Atlantic Salmon : THE BRINK OF EXTINCTION?

Many thanks to Richard Wilson for sharing his thoughts on salmon decline with North Devon Angling News. Check out Fish rise on Substack for more of Richards writing. This months article is very apt considering the dramatic decline we are seeing on West Country Salmon populations.
https://fishrise.substack.com/p/atlantic-salmon-the-brink-of-extinction?utm_source=post-email-title&publication_id=1289122&post_id=140218257&utm_campaign=email-post-title&isFreemail=true&r=1uvzdy&triedRedirect=true&utm_medium=email

Atlantic Salmon: The Brink of Extinction?

A Red List Endangered Species.

River Ghost

Salmon are in trouble. Ask anyone involved and they’ll tell you how bad it is and who’s to blame (it’s always someone else).

It’s so bad that the Atlantic Salmon is now officially an IUCN Red List Endangered Species in the UK. In Ireland, the population has collapsed by 80% in 20 years. Other places and other salmon species are not far behind, and the word extinction really has entered the debate.

We can see this decline by watching the way the money flows. Just about everywhere the value is slowly ebbing out of salmon fishing, almost no matter how or where we do it, and from mega-trawler to rod & line.

Sure, we can remove dams and nets, replant catchments and clean up pollution to help mitigate the decline, but they’re not enough.

This crisis is universal, which is of note, because not everywhere has nets or fish farms or pollution or management corruption. Indeed, some have none of the above, yet their salmon are in trouble.

One of Scotland’s most exclusive rivers, the Helmsdale, used to be a place where fishing was accessed via dead men’s shoes. Royalty graced its banks and the management was so discrete as to be almost uncontactable. A rod on the Helmsdale was a mark of status. Now the Helmsdale has gaps to fill and is promoting itself in upmarket magazines. It has no pollution and no fish farms to blame. Something else is going wrong.

What salmon everywhere have in common is rising water temperatures. This is happening both at sea and in rivers. High temps impact badly on salmon at every stage of their lifecycle, from squeezed and collapsing ocean food chains to overheated redds and undernourished smolts failing to make the journey back to sea. The salmon lifecycle makes them especially vulnerable to warming water.

This is real and it’s happening everywhere. Check out the Missing Salmon Alliance for a thorough breakdown of these combined threats. Their rallying call is Cold, Clean Water – which is as succinct a summary of the salmon’s plight as you can find anywhere.

And it’s not just salmon: Entire food chains are wobbling. In recent years 10 billion snow crabs have gone missing from Alaskan waters and the most plausible explanation is starvation in warming seas. A few years ago 100m Alaskan cod went AWOL for the same reason: Warmth increases fish and crustacean metabolic rates, so they have to eat more just to maintain body weight. At the same time the warm water suppresses growth in their food supply. So they need more, get less and starve. It’s becoming a regular feature of ocean life.

Worse, the increase in metabolic rate may also increase salmon’s need for oxygen beyond the ability of their gills to fully deliver. If so, that too would inhibit growth and reproduction.

To understand why, we need to do some time travelling because today’s benign weather wasn’t always a given. Our ancestors had a much tougher time than us.

About 17,000 years ago the world was in the depths of the last Ice Age. We humans scraped a marginal existence as hunter-gatherers. Life was freezing and the world was a whopping 5c colder than nowadays.

A graph showing the growth of ice age ends Description automatically generated
Global Temperatures from mid-Ice Age. With thanks to Andrew Dessler, Texas A&M University.

We hit our stride about 10k years ago when the climate warmed and delivered a sweet spot that stuck. We could sow crops, expect to harvest them and feed our expanding population. Great civilisations formed. We could also hunt and fish for nature’s seemingly boundless resources such as the herbivores that roamed the plains and the fish and whales in our seas. The post-glacial world was rich in opportunity.

This is the Holocene Era: The time when the Earth and its climate came good for humans. There were blips along the way: a few major volcanic eruptions that caused cooling and short-term global famines, for example. But since the end of the Ice Age, Planet Earth’s climate has been stable and very hospitable.

Then came the Industrial Revolution and the arrival of the fossil fuel era. We are about 250 years into it now – the red zone below.

