Welcome to my research blog.

The concept behind this blog is to keep people informed about what I am doing in my role as a researcher for Substance’s 3-year angling research programme. The blog is designed to tell  you about where I go, who I meet, and what’s on my mind as I explore the ways by which people participate in angling.

I’ll try to keep it interesting and informative; now there’s a challenge for me!

First of all, a little about me. I’m 35 years old, Australian, and have more than 6 years experience in research, teaching and project management positions at The University of Newcastle, Australia. My areas of research and teaching have focused on tourism, outdoor recreation and leisure. In Australia, I was an occasional sea angler and enthusiastic scuba diver. Angling in Britain, however, is a different kettle of fish (if you’ll excuse the pun) – new waters, new species, new methods and new rules!

Like many people, I can still clearly recall the first fish I ever caught – a pan-sized golden perch ( ). I was about 5 years old, fishing with my father and grandfather on the banks of the Lachlan River, about 300 kilometres west of Sydney, New South Wales. My grandfather spotted a bite on the line, and handed the bending rod over to me. Excited paternal encouragement mixed with instruction rained down on my youthful ears, and somehow I steered a lovely “yellow belly” up from the river depths and onto the sand. It’s probably one of the clearest memories I have of my childhood.

I have a feeling that my work with Substance over the next few years will involve situations where other anglers share their “first fish”, or “one that got away” stories with me. Can’t wait to hear them! The retelling of stories, myths and lore associated with angling is, after all, a key part of participation...


Research Project

Hi Paul,

I am at present conducting a research project concerning the environmental and economic impacts of sport-fishing in Cornwall. this is for my final year special study project. have you got any info regarding this from the past three years as there seems to be a shortage of materials available.

As with the feature film I would also like some stats on current participation and spend in England as this would help me enourmously.

kind regards and tight lines,
Eddy Bos

Feature Film

Hi Paul,
We are going to produce a feature film called perfect bait,
I am trying to find out for my investors some statistics, Can you help,?
A, Total amount of people that fresh water fish in the uk,
B, Money generated by freshwater fishing in the uk,
And any other information regarding fishing that reflects how popular and worth investing in it is,
Hope you can help,
Leigh Took
Greenlight films Ltd,
My email is

reply to introduction

Hi Paul

Nice job.

Good luck and I hope that there are some really good outcomes that will inform those in authority about the way forward. And as the future of angling is actually in anglers' hands (both from the resource point of view and those that will be the anglers of the future) I hope that the research will be widely available.

I'm sure that there will be negativity - I'm sure people will say why is the Lottery funding such research when all they have to do is ask any angler - well here's the opportunity for those angers to contribute - i hope you get a good response.


Extent of this research


I've completed the survey but cannot establish if the survey is UK wide or restricted to England & wales.

In any event, good luck with it, hopefully it can produce some empirical outcome/s!


Extent of this research

Hi Richard,

Many thanks for taking some time to complete the angler survey.

The survey, and indeed the entire research project, focuses on angling in England and Scotland. Wales and Nothern Ireland are not the focus of our research simply because of funding limitations.

That said, in no way are we excluding anglers who live in Wales & Northern Ireland from participating in the research. Indeed, we welcome their views!

Hope this answers your question.

Paul Stolk
Angling Participation Researcher