Tell us what you think

We'd love to hear what you think of the 'show' so far. Our reports can be downloaded from the links in the sidebar on the right-hand side of this page, and comments can be left in this forum.


rivers been ruined

i have been fishing for 45 years .freshwater and stil.your main threat to any river is farm pollution ,increase of crayfish,and increase in gooosander cormerant and heron numbers ,i have yet to see a eviroment agent checking a river on a feeder sream from a farm ,if they follow them back to there source mbet it comes close to slurry pit or near,

Assynt Angling Group

I visit Sutherland twice every year and have hired boats to fish various lochs using the excellent Assynt Angling Group.I am arriving in a few weeks time for my 2010 visit and am very disappointed to find that the east zone lochs ie.Loch Awe,Ailsh,Veyatie etc.are now managed on behalf of the Group by the Inchnadamph Hotel.This situation is fine if you are staying in that vicinity,but if you are living in Lairg as I do, you encounter miles of travel to pick up keys,drive back the way you came to fish,drive back to the hotel to return the keys,then drive in the opposite direction to get home.
Come on Assynt Angling group.It makes sense to have a vendor in proximity to angler's accommodation and with petrol prices what they are would avoid all this traval back and forth.I know for a fact many anglers use Lairg as a base surely you can arrange for boats to be hired from a location there? My second visit is booked for later in the year lets hope something is done to resolve this situation.

Thanks - forwarded

Thanks for your comment - I've forwarded this to the specific Assynt research site as you're more likely to get a response from AAG.
Best, Adam

Young People, future research and coaching

I have just finished reading part 2 of the interim report which on the whole I found very useful in terms of identifying the key initiatives for getting young people into angling. However, the report does raise a concern which may or may not be justified.

There appears to be a lot of emphasis on encouraging those from disadvantaged backgrounds, the socially excluded or those with learning difficulties. Whilst all these initiatives are commendable and worthy causes I wonder if there is an imbalance in coaching effort. For example, if the majority of coaching work is focused on these groups (one coach quoted 90% of his work is with those who have learning difficulties) then what impact does this have for the future of the angling industry and thus the sport overall.

If there is not a drive to draw in mainstream youngsters who will generate revenue later in life for angling sectors such as tackle retailers, commercial fisheries and angling clubs then the character of the sport will change considerably from what it is today.

I acknowledge that within the Educational Approach there are the OCN, ASDAN and BTEC routes but I doubt that these have the number of students that the other groups have. I would suggest there also needs to be some effort developing the anglers of the future who will have some spending power.

So, within your next stage of research would it be possible to look at this aspect and assess the potential demographic impact of a limited focus?
Perhaps offer some solutions too.

I suspect some of the problems are:

Budgets for disadvantaged groups are more available than for ordinary groups.
Coaches are drawn toward the work, which currently lies within disadvantaged groups.
In mainstream groups there is greater competition for the youngsters interest in terms of choice of leisure pursuits.
There is a poor image of the sport that does not attract mainstream groups.

Just some thoughts.

the scope of next stage research

Thank you very much for the extensive feedback here. I think the points you raise are very important.

In response to securing the future of angling, the Angling Development Board aims to develop the sport of angling and their approach (available as the Whole Sport Plan on their website) focuses on increasing more general angling opportunities: i.e increasing number of coaches, matches, links with schools and club access- the theory is that such measures will cater for the take up of angling by young people more widely. However because our research mandate is to explore the 'Social and Community Benefits of Angling', we do not have the scope or resources to look at what works and does not in relation to the talking up of angling amongst young people- that would certainly be another research project I would love to be involved in if the resources could be found!

Our Lottery funding directs our focus towards socially excluded young people, and indeed this is a valuable part of angling's contribution which remains unpublicised when compared to other sports such as football. But while our research aim is to discover and illustrate the benefits young people get from angling rather than how to sustain angling’s future, I do believe that highlighting these benefits will make angling’s case stronger. In addition, we are also launching a young person’s questionnaire this month to explore issues such as access to clubs/fisheries, and why young people chose to go angling that may well shed light on appropriate ways to encourage long term participation.

Once again, thank you for your comments, getting feedback from members of the angling community is extremely important and it is good to know someone has taken the time to read our work.

outside of remit?

I was pleased to hear that this research project was being undertaken and took the time to give my input. It is disappointing that when it has been identified that the most important issues are of water quality and fish stocks that this is 'outside of remit' which begs the question, if the research is worth undertaking, and identifies a major issue which is 'outside of remit', now what? Is it to continue and ignore the major issue? Didn't see any mention of Otters either, which I'm sure is of major concern to many anglers.


Hi, First of all thanks for your input both in the questionnaire as well as here. As the person responsible for the project I'd just like to clarify. By 'outside of remit', we do not mean that these are not important issues, which they clearly are. We simply mean that, as researchers broadly within social science, analysing water quality and fish stocks is not within our scope of abilities. That is the preserve of fishery, biological and ecological scientists rather than us. As one fishery scientist recently put it to us 'we research the fish; you research the people'. Of course there is a need for both approaches to work more closely together, something we are looking into developing this year.

