Salford Friendly Anglers Society Summer 2019 Update

Salford Friendly Anglers Soc

A club update:

Its been a while since we issued a big update on club news – lots of stuff gets discussed at our club meetings (which you would enjoy attending), and a fair amount gets shared on our clubs Facebook page – however – taking the effort to write it all down and publish on the website takes a bit more time (something that’s in short supply these days)…. The club have committed to writing a summer and winter newsletter…. (just like the old days) so here’s our latest news….

Fishing Rights

We are delighted to announce that we have been offered fishing rights on the River Irwell between Media City upstream to Agecroft Bridge by Salford Council…… this is nearly 7 miles in total !!!

If we add this to our existing fishing rights on the Irwell – Agecroft Bridge to the M60, and Springwater Park Whitefield, and Close Park Radcliffe – this takes our total to nearly 10 miles of fishing.

It was the clubs intention to ensure that as much as possible of the River Irwell remains free fishing – and we feel as though our efforts and negotiations are now being rewarded….

We are looking forwards to now making efforts to acquire similar fishing rights on the Rivers Irk, Medlock, Tame and Mersey – to provide an opportunity for people to take up the sport of fishing without money being a barrier.

At the same time – the club has relinquished the fishing rights on the Rochdale Canal between Manchester City Centre and the Rose Of Lancaster pub in Middleton – we have had a difference of opinion with the canals owners the Canal And Rivers Trust as to the best usage of the canal and how it fits in with their strategy for encouraging people to take up fishing. The club still retains the angling rights to the Bridgewater Canal at Castlefield Basins as far down as Hulme Hall Bridge (owned by Manchester City Council). We remain on excellent terms with the fisheries team at the Canal & Rivers Trust… and who knows what will happen in the future.

The club have also been asked to take on the angling rights at a number of lakes, and the committee are dealing with these on a case by case basis – capacity to deliver/manage them being the main issue.


The club held a very successful funding drive over winter 2018/19 and members very generously donated £3,000 to our restocking fund.

Over the last 12 months – the club has restocked

Broughton Park Lake – 500 tench, 80 carp

Drinkwater Park Lake – 500 tench, 4,000 roach/rudd/skimmers, 120 carp

Agecroft Pond – 2,500 roach/rudd/skimmers 300 tench

River Irwell – the club have been present at Environment Agency re-stockings of 500 Barbel, 3,000 dace and chub, and 3,000 Grayling fry.

We intend to hold another fund-raising drive soon, and the club will again spend the money on restocking local inner city public fishing venues (we have new fishing rights in the pipeline).

Fisheries Management

The club has spent a lot of time in the last 12 months trying (with varying levels of success) to improve the fishing at various club waters

At Drinkwater Park – we are trying to reduce the amount of blanket weed and filamentous algae – to combat this we have dyed the water blue, and introduced new stocks of carp (which we hope will root through the weed and muddy the water – reducing sunlight to the blanket weed) – so far this has not been a success – but we will add more dye and more fish until we get it right. The club has also spent a lot of time removing water soldiers from the lake. There is now only 1 remaining pocket of water soldiers – and we intend to tackle these later this summer.

At Broughton Park Lake – we have made great inroads into the problems caused by the deep layers of silt. We have now dressed the lake twice with Siltex, and the depth of silt has been greatly reduced. We restocked the lake with fish last year – but these appear not to have over wintered very well as this spring there appears to be much fewer fish than last autumn ☹  The club has been making efforts to improve the overall ecology of the lake, planting new species of marginal plants to improve spawning and fry habitat – (which has been a success) and also to establish lily beds to provide adult fish with shelter from feathered predators – sadly we have failed twice with this now – the lilies never seem to take hold – they are either being eaten by the Canada Geese or by the Terrapins. We will be looking to trap out the terrapins as soon as possible and then have another try with lilies this summer to see what happens. If it’s the Geese then we will have to devise a solution to protect the plants from them.

