Agency boost for West Devon rivers

Monday 30th May 2022 11:00 am
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Huckworthy Bridge over the River Walkham – the Envronment Agency says its funding has helped rivers and anglers in West Devon. ()

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An Environment Agency’s Fisheries Improvement Programme (known as FIP) has seen £25,853 of rod licence income invested in Devon and Cornwall projects over the last 12 months.

The projects were delivered in collaboration with local angling clubs, rivers trusts and landowners.

The funding has helped to enhance fisheries, boost fish stocks and make improvements for anglers, angling facilities and the environment.

Mike Holland, Environment Agency fisheries specialist, said: ‘Anglers often ask us about how we spend the money raised from the sale of fishing licences. The Fisheries Improvement Programme is a prime example of the wide range of activities this income pays for in order to protect and improve fish stocks and fisheries.

‘All of the projects we fund must demonstrate benefits for anglers. The Fisheries Improvement Programme allows us to identify and invest in work supporting a local, sustainable future for angling.

‘The programme is also a great demonstration of our partnership efforts, with many of the projects completed with the support of landowners, local businesses and fishing clubs – it’s a real team effort! The more people who go fishing, the more we can invest.’ Local FIP projects across Devon and Cornwall in 2021/22 included the tributaries of the River Tamar, the Rivers Deer and Claw.The Environment Agency, working with the Westcountry Rivers Trust and local angling associations, used FIP funding to carry out a range of work to improve bankside habitats and increase trout and grayling numbers in the Deer and Claw, tributaries of the River Tamar.

The work has also created refuges for these and other fish, invertebrates and mammals. Meanwhile, at Stafford Moor Fishery in Winkleigh, FIP funding was used to build an on-site permanent toilet block, improving access to facilities for less-able anglers across the fishery. And at Harper’s Lake, near Double Locks at Exeter, working with with Exeter and District Angling Club, FIP funding was used to install a new composting toilet, providing a sustainable alternative to the portaloos previously used at this remote site. Working with Plymouth and District  Coarse Angling Club we used FIP funding to refurbish four fishing pegs and upgraded steps and walkways at the club’s St Germans fishery near Saltash, providing safe access around the fishery to all users.

FIP funding has also paid for new aquatic plants and coir bank protection products which will installed to improve aquatic habitats and water quality at the clubs Filham Park fishery in Ivybridge and Cadover fishery in West Devon.     

 

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