Also, we are, and have been, disseminating findings of what is important to anglers to those who are responsible for these areas of work, but for a project that is funded to understand the social and community benefits of angling, run by social researchers, the impact of angling on fish stocks and water quality is outside of what this project can deliver. Thanks. Adam Brown

Angling Participation

While some of this report may be "regarded as obvious" to those in the know it is still a very worthwhile exercise. By virtue of its very nature angling does not have a high profle and any study which attempts to get to grips with its salient features must be congratulated. It is also time that evidence was provided which can be used to illustrate decision making at a political level which is sadly lacking at the moment.The value of angling over and above the personal level is rarely explored. All power to the study .


Although I think it is important for children to be given opportunities and don't see any need for able adults to be given any form of positive discrimination. An angler is an angler whatever race/sex/nationality they are.

It all rather obvious

I did not get past the Summary of the Angling Participation report. Needs a good proof read for a start. Plus much of it is simply laughable. It`s as if a Martian was commenting. EG: Gosh. Most coarse anglers do not fish for the table. Wow. I suggest you sharpen things up before you go to fishing venues as you`re in danger of getting strong reactions.

Angling and Young People

Spot on collation of widely held views amongst anglers,maybe poicy makers and funders will take note.
perhaps the barriers faced by clubs / organisations recruiting volunteers to coach young anglers is something that can be explored. Many are bamboozled by child protection policies, crb checks (the new vetting and barring scheme), insurance, consent forms not to mention funding the list goes on and on and whilst all these things are important and should be in place when dealing with young people, it can be daunting to small clubs and organisations. Maybe some views from clubs etc?

Junior Instruction

With all the rules and regulations and paper filling now involved in teaching juniors in whatever sport I applaud all those take the time and trouble to carry out junior instruction.
I am a qualified instructor in fly fishing teaching adults, original qualification under STANIC which took two days to carry out. I then attended a few short courses under the auspicious of Game Angling Instructors Association to attain Level two status.
I shudder to think how much time it would take and at what financial cost involved in attaining a similar qualification to day, especially ADB qualifications.
I am only afraid that the numbers of those prepared to do so will be diminished by this increasingly onerous task.


I echo the sentiments. I am involved with running a busy fly tying group and the whole question of having children on board causes much debate amongst the predominantly middle aged male members. We do not/cannot exclude youngsters from wanting to join although we have no young members for some unknown reason and when the question of coaching schemes/activities comes up the members back away because of the implications of legislation etc. They also feel potentially vulnerable even at fishing shows whilst instructing youngsters as they don't know what might be seen as bad practice if getting close to or touching youngsters in the act of instruction.
We have had advice from the ADB on setting up schemes but it is quite off-putting to see what has to be done.
It is a dilemma and most anglers I know want to encourage youngsters but shy away because of the perceived difficuties that might be faced in doing it in compliance with everything.
I just wonder if it needs recognition and support from the media to raise the profile of angling in general? We know an angler will never win Sports personality of the year! Look at Anglers achievements and then see what coverage they get - next to nothing.Come third in one of the 'chosen'sports and you're a hero and get national recognition but what have our World Champions and multiple world champtions ever had?
We are seen currently as a minority sport along with many others who achieve superb results and go unnoticed - it had got to be down to media interest and coverage.
Got off soap box now!
Glyn Williams

Angling and Young People

Good results showing what everyone in angling has known for years. Young people and the community benefit in many ways from being involved in angling. We work with and coach many young people in angling and always promote good practice. The photos you have used in the summary report depicting young anglers dangling fish on the end of the line to be photographed is not a wise choice and certainly not good practice. I question the wisdom and knowledge of the photographer who could have got great photos with the angler holding the fish. If we are to encourage young anglers then we must teach good practice.

Activity in Angling

As the report makes clear because Angling covers a wide range of styles and situations it is not possible to make a generic statement about its level of intensity. Some days I sit at a peg and relax with little or no physical effort yet when I fish my local river in the Winter searching for Chub I probably walk three or four miles.
As a keen rambler I would argue that some of my fishing is just as physical as walking the fells.

Activity in angling

This impossible to quantify because comparing say carp fishing to salmon fishing is at either end of the spectrum. In carp fishing you set up your bivvy and settle in one place and in salmon fishing you wade up to your chest in icy waters and keep on the move all the time. There is no norm.

Activity in Angling

Looking a the overall comparison in activity between game, sea and coarse anglers. As one who over the years have done both, it's blindingly obvious:

The majority of coarse and sea angling involves casting out a bait at a fixed location and waiting the fish to be attracted to your bait. This is common in carp, pike, and match fishing. There is some 'roving' on rivers fishing for barbel and chub, and maybe some seafishing (plugging for bass etc) that is mobile, but I'd suggest 90% is fairly static once you've got to your location.

As for game- in the case of flyfishing and spinning, it's all mobile, even bait fishing with a worm is mobile to some degree. You can't sit down and 'covering the water' or several miles of river can improve your chances, the action of casting a fly occurs every 40 seconds or so, when river fishing, maybe every minute stillwater angling. You're in water and constantly moving. Hence- much more intense physically.

Andy R

fishing as a high intensity activity?

There's a really lively debate in the FishingMagic forum on the extent of fishing as a 'high intensity' activity...

forum comments on maggotdrowners

There's a comment thread on the Maggotdrowner's forum...

Angling Particpation

Just a point.

You incorrectly list football, cricket, rugby etc as high participation sports alongside angling.

This is incorrect. Angling is a high partcipation sport. The rest are all highly WATCHED activities.

It is very important you understand this and yet its in the first few paragraphs of your Interim Report.

I got no further.