Talks on safeguarding River Severn salmon stocks

Talks have been held between Shropshire anglers and the Environment Agency to safeguard salmon stocks in the River Severn.

Salmon stock

It comes after the Environment Agency admitted it was worried about future levels of salmon stocks in Shropshire, despite 10,000 still spawning in the River Severn.

Shropshire Anglers Federation chairman Sir John Roberts said Atlantic salmon on the weir was one of Shrewsbury’s best known sights.

The autumn migration sees the fish journey up the Severn to the spawning beds in Mid Wales.

Shrewsbury & Atcham MP Daniel Kawczynski chaired a meeting last week to quash rumours that traditional salmon angling was to be banned on the river.

Sir John, who organised the meeting, said: “Legitimate rod and line salmon anglers play an important part in protecting and conserving the salmon stocks.

“They are the eyes and ears that protect the river and its fish stocks from poaching and pollution, and provide vital intelligence for the Environment Agency bailiffs.

“If they could no longer fish salmon, stocks would become extremely vulnerable to poachers and illegal anglers looking to plunder the river and make a profit.”

Charles Crundwell, of the Environment Agency, presented a report highlighting concerns about the future of salmon stocks, but stressed that they had no plans to impose a ban on anglers taking fish for the table and that their current assessment of the stock would not justify such a move.

The Environment Agency and the Severn Salmon Anglers Conservation Association have agreed to hold regular meetings to discuss the changing situation.

By David Seadon