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We're always updating our news feed to keep our membership up-to-date with Club news.


See this months news below as well as links to previous articles.


For full details on how to join and the rates for 2018/19


Further details on all of our waters and concessions.



Visit Kieth's website here:


Visit Kevin's website here:


Visit Hugh's website here:

Wildlife images courtesy of Hugh Miles.

WDAC offers our membership the chance to fish two trout waters, Winterborne Zelston and Rawlsbury


WDAC runs numerous matches across the calendar year, encompassing both stillwaters and the River Stour. Matches are also held on non-club waters.



A page of the website purely for our younger members.


  • 'The closed season is to remain closed' by Club Chairman, Mike Hirsh
  • 'Sticky Baits prizes to our winners' by Club Media Officer, James Nash
  • 'Purchasing guest tickets on the Club's website' by Club Media Officer, James Nash
  • 'Who owns fish?' by Club Chairman, Mike Hirsh
  • 'The new WDAC website junior section' by Club Media Officer, James Nash

The close season is to remain closed

By Mike Hirsh

The Environment Agency has announced that the Close Season for coarse fishing on rivers between the 15 March and the 15 June annually and first introduced one hundred and forty-one years ago will remain.


At the AGM on the 27 March 2018 the membership present debated this matter. In the event it was resolved that ‘the Club would continue to support the concept of a close season on the rivers but would have no objection to the dates for same being modified upon expert advice.’


There were 13680 consultees that responded to the EA and the matter remains finely balanced in terms of the expressed opinions. However, the EA sought evidence about potential harms and has advised:

In addition to the evidence supplied through the consultation, the experience of the Environment Agency’s own fish farm at Calverton has shown that some species, notably Chub and Barbel, form large spawning aggregations that can be very sensitive to disturbance. Where disturbed, spawning females may reabsorb their eggs and defer spawning to the following season rather than spawning elsewhere or later.


Kevin Austin, Deputy Director of Fisheries at the Environment Agency said:


“We are really grateful to the people who took the time to respond to the consultation. We have analysed the many comments from the 13,680 responses to understand the evidence and opinions around the close season. Given the limited further evidence on risks to coarse and other fish stocks, we have decided to retain the close season.”


“We would also like to thank the joint Angling Trust/Institute of Fisheries Management study group for its work to collate, analyse and interpret the available evidence on the close season. This enabled an informed public debate. While the group concluded a more risk-based approach may be possible, our priority is to find the right balance between angling and protecting fish stocks. The current close season is risk-based and maintains protection for the majority of coarse fish.”


As those who were at the AGM may recall I am in favour of the close season. My reasons though are wider than simply the protection of fish stocks, for letting rivers rest for three months at an important time of year for wildlife generally is a good idea. I just would like the concept extended to canoeists, paddle boarders, rowers, and dog walkers etc so the rivers are really left in peace.

Sticky Baits prizes to our winners

By James Nash

Jimmy and Dexter Perrin, Abe Churchill and Luke Mould collecting their Sticky Baits prizes, worth a cool £175

The Perrin family. Jimmy and Dexter take the top spot, collecting £100 worth of Sticky Baits products

Abe Churchill and father Nick. £50 worth of Sticky Bait for 2nd place

3rd place winner Luke Mould with £25 of Sticky Bait

Purchasing Guest tickets on the Club's website

By James Nash

Having been asked by a number of members, it will now be possible to buy your guest tickets on the website, up to 24hrs in advance of your trip. These members had pointed out that last minute trips, or instances where they weren't local to a tackle shop, were preventing them from inviting their guests onto Club waters.


We'll shortly update the website and inform members once this has been tested and is ready to go.


IMPORTANT NOTE regarding online guest tickets


When navigating to the new section on the website, to buy a guest ticket, you'll be able to select either 'today' or 'tomorrow'. This means you can either buy the ticket on the day of fishing or the day before. It will not be possible to purchase guest tickets further in advance than 24hrs.


Guest tickets will still be available at the local tackle shops - if you're local to these or planning your trip in advance, make sure you support our shops and try to purchase your tickets from these guys. Your custom to these guys makes a huge difference!

Who owns fish?

By Mike Hirsh

Borwick Development Solutions Ltd.v. Clear Water Fishers Ltd [2019]  [EWCH 2272 (Ch)


There has been an important decision made in the High Court Chancery Division, from the civil court in Manchester, which alters the basis of the law about fish stocks and who owns them.


