Angling: Cormorants are on the agenda

Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon MP has announced a review of the licensing regime for cormorant control at an Angling Summit, attended by 30 angling and fisheries organisations.

This announcement followed a letter to the Minister from the Angling Trust last November, calling for action to be taken to protect stillwater and river fisheries which are suffering significant losses as a result of cormorant predation.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will invite the Angling Trust, as the representative body for all anglers, to contribute to the development of the scope, remit and delivery of the review, which have yet to be decided.

This is a significant move forward and will not have gone unnoticed locally, especially along stretches of the Calder where both cormorants and gooseander have become a major problem.

Tom Pickering has become manager of the new England Feeder team, which will compete in the inaugural World Championships. This new FIPSed competition will be held as part of the World Angling Games and be fished on September 1-2 on the river Tevere in Perugia, Italy.

Dick Clegg, OBE, International Events Manager said: "It is expected that this event will attract many of the countries affiliated to FIPSed and England need to be involved from the start.

"Tom's credentials are ideal for the job and I had no hesitation in asking him to accept the position of manager. Tom was part of the Nations team for many years and became individual World Champion in Bulgaria in 1989. He was also manager of the Ladies England team, who went on to win three team and three individual gold medals during his term in office."

Said Pickering: "I am delighted to be asked. It is my job to build a team and squad for this year and also for the future."

I'd like to add my congratulations to Tom. He is a great guy and one of the best anglers of my generation.

After two failed attempts the hardly souls from Ryburn and Halifax angling club got their annual Christmas match up and running - though the majority of the 39 who took part might have wished they'd stayed in bed.

Jim Newham of Maver North West drew a peg on the Dead Arm in Sowerby Bridge and had more than enough to win in the first 40 minutes with a decent bream and a smaller one. He added roach to that to finish miles clear with 6lbs 11oz. Canal specialist Stu Campbell of Trabucco Halifax made the most of his peg outside Jenny D's with roach on punch and caster for 2lbs 15 oz.

Hot PEG: Cold weather is returning this weekend so the river Calder might be the best bet.

TIP OF THE WEEK: Use a back shot when pole fishing to help steady the float and hold it on the same line when it is windy.