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Canoe access poll on BBC


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#11 David McCraw

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 12:00 PM

I just wanted to butt in with a kayaker's perspective here (those of you who followed the links in Paul's post may have noticed my contributions to the discussion on the Fly Fishing Forums).

The problem facing canoeists is that we can only pursue our sport on a tiny fraction of rivers in England and Wales. Discounting the canals and tidal navigations (which are of little interest to most canoeists), the figure is much less than 1%.

Of that 1%, agreements tend to be very restrictive (although there are exceptions) - possibly as little as one or two weekends a year, irrespective of the water level.

According to the last review, over 1.5m people try paddlesports each year - this is in the same ball park as the number of rod licences sold - yet canoeists are barred from 99% of rivers... I'm sure you can all agree that this situation is unfair.

The government's own studies concluded that the presence of canoes causes no environmental damage or long-term disruption to fish (as those of us who have been paddling on Scotland's finest angling rivers for decades can readily tell you).

It is a simplification to suggest that canoeists want free, unrestricted access to all inland water, all year round. In fact, this is a straw man built by a vocal minority of anglers, to make it easy for them to attack the whole access argument.

In fact, all canoeists are asking for is a fair and responsible access system which allows all water users to co-exist (as is the case in much of Europe, Scandinavia, North America, and NZ).

Most canoeists would be quite willing to pay a boat licence (with the same enforcement / penalties as the rod licence).

We'd be quite happy to have a legal minimum level before paddling is permitted, to remove any doubt about spawning beds.

We are really quite keen to have environmental work-groups just like you do (who wants to canoe, as people so vividly put it, in an open sewer?) -- I could even see a partnership in terms of the angling organisations which find and prosecute polluters.

We certainly don't want to have the rivers all to ourselves, as we are quite happy to share. In recognition of the solitary nature of angling, however, there is little opposition to the suggestion that canoeing only be allowed between specific hours (say, not early or late in the day, when I believe fishing is particularly good?) or even to have whole days when paddling is not permitted.

The wording of the EDM is, I feel, unfortunate - I can see how it can be interpreted as a totally unrestricted access campaign. Unfortunately, canoeists have as little control over these things as I suspect ordinary anglers do over FACT / Salter's proclaimations.

With BCU membership growing at 6% year-on-year, it must be obvious that the current access situation cannot continue forever, with the recent trend of CROW and the Land Reform Act.

#12 Paul Boote

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 01:07 PM

I just wanted to butt in with a kayaker's perspective here (those of you who followed the links in Paul's post may have noticed my contributions to the discussion on the Fly Fishing Forums).

The problem facing canoeists is that we can only pursue our sport on a tiny fraction of rivers in England and Wales. Discounting the canals and tidal navigations (which are of little interest to most canoeists), the figure is much less than 1%.

Of that 1%, agreements tend to be very restrictive (although there are exceptions) - possibly as little as one or two weekends a year, irrespective of the water level.

According to the last review, over 1.5m people try paddlesports each year - this is in the same ball park as the number of rod licences sold - yet canoeists are barred from 99% of rivers... I'm sure you can all agree that this situation is unfair.

The government's own studies concluded that the presence of canoes causes no environmental damage or long-term disruption to fish (as those of us who have been paddling on Scotland's finest angling rivers for decades can readily tell you).

It is a simplification to suggest that canoeists want free, unrestricted access to all inland water, all year round. In fact, this is a straw man built by a vocal minority of anglers, to make it easy for them to attack the whole access argument.

In fact, all canoeists are asking for is a fair and responsible access system which allows all water users to co-exist (as is the case in much of Europe, Scandinavia, North America, and NZ).

Most canoeists would be quite willing to pay a boat licence (with the same enforcement / penalties as the rod licence).

We'd be quite happy to have a legal minimum level before paddling is permitted, to remove any doubt about spawning beds.

We are really quite keen to have environmental work-groups just like you do (who wants to canoe, as people so vividly put it, in an open sewer?) -- I could even see a partnership in terms of the angling organisations which find and prosecute polluters.

