16th June, 2020
RE: All Anglers and Behaviour at Blithfield
It is unfortunate that we are having to write to you all on several matters that have arisen in recent weeks but we now have no choice.
There has been a gradual but noticeable increase in poor behaviour from both Permit holders and Syndicate Anglers in recent years but since re-opening after the easing of lockdown restrictions this has become a more significant issue. We have received several complaints from fellow anglers, other Reservoir users and residents who live alongside the Reservoir and its environs regarding incidents including loose dogs, urinating on banks and in hedges, wading deeper than thigh depth, excessively early arrival at the Reservoir etc. . As a result of these incidents we would like to remind you all of the following –
Arrival on the Reservoir is not permitted earlier than 7.45am – any anglers arriving earlier than this will be asked to wait outside the perimeter gates.
Anglers must NOT commence fishing before 8am as per Rule 1. Anglers fishing before 8am will be asked to leave the Reservoir immediately.
Anglers must close all gates behind them when entering or leaving the Reservoir. This includes the large black metal gates near the Estates Office which must be kept closed but not locked at ALL times. This was always the case previously until recent years and is now in force once again.
Urinating along banks, in hedges or in the open is NOT permitted and we ask ALL anglers to refrain from doing so. Toilet facilities are available at the Boat House and now at Mickledale Bay and Beech Tree Point. Any angler caught urinating in the open will be asked to leave immediately. It is NOT acceptable to urinate or defecate in the open at the Reservoir AT ANY TIME.
All dogs MUST be kept on a lead or in the vehicle when at the Reservoir. Anglers ARE NOT PERMITTED to allow dogs off the lead under any circumstances. If you feel you cannot adhere to this rule then please leave your dogs at home. The Reservoir is a SSSI with ground nesting birds and sensitive areas of habitat.
Wading any deeper than thigh depth is not permitted. Several anglers are already flouting this rule despite being spoken to about it by the Bailiffs. Any angler caught doing so in future will receive a written warning and if they continue to ignore this their Permit will be ceased and they will be expelled from Blithfield Anglers, as per Rule 14
Any sightings of trespass, fish theft or anti-social behaviour must be reported to Staffordshire Police on 101 (digital 101 is available on Staffordshire Police’s Facebook page, via Messenger, which enables the sharing of photographic or video evidence) and also reported to the Duty Bailiff on 07974 263338. Please do not leave it unreported.
The rise in the number of Rule breaches and the apparent disregard for the Reservoir and its environment, along with some unacceptable behaviour recently means that we will be taking action to prevent such incidents continuing in the future.
We would please ask all Syndicate Secretaries to assist wherever possible in relaying the rules to their Members. It is a worrying trend of bad etiquette that we would hope to nip in the bud before any Societies or Clubs are brought into disrepute by this poor behaviour. We must also assure you that all Permit holders have been sent the same letter and are treated with equal measure in this regard.
Claire Pullinger, Dave Naylor
On behalf of the Team at Blithfield Anglers