Club News, AD 2013

Club News 2011

Club News 2012




Keith at Ewenny Angling has currently (November) got a petition on the go against the proposed legislation to allow canoeing on all Welsh rivers, please sign it!!!!!




Click here to report sightings of cormorants, goosanders and mergansers.


Sustainable Access Campaign Cymru

Sign HERE to stop unregulated open access to Welsh rivers for canoes, rafts, submariners swimmers and rowers.


Just fill your name and email address in the boxes and click SUBMIT

You'll be asked to verify you're not a machine ......



.........and finally you'll receive a thank you message -



It's that easy and you'll have done the very minimum to safeguard your fishing and peace on the river, read the rest of the content on the excellent SACC site to see what else you can do. Many thanks to Phil Jones, Pontardawe & Distric,t for building such an informative website.

Finally I have to stress that this advice is in no way aimed at our friendly, local Bridgend Canoeing Club who have done everything they can to maintain a good, valued relationship with Ogmore Angling Association.




Natural Resources Wales


During the 2012 season bailiffs and club members were reporting numerous incidents of poaching along the river, sometimes the people concerned were aggressive or threatening when challenged. Previously bailiffs from what was then the Environment Agency, now Natural Resources Wales (NRW) would have been dealing with these matters but, as we all know, that service has all but vanished lately.
Apart from the indignation that these incidents provoked I looked on the poaching in my role as conservation officer for the club and was concerned about the impact that unauthorised angling was having on the river. Poaching is the field sport of the criminal class, they have no respect for the community and leave significant amounts of litter and discarded line on the river banks after they've had their fun, it's bad news for the riparian mammals and birds not to mention the fish which we’re busy trying to protect. Naturally the club gets blamed for their all too evident anti social behaviour.

I saw this as a law and order issue and as such wrote to both Madeleine Moon, MP for Bridgend and the Chief Constable of South Wales Police (SWP), outlining the problems and suggested a meeting to look at the issue -

  I believe the issue of illegal fishing is not fully recognised or appreciated within the police force, however it is all too apparent to our members; it undermines their confidence in the rule of law and spoils their quiet enjoyment of the sport which they pay to participate in. I suggest that the club should embark on a project with the police to create a formal structure which supports our bailiffs and creates a safe environment for our legitimate anglers. To begin a dialogue regarding the proposed project and to explain the problems our club has experienced with poachers more fully I would like to arrange a meeting between the Chief Constable and representatives of OAA in the near future.

Madeleine Moon passed the letter on to the Environment Agency (now NRW) and wrote to say “Having looked into the issue, I do not think it would be appropriate for me to be involved in this; rather it would be best if you were to sit down with representatives of South Wales Police and the Environment Agency to discuss how to address the issue.” which was good advice. Taking the matter to a level above that of the club and bringing the issue of poaching into a broader social context was beginning to have an effect.  

In October 2012 club reps Andrew Davies, Ian Finylas and I met EAW bailiffs and the police at a workshop aimed at raising awareness of thepoaching issues amongst the police force.  Inspector Paul Tinkler who has responsibility for local policing in Bridgend was very supportive and suggested that the three groups, OAA, SWP and NRW should meet at a training day prior to the commencement of the 2013 season. A Community Police Support Officer (CPSO, - getting like alphabet soup here!) the ever enthusiastic and helpful Scott Mercer was appointed as our liaison officer.

This was great news and just what we’d hoped for, an informed police presence on the river working with the club and that increasingly rare species the NRW bailiffs.

As things worked out the training day came in late April 2013, police and CPSOs were given a thorough education in the legal issues pertaining to angling and Andrew was able to give our perspective on the way in which the club could work with the police and NRW.

Andrew and Scott had already collaborated on bailiffing issues prior to the meeting but with the additional information and an assurance that NRW would take responsibility for the work involved in prosecuting illegal angling on the Ogmore everything we had hoped for was in place. It sounds like a PR puff but an hour after the meeting one of the CPSOs apprehended an unauthorised angler and with the advice from the training day still ringing in his ears he was able to make an informed arrest and I believe a prosecution is pending.

Police regularly patrol the river now and know what to look for. We've established a rapid response system for bailiffs and help is now at hand for them rather than the previous situation where NRW was - and still is - so underesourced that were unable to provide the bailiffing service that they once did so well.


Colin Chapman, OAA conservation officer

Over to Head Bailiff Andrew Davies who’s the guy that actually makes this thing work –

“The partnership has worked and OAA bailiffs and members now have the backing of the police.
The PCSO’s will be checking licences on the river and if anyone found fishing does not have the correct licence their details will be taken and the information passed onto NRW who will deal with the matter with either a warning, a formal caution or a criminal prosecution.

Since the meeting in April the police have assisted bailiffs in a number of incidents on the river and stopped and removed a number of non-members from the river. All their details are passed on to the NRW for processing, a number of warnings have been issued and a number of prosecutions are now pending.

If any Member does come across anyone who does not have a licence or is using illegal or out of season fishing methods then they are to:-To contact a club bailiff who will attend and deal with the situation. These numbers are found on your licences.

1) If you’re not able to contact a club bailiff then call the NRW Hotline, 0800 80 70 60 or 029 20 466 422. (If using a mobile use the second number it’s a lot cheaper), ask for assistance and pass on as many details as possible. Ask for an estimate for the  time it will take to receive assistance and please take the reference number for the incident and pass it on to the club.

 2) If a member from NRW is unable to attend within a satisfactory time scale (usually the case unfortunately) call one of the PCSOs shown on the list below, all of these numbers can be found on the PCSOs web page, www.OUR

3) Consider calling 101 as poaching is theft.


