Decreasing angler numbers a bad thing?

mike fox

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Remembering when I was a kid and getting into fishing, there weren't that many kids doing it. Probably half a dozen in the whole school and only half a dozen in the angling club. Its always been an older persons sport, even going back to Isaac Walton days. We are lucky these days to have so much choice and be able to spread ourselves about more. I don't see a problem with declining angler numbers at all.
 

scobo

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I don't recall it ever being a thing kids do either, most come to fly fishing later, for example for most of us a driving licence is a prerequisite, and it is generally well off the radar till after girls and beer.
Some truth in that.
I started drowning worms aged 6 and progressed to fluff chucking at 11 but that was a pretty rare thing even back then.
None of my mates were really into it apart from a couple of them tagging along for the odd day.
Most kids now are too concerned with image in this day an age of "social" media and fishing doesn't win much street cred so uptake is even lower these days.
From a purely selfish point of view, I'm quite happy to see fewer anglers on wild waters. Not that there were ever that many to begin with.
 

andygrey

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Yes, exactly that. But he has been advised to buy and has bought all sorts of makes including the white painted Sexyloop #6 teaching rod & 2 x G. Loomis rods, #6 & #7. Only to be told by a well known instructor based on the R. Ribble whom he is now under instruction, that they were no good for the job and to leave them in the boot of his car. :LOL:
Hmmm... sounds like he listened to too many people. I've never heard anyone recommend needing more than one rod for GAIC and anyone who does probably haven't done GAIC. The majority of people use a 9' 6wt of which there are obviously a large choice. As for the 'best one' but Sage XP's were a very popular choice when I did mine 10 years ago... a bit long in the tooth now but still a very suitable rod. My advice for anyone thinking about taking the qualification is find a good instructor who you like and get on with and just stick to them. You'll get plenty of advice from other well meaning people but this can simply serve to confuse.
 

sofasurfer

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Our club membership is increasing and we provide excellent fly fishing for juniors (under 21) for £50 a year. We have a lot of junior and women members.
 

Secret Angler

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"Decreasing angler numbers". Where is the evidence? We can't go by the number of rod licence sales in England and Wales because people are able to travel further and wider where they are not required and the age threshold has increased from 12 to 16. We can't go by the numbers of anglers on fisheries because there are many more fisheries available so anglers are more widely spread out. We can't go by the amount of high street tackle shops closing down because more people are buying off the internet. We can't go by the demise of clubs because many more commercial fisheries offering day tickets are available. We can't go by the decreasing numbers of competitive angling because more people prefer the less demanding pleasure fishing nowadays. We can't go by the decreasing sales of magazines and other literature because of the availability of information on the internet. We can't go by fewer manufacturers making new equipment because there is so much second hand and hand me downs being passed about. We can't go by the fewer youngsters coming into the sport because fly fishing has generally always been an older persons sport. We can't go by the lack of support for the Angling Trust and Environment Agency because most people are not interested in the politics of the sport, they just want to go fishing.
So, where is the evidence and who's got it and where did it come from?
You are assuming all these account for the apparent drop in numbers. That is highly unlikely. There is little doubt that fewer people go fishing. You have to appeal to a series improbable explanations to deny that.
 

Juneau

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Licence evasion is running at about 5% and has been for several years, so you can take the number of licences sold across the board, add 5% and you'll be somewhere close.

As far as decreasing numbers being a bad thing for angling as a whole, I'll ignore Scotland as they have different arrangements. In England and Wales a lot of fairly small scale fisheries enhancements are paid for by rod licence money. In a 10 year period in Wiltshire I spent nearly £250,000 of money gained from increases in rod licence sales due to raising the profile of angling in my area. This was all spent on fisheries projects on stillwater fisheries to improve their performance.

If angler numbers decline there will be less rod licence money available to benefit the people who pay their licence dues year on year. There was a separate budget available from Flood Defence in recognition that past practices had done harm to our rivers but that was for rivers only. Most anglers fish stillwaters and even something as simple as providing three or four platforms for disabled anglers to fish from was money well spent.
 

ohanzee

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Licence evasion is running at about 5% and has been for several years, so you can take the number of licences sold across the board, add 5% and you'll be somewhere close.

