Avon Fishing Association logo

Smartphone version-beta

River management: Chairman's annual report:
AGM Minutes:
facebook-logo AFA on Facebook
Avon Fishing Association
AFA News is now on Facebook

8th February 2017. We now have permission to fish the Loddiswell Station water. Access is excellent through a white gate between the station and signal box and down a series of steps/paths to the river. The owner asks that we park in the layby just downhill from the signal box.

2nd February 2017 (From John Roberts)
Dear Members. Please see the list of dates for river work in 2017.
Please contact Jon Camp at if you can help.
  • Saturday 18th February 2017, meet at Humpy Bridge Avonwick.
  • Saturday 25th February 2017, meet at the three Cottages above Gara Bridge
  • Saturday 4th March 2017, meet at Knap Mill
  • Saturday 11th March 2017 meet at Knap Mill
Start time 9.30am - 12.30pm. Weather and river condition dependant so please check Facebook for updates

This information is also available on the AFA Facebook Events and Home pages at:
25th November 2016
One of our riparian owners, Donald Pethybridge, passed away peacefully at home, after a short illness bravely fought, on Friday 18th November 2016.
A memorial service will be held at St Michael of All Angels Church, Loddiswell on Saturday 3rd December at 2pm.
6th October 2016
The final report for the South Hams River Improvement Project (SHRiMP) is available here ... Note it's a 48 page .pdf file
fish in hand23rd September 2016
Here are two reports 
of juvenile fish stocks in the Avon that provide historial context for the 2016 survey carried out by the Westcountry Rivers Trust:

22nd September 2016
Results of  2016 electrofishing by the WRT, spreadsheet available here .Note this is a spreadsheet file.

10th September 2016
Report of an Environment Agency invertebrate survey of the upper Avon at Horsebrook carried out by the Westcountry Rivers Trust, available here ...
2nd August 2016

Report from the president Chris Peach on survey work carried out by the Westcountry Rivers Trust (WRT).
"I observed the e-fishing conducted by Matt Healey from the WRT on the River Avon this morning above Curtisknowle.

It was interesting to see this survey method being carried out, the number of fry & Parr, variety of invertebrates and to observe at close range the difference between salmon and trout fry.

I understand that Matt is hoping to cover all our sites today and will then have a report ready by the end of the year. He said that he would be willing to present the survey findings plus report on the gravel augmentation at the AGM

Suggest we formalise this soonest.

Matt reported that there were a good number of salmon Parr at the site between Brent Island and Lydia falls, too early to comment on other findings but overall the river environment appears very healthy.

Some photos below, "

WRT survey WRT survey

The WRT will survey the following sites for the AFA:

  • Annabel copse
  • Above Curtisknowle Weir
  • Downstream of Curtisknowle weir
  • Downstream of Gara Bridge
  • Downstream of Avon Mill
  • Downstream of New Bridge

June 2016
The President and Committee of the Avon Fishing Association have great pleasure in inviting you to this year's Annual Dinner which will be held at the Avon Mill Garden Centre Restaurant on 8th. July 2016 [7 for 7:30].Partners and guests are most welcome.The price which includes wine with the meal is £29.50 per person.
Menu choices are available online
Booking form available online

July 2014
The fish pass on Venn Weir has been repaired
Venn weir repairs 
1st May 2014
The Angling Trust issued the following information:
Code for Theft of Fishing Rights 116/11 Quote this Code to the Police If You See "Fishing Without Permission" Every offence which the police are duty bound to deal with has a unique Home Office Code. We now have the Code for "Theft of Fishing Rights": 116/11. If therefore, anglers quote this when reporting incidents, the police will understand that they must deal with the matter, rather than misinterpreting the situation as a civil matter and/or passing the job over to the EA. Provision of the Code will mean that from the initial stage the call taker will understand that this is a police matter, and police officers responding can check the relevant instructions, more here ...
24th January 2014
WRT SHRImP 2013 project semi-quantitative electro-fishing report available here (opens in new window)

4th April 2013 Salmon and Sea Trout Weights and Lengths
A table giving approximate weights for Salmon and Sea Trout with lengths in inches weight in lbs. is available here ...
Weights are reckoned to be within + or - 5% of the actual figure. John Roberts used NASCO data and 2.5 cm to 1 inch for the sake of simplicity and ease of calculation.

