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Partnership project urges anglers
to help protect the River Stour
The new online scheme for anglers
collects information on fish species
and health and creates a picture of
water quality and habitat condition. A
partnership project aimed at improving the state of the River Stour and its
tributaries for wildlife and people is
calling for local anglers to help it raise
the angling potential of the catchment through the development of a
new Stour Passport scheme.
T h e s c h e m e, c r e a t e d b y t h e
‘Salmon in the Stour’ partnership, is
an important tool in the ongoing conservation of the River Stour. The
ambitious Salmon in the Stour project, run in partnership between the
Environment Agency, Wildlife Trust
for Birmingham and the Black Country, Worcestershire Wildlife Trust and
Severn Rivers Trust aims to make
improvements to fish migration, habitats and water quality.
Its new Stour Passport scheme,
which is a web-based portal designed
for use by anglers in the River Stour
catchment, will collect information on
fish species distribution and their
general health, as well as creating an
overall picture of water quality and
habitat condition.
Anglers will be able to find out how
the new scheme can work for them
and learn about the progress of the
Salmon in the Stour project at an
angler engagement event on Wednesday 6 November at Sadler’s Brewhouse in Lye, Stourbridge.
Another element of the passport
scheme, which is still in its infancy, is
to open up previously unused sections of the river to anglers, and its
success will be dependent on engaging with local landowners and other
stakeholders. Dan Johnson, Programme and Partnership Technical
Specialist at the Environment
Agency, said: “The Stour catchment
can suffer from pollution and misconnection incidents, which, if reported
early on, mean we can intervene
before they become a bigger problem.
As anglers are the ‘eyes and ears’ on
the riverbank, we are hoping they will
use the passport scheme to report
pollution and environmental incidents. Such information will then be
used to improve the catchment for
everyone. Similar passport schemes
have been implemented elsewhere in
the country, and we are hoping to
build on our scheme in order to get
more people out on the riverbank,
Project staff carrying out electro-fishing.
appreciating the countryside and
catching fish! The angling community is a very important stakeholder to
the Salmon in the Stour project, and
we look forward to providing an
update at our next engagement event
on the work we have so far delivered
and how we can further improve the
recreational and angling amenity for
Tarun Ingvorsen, Senior Project
Officer for the Salmon in the Stour
project, said: “By working with
anglers in the catchment, much can
be gained mutually. This will provide
us with vital information about the
river such as access, species and
water quality information. This can be
used to really improve the ‘Forgotten
River’ for all those who use it. The
long-term aim of the Salmon in the
Stour project is to remove barriers to
fish movement, provide habitats for
threatened species, re-naturalise artificial banks, tackle the spread of invasive species, identify and address
sources of pollution, improve access
for people and celebrate the watercourses’ history and heritage.”
Fo r m o r e i n f o r m a t i o n f o l l o w
@SalmonStour and @StourPassport
on Twitter. n
Silt Pollution
Fish Legal secures substantial settlement for coarse and carp fishery blighted by
silt pollution Fish Legal has achieved a substantial out-of-court settlement for a
coarse and carp fishery member near Bristol, part of whose fishery was blighted
by discoloured water pollution from a neighbour’s land.
The discolouration – which made it less appealing to fish – has now stopped
and compensation has been paid by the neighbouring landowner for losses sustained by the fishery. The exact terms of the settlement are confidential.
The fishery owner intends to use the settlement to remove silt and carry out
other habitat work at the fishery. He also hopes to buy in professional help to promote the fishery and notify local anglers that the discolouration problem has gone
in a further effort to encourage them to return.
The Fish Legal member, who cannot be identified as part of the confidential settlement, said: “I am pleased that the discolouration problem has gone and to have
reached a settlement at last.
The discoloured silt had a huge effect on my fishery, livelihood and reputation
over a long period of time. Without Fish Legal’s help I doubt I would have felt able
to go after the landowner and stop the pollution or claim compensation.
I hope this will be an end to the troubles at the fishery, but if the discolouration
comes back at least I know Fish Legal will help me stand up to the polluter. ” n


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