The ACA Forum

Conserving the Devonshire Avon from source to sea


This  watercolour by Mick Loates is a superb and thrilling testimony to Mick’s love of fishing and the Avon.   We are deeply indebted to him for permission to use it on our website.  He has added the following comment which many other fishermen would do well to heed. 

‘Fishing for me is a celebration, so how better to recognise that than by painting one’s catch. The Bantham estuary is one of those locations where it doesn’t matter if the score is nil, it’s such a stunningly beautiful location with a unique ecosystem that makes one realise there’s so much more to fishing than the fish themselves. Over the years both myself and the few friends I choose to fish with have observed a strict code of practice with regard to conserving stocks. We have successfully campaigned for an increase in commercial netsmens’ mesh size, allowing the smaller fish liberty. We also return most fish, keeping just a few for our culinary needs. Bass are being harvested in their tonnes by commercial boats and to a lesser degree by unthinking rod and line fishermen. One of the most beautiful and sporting of all British marine species, the bass deserves protection. What we take out we should, in one form or another, put back in – a sound ethic for any angler’.

Mick’s recollections of fishing the Avon and suggestions for conservation objectives may be found by clicking here –A Conservation Policy for Salmon and Brown Trout

It in this same spirit that we offer our guide  to fishing around the Avon which may be found below. 

A conservationist’s guide to fishing around the Avon estuary – an introduction to the fishing byelaws covering the Avon

 TROUT FARMING at LODDISWELL– the arguments against allowing a trout farm at this point on the river

RIVER AVON FISH CATCHES – A review of Environment Agency electro-fishing catches in recent years from the Glazebrook, a tributary of the Avon, near Avonwick.  Many fishermen maintain that fish stocks in the river have declined within living memory.  This may be so but recent records show no dramatic changes in the numbers of trout and salmon.