27th March 2013 Fish-eating birds
The Angling Trust web site to record sightings of cormorants, goosanders and mergansers throughout the UK is still available:

AFA Day Out August 12 2012
Eschewing the normal accoutrements of a chaps day out: charabanc, several cases of brown ale and boisterous singing, the AFA decided to fish the Avon Dam reservoir instead. The weather was typical of the summer: dull and blustery with the odd shower thrown in. Twelve hardy souls braved the elements and had a thoroughly good afternoon. The fish showed their appreciation of our efforts by stubbornly refusing to take, nevertheless the odd brown was caught, mainly on small dark wet flies; with Dennis Dawes leading the field with four caught on the true right bank. The rest of us had to be content with simply “being there.” Thanks to Brian Dent for organising the first of what, we hope, will be an annual event in the AFA calendar.

22nd June 2012 Riverside Farm, Loddiswell
Newspaper account of charges brought to court by South Hams Council available here (opens in new window)
19th June 2012 Catchment Restoration Fund 
Earlier this year the AFA worked in collaboration with other local river and estuary organisations to establish a South Hams River Improvement Project (SHRImP) for the Rivers Avon, Erme & Yealm. This local project, worth £380K, is part of a larger package of restoration work across rivers in the South West.

The Westcountry Rivers Trust (WRT) has successfully won the bid to deliver this project on behalf of the EA to meet national targets for environmental protection and help meet the EU’s Water Framework Directive standard.

Work specific for the River Avon will be to deliver a range of river habitat improvement activities including river bank fencing, nutrient management, gravel augmentation to increase spawning rates, electrofishing surveys, the release of reservoir water to maximise migratory salmonid movement and other work to ease migration and remove obstacles. The work will be carried out over the next three years with most of the work taking place next year.

The AFA committee will be working closely with the WRT project team to provide local advice where necessary so that this long term project improves the environment of the River Avon and thus the interests of our members.

WRT announcement available here (opens in new window)
3rd April 2012 Planning Permission Granted
South Hams Council decision notice on application to install a single screw turbine and associated switch gear to generate electricity and improvements to weir above Gara Bridge available here (opens in new window)

3rd January 2012 The EA withdraws the holding objection to Planning application (Ref 17_38/2849/11/F ) The Mill House, Gara Bridge
The EA considers that the proposal will be acceptable providing that the recommendations made by Devon Wildlife Consultants are followed.

15th December 2011 EA objects to Planning application (Ref 17_38/2849/11/F ) The Mill House, Gara Bridge
The Environment Agency objects to the hydrogeneration scheme at Gara Bridge because "elements of the current design would have a detrimental effect on the River Avon and because the application is not supported by an ecological assessment".
The EA letter of objection is available here (opens in new window)
The AFA emails SHDC welcoming the Environment Agency’s submission of a holding objection, available here (opens in new window)

22nd November 2011 Planning application (Ref 17_38/2849/11/F ) The Mill House, Gara Bridge
Installation of a single screw turbine and associated switch gear to generate electricity, improvements to weir.
Plans and documents are available here (open in new window)
AFA committee letter of objection is available here (opens in new window)

