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North East of England

Online payment system set up to give easy access to Tyne passport

ACCESSIBLE, affordable fishing on the Tyne has now become even easier to book through Tyne Rivers Trust that has set up an online payments system that allows anglers to book a day's fishing with ease via the Tyne Rivers Trust website

Known as the Tyne Angling Passport, the scheme has been operating for several years but the recent change from a paper-based system to an online booking system gives anglers the flexibility to decide at thelast minute to take advantage of good weather and fishing conditions to make the most of  theTyne rivers. With a smartphone to hand, anglers do not even need a printer.

Beats of many kinds - from remote trout streams in Kielder Forest to quiet locations only a few miles from Gateshead - are on offer for just £8 per day.

A new interactive map shows all of the beats in one place, allowing the angler to see the range of fishing experiences on offer.

Winners of EA logbook scheme on the River Tyne are announced

THE Environment Agency (EA) has announced winners of the 2013 prize draw for the logbook scheme it runs for salmon and sea trout on the River Tyne.

Robin Gould of Blandford, Dorset won a Sharpe's Gordon 4 salmon rod, donated by Sharpe's of Aberdeen; Lynne Tempest of Farnham, Surrey won a Hardy Carryall Bag provided by Frasers Angling and Outdoors of Gateshead; and David Halton of Matfen, Northumberland, received a Wychwood Gye landing net and bag supplied by HarrisSportsmail of North Walsham, Norfolk.

The scheme, which involves anglers keeping a diary of the fishing trips they make in order for the EA to monitor trends in fishery performance more closely, had around 250 participants in 2013.

The EA is always keen to recruit more anglers and anyone who would like to take part should call Niall Cook on 0191 2034130.

Joining the scheme's existing sponsors for the 2014 season will be Tyne Fly Fishing, who will offer a prize of a day's guided fishing for two from a qualified Spey Casting Instructor and Game Angling Coach.

New Mills JAC members collect
their Cast Awards certificates


Cast Awards: Back row, from left, Olivla Warwick, Adam Ivison and Jonjo Dodd. Front row, from left, Nathon Ivison, Zoe Edmondson, John Edmondson, Kyle Tully and Elliot Goode.

Members of New Mills Junior Angling Club recently received their Cast Awards certificates.

Cast Awards is a new initiative from the Angling Trust to recognise standards of angling across Britain. Under the scheme there is a series of progressive steps to level 6, which help coaches to support those who want to reach a specific goal.

Certificates are awarded when each criteria is met and the names of the successful participants are recorded at the Angling Trust.

In addition to receiving their certificates Olivia Warwick and Kyle Tully each received a box of flies for winning the clubs' fly tying competition at the end of the winter fly dressing classes.

The club would like to thank Northumberland County Angling Action Group for their support.

30 fish through EA counter in March

THE Environment Agency has announced that the River Tyne upstream count for March was 30, the ninth highest on record and is lower than the five-year (72), 10-year (46) and long-term (49) averages. The highest count recorded during March was 144 in 2012.

The total for the first three months of the year is 33, the 15th highest on and lower than the five-year (90), 10-year (116) and long-term (86) averages. The highest count for this period was 283 in 2005.

The upstream count up to 9am 8th April is 63..

Upstream counts were only recorded between March 15 and 26 while flows were relatively low. Also at the start of this period, water temperatures were rising and peaked between March 16 and March 20.

The bulk of the counts were recorded on March 19 and 20 when the daily average water temperatures were at their highest (7.8⁰C) and during - and after - a small increase in flows.

The majority of counts were recorded between midday and 4pm, which, at this time year, is when water temperatures are usually at their warmest. There were also a number of counts recorded between 9am and 10am, almost all which occurring between March 17 and 20 when water temperatures were constantly above 7⁰C.

The River Tyne upstream counts can be found on https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/environment-agency Type ‘fish counts' in the search box.

Anglers can check river levels before heading out on http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods/riverlevels/

Details of the Kielder releases and the Kielder operating agreement can be found on http://tyneriverstrust.org/kielder-releases-and-river-levels/

Since 2006, almost all adult salmon and sea trout caught during broodstock collection operations on the River Tyne have been tagged with floy tags. Carried out as part of the EA's programme of index river monitoring, salmon carry green tags and sea trout, blue. These are fitted just below the dorsal fin.