The Carbon Era Temperature Spike (closer to 1.4c now): Andrew Dessler, Texas A&M

Current predictions are that temperatures will likely peak at about +2-3C, with growing confidence that it will be a lot closer to 2C than 3C. The hoped-for 1.5C target is surely a lost cause.

We have understood the basic science behind this since the mid-1800s. It’s not difficult – excess CO2 is pollution that traps heat in the atmosphere. We can measure it very accurately. We know the science is good and that what’s happening now is unfolding as scientists predicted it would (my first TV report saying the Holocene could unwind was nearly 30 years ago, and I was in Antarctica reporting established science, not breaking new ground). The scientists even got the speed of change about right, although as a layman I’m shocked by what we’re seeing now:

NASA animation of global temperature change since 1880:

We’re hitting temperatures not seen for 125,000 years and it’s going to get worse. When we finally stop pumping out CO2, we will revert to a long, slow cooling trajectory (business as usual). It will take thousands of years to get back to where we were just 250 years ago ( NASA ). That’s one heck of a hangover from our CO2 party that we’re giving to future generations.

It’s not all bad news (below). Climate scepticism is fading, clearing the way for better political engagement. The graphic below shows that only the 10% or so on the margin are still drinking neat Clorox. This group are mostly hard-core conspiracy theorists and have bucket lists of competing dire consequences they expect to suffer. You’d think climate doomsterism would be right up their victim-centric street, but I don’t think they will ever shift their position by much. I suppose they believe that one day they’ll be proved right and they won’t be the only ones dying of vaccine-preventable diseases or in G3/4/5 radio mast attacks.

The remaining 90% of us are increasingly concerned about climate change. The dial is shifting.

Tracking the decline of Climate Denial 2013-2023

So where does this leave the salmon?

The answer is worrying: We can do a great deal to adapt to and mitigate the impacts, but the bottom line is that we’re stuck in a pattern of decline that won’t end until we tackle the root problem. The Earth is getting too warm and it’s happening too fast for the fish to adapt.

Ask an Atlantic Salmon. If you can find one …

Fading Silver

 


It’s almost Mid-May and the evenings are long with dusk now lingering well past 9.00pm. I always seem to be caught out not fully appreciating the onset of Summer realizing all too soon that it’s getting towards the longest day and that those days will once again start to shorten. In the words of that Pink Floyd song;
Staying home to watch the rain
You are young and life is long
And there is time to kill today
And then one day you find
Ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run
You missed the starting gun

I arrived at the fishing hut early evening pleased to be at the beat for only the second time this season. I was half expecting there to be another angler fishing but I had the fishing to myself. I had brought my salmon rod and a light trout rod just in case the trout were rising and could be tempted on a dry fly.
The river looked to be in fine fettle a perfect height and good clarity. I watched the river carefully for signs of life but no fish moved.
I left the trout rod in the hut and approached the water’s edge extended a line across the water and drifted a silver stoat’s tail across the river. I made my way carefully negotiating the slippery rocks coated in slimy algae. My casting could be better I thought, no sweet rhythm this evening.
After a few steps I was startled by a head appearing just a couple of feet from the rod tip. The large otter rolled again a further few yards down river. There are some who curse the otter for it predates upon the salmon and sea trout. I take a slightly different view for whilst I fear for the salmon I accept that otters have hunted this river for centuries. There was once an abundance of salmon in this beautiful river more than enough for angler and otter.
I feel sure that if I had stood on this river bank just thirty years ago salmon and sea trout would be leaping from the water crashing back with loud splashes that would fuel the anticipation.

In the shadows sea trout would have leapt their heavy splashes rising the anglers anticipation.

This evening the ever flowing river heads to the estuary and the ocean beyond. During my two hours I drift my fly in fading hope. There are no glimpses of silver, the river banks are lush and green. The scent of wild garlic drifts in the warm evening air. But despite the natural beauty all around I cannot help but dwell upon the lack of salmon and sea trout. As a young angler I assumed the salmon and sea trout would always run the river or at least throughout my lifetime. Sadly I realize that this may not be so as the actions of mankind decimate the natural world and in particular the rivers those arteries of the land.
In recent months I have been involved in the screening of the film Riverwoods to audiences across North Devon. The film suggests solutions to the demise of salmon. After the film I give a presentation about salmon decline in the South West and beyond. I talk of the plight of salmon, their decline in my lifetime and suggest ways that we can all delay their route to extinction.
I ponder upon the salmon’s plight as I pack away my tackle. The angler, the otter and the salmon are all perhaps on borrowed time unless we act to bring our rivers back to life.
As I step from the River I again see the Otter heading back up river where Henry Williamsons fictional Tarka may well have swum. I read the tale recently a book that records a time of abundance full of cruelty but all within a more balanced natural world before a burgeoning population brought us to our present place in history.