16th November 2011 Angling Trust claims:
"Most hydropower schemes are a waste of taxpayers' money and damaging to the environment" article is available here (opens in new window)
Angling Trust position paper is available here (opens in new window)
11th November 2011 Avon Waterbody Classification meeting
Background papers:
  • Environment Agency (EA) Briefing note available here (opens in new window)
  • EA Waterbody Information Pack available here (opens in new window)
  • Avon waterbody update for AEF available here (opens in new window)
  • Roger Furniss (South West Rivers Association) pre-meeting comments available here (opens in new window)
Agenda available here (opens in new window)
AFA written submission available here (opens in new window)
EA meeting minutes available here (opens in new window)
25th October 2011 Hydropower
The response from the Wild Trout Trust to the Environment Agency’s Hydropower Good Practice Guidelines is available here (opens in new window)
3th October 2011 Illegal Salmon Netting
Constable Rachel Ward of Kingsbridge tells us that on Sunday 2nd October 2011 at about 9:15am on the River Avon two men in their 40's were spotted laying a 150ft net just upstream of Milburn Orchard on the rising tide. They were using a bright blue open boat, outboard driven. Members are asked to be on the lookout for anything similarly suspicious. If you actually see something in progress, dial 999 immediately. Otherwise, report any information to the Police on the new non-emergency number: 101 (one-zero-one), email, or ring the Environment Agency on 0800 807060. Do not approach these people as they often operate in highly professional gangs.

12/8/11 President's letter to members
A copy of the president's letter to members on salmon and sea trout conservation is available here (opens in new window)
Wild Trout Trust
A copy of the report made after an advisory visit by the Wild Trout Trust in April 2011 is available here ...
23/7/11 an online petition
directed at Richard Benyon MP (Minister for Natural Environment and Fisheries) to review Cormorant licensing regime is available here ... (opens in new window)

22/7/11 lost and found
Fishing on the Knap Mill stretch on Wednesday 20 July, Patrick Bromley found a recently dropped pair of scissors attached to a silver coloured chain. There was a red car parked on the road earlier – it might have been the owner’s, but he did not see them. Peter will happily return the scissors to their owner (Tel: 01364 72352

1/7/11 Hydropower generation
The EA announce that "consultation on the review of our Hydropower Good Practice Guidelines will be available for you to view and comment between the following dates:
Start date: 01/07/11 11:30
End date: 23/09/11 23:59
Please select the following link to view this event:
If the link appears to be broken, please try copying the entire link into the address bar on your web browser. "

16/6/11 Hydropower generation
The AFA complained of unfairness in the way the EA dealt with our objection to the application to abstract water above Gara Bridge. Our complaint and the EA response are available here ... (opens in new window)

14/6/11 Fish-eating birds
The Angling Trust has launched a new web site to record sightings of cormorants, goosanders and mergansers throughout the UK:

28/5/11 Hydropower generation
The notice of the EA's decision to grant a licence to abstract water above Gara Bridge is available here ... (opens in new window)
A copy of the licence and conditions is available here ... (opens in new window)

6/5/11 Water quality
The EA call for help in improving Avon water quality, their briefing note is available here ... (opens in new window)
A more detailed report that provides "an overview and steer for delivery against environmental objectives in the Avon waterbody", is available here ... (opens in new window)

14/3/11 Westcountry Angling Passport
A copy of Toby Russell's report on the Rake beat in 2010 is available here ... (opens in new window)

20/1/11 South West Rivers Association
A copy of the minutes of the SWRA council meeting held Tuesday 4 January 2011 is available here ... (opens in new window)

10/12/10 Hydropower generation
The Angling Trust, Atlantic Salmon Trust, Afonydd Cymru, Association of Rivers Trusts, Salmon & Trout Association and Wild Trout Trust wrote a joint letter to Paul Leinster CBE, Chief Executive of the Environment Agency (EA) to express their frustration at the way his organisation has failed to take account of the protection of fish and rivers in its approach to hydropower. The letter and press release are available here ... (opens in new window)

7/10/10 Response to AFA concerns about hydropower generation at Gara Bridge
Fishtek's response to concerns raised by the AFA is available here ... (opens in new window)
29/9/10 Meeting with EA and Fishtek to discuss hydropower generation at Gara Bridge
An email expressing serious concerns is available here ... (opens in new window)

