Ian Hayes Retires

We don’t know whether to be happy or sad to hear the news that our local Environment Agency Fisheries Officer has taken early retirement.

Sad to hear that there will no longer be a calming, steady reliable, knowledgeable and helpful voice responding to our panicked calls when something is going wrong. Sad to hear that a we will no longer be able to draw on his vast knowledge of local fisheries. Sad to realise that we will miss working with him to improve our waters on a month by month basis.

However, we are happy that Ian has spent so long looking after fisheries in North Manchester, and is now taking early retirement that will give him more time to spend out on the bank catching them.

We are also thankful for all the work that Ian has done over the years – he has been a great champion of the River Irwell – and has had a hand in restocking 100s of thousands of fish into the River Irwell, and probably over half a million fish into the wider Greater Manchester River network. He has recorded all the fish he’s stocked into a little black book.

Most notably the recent years he has been responsible for the re-stockings of Grayling and Barbel. Both of these stockings have been a success as you can now catch both species of these fish on the River if you are in the right place. Lets hope these new fish go on to thrive, breed and create great sport of anglers in the future.

Irwell Grayling June 2020

We wish you all the best Ian for your retirement –  from everyone at Salford Friendly and the wider fishing community of Greater Manchester.

Ian Hayes – helping us re-stock the Old River in 2012


Happy 100th Birthday (Mr Salford Quays) Ben Wallsworth


Happy 100th Birthday to Ben Wallsworth, Salford born and bred. Born on this day in Ordsall in 1920.

As a 20-year old soldier at the start of the 2nd World War, he was with the British Army at the evacuation from Dunkirk. He helped knock out a German machine gun and then refused to abandon his own gun position as instructed, staying behind to defend his comrades from aerial attacks when they were trapped on the beaches for three days and nights. Ben shot down several German fighter planes. He was awarded the Military Medal by King George VI for his bravery.

An engineer by trade, he later worked for decades at Farmer Norton’s Engineering Company in Adelphi Street, where he was a strong trade unionist. He became a local councillor in 1957 and over the years represented Weaste, Langworthy and finally Blackfriars wards. His dad had worked at the docks.

By the early 1980s, it saddened Ben to see the derelict docks, empty warehouses and rusting cranes. Along with Les Hough and Roger Rees, he was one of the driving forces behind acquiring the land. Manchester Council wanted £3 million for it; Salford got them down to £1 million (all from a grant). People forget, that for the Council to spend such a huge sum was an incredible gamble. It was an industrial wasteland and “experts” scoffed – who on earth would want to come up north and invest in it when there was absolutely nothing there?

But Ben saw the potential. He knew people are always attracted to water. So his idea was not just for revitalising the area with businesses and offices, but also for shops, hotels, housing and leisure. He’d seen it done in Canada and Australia and believed it could be done in Salford. Within 10 years, £280 million worth of investment had come rolling in and much, much more was to come. Ben’s original vision helped turn the old docks into the modern Salford Quays and helped re-establish Salford’s reputation as a great city of business and enterprise.

More Salfordians now work at the Quays than at the old docks. Millions of people now visit his legacy at Salford Quays and MediaCityUK. Ben was Mayor of Salford in 2002-03. He retired as the longest-serving councillor (46 years) in 2005 and met with royalty again when the Queen gave him an MBE.

Last year he was awarded the Freedom of the City. Salford Mayor Paul Dennett, speaks for all Salfordians by putting it simply, “He is a living legend.” Happy 100th Birthday, sir.

River Irwell Social Evening



A bit short notice but who cares.

This Sunday evening the 22nd September – we will be holding a “social fish in” on the River Irwell at Agecroft in Salford.

Parking at Whitewater Drive Salford, M7 3AP

It’s up to you what you do – fish, chat, walk the dog/wife/kids…. whatever.

A few anglers have said that they will be fishing the stick float for dace/roach/chub – another member has said he will be lure fishing.