Spot the otter – Right of the rivers centre.

And you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it’s sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way but your older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death

My next trip to the river will be to the higher reaches where the water still glistens running clear with vibrant beautiful crimson spotted brown trout in abundance.
Fishing is good for the soul and we really need to celebrate the wonderful nature that we still have around us. The fleeting glimpse of electric blue as a kingfisher flashes past. The swooping swift, the evocative call of the cuckoo, the cheerful chirp of the chiff chaff.
That great Countryside writer BB’s books include the rather poignant words.
The wonder of the world, the beauty and the power, the shapes of things, their colours, lights and shades, these I saw, Look ye also while life lasts
I wonder what BB would make of today’s world?

Out of Minehead – Ray and hounds with CMSAC

After several aborted trips due to bad weather it was good to eventually get back out to sea on a Combe Martin SAC boat trip out of Minehead with Steve Webber skipper of Osprey Charters. As a club we have been fishing with Steve for many years a skipper who has provided us with some exciting fishing trips over the decades.

On this day we had six anglers on board two of which are good friends who kindly came along filling vacant places left by club members who could not make the trip.

The forecast for once promised calm seas, light winds and perhaps a little sunshine!

The boat was due to sail from the harbour at 10:30am so a rendezvous at the Minehead Witherspoon’s was arranged at 9:00am. This proved an unwise move in some ways as discussing the days fishing prospects over a full English was difficult as it appeared that Butlins stags had invaded in numbers. Alcohol in quantity at 9:00am certainly fuelled the volume making hearing a little challenging for those of us who have impaired hearing. Like many anglers we are getting on a bit!

And so we climbed onto Osprey all pleased to be leaving the raucous delights of Minehead to the young Butlin brigade.

Steve welcomed us with an ever cheery greeting and we set off for familiar fishing grounds to the West of Minehead. The tide was ebbing as Steve dropped anchor at the first mark. The steep wooded cliffs were lush and green. The sea a pleasing calm beneath a blue sky interspersed with light white cotton wool clouds.

Fishing talk flowed freely with a bit of local politics, reminisce and fishy tales thrown into the mix.

         I think I was lucky to catch the first fish a small smoothound. Dogfish were to prove a menace throughout the day snaffling baits intended for more worthy fish.

Jack Phillips caught a smoothound of perhaps seven pounds that gave a good account and was the first of several caught throughout the day.  The best a fish of around ten pounds to my good friend Bruce Elston his first of the species and a welcome catch adding to his impressive tally of species across salt and freshwater.

Bruce Elston with a double figure hound.

Ray were the main target and several small eyed ray were tempted at this first mark of the day.

Club Secretary Nick Phillips with a nice small eyed ray.

Jack hooked a very good fish that put a healthy bend in his rod before severing the 60lb b.s hook length after a ten minute tussle in a strong tide.

A battle lost…what was it?

As the tide eased towards low water. Steve up anchored and steamed further west to a renowned area for ray.

I decided to drop down my down-tider for the first time having concentrated on Up-tiding for the first couple of hours. A mackerel head and flappers was devoured within a few moments of it hitting the seabed. A large huss of just over 10lb appeared on the murky water surface and I was pleased when it slid safely into the net. They have an annoying habit of spitting out the bait on the surface.

A steady succession of hounds and ray were brought to the boat. Steve kept us fully hydrated with tea and coffee throughout. Friendly banter flowed and the sun shone down.

Peter Robinson

Keith Armishaw with a small eyed ray

As the tide flooded we made a couple more moves to new areas based upon Steve’s extensive knowledge of this spectacular stretch of Somerset coastline.

Our last mark was close to where we had started and after a quiet start gave a frantic last hour with several small-eyed nudging double figures and a stunning thornback to Peter Robinson.

I lost a good fish that slipped the hook just a few yards from the boat. A good smoothound or a big bass? I will never know.