We certainly don't want to have the rivers all to ourselves, as we are quite happy to share. In recognition of the solitary nature of angling, however, there is little opposition to the suggestion that canoeing only be allowed between specific hours (say, not early or late in the day, when I believe fishing is particularly good?) or even to have whole days when paddling is not permitted.

The wording of the EDM is, I feel, unfortunate - I can see how it can be interpreted as a totally unrestricted access campaign. Unfortunately, canoeists have as little control over these things as I suspect ordinary anglers do over FACT / Salter's proclaimations.

With BCU membership growing at 6% year-on-year, it must be obvious that the current access situation cannot continue forever, with the recent trend of CROW and the Land Reform Act.



Hmm...

So reasonable-sounding from the very same gentleman who, it should be noted, fellow AngNet-ers, was the ever-reasonable "Good Cop" (until push came to shove and his arguments were made to look threadbare, when he started to take the p1ss) among the several, highly persistent paddlers who gatecrashed and perma-camped on the the Fly Fishing Forums site recently. David McCraw was at pains to appear someone whom Anglers and British Angling could talk to and do deals with; his gatecrashing Bad Cop colleagues, however, alternately cajaoled, threatened, derided, almost ranted (dispossessed American Indians made an appearance at one point in the proceedings) and generally argued from an overtly "Give us what we want, or we'll ruddy well take it" position.

They left me wanting to change my Fly Forums Forums personal signature from one of some lines from T.S. Eliot's great poem, "The Waste Land", to:

"Is that a ruddy great chip on your shoulder? Or just a kayak?"

As I said, fellas, view the canoeists and their increasingly anarchic DEMANDS with great circumspection.

Edited by Paul Boote, 08 May 2006 - 01:08 PM.

"What did you expect to see out of a Torquay hotel bedroom window? Sydney Opera House perhaps? The Hanging Gardens of Babylon? Herds of wildebeest sweeping majestically...?"

Basil Fawlty to the old bat, guest from hell, Mrs Richards.

#13 Paul Boote

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 01:37 PM

A fresh, two-pronged attack - AngNet and FFF - by the looks of it, AngNet-ers. It has kicked off again on FFF too, with Paul "Cooks Socks" Boote once more in the firing line. So I changed my signature....

http://flyforums.pro...6643201&page=11

Edited by Paul Boote, 08 May 2006 - 01:39 PM.

"What did you expect to see out of a Torquay hotel bedroom window? Sydney Opera House perhaps? The Hanging Gardens of Babylon? Herds of wildebeest sweeping majestically...?"

Basil Fawlty to the old bat, guest from hell, Mrs Richards.

#14 Guest_Brumagem Phil_*

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 01:43 PM

This cooking socks thing........I reckon they must stink out the kitchen worse than hemp! :lol: :lol: :lol:

#15 Zzippy

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 02:28 PM

Well put, Leon.

Some activities are not compatible with each other and cannot use the same facilities at the same time. Birdwatching while others are jetskiing, downhill mountain biking where others are rambling, swimming lengths where others are playing water polo. It's one thing for the paddlers to demand more access, quite another to demand a right to access which always overrides anybody else's rights. It would not be considered fair to deal with the loss of public cricket pitches by granting the right to set up the stumps on any golf course green in the country.


If you put it that way.
We still have to put up with Jet skiers,and sunseaker owners blasting past us on the open sea.Like its not big enough for us all .
Then when we come back in we have to avoid the padlers.Then the ramblers asking silly questions all the time :)
Zzippy


#16 David McCraw

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 04:04 PM

We still have to put up with Jet skiers,and sunseaker owners blasting past us on the open sea.


Canoeists and anglers manage to co-exist everywhere else (with varying degrees of success). In France, anglers have the river exclusively in the morning and evening. Because canoeists have more rivers to access, there is not the same pressure you can witness on the 1% we cram into in England and Wales.


until push came to shove and his arguments were made to look threadbare, when he started to take the p1ss


I have to say, I honestly don't remember this. Feel free to provide a link, Paul.

the several, highly persistent paddlers who gatecrashed and perma-camped on the the Fly Fishing Forums site recently. David McCraw was at pains to appear someone whom Anglers and British Angling could talk to and do deals with


I don't agree that contributing to an existing topic about canoe access is gatecrashing; I've done the same here (although if people would rather not hear me out, I will certainly leave). In fact, several members of the Fly Fishing Forums thanked me for dropping in to put my side of the story across - I'm sorry you don't agree with them.