1/07/10 Hydropower generation
AFA letter of objection to a proposed hydropower development at Gara Mill is avalable here ... (opens in new window)

27/5/10 South West Rivers Association
The Newsletter of South West Rivers Association Issue 21 – February 2010   is available here ... (opens in new window)

14/4/10 Himalayan balsam on the Avon

The Aune Conservation Asoocociation, in collaboration with the South Devon AONB Unit, has started to compile a list of the worst affected sites in the Avon valley and will be organising a series of balsam clearance and control days in the early summer months, prior to seed formation, more ...
24/3/10 Riverine management:
Toby Russell and a contractor begin three days of coppicing work between Hatch Bridge and Pembertons' Pool. Members are asked to meet at Bramble Pool at 2pm on Wednesday 24th March to assist and participate in a riverine management training session. See SDCLAG EF project page for progress report

19/3/10 Map update:
The map of the lower water has been revised to show:
  • the names of pools on Alex Rutherford's water
  • the extent of the fishing controlled by the AFA just above Hatch Bridge and just below Silveridge Bridge

17/3/10 Insect monitoring workshop:
Members are asked to express an interest in attending a practical workshop organised by the Westcountry Rivers Trust to be held in April on identifying aquatic insects

12/3/'10 Funding:
The South Devon Coastal Local Action group Enablement Fund awarded £3,115 to support the association's River Avon Project (Phase1)

"Voices from the past"
Some members have remarked on the relatively high number of undersized (less than eight inches) fish they catch. This page presents some information on the size of fish in the Avon, more ...

Environment Agency Surveys:
The results of electric fishing surveys carried out by the EA between 2002 and 2009 are available here ...

River walk on Sunday March 7th 2010
Malcolm Pickup has kindly offered to lead a walk along the river on Sunday March 7th. This is especially useful for new members or those unfamiliar with the river.
Please contact Malcolm via email at if you would like to participate.
"Taking a Look at River Maintenance"
An article by Malcolm Pickup is available here ....

2010 dates for river maintenance

Malcolm Pickup and John Roberts plan to carry out river maintenance work at two locations in 2010: (1) Above and below Gara Bridge and (2) Avonwick Bridge to A38 below South Brent on the following dates:
  • 7th February meet at Gara Bridge
  • 21st February meet at Kerrydowns Bridge
  • 7th March to remain open for further work if needed on either of the two sites
  • Start time 9:30 am 
If you would like to help please contact John via email
Proposed five year moratorium on November salmon fishing

Two members have requested that the AFA debate the following motion at the AGM on Tuesday 26th January 2010: "that to assist with the recovery of salmon stocks the AFA has decided to adopt a voluntary moratorium on November salmon fishing for 5 years".
more information here...
Declared rod catches of salmon and sea trout on the Avon (Devon) in 2008

The Environment Agency (EA) reported that 61 salmon and 291 sea trout were caught on the Avon (Devon) in 2008. In contrast, AFA members reported catching 20 salmon and 47 sea trout. Because of this discrepancy a letter has been drafted requesting access to further information held by the EA. The draft letter is available for your comments here. Please let the Paul Kenyon know of any additions/corrections etc. as soon as possible.

Would you be willing to carry out an examination of any data provided by the EA? It would help to avoid 'observer bias' if the data was analysed by two or more people acting independently.

Salmon and sea trout spawning

 Mike Maslin has offered to show members how to identify salmon and sea trout redds. Details on where and when to meet Mike will be published on this page

Advisory visit by the Westcountry Rivers Trust

Toby Russell visited the Avon on 17th November 2009. A series of photographs that illustrate some of the points he made as he walked from Hatch Bridge upstream to Pembertons' Pool are available here ...


A webcam has been installed on the Avon at Pembertons' Pool below Loddiswell. It can be viewed here

Bank clearing Code of Practice

The committee recently approved a bank clearing Code of Practice and Risk Assessment for anglers using asociation waters. These documents are available here.

