Time to call a halt to close season on rivers

RINGSTEAD trout fishery, opening March 1, gets another double figure 'stockie', watched by Rosemary Foster (wife of owner, Harold) and grandson George.
RINGSTEAD trout fishery, opening March 1, gets another double figure 'stockie', watched by Rosemary Foster (wife of owner, Harold) and grandson George.

WITH sewage-coloured rivers topping their banks and more wet stuff falling, it looks like another weekend’s running water sport down the tubes.

But Elinor opens Saturday – quickly followed by most other local trout waters... so ‘spring’ must be on its way with some better sport all round?

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Yet on rivers the legal close season begins in just 28 days time – and after what must have been one of the worst recorded winters for angling access to river fishing: We get BANNED from wetting a line for three solid months.

I used to defend the break to the hilt...but with changing weather patterns and cultures, do river fish really need a close season any more?

They’ve already had 
pretty much six months rest from most anglers’ attentions; it doesn’t leave wildlife 
undisturbed because anyone can (and many do) let 
their dogs crash through the reeds all year; and if ‘resting’ fish stressed post-spawning is an issue, keepnets could be banned for 90 days and or major spawning areas shut for that period.

Dumping the break would also help the sport and the trade and keep genuine anglers on the banks to help deter non-law abiding fish thieves.

What do you think?

Steve Ringer swooped on Castle Ashby’s Grendon, midweek, to win with 11 carp and five bream for 104-6 with, a long way back, dad Geoff on 35-14. Alan West split them with 66-12.

ASHBY, Sunday matches: Grendon, Pete Lovell 76-1, Gary Millward 65-14, Keith Garrett 60-8; Scotland, Ian Smith 42-2, Roger Clutton 38-12, Roy Woodward 33-14; brickyard, Paul Hardman 24-12, Frank Pizmenti 18-14, John Bagely 12-7.

WHITE Hart Flore, Barby Banks: Mark Tottenham 44-12, Glen Tilson 44-5, Terry Adams 43-8.

FLORE & Brockhall, Barby Marshes: Gareth Abrahams 35lb, Steve Smith 5lb, Rob Rawlins third with something too small to record...

BISHOPS Bowl open: Kevin Green 10-11, Rob Bassett 7-14, Derek Cullett 6-10. Green and Bassett top pair.

TOWCESTER at home to Leighton Buzzard, Tove: LB totalled 
15-13 and Tows 7-10. Visitors 
Ray Cook and Ian Banks 9-14 and 3-11. Tows’ Darren Panel 6-2.

CASTLE, Canons: Geoff Lewis 6-6, Fred Prior 5-3, Jeff Rice 4-10.

COUNTY vets, midweek, 
Canons: Jeff Rice first 11-12, Bob Spencer second 6-8 and John Lewis third 4-12.

NENE, Yardley cut: Andy Law 1-12, Brian Beard 1-1-8, Chris Howard 1-1.

OLNEY, Ouse: Graeme 
Prince 0-4-8 (13 bleak), Dave Partridge 0-2, Paul Caton 0-0-4...

Trout openings: Saturday, Elinor; March 1, Ravensthorpe and Ringstead; March 8, Pitsford; March 15, Grafham; March 29, Rutland.

FIXTURES: Sunday, Olney river open, 01234 240061; March 29 (Good Friday) ‘Bucko’ open, Wold Farm, Poddington, 01327 351780.