England close season for coarse fishing stays as is

Posted on August 21, 2019

England close season for coarse fishing stays as is

Following a review of evidence and a consultation earlier this year, the EA in England have decided to retain the existing dates for the coarse fishing close season, i.e. a close season on rivers and some canals and stillwaters from 15 March to 15 June. Their decision is explained here.

WTT are pleased with this outcome as we felt that, whilst not perfect, this close season period is practical and protects most species, most of the time. We believe that spawning coarse fish (especially in the light of predicted climate change and likely earlier shifting spawning times) need some protection as do salmonids (juveniles and adults) that are feeding hard as the river wakes up and are vulnerable to capture and mortality from bait fishing. We also argued that for the many mixed fisheries, the fly anglers should have some period on their own on the bank, early in the fly fishing season. You can view our response to the consultation here.

Nick Lawrence joins the WTT

Posted on August 12, 2019

Nick Lawrence joins the WTT

Our new Conservation Officer for the south & south-west, Nick Lawrence, starts today, 12 August 2019. Welcome Nick! 

Nick will be working out of his home base near Andover, Hampshire. He’ll be out and about from day 1, but if you’d like to contact him, call Nick on 07733 336385 or

Nick is a graduate in fishery management from Sparsholt and went on to work in river restoration, the fishing tackle trade and, for the last 14 years, as a fishery consultant, guide and riverkeeper, bringing to WTT this wealth of practical experience. Nick is also a passionate and highly competent wild trout fisher, so he’s perfectly-equipped to talk to WTT’s core stakeholders, offer his experience and expertise and carry out river habitat improvement projects.

Pink salmon update

Posted on July 31, 2019

Pink salmon update

In 2019 to date, there have been 7 recorded incidences of pink salmon across the UK and the Republic of Ireland (1 in Ireland, 1 in Wales, 3 in Scotland and 2 in a T-net set off the Northumbrian coast). It is anticipated that more pink salmon will be observed over the coming weeks and fisheries managers, anglers and netsmen are requested to remain vigilant particularly if fishing in the lower reaches of our river systems.

Details of what to do if you catch or find a pink salmon are in this document.

High water temperatures and trout

Posted on July 30, 2019

It is that time of year when, on some rivers and lakes, a combination low water levels plus hot sunshine means high water temperatures and low oxygen levels. Once the water temperature reaches 20 – 21C, our native brown trout start to struggle and even best practice catch and release can result in unintended mortality. Take the temperature of the water before you fish and if it is at or around 20C, it is better not to fish. If you would like to know more about the effect of temperature on trout and salmon, click here.  Thank you Wynn Davies (aka Torgoch) for reminding us about this paper.  

Welsh Govt Approves All-Wales Rod & Net Fishery Byelaws

Posted on July 22, 2019

Following a Planning Inspectorate Inquiry, Welsh Government has announced approval of rod and net fishing byelaws proposed by NRW. That announcement and the Inspector’s Report is available here.

The measures, to be implemented from 1 January 2020 include mandatory C&R of salmon, with some measures specific to sewin. However, we are fearful of displaced pressure on sewin, whose populations in Wales appear to be in an unprecedented, parlous state

Urban river warriors: Stand by for the Trout in the Town Urban Conclave

Posted on July 09, 2019

Urban river warriors: Stand by for the Trout in the Town Urban Conclave

We’re delighted to announce that the Wild Trout Trust’s next Urban River Conclave will be held in Stalybridge, Manchester, on the weekend of 28 – 29 September 2019, in association with the Mersey Rivers Trust.

The event will include the launch of the new Trout in the Town Urban River Toolkit, and a range of inspiring speakers. There’ll be plenty of time to mix with fellow urban river menders, as well as opportunities to explore the local River Tame (reputedly one of the most microplastic-polluted rivers in the world) and sample some nearby urban fishing.

We also hope to be able to offer bursaries to help with the costs of accommodation and travel.

Wild Trout Trust Conservation Awards 2019

Posted on June 23, 2019

Wild Trout Trust Conservation Awards 2019

Applications are open for rivers trusts, angling clubs, other conservation groups and government agencies to apply to the Wild Trout Trust Conservation Awards 2019, seeking to recognise and encourage excellence in wild trout habitat management and conservation. There are two Awards:

  • Outstanding Habitat Improvement Project: we’ll consider practical, in-river projects of all sizes, looking for the very best one producing benefits for the river, its environs, wild trout and for people. Projects could be multiple-benefit, river restoration-type work or single elements such as a weir removal, delivered by government agencies, river or wildlife trusts, local angling clubs or a partnership team.
  • Outstanding Contribution to Wild Trout Conservation: we’ll consider smaller-scale habitat improvement projects for this category but we’re also keen to hear of other work that’s good for wild trout. For example, how an angling club has changed the management of its fisheries and anglers, perhaps reducing or stopping stocking and encouraging catch-and-release.