Website consultation

The AFA committee would be interested in hearing your views on making this website more accessible to the general public. At the moment the website is not included in the results returned by Google and other search engines. Are you in favour on continuing with his approach, or would you like to make the site more accessible to potential new members and visiting anglers? Please email your comments to:

Survey of fish-eating birds

At a recent meeting with Mike Maslin (Environment Agency Fisheries Officer) we were advised to record sightings of fish-eating birds (mergansers and cormorants) on the river.  Click here to report sighting of fish-eating birds

Dart Exchange Scheme

In 2008 the AFA and the Dart Angling Association (DAA) entered into a reciprocal agreement that enables AFA members to fish on DAA waters and vice versa.
  • This arrangement is only available to members of the AFA. 
  • AFA members must contact the AFA Secretary - on each occasion - before fishing DAA water
  • A maximum of two AFA members may fish on DAA water on any one day
  • AFA members may only fish on the DAA's "Church Commissioners" water
  • The DAA website has a map showing the extent of the water available under this arrangement
  • AFA members must comply with the DAA rules when fishing DAA water
  • AFA members must carry their AFA Member's Ticket - for identification purposes - when fishing under this arrangement

  • "A Tale of Two Absurds" submitted by Peter Twomey:
    Last Thursday I fished for the first time this season- I managed to net 2 salmon but not in any orthodox way. As I was wading down the “bend pool” above Topsham Bridge I was suddenly startled by an almighty commotion between me and the river bank and nearly lost my balance. I presumed I spooked an otter or duck but to my amazement as I looked behind me I found a very nice salmon had swam or was swept up into my net! We eyed each other up, acknowledged the madness of it all and then said our good byes as it slipped back into the water.

    I couldn’t believe what happened and in all my years had never heard of anything like it. There was still more absurdity to come. 

    That afternoon another member who I was fishing with invited a novice enthusiast to join him for the last hour or two of the day. Casting a fly is still all rather foreign to him so I put up my small spinning rod for him to use. Unfortunately I lent it out a few months previously to a friend who returned it in a real buggers muddle. I thought the best thing to do was to chuck the bait as far as I could into the field and rewind the nylon to get rid of all the possible knots and lay the line neatly on the drum. Well I thought better of it and climbed in the water hoping I could achieve the same result whilst fishing. I threw the bait this way and that and the line was still in a mess so I maneuvered myself out into the river and chucked the bait as far as I possibly could down stream. As the mepp hit the water it was snapped up by a salmon which I subsequently landed and released.

    I am afraid to say I caught nothing in any conventional way.

    My father always said “any fool can catch a salmon, it takes a fisherman to catch a trout”-maybe he was right.

  • Graham's plaqueGraham's plaqueGraham Stickland: a plaque in Graham's memory has been placed on Kerrydowns Bridge
  • Riverside Farm, New Mill Lane, Loddiswell. Appeal by Mrs J Burner against an enforcement notice issued by South Hams District Council. The appeal decision is available here ..
  • rainbow troutPaul Edginton caught this 20oz rainbow trout which tasted wonderful.
    His family have requested that the river be stocked with these tasty morsels.
    Suggestions on a postcard please ....
  • Lost net: AFA member David Kent lost a folding, telescopic landing net upstream from Gara Bridge on Monday 10th August . If you found this tackle please contact Brian Dent. Found and returned.
  • Lost rod and reel: A visitor left a 7'6" Scierra AFTM#4 rod and Orvis reel at Hatch Bridge on 12th August. If you found this tackle please contact Brian Dent.
  • Make your voice heard: The 'Our Rivers' campaign invites your input into the Environment Agency's River Basin Management Plan (RBMP).
    "The draft RBMPs have been criticised by leading NGOs not only for their significant lack of ambition but also for their impenetrability to all but a few with the time and resources to work through them. The upshot of this is that much of the local knowledge that exists about our rivers is not being fed into the official process. Our Rivers is working to turn this around. The success of the Our Rivers campaign will rely on groups and individuals who know their rivers, taking a series of timely steps over the coming months, to coincide with the timetable for the Water Framework Directive consultation. The Our Rivers website is designed to help you pull together what you already know about your river and help you use that information to maximum effect."
  • Open meeting of the Avon Fishing Association on Thursday 7th May at 7:30 pm in the Glazebrook Hotel.