No set plans other than to fish from 4pm until dusk, and then retire to the nearby Racecourse Hotel on Littleton Rd for a beer.

Everyone welcome.

Old River Match Result 14th Sept 2019

We held another match on the Old River in Irlam today

Only a few anglers found the fish

1st Tony Shep 10lb 5oz – 3 lovely tench

2nd Pete Kay 2lb 5oz – a net of roach and small skimmers

We raised £30 for the restocking fund

Many thanks to Mike Donigan of Monton Bait & Tackle who donated a £10 tackle voucher for the winning angler.


We had planned to hold two further matches in September at Drinkwater Park and The River Irwell in Salford…. sadly both of these events have been cancelled. We will be announcing more fishing matches for October, November and December very soon.

Match photos below

Drinkwater Park – A bit of weeding

Like any garden – if left alone for any length of time – the weeds can take over.

A lake is no different – and while the club have been spending time and effort combating the blanket weed that has ruined summer sport over the past few years… some of the swims have become a little overgrown. Mainly due to a reduction in numbers of anglers fishing the lake.

The work the committee has undertaken in recent years with restocking and blanket weed reduction measures now appears to be paying off, with tremendous fish being caught from the more popular (clear) swims. Just take a look at these two fantastic fish below to get an idea of the quality of fish that is being caught on Drinkwater Park this summer.

There not only large fish such as carp and tench coming out though… anglers fishing single maggot on the waggler are catching tremendous nets of roach rudd perch and bream.

As the club are entering into fund raising mode again – we thought that moving some of our club matches from the Old River in Irlam to Drinkwater Park Lake would be a good idea, and a nice change of scenery for the regular match supporters.

So… we decided to hold a few work parties to make a start on clearing out bull rushes and raking out the fringe lillies.

Many thanks to everyone who has turned out on the two work parties we have held so far (with another due to be announced soon)

We started off with a view like this

And ended up with a peg that now looks like this

And another peg that now looks like this

And the came back again to open a third peg up at the top end of the front lake.

Over the next week or so…. we hope to open up a total of 20 pegs on Drinkwater Park (front and back lake) and then start holding a match a month in September, October and November.

Its well worth the short walk from the car park — but just remember that you need to give your approach a bit of thought at this venue…. its not a good plan to be throwing out leads and bait that sink out of reach in the middle of dense weed beds…. find the clear spots, pop up you baits, and give the fish a chance to find it.

Many many thanks to everyone who has volunteered their time. Very much appreciated.

Old River Match Record Broken

We held a match on the Old River Irwell in Irlam this evening to have some fun and raise funds for the Friendly Anglers Fund

1st Chris Fletcher – 16lb 12oz (5 tench) a new match record !

2nd Gregg Garbett – 6lb 8oz (2 tench plus bits)

3rd Paul Nelson – 6lb (2 tench)

4th Mike Duddy – 1lb 12oz (1 tench)

5th Mike Clare – 1lb 10oz

6th Mike Cootes – 1lb 9oz

7th Brian Donaghy – DNW

Well done Chris – you smashed it this evening

A really encouraging set of weights with fish being caught all over the lake…. great news that the Old River is in full recovery mode after the big pollution event of a few years ago.

We are holding another match on Saturday evening the 17th August – draw 4pm fish until dusk – £10 all in.

Please book on in advance by sending £10 to admin@salfordfriendlyanglers.co.uk via paypal

Plenty of room for everyone – lots of fish coming out, and good company

The new total raised for our Friendly Anglers Fund now stands at £275..

If you can’t make it to one of our fishing matches and would like to donate to The Friendly Anglers Fund…. you can do so by sponsoring 4 of our club members in the 13 Arches Half Marathon via this link 


River Irwell Carp

We should stop describing Salford angler Kaden McCarthy as “young” and start using the word expert.

