Changes to the Wye and Usk Passport Voucher Scheme

The Wye and Usk Foundation have announced changes to their voucher based wild trout fishing. In his recent newsletter, Stephen Marsh ‑Smith outlined the reasons for the change:

The Roving Voucher scheme was something we pioneered in the late 90’s to make more wild trout fishing available and at the same time provide an incentive for the farmers who own these stretches to look after and value them. In the early days we received project funding to expand the scheme as it brought visitors to the area. It enjoyed considerable early success and has been replicated across many other parts of England and Wales.

However, since 2009, there has been a decline in its popularity, with anglers opting to fish our larger beats and stretches via the booking office and visiting other parts of the country. It is a time consuming, high mileage and expensive system to run, given the modest income and we faced harsh choices in deciding what to do next to avoid serious losses. Our options were limited: Either we closed the scheme entirely or significantly increased charges, such that it would become uncompetitive with other subsidised schemes or our own Booking Office. We set about the third option: changing the system in a way that secured revenue and covered the costs but enabled the essential spirit of wild fishing to continue. We always wanted to keep the Wild Fishing element.

There are a number of points which we hope clarifies how the plan will operate:

· There is no proposed increase in the cost of the fishing for 2013 (there hasn’t been a rise for some time)

· The scheme aims to cater both for occasional fishers and regulars with either the booking facility or the season ticket. You don’t have to have both

· The amount of available fishing and the low level of usage ensures that the Wild Fishing will remain just that – wild. We will work to increase the overall number of Wild Stream beats next year and beats that are taken on will be immediately available to you, rather than having to wait for the 2014 Passport brochure.

· We want the scheme to continue and ask that it does no more than cover its costs.

More details are available of the Wye and Usk Foundation website click here  and page down to the 7th December update .