 

 

Jack Phillips with a good small eyed ray

After close to nine hours at sea Steve called last orders and we steamed back to Minehead. The sun was sinking in the west as we washed down the boat. It had been a great day typical of a day out of Minehead its murky waters home to an array of ray and other species. All within a very short steam of the port.

Steve and his family have three charter boats and Speed-bait operating out of Minehead. Check links below:-

https://www.charterboats-uk.co.uk/osprey-minehead/

https://www.teddieboycharters.co.uk

https://www.speedbait.online

 

 

 

The flyfishing season is off to a promising start at the Arundell..

A few early sea trout have already been taken by rods further down the Tamar, and will be expected up with us in the next few weeks. A couple of salmon have also been hooked but not landed by rods lower downstream, and with good water levels we expect to see a fresh fish in our beats any time soon.

 

WIMBLEBALL FASTMAIL PAIRS MATCH

Great turnout for our Fastmail pairs competition over the weekend. Winners were Martin Williams & Darren Blackburn who recorded a total weight including time bonus of 40lb 11ozs. 2nd place went to Andrew Gooding & Paul who recorded a weight of 37lb 13ozs. 3rd place went to Wayne Thomas & Matt Kingdom with a bag weight of 32lb 8ozs. Thanks to all the anglers for your support…

Calm waters greeted Matt Kingdom, myself and other competitors as we assembled for the 2024 Fastmail Pairs Match at Wimbleball Reservoir. A day out on Wimbleball with good friend and experienced Fly angler Matt is always a joy. It’s also a good idea to pair up with an England Team member.

There was a buzz of anticipation in the air as lines were threaded through the rod rings and favoured patterns tied to the tippets. Some had practiced the day before and had an idea of where to head. I was told that there had been a good hatch of bright blobs the previous day and that this could be a wise fly choice!

Shortly after 9:00am Mark Underhill gave a briefing to all competitors with rules explained before giving the go ahead to depart and go fishing.

The start off reminded me of a slightly shambolic Grand National Start as competitors boats milled around before the starting signal was given. Competitors set off and Matt and I paused to see where everyone was heading. One thing I quickly learned from Matt is that observation is a key factor in competitive angling.

We headed straight for Cowmoor Bay an area that had been producing a few fish and an area that we had both done well in during previous visits.

It was a beautiful morning to be on the water with warm sunshine and a very light cyclonic breeze. The wooded banks and gently rolling arable land a delightful backdrop on this May morning. A time of year when the English countryside is at its most beguiling.

The occasional fish was rising but we soon realised that we had made a wrong choice when we saw a boat heading back to the pontoons at 10:30am, presumably with their ten fish bag complete.

A change of area was required as by this time Matt had caught one nice rainbow and I had had one follow.

We moved to the Dam end of the lake where most competitors seemed to be concentrating their efforts. We drifted the deep water in the gentle breeze. My line zipped tight and I was into a hard fighting full tailed rainbow a moment that was given added value when that evocative sound of the cuckoo drifted across the lake.

My first fish of the day a silver bar with a full tail that reminded me of fresh run grilse.

Over the following two and a half hours we picked up fish on most drifts with Matt’ s competitive experience undoubtedly scoring for us as we fished hard Matt ending with seven rainbows to my three.

Matt Kingom with the full tailed rainbow that completed our ten fish bag.

We headed back to the pontoon with our trout and weighed in to record 32lb 8oz inclusive of our time bonus.

Despite being close to four hours later than the winning pair at completing our bag it was pleasing to end up in third place.

         It had been a very enjoyable day. Many thanks to fishery manager  Mark Underhill and Jeff Pearce from Snowbee who worked very hard on the day ensuring that all went to plan. Thank you to Phil Dixon for organising the day and providing prizes and goodie bags.

 

The UK River Summit

Tghe UK River Summit is to be held beside the River Wandle in London on May 21st. It looks like it will be very intersting event for those who are passionate about rivers across the UK and beyond. Please see information below: –

https://www.theriversummit.com/the-uk-river-summit-2024-panel-discussions

https://www.theriversummit.com/the-uk-river-summit-2024-culture-celebration

https://www.theriversummit.com/our-partners

This unaffiliated event, curated by an independent team comprising of Claire Zambuni, Emma Sandham and Iona Mackay, aims to facilitate a forum for interesting parties and stakeholders involved with the range of issues affecting UK rivers. Set at Morden Hall on the River Wandle in London on the 21st May 2024, The UK River Summit & Festival provides a platform for collaboration and communication on the current issues and solutions required to improve the health of our rivers.

