The Association has positive relationships with a number of organisations. There are also a number of issues that the Association has an active interest in, as they impact the Esk fishery as a whole. This page lists some of those organisations and explains some of the issues the Association considers important.
The committee is always interested in members’ view on these issues and if anyone wishes to be actively involved with any of these issues or organisations, please also get in touch.
• YERT (Yorkshire Esk Rivers Trust)
is our local rivers trust and shares many of our aims in terms of preserving the environment. They also work with us to facilitate our young anglers programme.
The Association’s committee member, Chris Wright, is also a trustee.
• Angling Trust/Fish Legal
The Association is a member of these organisations as they:
• promote the interests of rod and line fisheries
• keep us informed of changes relevant to the Association
• provide the Association’s insurance and
• give us access to legal advice if we need it
• Wild Trout Trust
The WTT has worked with the Association, Glaisdale Angling Club and YERT to consider habitat questions in relation to the Esk. Its work has included running habitat improvement workshops on Glaisdale Beck. It has a fascinating website.
• Ruswarp Turbine
The Association cooperated with the construction of Esk Energy’s turbine which was installed at Ruswarp Weir in 2011, where the Esk becomes tidal. It became operational in 2012. Various assurances were given at that time the decision to go ahead was reached, but we do not feel that all of them have been met. The assurances included:
1. a new fish pass, to be installed near the turbine outflow to minimise confusion amongst fish about where the main migration route is (the new pass is roughly 60% efficient, the original was 100% efficient)
2. a fish counter within that pass (this never happened and EA now assert that they are not committed to implement it)
3. assurances that the revised configuration of new pass and turbine would not have a negative impact on fish migration (which include eels and sea lamprey, not just salmon and sea trout) – as above, we doubt this has been achieved and
4. sponsorship by the Environment Agency of a 5 year research project by the Hull International Fisheries Institute ("HIFI"), which was published in 2016.
The final HIFI report
contains a huge amount of information. The Association lobbied with YERT in relation to an earlier draft. The Association is of the view that the current situation is worse than the previous arrangement and plans to continue to pressure the EA to implement improvements to the pass. As the Association also owns the bed of the river upstream and downstream of the weir (but not the weir itself) we have some practical power. The Wild Trout Trust has provided this report in relation to dredging work
that Esk Energy wished to do below the turbine outflow; we believe that the plan will have a negative effect on fish passage and have therefore not agreed to the work. We do not intend to be obstructive, but we do intend to protect the fishery and the valuable habitat provided by the island beneath the weir.
In the absence of a fish counter we are left to monitor fish returns and juvenile monitoring results to identify any long terms adverse impacts.
Until 2015 the Association had its own river keeper, whose job included prevention of poaching. The Association remains committed to fighting poaching and was originally sold the rights we hold at Ruswarp precisely because we were committed to preventing poaching.
Without a river keeper we are finding new ways of fighting poaching and are looking for volunteers who might wish to join the Angling Trust’s Voluntary Bailiff Service.
We will continue to cooperate with YERT, the other land owners, the EA and the police to minimise all forms of poaching.
• Tideway ban
This ban prevents ALL fishing from the County Road Bridge at Ruswarp down to Whitby Harbour. We believe it is a good thing as there were problems with people snatching salmon and sea trout in this area.
• Net limitation order
This order limits the number of nets deployed off our coast, the dates they can fish and the catches they can make. The order is due for renegotiation in 2017. Coastal fisheries are a big issue for salmon and sea trout. In 2013, the EA reported the following catches: