Fishing from Grafham Dam Suspended and under threat !

aenoon

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Have fished a medium sized loch, approx 100 acres, for the last 40 odd years.
If I want to bank fish, which I do to the exclusion of boat fishing, I then have to fish one bank, the northern bank.
Is a public footpath on the north side of this loch, often within a few feet of the water.
Wading is allowed, but you can only get out a couple of yards in most places.
Now this is no quiet out of the road place, is very, very busy.
I am always, always aware of people on the footpath, I dont even attempt an overhead cast till its all clear.
Indeed, I have never ever heard of any one being lined, or hooked on said footpath.

If it did happen, it would be my fault, and my fault alone.
Perhaps that is the attitude going forward here.
Make the anglers aware of said blame if it occured, and work with the Grafham management to highlight the situation.
 

bonefishblues

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Whilst I completely agree with you, I guess the point of the thread is that it might be cheaper to get rid of the anglers than re route the paths?
Does anyone know what they make from angling tickets per year? A lot less than it would cost for contractors to remodel the pathways, I bet. :(
If it is contained within the term 'bioresources' income then about 160k in the last full year.

Slow night...
 

Fuffa

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I've just been informed that as of 29th November there will be "No Fishing" from Grafham Dam.

It seems a "walker" was caught in the face by an angler, so fishing will be suspended from the Dam - Anglian Water are asking for anglers comments by 20th December after which a statement will be made. ( I don't know if the person was actually hooked or just caught with the line)


It's unfortunate and there are signs up everywhere warning the public of the dangers of "Back casting" when crossing the Dam, so in my opinion they should take some responsibility but with the amount of runners, cyclists etc.... who just rush along the dam wall ( usually trying to beat their best time !) not caring about anything or anyone it was probably inevitable something like this would happen.

My worry is that this "incident" could have serious repercussions, firstly it could have easily happened anywhere on the bank at Grafham Water (or any of the other reservoirs for that matter) , does this mean that fishing Rutland Dam is under threat ?? or even bank fishing in general ?

I'm concerned as Anglian Water really don't care about anglers now........we are an inconvenience they would rather do without so it may be just the excuse they need.
One can still fish from boats into the dam? They should reduce hire charge perhaps to compensate.
 

JoeOh

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One can still fish from boats into the dam? They should reduce hire charge perhaps to compensate.

I pay £15.00/£17.00 for single person boat hire at Rutland. Any cheaper, I fear the boats won't be available....
Chatting to a Bailiff at Rutland this morning, he wouldn't be drawn into an opinion, but we both agreed that the dam walls at Grafham and Rutland are visitor view-point attractions. I am not sure how a compromise can be gained here. Fast moving sharpened projectiles crossing what now has become public paths is always a risk.
Perhaps the " Bewl Water" model might have to be adopted.
I am unsure that AWA will allow any risk to other Water Park users to accommodate anglers, who have the rest of the reservoir to utilise.
Nice and tranquil on the bank this morning, one nice fish only and I see my season ending soon.Good Autumnal ending....
 

Fuffa

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I pay £15.00/£17.00 for single person boat hire at Rutland. Any cheaper, I fear the boats won't be available....
Chatting to a Bailiff at Rutland this morning, he wouldn't be drawn into an opinion, but we both agreed that the dam walls at Grafham and Rutland are visitor view-point attractions. I am not sure how a compromise can be gained here. Fast moving sharpened projectiles crossing what now has become public paths is always a risk.
Perhaps the " Bewl Water" model might have to be adopted.
I am unsure that AWA will allow any risk to other Water Park users to accommodate anglers, who have the rest of the reservoir to utilise.
Nice and tranquil on the bank this morning, one nice fish only and I see my season ending soon.Good Autumnal ending....
Hmmm....thinks....from the lower path that has been mentioned...build up steps with "containing" rails to some kind of viewing cabin on top of the dam...bullet proof glass of course....?
 

richardgw

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Talking about this sort of issue, do fly fishers have public liability insurance in case injury is caused to the public (or fellow anglers), and does such a thing exist?
Yes.

Many house contents insurance includes Personal liability cover for the insured person as a member of the public both in and away from the home. There will be some excluded activities, but my policy doesn’t exclude sporting activities such as fishing so by definition it is covered.

Negligence has been defined as:

The failure to do something that a reasonable and prudent man guided upon those considerations that conduct human affairs would do, or the doing of something that a reasonable and prudent man would not do.