As far as decreasing numbers being a bad thing for angling as a whole, I'll ignore Scotland as they have different arrangements. In England and Wales a lot of fairly small scale fisheries enhancements are paid for by rod licence money. In a 10 year period in Wiltshire I spent nearly £250,000 of money gained from increases in rod licence sales due to raising the profile of angling in my area. This was all spent on fisheries projects on stillwater fisheries to improve their performance.

If angler numbers decline there will be less rod licence money available to benefit the people who pay their licence dues year on year. There was a separate budget available from Flood Defence in recognition that past practices had done harm to our rivers but that was for rivers only. Most anglers fish stillwaters and even something as simple as providing three or four platforms for disabled anglers to fish from was money well spent.
I'm curious why rod licence money is given to private businesses? surely they would be building things like platforms as part of their own running and to profit from?
 

mike fox

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As far as decreasing numbers being a bad thing for angling as a whole, I'll ignore Scotland as they have different arrangements. In England and Wales a lot of fairly small scale fisheries enhancements are paid for by rod licence money. In a 10 year period in Wiltshire I spent nearly £250,000 of money gained from increases in rod licence sales due to raising the profile of angling in my area. This was all spent on fisheries projects on stillwater fisheries to improve their performance.
I received £40,000 within a 2 year period.
 

Secret Angler

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Freshwater stats only. Still not evidence of "decreasing angler numbers".
Er, it is evidence, and quite good evidence, unless you believe we have turned into a nation of licence evaders, or all moved to Scotland, or all taken up sea fishing instead. All of which are highly unlikely.
 

rabmax

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There has been a big drop in all the Scottish Rivers i fish.The only river i fish where i can bump into the odd person is the Clyde.Some of my most local clubs have only maybe 15 members.Go back 25-30 years some of these clubs had 300-400 members.Some clubs used to have a waiting list you could be on for years.Don't think there will be many waiting lists in Scotland now.Think it's gotten even worse in recent years with the lack of Salmon.There is still loads of fishing clubs round about me.But they all have very few member.Surprised half of them haven't folded yet.Seems some clubs in England are bucking the trend i see.
 

Juneau

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I'm curious why rod licence money is given to private businesses? surely they would be building things like platforms as part of their own running and to profit from?
These were angling clubs based in a large town. The various lakes were owned by the local Council which in many cases came up with matched funding, especially for the larger projects. Stillwater trout and coarse fisheries privately owned were not supported in this way.
 

mike fox

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Taken from a recent EA & AT angling strategy document and from the same year as the above Anglers Mail report. So again I ask the question. Where does all this evidence come from and who should we believe?

"Did you know that millions of people go fishing each year? Angling is the 6th biggest sport measured by once per month participation; anyone can do it, at any age, with any ability and in lots of places. In fact, up to four million people have gone fishing in the past two years but many more are interested in taking it up; the sport generates £3.5billion a year for the economy and employs 37,000 people. But did you also know that angling has something else a bit special? Angling is used as a tool up and down the country to improve educational attainment, improve physical and mental health, restore degraded water environments, reduce crime and anti social behaviour and improve personal esteem and effectiveness. It is a gateway to accessing, learning and caring about the natural environment. Now do you want to be part of it?"
 

codyarrow

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The decline in the number of anglers is obvious, not worth debating IMO. We have virtually no juniors on the river; and at 50 years of age I am one of the youngsters. There is a cottage I can see from the kitchen window that 15 years ago during the season was almost fully booked with anglers during the season; now they get maybe 4 weeks angling booking per season. Part of this could be put down to the decline of Watten but the locals are not buying permits either; and the club meetings are changing rules to facilitate the lack of attendance at meetings.
I have my doubts whether the association on the river will be viable in 10 -15 years time. So that's one negative. The bigger one will be if angling participation continues falling at present rates the anti brigade will have a far easier target without our collective voting presence.
 

mike fox

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That puts a different perspective on it, perhaps other 'sports' are seeing a similar decline, the great Facebook addiction leaves no one untouched.
"In fact, up to four million people have gone fishing in the past two years"
But if only 900,000 rod licences have been sold per year, over 1,100,000 per year are fishing without a rod licence.....or Sea fishing????
 
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