£50,000 fund to help angling clubs and fisheries protect waters from invasive species and diseases

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The Angling Trust and Environment Agency are delighted to announce the opening of a new round of the Angling Improvement Fund (AIF) which will target tackling biosecurity threats and invasive species management.

This funding will assist fisheries and angling clubs in protecting their waters from invasive non-native species such as the killer shrimp. Bids will also be accepted from fisheries seeking to undertake invasive species management such as removal of floating pennywort, or train a club member to safely spray giant hogweed.

Invasive non-native species present a major threat to fisheries and native fish populations. Invasive aquatic animals outcompete native fish species for food and shelter, decreasing fish numbers and detrimentally impacting on fish health. Aquatic plants overwhelm native plants, creating dense mats on the water’s surface and in the water column, which remove important habitat for young fish, decrease water quality and impede fishing access.

The funding will help clubs and fisheries deliver biosecurity improvements and implement measures that will minimise the risk of invasive species and diseases, and avoid unwanted fish deaths.

Key to this will be initiatives to encourage the angling community to follow Check, Clean, Dry measures. Funding will also include practical support such as the purchase of pressure washers to clean unhooking mats, nets and boots, as well as boot scrubbers and other alternatives.

The AIF is funded by the Environment Agency through rod licence income and provides the opportunity to reinvest this income in positive initiatives to protect and enhance angling. A total of £50,000 is available in this funding round, with a maximum of £5,000 available to fisheries and clubs to bid for with matched contributions.

Heidi Stone, Fisheries Manager, Environment Agency, said:

“The health of our fisheries is paramount and invasive non-native species are having a serious impact on fisheries across the country. There is legislation that allows us to permit certain fish but wrongly placed fish can cause real damage to our rivers and lakes.

“This is why we are reinvesting income from licence sales to support clubs and fisheries across the country to implement measures to reduce biosecurity risks. This includes invasive plant species that cause damage and reduce angling opportunities.”

Jamie Cook, CEO, Angling Trust, said:

“Anglers regularly tell us that invasive species are amongst their top concerns for threats to fisheries. I am delighted that the Environment Agency has made this fund available from rod licence income for clubs and fisheries to apply for in order that we can do our part in protecting the fisheries that we all love. I would encourage clubs and fisheries to consider applying for these grants.”

Funding will be open from Wednesday 4th August until midday Wednesday 15th September and the work will need to be completed by the end of March 2022. For more information see our Angling Improvement Fund page on the Angling Trust website.

  • The fund is unable to consider requests for
    • the removal of zander, catfish or other non-native species of predatory fish from waterways
    • routine maintenance/ upkeep services, e.g. grass cutting, routine inspections etc
    • new or replacement fish stock
    • crayfish traps
    • work already completed or pay for materials/services already purchased





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