In these circumstances with clear notices, fly fishers are still likely to be held mainly (but not necessarily totally) responsible as it is they who know how far their back cast is likely to extend and it is they who are in control of the potentially dangerous object.
 

Hardrar

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Whilst I completely agree with you, I guess the point of the thread is that it might be cheaper to get rid of the anglers than re route the paths?
Does anyone know what they make from angling tickets per year? A lot less than it would cost for contractors to remodel the pathways, I bet. :(
What about erecting pontoons out from the dam wall, I’ve seen this done at several other waters, where there is a public footpath/bridle path behind the casting line, thereby pushing the anglers away and out of range from the passing public.
Do the “ public” pay for access? Anglers do, but if this appears to be a favourite spot and anglers are denied access, revenue would surely fall?
 

bonefishblues

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What about erecting pontoons out from the dam wall, I’ve seen this done at several other waters, where there is a public footpath/bridle path behind the casting line, thereby pushing the anglers away and out of range from the passing public.
Do the “ public” pay for access? Anglers do, but if this appears to be a favourite spot and anglers are denied access, revenue would surely fall?
If the income is as I believe, then just one significant personal injury claim would wipe that out, of course.
Risk mitigation figures high with water companies (who aren't allowed, in Thames water's area at least, to touch my domestic stop cock...).
I wish **** mitigation figured rather higher, mind :confused:
 

kingf000

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Unfortunately this all comes down to 'duty of care' and money. If a walker/cyclist loses an eye because of an angler's back cast and sues the water authority, the water authority would almost certainly be found guilty, fined for failing to adequately protect that walker/cyclist and have to pay hefty compensation to that person, at least that is what my HSE pal tells me. A warning sign means nothing in law. As angling represents only a miniscule proportion of the water authorities income, the easiest resolution for them would be to ban bank fishing. I'm sure that is what the water authority is concerned about.
 

Elwyman

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Must be a very low risk event, don't recall hearing of any similar events in over 40 years of fly fishing.
 

bonefishblues

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Must be a very low risk event, don't recall hearing of any similar events in over 40 years of fly fishing.
There is a legal test of whether an outcome is 'reasonably foreseeable'

That is, was it reasonably foreseeable that an angler casting in that location might hook a passer-by?

Tough one, best think about that for not-very-long-at-all :)
 

JoeOh

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Must be a very low risk event, don't recall hearing of any similar events in over 40 years of fly fishing.
Times have changed and many of our reservoirs are no longer the preserve of anglers and birdwatchers. A multitude of available activities at these "water parks" brings members of the general public into the proximity of fly fishers, and their unawareness of our casting methods puts the onus of care onto us.
My casting technique of turning to check the back cast has been questioned by other casters, but I am glad I do it.... so often a onlooker has appeared suddenly in the background.
I hope an answer to this can be found without us losing access to areas of bank, but I cannot think of a satisfactory remedy. Pontoons would be expensive and many would be required to satisfy the number of anglers who frequent Grafham Dam.
Chain- link fencing along the top of the dam?
 

JayP

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Must be a very low risk event, don't recall hearing of any similar events in over 40 years of fly fishing.
It's the 4th incident on the dam wall this year so not an isolated incident. Grafham is my local and I often walk the dog around it, on more than one occasion I've had an angler lift into a backcast early as we've walked past, that's after waiting for the flies to land and announcing our intention to pass behind, the last time it happened the angler in question was lucky he wasn't spitting out carbon and cork from the remains of his front teeth, unfortunately there are entitled ignorant tw@ts everywhere including fly anglers at Grafham.
 

Rob_N

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I fished off Grafham dam yesterday. Part of the problem is the current high water levels, there’s only about 5 yards to cast up to the wall (so back casts are going over the wall). The wall is about 6 foot which makes it hard to see people walking behind it. I was being very careful, but still had a near miss with a cyclist who was speeding along. He wasn’t there when I started the cast. I always watch my back cast, (just how I cast rather than to specifically look out for people) and was able to just miss him. I don’t think he even realised.

It will be annoying if AW do stop fishing off it. Hopefully they’ll see sense. I looked at the other path that cyclists/walkers can use. It’s a proper fenced in path well away from the dam. It’s quite narrow though, would get congested in the summer. Hopefully AW will see sense and agree a solution.
 

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