During November and December last year, 233 salmon and 58 sea trout were tagged and released into locations on the North and South Tyne and the River Rede.

Tagging provides valuable information on the routes taken by migratory fish, as well as on their rates of growth and survival. However, because of the relatively small numbers involved and the low likelihood of them being encountered, recaptures are generally quite rare.

Anglers should carefully examine any salmon or sea trout caught and, if it has an external tag or missing adipose fin, record the following details: where and when it was caught; the species, sex and size (length and/or weight); and the floy tag number and colour.

If possible, take a few scales from flank of the fish just behind the dorsal fin and, if you are returning it, leave the tag attached.

During March, the EA received 17 scale samples - all from salmon. The samples were received from four different locations on the River Tyne - one upstream of Riding Mill and three downstream. The upstream sample was from a 2.2+ fish making its way back out to sea and will have returned to the River Tyne during the summer or autumn of last year.

Of the 16 samples received from downstream of Riding Mill, 11 were from spring fish and five from fish making their way back to sea after returning to spawn in 2013. Of the spring fish, six had spent three winters at sea and five had two winters at sea. The scale samples also showed that all fish left river as smolts after two winters.

Each year the EA hopes to receive scales from 10% to 15% of salmon and sea trout caught across River Tyne throughout the fishing season. It is hoped anglers will send in an unbiased sample, taking scales from fish of all sizes not just specimen examples. The EA is also keen to receive scale samples from last year's run that are making their way back to the sea.

If you would like further details of the Angler Scale Sampling Programme or the Tyne Angler Logbook Scheme or know of someone who would like to join or you catch a salmon or sea trout with a green or blue tag or a salmon with clipped adipose fin please call the environmental monitoring team on 0191 203 4140 or email morton.heddell-cowie@environment-agency.gov.uk.

By contributing to the Angler Scale Sampling Programme, anglers help improve the EA's understanding of the stocks of salmon and sea trout returning to the River Tyne.

The Angler Scale Sampling Programme is supported by the Salmon and Trout Association, Hardy of Alnwick, Bagnall and Kirkwood, Tyne Rivers Trust, Tyne Fly Fishing and the North East Fly Casting Club.


There may be a chance to spot polar bears on the Boudicca's Arctic Adventure.
There may be a chance to spot polar bears on the Boudicca's Arctic Adventure.

Set off on an Arctic adventure from Newcastle onboard the Boudicca

THE Arctic is one of the most magnificent and hard-to-reach regions in the world, but, next year, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines (FOCL) is offering guests the chance to experience this unspoiled destination on a 27-night Arctic Adventure & Exploration voyage from Newcastle.

Leaving on August 2 next year, this cruise, on smaller, more intimate Boudicca will allow guests to cross the Arctic Circle, witness the majestic fjords of Norway, take in the peaks and pinnacles of Iceland and Greenland, and - maybe - spot some fantastic wildlife such as whales, dolphins, sea eagles, Huskies and, even, polar bears.

FOCL sales and marketing director Nathan Philpot said: "This dramatic cruise is bound to appeal to even the most seasoned traveller. Firstly, it is one of the most unusual and cultural itineraries that we have ever offered to our guests, with visits to Greenland and Spitsbergen - both of which are extremely difficult to reach by air; secondly, it offers wildlife and photography enthusiasts the chance to capture some incredible moments; and thirdly, guests will have the chance to enjoy some of the best scenic cruising available, anywhere in the cruise industry " 

And, on July 20 this year, Black Watch will sail from Newcastle on amn 11-night Puffins, Waterfalls and Geysers cruise to iceland with overnight stays in before sailing on to Runavik in the Faroe Islands.

Full stories and more FOCL news on Travel and Travel 2

Fred.'s 'Promise' is back

FRED. Olsen Cruise Lines (FOCL) has extended its innovative ‘Enjoyment Promise' - the biggest initiative of its kind ever to take place in the UK to encourage people to try cruising.

 ‘Fred.'s Enjoyment Promise' now applies to all Fred. Olsen cruises in 2014 and 2015, booked at least 14 weeks in advance, on sailings of seven nights' duration or more (and less than 36 nights).

The Promise was originally introduced as part of FOCL's sales campaign, which ran from November 2013 until February 28 this year.

Full story Travel, more FOCL news on Travel 2

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Last updated: 1110 Thursday, April 17, 2014.