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Fisheries Improvement Programme

FIP pictures

The Environment Agency is seeking project ideas from clubs, fisheries and other partners to improve local fish stocks and angling opportunities. The Fisheries Improvement Programme (FIP) is funded from the coarse, trout and eel fishing licence income and provides a direct benefit to anglers.

The programme was established in 2015 and since then the Agency has reinvested over £5million from anglers in projects that will directly benefit fish and fisheries. Last year, 162 projects were completed working with 374 partners, resulting in improvements to 127km of river and 23 barriers to fish passage being removed.

Falling licence sales has reduced the Agency's income and places pressure in their ability to adequately fund all the fisheries work they want to do. As a result, it has less budget to reinvest in FIP and the Angling Improvement Fund.

However, they still need to develop good projects and ensure fisheries money goes further and works harder. To identify and co-deliver work, the Agency wants to develop a log of ideas and welcomes input from partners via the Angling Trust's portal.

Please note: the FIP funding does not cover works to prevent predation. Funding for measures to protect fish from predation is administered by the Angling Improvement Fund. Watch out for an announcement regarding a new round of funding in April 2020.

Action requested

Angling clubs, fisheries managers and other partners can submit project proposals using the portal. The system will ask you some basic information about the type of works you are considering. To help you understand the type of projects that may be supported, the Agency has issued the following advice regarding the priorities:

1. Angling benefits: water where the project is planned must be fished (or there is a demonstrable link).

2. Coarse, trout and eel habitat/passage: these are the key constraints for good fish populations, addressing them will result in more sustainable stocks and improved connectivity

3. Angling access and facilities: platforms, pegs and pathways for rivers and stillwaters

• Ensuring that the needs of less able bodied anglers are considered

• An emphasis on developing community and urban fisheries (which may require both habitat and access work)

4. Improving local evidence: it may be sometimes necessary to undertake investigations to better understand and manage fish stocks. Small investments over and above routine monitoring.

5. Socio/economic and wellbeing benefits: seeking wider outcomes from a fisheries project in particular delivering against Government priorities identified in the 25 year environment plan.

6. Reactive issues: for example managing the impacts of climate change such as prolonged dry weather or other incidents affecting fish and fisheries if needed.

7. Match funding: all projects need to secure additional funds or 'in-kind' support.

The Agency is likely to have up to £500,000 available from April next year and spending plans will be finalised soon after. Therefore, proposals must be received no later than 31st March 2020 to be considered for review. Project proposals can be submitted at any time for consideration in future years.

Full guidance for submitting project ideas can be found here

Further reading: 'Creating a Better Place'

Contact: Angling Trust Eastwood House, 6 Rainbow Street, Leominster, Herefordshire HR6 8DQ
Tel: 0343 5077006 (For Membership enquiries select Option 1) |
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Email: admin@anglingtrust.net
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