So what's changed in the last 34 years? Why is this now more relevant (could it be that finally anglers are realiasing that they cannot hide behind riparian ownership as they can no longer prove navigation rights exist to the owner?), is it because it's the only way to scare paddlers off our rivers to keep them for a few? How many paddlers have been charged and prosecuted under this Act? All paddlers should keep off the area of water when its a scrape down over the gravel beds to protect the Redds, agreed. Trying to keep all paddlers off rivers under this Act from October to June is irrelevant to most conditions. Do wading fisherman not cause as much risk? Paddlers don't paddle with the intention of stopping migratory salmon, and many of us will tell you that we don't, we've all paddled next to them jumping up river at some point.fishguard wrote(in another thread):
I thought now would be a good time to go through SAFFA 1975 with you as Paddlers seem to think it is not clear in what is says, so is not relevant nor does it effect them.
SAFFA 1975 - Part 1,section2,subsection 4, of the 1975 Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act. any person "Who wilfully disturbs any spawn or spawning fish, or any bed ,bank or shallow on which any spawning fish maybe",is guilty of an offence. Therefore as the spawning season stretches from the 8th October to the following 15th June, (this includes Salmonids and coarse fish) dependant on rivers, there is only a short period in the year when paddling on the river you would not be committing a criminal act.
Also within the same act , under part 2, section 12, subsection 3, any person (a) "does any act for the purpose of preventing Salmon or Trout from passing through a fish pass(waterfalls included)", or (b) "uses any contrivance or does any act whereby Salmon or Trout may be scared, deterred, or in any way prevented from freely entering and passing up and down a free gap at all periods of the year", is also guilty of an offence. This again would make paddling virtually impossible on small rivers without breaking the law, at any time of the year.
So RichA and all Paddlers this legislation was not drawn up by Anglers, and is nothing personal against you! it is the law, and ignorance is no defence to breaking it.
Stop the scaremongering Fishguard, education to protect redds - yes, scaremongering for your own benefit - no. What's needed is clearer web information and river level guides so that all river users are aware of the redds locations and what levels would be detrimental to them.