Towy on its bones

Trout & Salmon (UK) - - LETTERS -

We have just re­turned from a week on the Towy. In the Llan­deilo area the river is noth­ing but a se­ries of dry wadis and a de­pleted shal­low main chan­nel. It is im­pos­si­ble for sal­mon to run and even at Aber­cothi the num­ber of sewin is much re­duced. Nat­u­ral Re­sources Wales (NRW) claims to be tak­ing dras­tic mea­sures to save the re­turn, run and spawn­ing of sal­mon in par­tic­u­lar, not least the com­plete ban­ning of the tak­ing of sal­mon (now from next year) by an­glers. What they are not do­ing, which is crit­i­cal to the sit­u­a­tion, is re­leas­ing wa­ter from the up­stream Bri­anne dam, if it is NRW that has this re­spon­si­bil­ity. This is es­sen­tial in such a drought year, es­pe­cially given the mount of fer­tiliser and slurry be­ing ap­plied to the ad­ja­cent lands. NRW’S at­ti­tude is noth­ing but hyp­o­crit­i­cal and clearly they have no un­der­stand­ing of what is nec­es­sary in the cur­rent con­di­tions. Cer­tainly no sal­mon could cur­rently run. I can­not see the river re­cov­er­ing this sea­son and yet, ap­par­ently, cor­a­cles are still fish­ing above Car­marthen. We saw no other an­glers on the part of the river where we were. And where are the EA in all this? Do they have an in­put? How do they jus­tify a game-fish­ing li­cence while ad­vo­cat­ing catch-and-re­lease and do­ing noth­ing to main­tain wa­ter lev­els? The EA and NRW seem to be dis­cour­ag­ing an­gling while not ac­tu­ally ban­ning it out­right. Jeremy Bloom­field, Dorset

“Cer­tainly no sal­mon could cur­rently run”

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