River Irwell Polluted Yet Again

It’s happening again, and again and again.

The Irwell –  must still be one of the most frequently polluted rivers in the UK – it’s a testament to the resilience of nature that anything can survive what we humans can throw at/in it.

This week, we have seen the river turn white, green and now gold/orange caused by various pollution events.

Its like a bloomin Irish Flag !

The days of Manchesters rivers being open industrial sewers are long gone. Our rivers are now much cleaner and home to Kingfishers, Trout, Otters, Herons, a myriad of amazing insects, and provides food for brilliant birds that we love such as Sand Martins, Swifts and Swallows. Its outrageous that people can damage nature and habitats like this.


So, once again the EA have been called out to investigate – (Don’t forget if you see a pollution incident to call the EA pollution hotline on 0800-807060 ) … lets hope they make an example of the culprits.

On Monday this week the River Irwell turned white, after a discharge was seen coming from an outfall near Rectory Lane in Radcliffe, the same afternoon, the Manchester Evening News reported that the river had turned green !. And now, less than 48 hours later, the River Irwell in Bury as turned orange after someone has allowed polluted mine water to enter the watercourse.

Just how much punishment can a river take ??


Thankfully, the pollution was spotted by a Little Britain Angling Club member, and was immediately reported on both occasions (well done to Eric and all the other members at LBA for their continued river stewardship)

Its very important for us anglers to keep an eye on our waterways, the only way anything happens is if us anglers report things, and if we can encourage other members of the public to use the pollution hotline number.

Some of the Anglers Riverfly Initiative monitoring team will do an invertebrate survey in the next 48 hours to check on insect life, lets hope we don’t find any dead fish caused by this.

It’s heartbreaking to see the river being treated this way, when so much work has gone into its rehabilitation after 200 years of industrial pollution.

The Irwell is no longer a sewer, its home to Kingfishers, Trout, Otters, Herons, a myriad of amazing insects, and provides food for brilliant birds that we love such as Sand Martins, Swifts and Swallows. Its outrageous that people can damage nature and habitats like this.

Please copy and paste the link to this post and share it wide and far.

Our rivers, our wildlife, and the habitats that have been recreated need to be protected from polluters and those who care about their £s and their profits more than the wildlife that we all love and enjoy.

The pictures below give you some indication of just how far the Irwell has come in recent years — these creatures and habitats need protecting !


River Care

6 inch barbel being stocked into the River Irwell at Salford Racecourse December 2011

Irwell Ramsbottom




Great News For The River Irwell

Great News For The River Irwell
Earlier this year we were informed that United Utilities are going to be spending £450million plus between 2021 and 2025 on improvements to the waste water network and Cheshire…. This on its own was great news – as money was being spent in Bolton to reduce the frequency and volumes of discharges of dirty water from CSOS… and on other rivers around the region where we fish, such as the Tame, Medlock and Irk.
I was informed yesterday – that an additional £86million is to be spent improving waste water treatment works at Ringley/Bolton …. money is being spent on massively reducing the amount of microbes in the sewage discharge which impacts on something called the “Biological Oxygen Demand” on the river downstream. There is also going to be a massive reduction in the amount of phosphate in the water discharged from the treatment works – this will have make a big impact on reducing that horrible grey/brown algae which clogs up the river bed and gravels each summer.
And there is going to be 4 times more storm sewage tanking capacity at Ringley – which will result in far less raw sewage discharges into the river during wet weather events.
All of these improvements require large scale capital spend at Bolton treatment works,
So these works combined with the other works that have previously been announced are going to have a massive effect on the River Irwell.
It is very important to point out that a lot of these works have come about because anglers and other river users are constantly phoning in incidents to the EA pollution hotlines….. we don’t always get the replies we want or the instant action we want – but everything gets logged, and its added to the body of evidence needed to get major capital works approved.
Well done anglers — please keep moaning. Its good to have our voice/opinions heard and acted upon.
Please remember don’t report incidents on our facebook page until you have called it in on the EA pollution hotline 0800807060 first.
Time is the essence to get response teams out asap.

Salford Quays Night Fishing Now Banned

The club are very sad to report that we have been in recent dialogue with Salford Council regarding anglers anti social behaviour whilst night fishing at Salford Quays.

