Wild fish of Wales – Threats and Opportunities

The recent spate of major pollution incidents in Wales and the resulting poor condition of rivers and streams in the country has led fisheries charity, Salmon & Trout Conservation Cymru to organise a specially convened seminar to discuss the future of wild fish in Wales – ‘Threats and Opportunities’.

The seminar being held on 24th April 2017, at the Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells is an opportunity for all those involved in managing and maintaining the health of freshwaters including charities, statutory bodies, river keepers and fisherman to come together to debate the future direction and management of our freshwater habitats in Wales, particularly the challenges facing sustainable land management.

Richard Garner Williams, National Officer for S&TC Cymru explains the importance of the seminar at this time and said:

“Natural Resources Wales (NRW), recently admitted that its progress on improving water quality and biodiversity has stalled because of budget cuts and staff losses. Our rivers now seem to be in a more perilous state than ever, with only 39 per cent reaching good ecological status. It is therefore imperative that we open up the debate to identify the threats and identify workable solutions that will help protect and prevent further deterioration of our rivers and streams before it is too late.”

S&TC started working in Wales last year with our Riverfly Census, sampling and analysing water insects down to species level on priority rivers such as the Usk, Cleddau and Clwd. This data, which accurately measures water quality and the local stressors that may be impacting on individual river reaches, helps fishery managers to understand the threats in order to reverse the degradation of Welsh rivers.

Richard Garner Williams said:

“At the seminar, we will be presenting the results of the 2016 Riverfly Census in Wales as well as looking at the present state of freshwater fisheries in Wales. Presentation topics will include the challenges of sustainable land management, concerns over fish stocks and findings from sea trout research projects.”

With 61% of water bodies in Wales currently not achieving good ecological status there is much work to be done. We therefore hope that the seminar will provide the impetus for better collaboration and understanding in order to push the importance of healthy Welsh rivers and fisheries higher up the political agenda.

The Seminar will be an ideal platform to share ideas and information with all those interested in the future health of our Welsh river systems. The seminar is free to attend and includes a light lunch. For further information, or to attend the conference, please contact: Richard Garner Williams on Mobile: 078 0905 6152 or email : wales@salmon-trout.org