    The committee recently carried out a consultation exercise in which members were asked for their views on working with external agencies to improve the river’s capacity to sustain healthy fish stocks. This would involve offering increased access to our fishing through the Westcountry Rivers Trust (WRT) Angling 2000 scheme.

    A majority of members - who expressed a view - were in favour of this initiative. Therefore the committee proposes to run a trial scheme whereby a limited number of bookable day tickets on a restricted stretch of the river would be made available through the Westcountry Angling Passport (WAP) scheme run by the WRT.

    Toby Russell has offered to present an overview of the WAP scheme and funding opportunities as well as participating in a Question and Answer session after his presentation. Toby is a project manager with WRT with expertise in water quality monitoring, river habitat assessment and restoration and fisheries management. He holds a BSc in Geography and an MSc in Coastal & Marine Resource Management from Portsmouth University.

    This event is designed to give members a clear picture of the costs and benefits to the AFA of participating in the WAP scheme. If you would like to attend this meeting, please email me at so that we can book a suitably sized room. (added 22/4/09)

  • South West River Basin Management Plan:The Environment Agency have issued a request for comments on their draft River Basin Management Plan for the South West River Basin District. The supporting documents and consultation questions are available online. Be warned that some of these documents are exceptionally large (over 1,700 pages). If you submit comments, it would be useful if you would forward them to Brian Dent. (added 9/4/09)
  • Membership packs: If you have paid your subscription, but not received your 2009 AFA membership pack please contact the Membership Secretary Dave Farnworth Tel: 01803 403487 .(added 1/4/09)
  • Dr Coombs gate
  • Access to Mr. Jenner's fishing below Gara Bridge via Dr Coombs' gate. After climbing the gate at point "X", the approved route is to immediately turn right on accessing the field and to continue to hug the hedge on the right until meeting a fence then turn left and follow the fence down to the water. (added 24th March 2009)

  • Wild Trout Trust logoWild Trout Trust. The AFA is a member of the WTT - a registered charity that works for the conservation of wild trout in the UK and Ireland through the protection and restoration of habitat. The Trust holds an annual Internet and postal auction to raise funds.
  • A link to the auction catalog is on the front page of the WTT website at A number of local rivers have participated this year including the rivers Teign (Lots#92 and 152) and Yealm (Lot#153)

  • AFA Walk for Members - "An introduction by Malcolm Pickup on where and how to fish for trout, sea trout and salmon on the Avon"
location of Kerrydowns BridgePlease contact Malcolm Pickup by email or telephone 01803 867460 to book a place on his walk.
Choose either Saturday 21st March or Saturday 28th and let me know by telephone or e-mail the day chosen.

Meeting place: Kerrydown Bridge at 9.30 am.
Kerrydown Bridge (point #2 on this map) is on the left hand side of the road when travelling from South Brent to Avonwick. The spot is also identified on the AFA map and photographs of access sites. Look for a white Cavalier registration number K382SDV. I will try to cover most of the river and I expect that this will take the whole morning.

Bring wellingtons or suitable footwear. If you bring a pair of thigh waders it will be much easier to cross the Glazebrook but most of the walking will be on “dry land”. Essential equipment- a drink of coffee/tea. I need a contact telephone number in case the walk has to be cancelled.

I look forward to meeting you.

You may find it useful to review:
before embarking on Malcolm's walk.

  • River improvement working party dates to follow
  • Social Event date to follow