Anglers making loud noise in the middle of the night, using the bushes as toilets in full view of residents etc has resulted in a number of complaints to the council.

The council have been in touch with the club, and asked us to enforce the NO NIGHT FISHING in our club lease (which we have previously been not adhering to).

It’s so sad that the behaviour of a very small minority has had a negative impact on the vast majority of anglers who have night fished the quays in the past without making any nuisance of themselves.

So… as from today — there is NO NIGHT FISHING on Salford Quays – with fishing only being permitted dawn until dusk.

The council have indicated that PCSOs will be patrolling the area at night and issuing fixed penalty notices to anglers deemed to be breaking the council regulations.

How sad, that a few imbeciles spoil it for everyone else.

The relevant clause in our lease states fishing from dawn to dusk only


The club have a number of other venues where we and our landlords have conveniently turned a blind eye to night fishing, whilst our lease states no night fishing.

Please please please be respectful of our neighbours – the club don’t want to stop people night fishing but will have to impose bans elsewhere if required to.



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


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.

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.

Salford Friendly Anglers Junior Photo Comp

The club has bought ten x 9ft pellet waggler rod and reel combos to give away to junior anglers this summer — all you have to do is send in a photo via our facebook page…. and the club committee will be giving prizes away on a regular basis all summer long.

The size of smile being more important than the size of fish……

Our first winner Isabel Fletcher visited the Old River in Irlam with her dad…. and caught two cracking tench…. whilst her dad caught none….. great fishing Isabel – a worthy winner first winner of this summers prize giveaway

Isabel with a 4lb+ Tench

Take you kids / grand kids fishing this summer – create happy memories — send in your photos and win prizes

We Need Your Help

help needed

We don’t ask for much from our members – other than for you to respect our waters, our fish, and other users of the waterside.

However – this is a call to arms from the committee to you our members. We are having a real struggle to maintain our waters this summer – as new jobs – family commitments – illness – overtime and loads of other excuses mean that those members who organise events like matches and work parties have been unable to commit as much time towards club activities as they have in the past. We are aware that this can’t carry on.

New waters are being offered to the Society on a regular basis – for example Gregsons, Blackleach, Lankies, The Rat and The Cow ponds – we’d love to take them on – but we need to be able to manage our waters properly before we take on any new commitments – as at present – all these commitments fall on the shoulders of a few.

Therefore we are asking you as a member of a fishing Society to stand up and be counted for you local lake – be it Drinkies – Waterdale – The Old River – Broughton Park, Springwater Park Lodge,  The Quays or the Rochdale Canal – we need your help managing them.

We think that it would be a good idea for anglers to come forwards and say “I’ll be happy to give a few hours a month to help clean up and maintain my local fishing venue” – it really doesn’t take much.

Our intention is to create a list of members – who can be called on to get involved in the fishery management of each of our venues – its great fun and in a way its a bit like looking after the biggest garden pond you’ll ever have.

The club regularly cobbles together funds/money/grants for restocking and the members who stand up for their local venues will be supported in developing a management and restocking plan for each venue.

So – our next club meeting is going to be Wednesday the 22nd August at the Star Inn, Back Hope St, Salford, M7 2FR when we will be discussing this further. If you would like to put your name down to be involved more actively in the management of your local venue – please email the club via admin@salfordfriendlyanglers.co.uk or make us aware on our facebook page. AND PLEASE COME TO THE AUGUST CLUB MEETING!

If we can get more people involved in the day to day running of our venues – then we will be happy to take on new waters.


The 1903 Challenge Fishing Match

In 1903 – Broughton Angling Club issued a challenge to Salford Friendly Anglers Soc to fish an inter club match at a local venue – where the losers have to purchase tea for the winners.

115 years later – we have thrown down the gauntlet to Broughton Angling Club to re-run this match on Sunday the 10th June 2018.

The match to be fished at Broughton Park Lake, Salford…..

Challenge Letter From Broughton Anglers 1903

Challenge Letter From Broughton Anglers 1903


A venue that was once North Manchesters premier tench fishery but has fallen on hard times in recent years – we are working with Broughton Anglers to restore this lake to its former glories as a fishery.

Supported by the Angling Trust and by Salford Council – we have recently restocked the lake with carp and tench… and started a program of introducing new oxygenating water plants….

Here’s a view of some of our new fish