River Irwell – Our poor fish are at the centre of a perfect storm – frequent pollution incidents must be having an effect… over nutrification of the water results in oxygen starvation of fish eggs – so many eggs die before the fish can hatch – then for the viable eggs are a source of food for Signal Crayfish – the eggs that go on to become fry are then predated upon by mergansers and goosander… and the adults predated upon by mink and cormorants.  It’s a sad state of affairs that’s replicated on all rivers across Greater Manchester – add in the un-researched harm that oestrogen from the contraceptive pill, antibiotics from humans, damage from pesticides and herbicides, and chemicals from industry and we find that our fish populations are at the centre of a perfect storm.

Taking a lead from our fishing club – the Mersey Rivers Trust are taking on a project to “regreen” our rivers – propagating Starwort and Streamer Weeds to provide cover for fish, homes for insects in the rivers and generally improving the flora/ecology of our rivers.

The Old River Irlam has been fishing fabulously well in recent months – its taken a lot of money, time and effort but at long last anglers are once again catching well on the Old River. Great catches of carp and tench have been reported – with the benefits of more anglers on the bank, and more bait being thrown in – silver fish populations have also started to recover – well done to all involved – and a lesson in tenacity for all of us. However – some of the pegs need a bit of TLc and we will be holding a work party soon.

Salford Quays – Again sadly populations of silver fish have been decimated by avian predators – but carp and bream populations showing resilience. We restocked 80 2lb-3lb carp in early 2017 – but these have not really shown themselves in anglers catches – there is a great case for another restocking in spring 2020 – maybe with fish in the 3lb-5lb bracket.

We need your help in managing our waters – if you would like to help the club committee in the day to day management of waters please get in touch via

Junior Angling – The club does not have a dedicated Junior Angling Section – we feel as though we promote Junior angling in the region by offering great quality free fishing instead. However the club is currently running a “Junior Angling Photo Competition” (under 16s)  where anglers can send photos in to the club Facebook page – and prizes (rod and reel combos) are awarded on a size of smile basis rather than size of fish.  The original funding for this was found from the leftovers from winter 2018/19 restocking fund… but we have recently been approached by a local education business who would like to sponsor this competition on an ongoing basis – great news for the clubs junior anglers !! We will announce details of this sponsorship and details of the new competition as soon as we have given away all our current stock of rods and reels. It’s your duty to take your kids/grandkids fishing – get them smiling – and win prizes !!

Junior Winner April 2019 Isabel

Winners x 2
Gaia and Judah

winners x 2
Rachel and Archie

Club Funding –  Since taking over the club and re-writing the constitution in December 2009 – the club has mercilessly plundered local authority community funding streams to promote angling, and to restock local public venues with fish. However, slowly but surely these funding streams are closing down (with a number of Greater Manchester Local Authorities having non at all) so the club last winter went to its membership for the first time and asked for your cash – via an online fundraising drive. We managed to meet our £3,000 target in less than 3 months (MANY THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO CONTRIBUTED).

The club are 100% committed to offering free fishing on inner city venues – to give people a no barriers free access to the best pastime that’s ever existed – FISHING – but over the years we have been asked by many anglers what they can do to support this ethos financially – so…. In the very near future we are going to be asking members if they would like to voluntarily donate to club funds via standing order on a monthly basis…… this will be entirely voluntary – and down to the individual generosity of members rather than a condition of club membership…. The club will be able to do so much more, with many more venues if we have a bit more funding.

We have in the past 12 months knocked back half a dozen good water down our lack of funding.

The club in its current format is a great success – but we can do so much more.

NEXT CLUB MEETING –  The club traditionally holds its June meeting on the banks of the River Irwell – A Midsummer Nights Stream – the only club business under discussion is fish and fishing ….. this 19th June – we will be fishing on the Irwell behind the Racecourse Hotel (which has now re-opened after refurbishment), Littleton Road, Salford, M7 3TL – parking and access to the river behind the pub. Click this link for details.