As for cutting deals - I'm not a representative of canoeists, just a keen sportsman. You seem to doubt me because I'm not completely inarticulate.

They left me wanting to change my Fly Forums Forums personal signature from one of some lines from T.S. Eliot's great poem, "The Waste Land", to:

"Is that a ruddy great chip on your shoulder? Or just a kayak?"


As a Scot, I confess I prefer the Bard (although perhaps when you return your signature to Eliot's great work, you could consider "what branches grow, out of this stony rubbish" ;) ).

#17 kreid

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 08:24 PM

"also, the arguement seems to be one of canoists v anglers, but i dont see why, anglers dont have a free right to roam on all rivers, like canoists want. so its not like we have something they thing they should be entitled to. Their fight should be against land owners, if they wnt access, they should either pay the price the land owner wants, or work out a way, in which they can change the law books to allow them access."



Actually anglers DO have the right to access practically any river....it is the fishing you pay for in reality. You can walk down the bank , but without a rod. No taking of fish (even if they are returned).I am an angler , but can see that some redress of balance is needed here. I have met several kayakers when fishing, not a problem. (Ribble/Earn/ Forth). There has to be some compromise.

I don't know Dave , but if he appeared "bad cop" etc, then it was only in return to some ridiculous comments made by flyfishers on their forum.Some of them have to be read to be believed.

Edited by kreid, 08 May 2006 - 08:25 PM.


#18 Paul Boote

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 10:12 PM

Canoeists and anglers manage to co-exist everywhere else (with varying degrees of success). In France, anglers have the river exclusively in the morning and evening. Because canoeists have more rivers to access, there is not the same pressure you can witness on the 1% we cram into in England and Wales.
I have to say, I honestly don't remember this. Feel free to provide a link, Paul.
I don't agree that contributing to an existing topic about canoe access is gatecrashing; I've done the same here (although if people would rather not hear me out, I will certainly leave). In fact, several members of the Fly Fishing Forums thanked me for dropping in to put my side of the story across - I'm sorry you don't agree with them.

As for cutting deals - I'm not a representative of canoeists, just a keen sportsman. You seem to doubt me because I'm not completely inarticulate.
As a Scot, I confess I prefer the Bard (although perhaps when you return your signature to Eliot's great work, you could consider "what branches grow, out of this stony rubbish" ;) ).



"I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that."

http://www.ee.ryerso...01/sorrydave.au
"What did you expect to see out of a Torquay hotel bedroom window? Sydney Opera House perhaps? The Hanging Gardens of Babylon? Herds of wildebeest sweeping majestically...?"

Basil Fawlty to the old bat, guest from hell, Mrs Richards.

#19 phil hackett

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 11:23 PM

"According to the last review, over 1.5m people try paddlesports each year - this is in the same ball park as the number of rod licences sold - yet canoeists are barred from 99% of rivers... I'm sure you can all agree that this situation is unfair.

How much multiple counting was done when compiling these figures one wonders?

How much was rowing boats? And not as Mr McCraw is attempting to mislead readers into believing Canoes and Kayaks.


"The government's own studies concluded that the presence of canoes causes no environmental damage or long-term disruption to fish (as those of us who have been paddling on Scotland's finest angling rivers for decades can readily tell you)."

The report (Brighton Report for DEFRA) say nothing of the sort, as you know very well MR McCraw!
Yet again your attempting to mislead the readers!

Edited by phil hackett, 08 May 2006 - 11:25 PM.

phil h.

#20 phil hackett

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 11:35 PM

You persist in saying it work well in Scotland on the game rivers. There are far less anglers (game) than there are in E & W. of both disciplines coarse and game. The ratio is about 5 to 1 in favour of E & W.

There is as Iíve told you before when you appeared on Fishingmagic a world of difference between coarse fishing E & W and Scottish game fishing.
phil h.