Warrington Anglers’ Association, which has members and fisheries in the Knutsford area, provides a coronavirus update by Frank Lythgoe

THANK you to all those who have continued to support the club throughout these difficult times and have remained patient while we have navigated through the minefield of getting our members back on the bank, safely and responsibly.

None of this has been straightforward and there are still many grey areas, which will mean we could see further changes to what is set out below.

From 6am today, Wednesday, angling is allowed on all waters, except Adlington Reservoir at Worthington Lakes which is always closed until June 16.

The following conditions apply to all waters:

• Members must ensure that they comply with all Covid-19 social distancing and hygiene regulations

• When handling our gate locks, anglers must either wear new gloves, ‘antibac’ wipe before and after handling, or use hand sanitiser (again before and after handling) for your safety and other members. We will not tolerate any of these disposable items being left behind. Any member found discarding gloves/wipes on waters will lose their licence with immediate effect

• Keepnets are not allowed on any waters

• You must be in possession of a paid-up membership card to show to bailiffs

Due to safeguarding issues junior anglers must adhere to the following:

• On waters where there is public access, for example Bridgewater Canal, they must be accompanied by an adult from the same household, in accordance with Government guidelines

• On private waters where there is no public access, for example Grey Mist, the accompanying adult must be a WAA paid up adult member, again from the same household.

Night fishing seems to be the greyest area within angling currently and as such, our stance could change at any point.

As it stands, night fishing will be allowed by permit, but as there are lots of members on ‘furlough leave’ there will be increased bookings.

So, initially in the interests of fair play and to give everyone a chance to fish the, changes are:

• Single nights on all night permit fisheries which are open, with the exception of Big Sandiway which is reduced to two nights

• Current rule applies that you must be off the water by noon following your night session

• Only one night permit booking per member, per week, until things settle down

• Members must have a confirmed booking before proceeding to a water for a night session

• All bookings strictly by text only between 9am and 6pm, night fishing to commence from May 14 subject to change

• Bookings no more than three days ahead

• As things could change at any point, we will have an updated voicemail message on the night permit phone with regards to that night’s bookings. If you have successfully booked on for that night, please check before setting off to fish. Voicemails will not be picked up, so please do not leave any on there, it is purely to keep members updated and to save any wasted journeys

In the most recent update, following a meeting with Welsh Ministers on Tuesday morning, anglers in Wales can also go fishing.

There are further details to follow but initially this will be ‘local fishing’ and maintaining social distancing.

We are awaiting further details but our Welsh fisheries such as The Mount and Offa’s Dyke are open for members from today, Wednesday, subject to the Welsh ‘local fishing’ conditions and those regarding night fishing.

Also please note, the main car park at Worthington Lakes may not be open until Friday so members desperate to fish must use the layby parking up from the Kilhey Court Hotel.

I sincerely hope that all members of the club will make us proud and stick to all the guidelines the Government and Welsh Assembly have laid out during these difficult times.

We are fortunate to be able to get out and enjoy our sport, so please let’s all act as ambassadors and act responsibly.

At this juncture I really would like to thank all our bailiffs for their efforts and also members who have kept their eye on our waters and informed the club of poaching incidents during fishery closures.

There will be more hard work to come for our bailiffs now we will be fishing again. Please give them your full support and co-operation.

WAA Headquarters at 52, Parker Street remains closed on Friday evenings until further notice. If you need any further information please give me a call or email as below.

Let us know about your catches. Email frank@warrington-anglers.org.uk or call 01928 716238.