The past year has seen a huge rise in the participation of angling, resulting in large increases in club membership. The committee are aware that other local clubs have closed their memberships to new members and introduced waiting lists to control numbers.
We have carefully monitored our numbers and the numbers of members using our waters. We have previously agreed to suspend indefinitely the sale of all day tickets and prohibit guest tickets at a number of waters.
A special meeting of the committee was held this evening (3rd June) where it was decided that membership would remain open for new joiners at this time. However, the sale of season night permits to those not currently holding them (including new and existing members) would cease immediately. These will be maintained at current levels with a waiting list available for members who wish to purchase one. Anyone wishing to join the waiting list must be a member of the club. Therefore, existing members may notify the office and ask to be added to the list or new joiners must buy a general membership prior to requesting to be added to it.
We pride ourselves on offering uncrowded waters where members can enjoy their fishing without fear of not getting a choice of pegs. In recent weeks we have hit the limit of night tickets available on some waters on numerous occasions and we feel that, for the benefit of our existing members, this situation needs rectifying. The fish become pressured, the banks become increasingly worn, toilets get over-used and the whole environment of venues is undermined through the numbers of anglers present. We have no desire to be the biggest club, we want to offer the best fishing experience we can to our members. We all appreciate that there is more to angling than simply catching fish and do not want to hinder the enjoyment of our existing members.
As development works and stockings are conducted at Hucklesbrook and Spinnaker later this year we feel that the time to act is now, rather than taking more money, accepting more night fishing members and hoping for the best.
Finally, we need to prevent the use of individual night tickets in circumventing the effectiveness this restricion is striving to implement. To this end, when our waters re-open following the spawning closures the cost of individual night tickets will double to £20. We accept this will be restrictive for many but feel it is the only way, bar suspending them, to further control night fishing numbers. This is not a money making decision, it is to act as a deterrent to people hoping to bypass the waiting list system.
We hope that all members appreciate that these measures are being taken to protect the waters, their fish stocks and their enjoyment of being a part of the club.