Closed season

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cess monkey

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Reading through some old angling mag`s the other day and an article claimed that the closed season was introduced to keep the working class off the rivers during the peak of the salmon season.
Can anyone confirm this or is it just another angling myth...?
 

rsbrett

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I have read this somewhere before too, it was allegedly introduced so the 'Gentlemen' could fish the rivers with no interference from us paupers [:0]
 

Don

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This may give you the real reason for the closed season,contrary to popular myth it was coarse anglers who were the actual instigators, and I quote.........
"It was the London anglers and the Sheffield anglers who jointly agreed on fixing a fence around the breeding seasons to save gravid fish from being killed thus at least saving the eggs.

The Sheffield anglers, about 7,000 of them, wanted no dace to be taken in the months of March and April, no gudgeon, ruff, pope, pike or perch taken during March, April or May, and no barbel, carp, bream, roach, tench, rudd or bleak taken during May and June. Which was complicated to say the least. The London anglers, headed by the Piscatorial Society, simply wanted the months of April, May and June to be fenced off. Ultimately, the Londoners struck a deal with the Sheffielders and split the months of March and June, hence we have a closed season from 15th March to 15th June inclusive.

Eventually the Freshwater Fisheries Act came into being in 1878 and the very first case of fishing during a closed season was brought at Newark in 1879. The two defendants were fined five shillings (25p) each upon payment of which they were discharged. The London anglers again wanted a fish size limit to be introduced into the act, but this was opposed by the Sheffield anglers saying it was an issue that should be decided locally.

Without going into the why's and wherefore's of it all, that's how we arrived at the present closed season."

Hope this helps.
 

hookit

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Don
An interesting post out of interest nothing more where did you find this information. Is there any more info as I like reading old papers, reports and books.
 

stikflote

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yes it was introduced in parliament ,by an mp called MUNDELLA it became known as the mundella act ,and it was to enable the gentry to fish without the common people getting in the way ,all fish taken were eaten,it was not conserve fish stocks or to let fish breed
 

Skelly

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Mundella act or Close Season, call it what you will; 'angling' is better with it than without.
 

snobber

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I ask the EA about when the closed season was introduced, for what reason and by whom, here is a copy of the reply:

Coarse Fish Closed Season on Rivers

The legal basis for the statutory close seasons is to protect fisheries from the impacts of angling during the breeding season. Although the coarse fish close season may have benefits for wildlife, habitat and to other recreational users, these are incidental and close seasons cannot be imposed for these reasons.
In contrast to stillwaters, most river fisheries are in multiple ownership, with fish free to move between stretches owned by different people. Fisheries management actions taken by one owner will have an impact on the neighbouring waters; this is of particular importance with regard to spawning sites on rivers, which are often very localised.
In February 2000 the independent Salmon & Freshwater Fisheries Review considered close seasons and recommended that
Byelaws should be introduced to abolish the close season for course fish on canals and rivers except where its retention is necessary to avert serious risk of damage to fish stocks.

The Government supported the Agency's view that such a proposal should be based on sound science. While sound scientific evidence was available to support the case for removing the close season on canals, it was not available in respect of rivers. Because all river coarse fisheries have a close season, it is virtually impossible to gather the required evidence - a scientific comparison similar to that done for canals would be needed. The Agency's view is that in the absence of scientific evidence, we must take a precautionary approach towards rivers, retaining the current close season.
It should also be noted that the above recommendation resulted in a great deal of representation to Government from angling and fisheries interests opposing the removal of the close season on rivers.
I hope that this has clarified the Environment Agency's coarse fish closed season on rivers for you.
Yours faithfully

Sarah Chare

Fisheries Policy & Process Manager

Brampton Office, Bromholme Lane, Brampton, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, PE28 4NE Customer services line: 08708 506 506
Email: enquiries@environment-agency.gov.uk www.environment-agency.gov.uk

I am even more in the dark now!

Another reason I was given was that it was set up by wildfowlers to allow mallard and teale to bread so they can be shot in the autumn!

And as for fish moving on rivers they can move just as far on a canal, as they follow boats through locks.

To resolve this problem it might be a good idea to ignore the closed season completely, after all if there are enough of us fishing so called "illegally" maybe they will scr*p this ridiculous law!

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muskrat

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I seem to remember reading somewhere that the Close Season was introduced in the 19th century
and was to prevent the killing (standard practice then) of gravid female fish during breeding
so that the eggs would be laid and hatch out.

Whilst catch & kill is mostly long gone, it does make sense to retain a close season for the benefit
of the breeding fish and other wildlife / wildfowl that breed around Spring / early Summer time.
 
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