Bringing together environmentalists, policy makers, regulators, campaigners, anglers, media, businesses, politicians and members of the public who all share a desire to work towards a more positive future for our rivers, this event offers interested parties the opportunity to build relationships and network while also finding time to celebrate our rivers, engage in community-led initiatives, and experiences based on the river Wandle.

Following the success of the inaugural UK River Summit on the River Test in Hampshire last year, this event moves to the River Wandle, a unique chalk stream flowing through an heavily urbanised area intertwining a rich historical past with a current ecological importance.

Claire Zambuni, Founder of The River Summits & Festivals said “The UK River Summit offers the opportunity to discover some of the valuable work going on and the knowledge to affect change, as well as celebrate our rivers based on an extraordinary chalk stream, the River Wandle. We are hugely grateful for our partners’ support on this unique event. We hope the Summit helps present a collaborative voice in demanding positive action for our rivers and waterways. In this general election year, the need for action and to engage politicians to work across parties to resolve this crisis, has never been greater.”

Penny Gane, Head of Practice at Fish Legal said, “With the state of our rivers and lakes rarely out of the headlines, this event is an opportunity for local people to find out what is being done to turn things around.”

As we navigate the challenges of a rapidly changing planet, the key to environmental progress lies in facilitating continuous dialogue between various players – from government officials and NGOs to businesses and the public. This event aims to bridge these gaps. Attendees will gain informed knowledge from key environmental stakeholders, be able to ask direct questions, work collaboratively to find solutions, and celebrate our rivers.

Date, Location, and Schedule:

Tuesday 21st May 2024 at Morden Hall, South-West London

  • Event opens at 9.30am
  • From 9.30am: Coffee morning with YETI
  • The UK River Summit panel “It’s not all about sewage” begins at 10:15am
  • Lunch at 12:30pm
  • Afternoon panels and activities from 1.30pm – 6pm

“It’s not all about sewage” summit panel speakers include:

  • Penny Gane – Head of Practice at Fish Legal
  • Dr Bella Davies – CEO at South East Rivers Trust
  • Shaun Leonard – Director at Wild Trout Trust
  • Jim Murray – Actor and Founder of Activist Anglers
  • Dylan Roberts – Head of Fisheries at Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust
  • Dr Jack Hogan – renowned local historian and member of The Wandle Piscators, The Fly Connection & South East Rivers Trust
  • Hannah Gunter – Proteus Instruments PHD Associate
  • Dr Hannah Fluck – The National Trust

Afternoon panel discussions include:

  • “The Freshwater Emergency: from scarcity to abundance” River Action UK panel chaired by CEO James Wallace, and speakers including; Philip Duffy (CEO, Environment Agency) Lila Thompson (CEO, British Water), Feargal Sharkey (Activist, SERA Chairman), Lawrence Gosden (CEO, Southern Water), Helena Horton (The Guardian)
  • “Future of Farming” with Mike Blackmore of Wessex Water, Ed Ayton of Abel & Cole, Henry Clemons of Knight Frank, and JM Stratton Ecologist Robin Leech
  • “Effecting Policy in Rivers” including Penny Gane (Head of Practice, Fish Legal), Stuart Singleton-White (Head of Campaigns, Angling Trust), Bobby Dean (Liberal Democrat Candidate for Carshalton & Wallington), Dani Jordan (Surfers Against Sewage), Ashley Smith (Windrush Against Sewage Pollution, WASP), Stewart Clarke (The National Trust) and Shosha Adie (ENDS Report)
  • Cross-party discussion on water security for the future with leading politicians including Toby Perkins (Labour MP and Shadow Minister for Nature and Rural Affairs), Tim Farron (MP, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), and more to be announced
  • “The History of the River Wandle” talk with Dr Jack Hogan

Film Screenings include:

