Conservation is inextricably bound up with the working of WSTAA. Other issues concerning fishing and competitions also need the attention of the governing body.

Many moons ago the first Political act of WSTAA was a paper produced by Howard Hopkin, the first secretary of WSTAA advocating the nationalisation of all fishing rights. This was not adopted but James Griffiths, the then Welsh secretary, introduced Grant Aids to help angling clubs to purchase fishing rights.

More than a quarter of a century ago conservation and politics were blurred when WSTAA opposed the granting of netting licences ad-lib and making the point that salmon were in steep decline. Both counts were fiercely opposed by the Water Authority and WSTAA spent over £20,000 fighting it at a public enquiry. However it was a Pyrrhic victory for the Water Authority for they set up a review which proved the decline they had denied and time had added further proof.

Another water shed was when government proposed changes in the archaic law relating to freshwater fisheries and set up a review Group under Professor Linda Warren. More far sighted members and the angling fraternity saw the need to present the concerns of fishers in the best possible way. A steering group under Lord Moran earned such respect that it is being continued to consider current issues affecting England and Wales.

The establishment of the Welsh Assembly poses new problems and new opportunities. Our problem is that angling interests are spread over two departments -the Conservation Dept and the Rural Affairs Dept.

WSTAA has received warm reception from both Carwyn Jones and Mike German and has raised a number of problems affecting WSTAA’s member clubs.

It is not possible in this short summary to expand on the current issues facing anglers which include:

Bird Predation (an emotive issue for which the final analysis lies with Brussels for birds are protected by Directives – an awesome matter.

Navigation- still on going.

Water Directives.

Salmon & Trout strategies- and the need to implement the proposals wisely.

The ‘antis’ lobby.

The horror of hormones – causing sex changes in fish (and man)

Water quality.

Abandoned mines – both coal and lead.

WSTAA produces a regular NEWSLETTER and papers on recent legislation and issues. Should your club require copies of these publications , please contact the secretaria and we’ll endevour to answer.

Conservation News