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Department to Explore Potential for New Angling Scheme 26 February 2008

DAFF is exploring the possibility of introducing a new angling scheme on the Isle of Man whereby landowners/tenants of watercourses can opt to permit angling on a designated stretch of stream in exchange for cash redeemable vouchers.

A frequent comment from river anglers who took part in last year’s Inland Fisheries Customer Satisfaction Survey was that it can be difficult to find out where they can fish outside of the National Glens and members-only private beats. This is a particular problem for visiting anglers, who often do not have the time to track down landowners in order to check for permission. The current situation also limits the Department’s ability to promote angling on the Island’s rivers and streams.

Such schemes are already run by several Rivers Trusts in the UK. Anglers purchase vouchers in advance and place the appropriate number in a suitably placed box before starting their day’s fishing. The owner/tenant of the beat may then collect the vouchers when convenient and redeem them for cash.

There is potential for a Manx roving voucher scheme to tie in with those in the UK, so that visitors to the Island could use vouchers from UK schemes, while IoM residents visiting the UK could use Manx vouchers to pay for fishing on UK beats. The scheme would be advertised via press releases and a dedicated website carrying links to the other schemes, which in turn could carry a link to that on the Isle of Man. Streams don’t have to be large to be appropriate, lots of those featured in UK schemes are narrow tributaries comparable to many private watercourses here on the Island.

Graham Cregeen, MHK and Member for Fisheries, said ‘Many farmland watercourses on the Isle of Man have the potential to offer excellent opportunities for the adventurous angler to fish for wild brown trout and, in some cases, migratory fish, in beautiful surroundings. A roving voucher scheme would not only provide a means of rewarding good management of streams. It would also enable the Department to target some habitat management to areas where anglers and ecology can both benefit. Anglers would also be encouraged to place a catch return in the beat box at the end of their day’s fishing, providing valuable information on fish stocks.’

Any farmers or other landowners/tenants who would like to know more about the proposal can contact Karen Galtress by telephoning 651544/450736 during office hours or by email at karen.galtress@gov.im Information on existing UK schemes can be viewed at: www.go-wild.org.uk, www.angling2000.org.uk, and www.wyeuskfoundation.org/fishing/voucher.php

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