  • “Fish Legal” and “Hydrotherapy” film screening by Friction Collective
  • “Black Samphire” and “This is Shit” – films by River Action UK
  • A brand-new animation from The Beavers Trust
  • “The River Nar: A chalkstream restoration” by Wild Trout Trust
  • “50 years of salmon monitoring on the River Frome” by Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust
  • “Our Wild Salmon” by Fisheries Management Scotland
  • “Britain’s Hidden Fishes” by Jack Perks, narrated by Jeremy Wade
  • 30pm “Wandle: A River at Risk” film screening with panel of cast and crew including Bobby Dean, Liberal Democrat Candidate for Carshalton & Wallington at 5:30pm

Afternoon activities include:

  • Hands-on workshops and river walks with South East Rivers Trust
  • Introduction to Fly Fishing 101s & Kit with Orvis UK
  • Wandle Piscators ‘Meet the Cast’ casting instruction and learn about local fly fishing and conservation
  • Wandle Industrial Museum: textile printing demonstration and display of works by William Morris, Kilburn, and Liberty’s
  • Entertainment from The Funny Terns: performance by comic musician duo at 12.30 and 3.30pm and more.
  • Art Exhibition (including works for sale) with Jo Minoprio, Julia Manning, Elly Platt, Dexter Kazmierkiewicz, and Al Simmons.
  • Stands from The National Trust, The Rivers Trust, Abel & Cole, YETI,UK RS Schedule 29th April - Updates - (2).png Orvis UK, Knight Frank, WildFish, Fish Legal, River Action UK, RS Hydro/Proteus Instruments, and more.

Tickets:

Tickets are now on sale here: UK River Summit – Orvis UK

Tickets include refreshments and lunch, and all activities on offer during the day.

All tickets must be bought in advance before 17th May

Event partners include The National Trust, Proteus Instruments, South East Rivers Trust, Fish Legal, Orvis UK, River Action UK, The Rivers Trust, Surfers Against Sewage, Filson, The Wandle Piscators, The Wandle Industrial Museum, Delivita, Lakedown Brewing Co., and Abel & Cole.

For more information please contact Zambuni Communications on the details below.

PR Contacts

Claire Zambuni | [email protected]

Emma Sandham | [email protected]

Iona Mackay | [email protected]

CMSAC POP UP FUN AND SPECIES

Close to a dozen Combe Martin SAC members arrived at Ilfracombe Pier to fish in the club’s latest pop-up fun and species fishing event. They were greeted by a cool and uninviting North East breeze that surprisingly failed to dent the enthusiastic vibe of those taking part.

Ilfracombe Aquarium had expressed an interest in species acquisition and had given me a short list of desirables for their tanks. After the first half an hour things were going slowly and when Dan from the aquarium appeared with a bucket I was disappointed that we had nothing to offer other than a small ballan wrasse that they have an abundance of anyway.

As the tide dropped and the wind eased a few fish started to show with plenty of small wrasse. This was very much an LRF type event though there were no purists using lures only.

Several members embarked upon exploring the rockpools around the pier whilst Ross Stanway headed for a rocky shoreline and reports came back of a large ballan wrasse he had hooked but lost on lure fishing tactics. Daniel Welch added a rare montagus blenny to his species tally that puts him equal second  to Ross Stanway on the leader board for the year so far with 23 species. Toby Basset is top with 27 species.

Nick joined me for a chat on the top of the old pier and was rather perplexed when he realised I was actually fishing in the tiny rock pool he was standing beside. I had already extracted a tiny blenny from the pool and was hoping for one of these rare montagus but with a size 14 hook I was probably fishing far too heavy as size 20 hooks are more appropriate.

The cool breeze eased off and the sun broke through from time to time. As low water approached the water getting got increasingly murky and fish became harder to find. I caught two small pollock on ragworm which were welcomed by the aquarium.

The monthly raffle was drawn out and  number 18 young Lenny Lake was the winner, adding to his prize for the longest fish caught during April. The competition for May is once again the best picture. many thanks to High Street Tackle for their kind sponsorship.

The next pop up fish will be on Thursday evening in June as we have decided to alternate between Sunday mornings and Thursday evenings.

URBAN MULLET

 

Combe Martin SAC members ventured to Portishead Marina in search of the large mullet that reside within the sheltered waters. The day commenced with heavy rain falling and a bitterly cold North wind that ensured that breakfast the first item on the days agenda.

Fortified with full English and hot coffees members explored the confines of the marina. The mullet proved elusive with John Shapland securing the only fish of the day a superb specimen of 4lb 2oz.