Kadens latest fish, a 25lb common carp from the lower River Irwell certainly cements his position as one of the best anglers in our club.

Check out this River Irwell Carp

River Irwell carp

River Irwell Carp

And for us mere mortals – The Irwell holds a good head of carp downstream of the M60 – but finding them and then catching them is a different story !

Well done Kaden.

If you’re interested in having a look at some more amazing fish from local waters take a look by clicking this link below – all of them caught by Kaden

Manchester Monsters Of The Deep


Engineering Works Drinkwater Park

Large scale engineering works are going to be taking place over the next 8 weeks in Drinkwater Park, as works are undertaken to protect the footings of the footbridge across the River Irwell between Drinkwater Park lake and Agecroft Pond side….

The Forestry Commission are placing large rock boulders around the bridge footings to protect against flooding.

There will be 20 ton wagons and large earth moving equipment on site,,, so please take care.

We will be asking if the contractors can help us out with a few odd jobs while they are on site  .. so please be aware that your days fishing might be interrupted on the odd occasion

National Angling Strategy 2019-24

Remember when we asked you – our members to take part in a National Angling Survey back in 2018 ?

Well now a new National Angling Strategy has been devised which uses the data from this survey and has been put together by Adam Brown – who works for www.substance.net in Manchester (who also happens to be a Salford Friendly member)- and a National Angling Strategy developed and adopted by the partners listed below.

The strategy will be implemented by a new partnership body – the National Angling Strategy Partnership Board, coordinated by the Angling Trust with representatives from the Environment AgencyCanal and River TrustAngling Trades Association and Get Hooked on Fishing. The board will be responsible for delivering the strategy as well as securing the additional funding needed to deliver on the strategy’s aims and objectives.

The strategy was researched and written by Adam Brown, Head of Research at Substance after widespread consultation with the angling community and using feedback from the National Angling Survey 2018 which engaged 35,000 anglers. The responses included the need to make better information available on where and how to fish and the need to emphasise the health, well-being and environmental benefits of participation in recreational fishing.

You can download the strategy here: Angling for Good Report

A summary report is available here: Angling for Good Summary

Survey Report – Coming Soon.

Aims and Objectives of the National Angling Strategy

The aims of the National Angling Strategy are to:

  1. Increase participation in angling to:
  2. Increase the numbers of people getting active outdoors through angling.
  3. Improve the health and well-being of those that take part.
  4. Help people and communities develop with skills, education, volunteering and facilities.
  5. Connect more people to nature through angling for their well-being and to improve the environment.
  6. Increase the economic impact of angling and in particular deliver economic benefits in rural and coastal communities and revenue to clubs, fisheries and businesses.


Its Objectives are:

  • Objective 1 – Develop awareness and knowledge of angling.

A marketing campaign, backed by research, with new information on how and where to fish.

  • Objective 2- Increase participation in angling

An increase in angling participation by 2024 and increases in females, young people and BAME communities taking part.

  • Objective 3 – Develop social benefits through angling

An increase in people getting physically active through angling, delivery of angling for health programmes; and an angling volunteer programme.

  • Objective 4 – Develop Sustainable Places to Fish

Involve anglers more in environmental improvement work and science, develop more local and accessible places for people to fish and develop more community waters.

  • Objective 5 – Increase Angling’s Economic Impact

Deliver a trade-backed market development plan, new funding for developing the angling sector and tackle shop and angling tourism support.

  • Objective 6 – Understand angling data and evidence

Develop an angling research programme to inform future actions, stakeholders and angling commerce interests, and to evaluate the strategy’s success.


The Salford Friendly Anglers Society will be discussing this report at its next club meeting – and seeing how we can align some our our activities to support this national strategy.

Restocking Our Waters

We’ve put together a few clips of us restocking our clubs waters……

Enjoy the fishing….. take your children/grandchildren with you – its your duty as an angler and as a good parent

Take you litter home with you when you’re finished