to all there bye laws.Then you should add to the mix the reaction from the fishing fraternity objecting about a bye law been passed without justification or any science evidence to back the ban.

You have justified it yourself by saying the pike stocks are in decline and you have the evidence to prove it. Surely it would be easier just to impose a blanket 5/10 year ban and monitor to see if pike stocks recovered?
No warm weather piking would cover the lengthy summer, key(monetary) holiday season when most casual "pikers" would fish. Holidays are booked in advance and with weather patterns being so unpredictable, people aren't going to book with the chance that they cannot fish, another hit for the local economy. Although this idea is entirely unenforceable. "Yes sir where is your thermometer and calibration certificate?" As we know cloud cover, stratification, wind direction and speed can have waters entirely different temperatures within a few hundred meters.
The no taking of pike again puts them on a pedestal as "special" compared to other fish. No pike as dead or live baits? If they are that in decline why fish for them at all?

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Re: PAC and EA News Nov 2018

Post by John Currie » Fri Nov 30 2018 15:24

Firstly we have asked for a number of things and had a positive response ,long way to go yet for any of the suggestions.to become bye laws
The possible summer ban would be based on agreed dates ,no need for a thermometer.
What you call special we call in decline and in need of protection.
The danger to the declining stock is far higher in the summer compared to the winter ,hence the suggestion of the ban .
The economy coming in from angling will definitely nose dive if the decline continues,the summer boat trade have lots of other species to fish for apart from pike.

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Re: PAC and EA News Nov 2018

Post by JackHunter » Fri Nov 30 2018 16:19

Good work John, I would be pleased to see summer pike fishing banned, even if it was just a bait fishing only ban then I still think it would be a massive step in the right direction.
Keep up the good work!

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Re: PAC and EA News Nov 2018

Post by hb904460 » Fri Nov 30 2018 18:51

John i admire your hard work and dedication to this cause but i believe that the vast majority of what you have suggested is unenforceable and could potentially lead to a ban on predator fishing. Words like "protection" can be very emotive and for most people they wont differentiate between "good times" and "bad times" for pike fishing. A ban is easier to enforce and less complicated for Joe Public to understand.
That is even before you consider the lack of funding/personnel at the EA trained to enforce the bye-laws we already have. And i very much doubt the AT will be able to pick up the slack.

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Re: PAC and EA News Nov 2018

Post by John Currie » Fri Nov 30 2018 21:20

hb904460 wrote:
John i admire your hard work and dedication to this cause but i believe that the vast majority of what you have suggested is unenforceable and could potentially lead to a ban on predator fishing. Words like "protection" can be very emotive and for most people they wont differentiate between "good times" and "bad times" for pike fishing. A ban is easier to enforce and less complicated for Joe Public to understand.
That is even before you consider the lack of funding/personnel at the EA trained to enforce the bye-laws we already have. And i very much doubt the AT will be able to pick up the slack.
I understand your concern,however I deal with EA regurly i know how the organisation works and i do not share your fears.We are not dealing with the public ,it's Defra and EA .I do agree the enforcment of any bye law is woeful but I think it's a mistake not to do something that is right just because it will be poorly enforced.We feel we are in a position that action needs to be taken before the situation is irreversible .The point about total ban versus summer ban as is we have 800 plus cruisers fishing in warm water conditions during the summer,plus a armada of day boat hire.A lot of these are crewed by holiday makers who have never fished for pike or have little experience and we also have holiday makers who have never fished for anything.None of this is malicious it's people holiday making some not even realising you need a licence who just have a go at fishing with cheap gear.In winter the broads looses this huge pressure .I am aware at what Defra look at when making decisions and I firmly believe they would not entertain a total ban on pike fishing with the evidence we have.Trusted and informed advisors believe the same .This could go on for a long time before any decision is made, i respect not everyone agrees with what is going on and what is proposed,and time will tell how it all,pans out.

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