The Claimant, Borwick Development Solutions Ltd was the former owner of a commercial fishery on a freehold site close to junction 35 of the M6. It had originally been a 33-acre gravel pit with some fish in it (including some large carp and pike) but the then owner had obtained a planning permission to divide off eight smaller lakes from the main lake by earth bunds, whilst maintaining a flow of water through the site, albeit with screens to deter fish movement. Over the following 13 years the fishery was developed with the owner investing considerable sums in the fish stocking and husbandry. The business failed, it appears, because of a loss-making investment in an on-site café.


Receivers were appointed in 2016 and thence sold the site to the defendants. During the sale process the Claimant had raised the matter of the fish stocks but that had not prevented the sale.

The general rule in law is that wild animals are ferae naturae and that there is no absolute property in them whilst living. However, this general rule has a history of case law in relation to fish. The earliest recorded case being the Greyes Case of 1593 which confirmed it was a felony to steal fish from a ‘trunk’ [being a form of tank]. In R .v. Steer (1704) a quantity of carp stolen from an enclosed pond were held to be the property of the owner of the pond.


The defendant’s position was that as an ordinary incident of the purchase of the property the exclusive fishing rights were also acquired. However, it was agreed that the fishing rights were not in dispute only the matter of the ownership of the fish. Whilst the amount invested in the fish was not seriously disputed the defendants also submitted that the claimant did not have ‘close control’ over the fish and it would take around six months of netting and removal to carefully take the fish from the lakes some of which were over thirty feet deep.


Judge Hodge QC came to the conclusion that none of the pre-existing case law had any real relevance to a situation related a modern commercial fishery ‘where the whole object of storing the fish there is that they should present a challenge to anglers seeking to catch them. He went on to say that: ‘fish reared and/or introduced into a closed commercial fishery are wild animals in which a qualified property exists through industry, diligence and the hard work of the owner or operator of that fishery.’ ‘….in my judgement there was a qualified property in those fish and that property did not pass when the land was conveyed to the defendant.’


The Judge therefore found in favour of the claimant.


So what does this mean for the Club? It is likely to mean, over time, that we may need to reconsider the terms of the Club’s leases and licences. Historically, most landowners have required the Club to keep up fish stocks but are silent on who owns the fish as it is implied that they are wild and do not belong to either party. Now we may have an argument on certain enclosed waters, where we have introduced fish, that the stock might belong to the Club.

The new WDAC website junior section

By James Nash

We've been busy planning the new junior section of the website and would like to inform our members where we're up to.


The development of this new page is designed to provide our juniors with a centralised hub whereby they can engage with the Club, share their captures and pick up some useful tips on a variety of Club waters and tactics.


In summary, we're hoping the new page will contain the following elements:



Allowing junior members to shares their captures and images away from social media to the club and other juniors directly.



A question and answer section where juniors can seek advice to assist them in their fishing, again away from the social media spotlight.



Specifically chosen pre-existing video content, indexed to make trying something new accessible and easy to find. Examples could include: fish safety, approaching a new venue, surface fishing set-ups, trotting a float on the river, baiting strategies etc We're hoping to team up with national companies to facilitate quality content.



As with the video content, explaining various methods and tactics with the help of some great pictures.



Basic venue guides, highlighting useful ways to approach some of our waters. Rigs, locations, baiting strategies etc. Designed to eliminate the unknowns on a particular venue and encourage minors/juniors to try a new water




  • If you have any suggestions to enhance the new junior page please feel free to email us
  • If you are a senior member and would like to help support our youngsters via the 'ask the club' feature, please let us know!
  • If you could help us with providing some basic info on how to approach any of our waters, that would be really helpful.
  • If you have any links to companies that provide angling video or written content, we'd love to hear from you
  • Once we're up and running with this section, it would fantastic to see some of our senior members encouraging our juniors, perhaps by showing them the new page, helping them with their photo's or generally providing advice.


James Nash

WDAC Media Officer



The predominant aims of the page are to provide young and inexperienced members with the ability to learn new techniques, remove the unknown element of fishing new waters waters,  be able to ask for help when needed and to share their captures with like-minded junior members


We're hoping to run some competitions via the page too - we'll be adding this in if and when we can.


Our minor and junior members are the future of our sport and indeed of our Club - any help or assistance from any member will be gratefully received.






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