How do we share our rivers?


Regular member
May 18, 2020
I've been expecting this issue to raise it's head again, like it does every few years. There have been some heated discussions on a few forums over the years. The majority on both sides seem to be in the 'there's room for everyone' camp, but there are those on both sides that seem to want everything their way. I was once in a heated discussion with a guy who said that boaters/canoeists had a right to roam, granted by the Magna Carta. When we looked at the section he cited, it said something about the crown sending five knights out to inspect the disputed water, and remove any obstructions thereon. In other words if it was taken to the letter, many weirs, fish passes, locks etc would have to be removed, there was no actual reference to the rights to roam on all waters. I used to have it bookmarked but can't seem to find it now. My view was always that it depended on the stretch of water, a wide, deep stretch could accommodate both, but a narrow shallow section there would bound to be conflict. Just as boats have priority on most places with bank side mooring, then anglers should have priority over those stretches less suitable to water craft.