There’s more information and a simple application form here with a deadline for applications of 31 July 2019. Short-listed applicants will be interviewed by phone later in the summer, ahead of an Awards event in London on 16 October 2019.

We’re also looking for one person as our 2019 trout super-hero, someone who’s gone that bit further for wild trout conservation: the Wild Trout Hero (for professionals such as riverkeepers or fishery scientists) or the Bernard Venables Award winner for those working in a voluntary capacity. E-mail your super-hero nomination to Shaun Leonard of WTT at, before 31 July 2019.

Sea trout stocks at their worst ever levels in Wales

Posted on June 17, 2019

Sea trout stocks at their worst ever levels in Wales

National Resources Wales have warned that sea trout and salmon stocks are at their worst levels on record and there is a trend of ongoing decline. Some angling clubs in Wales are responding by encouraging catch and release to preserve stocks as ‘every spawning fish matters’.

The full announcement from NRW is below. You can download the reports for sea trout and salmon here: sea trout; salmon.

New Catch and Release page on the WTT website

Posted on June 16, 2019

New Catch and Release page on the WTT website

We have a new page on the website covering catch and release. The page includes a quick guide to catch and release and much more detail on topics such as appropriate tackle, how to land and handle fish to minimise damage, the effect of water temperature and the impact of catch and release on fish populations.

The Catch and Release page is in the ‘About Trout’ section of the website, which is packed with information about brown, ferox and sea trout as well as arctic charr and grayling, over 100 bite sized trout facts and some suggestions about how to get started on wild trout fishing. Plenty to read and enjoy!

Chalk stream water crisis

Posted on June 07, 2019

Hard to believe on this wet Friday that many of our rivers in south east and eastern England are facing a massive water shortage crisis, but it’s absolutely true. The EA’s April 2019 Water Situation Report makes exactly this point, reinforced by what many conservation groups are seeing on the ground, and indicates that the situation may well not improve into the autumn and even maybe spring 2020. A dossier produced by a group of NGOs, including WTT, informs a piece in today’s Times, including a call for action from government; read the tragic tale HERE.

We, and our invaluable chalk streams, are running out of water.

Volunteers needed to control mink in the upper Test and Itchen

Posted on June 04, 2019

Volunteers needed to control mink in the upper Test and Itchen

Do you live near the upper Test or Itchen? Would you like to volunteer to help control mink?

The National Lottery funded Watercress and Winterbournes project is looking for volunteers to help control mink in the Pillhill Brook, the Upper Anton, Bourne Rivulet, Upper Test, Candover Brook, River Arle and Cheriton Stream. The project is a partnership led by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.

Full training will be given to volunteers.

WTT Members-Only Trout Fishing Weekend at Haddon Hall

Posted on May 28, 2019

WTT Members-Only Trout Fishing Weekend at Haddon Hall

WTT’s trout fishing weekend in Derbyshire is booked for 20 & 21 July 2019, courtesy of the Haddon Estate and its Peacock Fly Fishing Club.

Exclusively available to WTT members and their guests, you’ll get the chance to fish for wild browns, rainbows and grayling on the Wye, Lathkill, Derwent and Bradford, with top local advice to point the way and a free barbeque each day with the riverkeeper. All this for just £50 per rod per day (all of which goes to WTT).

There’s more: you could join WTT’s Gareth Pedley and other rods for an Indian supper on the Saturday evening (you pay your own way), followed by a nocturnal meeting on the river with Stuart Crofts (weather permitting), to sample and talk bugs, especially his beloved sedges. If you’re keen to join us, please contact Christina in the WTT office via or on 023 9257 0985, indicating which day(s) you’d like to fish and whether you’ll join the barbeque, Indian supper and meet with Stuart Crofts. Deadline for bookings is Thursday 11 July 2019.

A tale of two fences

Posted on May 27, 2019

A tale of two fences

This amazing photo (on the Usk, May 2019) illustrates the potential for harm to our rivers from livestock grazing. The bank in the left hand half of the photo has long-since been properly fenced and is stable, protected by vegetation. The bank to the right of the big tree is now fenced but not before sheep have grazed it hard, leading to large-scale erosion and stopping any natural restabilisation.