River Test nature reserve area access and fishing

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Albacore
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Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 12:41 pm

River Test nature reserve area access and fishing

Post by Albacore » Thu May 10, 2018 1:00 pm

Forgive me if this has been covered recently; I’ve just joined the forum. I went paddling up about two hundred meters upstream of the bridges over the test at Totton towards the nature reserve at Redbridge and did a bit of fishing. I have a salmon and sea-trout rod licence. The reason for my post is to check if there has been any clarification since 2013(And the posts about kayak access through the reserve and above, on this forum) about the situation. I’d rather not be shouted at or have abusive language from property owners on the river banks, however I am likely to paddle and fish the area again so I’d like to know the rights of it. Inside the nature reserve I’m inclined to not fish, however below the sign, and around the bridges looks good to me. Am I correct in assuming its public land and therefore the fishing is also public? Has anyone fished the area between the top upstream boundary of the nature reserve and the beginning of the most downstream private beat of the Test, if such a region exists? What are the rights of fishing inside the reserve? It looked more like pike habitat to me; which I’m anyway not so interested in. If the principle of going inside the reserve is to not disturb the wildlife and it is ok to paddle, then I would have thought that fly or lure fishing would also be ok.

Hengle
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Re: River Test nature reserve area access and fishing

Post by Hengle » Fri May 11, 2018 10:05 am

Hi there
As far as I know there is nothing new about the Test. Fishing ownership in tidal water is not an area that I would know about, however we do paddle that stretch regularly and at certain times of year / tide may explore into the Hants Wildlife trust area. Whilst not wanting to make a political point but Navigation and Nature Reserve status co-exist as far as I know and neither takes precedence, especially in a tidal location.

We do not paddle the regularly fished and paid for areas such as the Salmon Leap.

damppaddler
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Re: River Test nature reserve area access and fishing

Post by damppaddler » Fri May 11, 2018 10:20 am

Isn’t fishing in a nature reserve missing the point of a nature reserve?

Albacore
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Re: River Test nature reserve area access and fishing

Post by Albacore » Fri May 11, 2018 12:49 pm

In principle perhaps, though if you’re looking at it from the point of view of disturbing the environment then I think paddling quietly along a waterway and casting a line into it is about the same level of noise and disruption to the wildlife. I’m guessing it’s a matter of individual judgement, because the laws or regulations are inconsistent. I had a look at the fishing beats maps of the Testwood and Nursling fisheries. They are a matter of some hundred meters upstream, on the two main branches of the river, of the notice that tells you there’s a nature reserve. I’ve not found the boundaries of the nature reserve but it looks like both those fisheries are inside it and they’ll have about three anglers a day, and some nights, every day between May and October. Anyway, as written, the water inside the reserve, that isn’t private fishery, doesn’t look that interesting to me. Obviously access to water for kayakers and anglers and can be a vexed subject. I’m no expert at either activity. From my limited experience of salmon fishing on the bank though, kayaks passing through don’t cause a problem to fishing. I think some bailiffs and landowners have been very protective of the fishing, which has led to the inevitable unpleasant incidents. I blame the English class system myself

damppaddler
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Re: River Test nature reserve area access and fishing

Post by damppaddler » Fri May 11, 2018 2:10 pm

“I think paddling quietly along a waterway and casting a line into it is about the same level of noise and disruption to the wildlife. ”

I suspect the fish might have a different opinion!

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