4) If you feel threatened in any way call 999 and ask for assistance but I cannot stress this enough this must be a last resort, remember this number is for emergencies only, please do not call for fishing related problems. “

Number              Name                            Telephone                   Ward

  1. 55100    Lisa Moore                 7805301434                Morfa Town
  2. 55295    Adam Whomes          7584771112                Coychurch Lower & Felindre
  3. 54756    Christian Freeth          7805301509                Newcastle
  4. 54604    Heather Dobbs          7805301432                Bryntirion, Laleston& Merthyr Mawr.
  5. 53929    Donovan Smith          7805301478                Morfa Wildmill
  6. 53936    Steve Bowen              7805301476                Brackla & Coity
  7. 55436    John Peglar                  7584883637                Litchard & Pendre
  8. 54031    Meurig Coleman        7584883382               Brackla  
  9. 54464    Scott Mercer               7805301486                Oldcastle
  10. 53988    Robin Newman          7805301479                Hendre & Penprysg
  11. 53478    Paul Galtry                   7805301480                Morfa Wildmill
  12. 53930    Richard Thomas                         7584004070                Morfa Town
  13. 55432    Katie Andrews           7584003854                Newcastle
  14. 54782    Kelly Williams              7584004052                Brackla
  15. 55412    Sara Edwards              7824543203                Cefn Glas, Llangewydd & Brynhyfyrd.

The PCSOs operate on a two shift pattern so if you’re unable to contact one officer then try another. The contacts highlighted in red are the contacts that should be used if no other assistance is available. Each of the officers has a designated area.


As a primary port of call please contact  SCOTT MERCER – 7805 301 480


Heather Dobbs -----------------------------------Vale Boundary - Dipping Bridge                                                                     
Scott Mercer ------------------------------------- Dipping Bridge/A48 Bridge - Water Street Bridge 

Katie Andrews and Christian Freeth -----------Water Street Bridge - Tesco’s    

Lisa Moore and Paul Galtry----------------------Tesco’s – Wildmill    

Paul Galtry and Donovan Smith ----------------Wildmill – Glanrhyd Hospital      


As a primary port of call can you use SCOTT MERCER -- 7805301480


Andrew Davies.










Two major issues which we could reasonably have thought to have have been done and dusted have re-emerged lately. Canoe access is back on the agenda after all the expense of previous consultation and so too is the inshore trawling consultation which, as you may have guessed from the photo is what this article is about.

OAA contributed to the last enquiry but for some reason it was flawed - this is the vague explanation from WAG "A consultation was undertaken in 2011/12 regarding proposals to remove historic access rights. A number of complex issues arose as a result of the responses received, and subsequent analysis of the same."

What those issues were we may never know but it's important is that club members should contribute to the process of ending the antiquated rights of inshore trawlers which are continually destrying the sea bed and impacting on fragile coastal ecologies right along the south coast of Wales.


The introduction to the form is HERE go down to the paragraph heading How to Respond and choose Fill in the online form. which takes you to this page.


The form has its tricky moments,

Q9: Do you agree with the proposal:

A. to clarify the exception for mussel dredgers contained in Byelaw 9 of the NWNWSFC and extend the same to operators of Several and/or Regulated Shellfishery Orders; and

B. to extend that exception and the exception in relation to boats used for angling to both the North and South Wales areas.

Well, unless I'm missing something that's not a Yes or No question, I want angling boats to operate as they have a very minor impact on the environment whereas mussel dredging is rather a damaging practice so I used the explanation box on the form to make that point. Other than that it's a well designed form, if you get it wrong you get a red alert and you're guided back to where you went wrong.

Please fill it in, there's a lot a stake.


Catch Returns 2012

Rising trout

Mr Dave Smith has done an excellent job compiling and arranging the catch returns again, the club is indebted to him for this crucial service, many thanks Dave.

We're grateful to everyone who sent a return in, it's the information which guides us in our decisions on managing the river and allows members and potential members to see how the fishing's going. Apologies for the slow publication of these figures.


Brown trout
Sea Trout
Catch Return Stats.

Our catch returns give a good indication of what an excellent brown trout fishery the Ogmore is and how the practice of catch and release makes the fishing better for everyone. The figure of 4443 trout landed over the seven months of the season translates to around 600 trout per month landed by our members and considering an unusually large part of the season was spoiled by very high water we did well.


The graph below doesn't really do justice too the wettest season I can remember....



2,834 of the fish we marked with the blue dot were caught, we stocked 1,600 so 1,234 were caught twice, roughly three quarters of the total, which suggests, perhaps, that stocked fish are not particularly fast learners.

Having the ability to distinguish wild fish from stocked fish has been very useful, 1,609 wild fish were landed, roughly 57% of the total of stocked fish catches, an interesting statistic which suggests that only one in three fish caught on the river by OAA members is wild. Unfortunately this statistic is skewed by the unmarked stocked fish moving downstream from neighbouring clubs, a situation which I would be very pleased to see changed. I have talked with the clubs concerned and they've expressed an interest in the proposal that they could also mark their fish and in future the Ogmore may be one of the first river catchments in Wales where all stocked fish are easily identifiable. This input of unmarked fish indicates that in reality fewer than one in three fish caught on our water is likely to be wild despite the information suggested by our statistics, a bit of shame really and an indication that the stockies are almost certainly exerting a negative pressure on our wild fish.


Sea trout returns were above average this year, 817 up to 16lbs were caught, with one member Ken Foster, catching a very creditable 244 fish, nearly 30% of the club total. I'd imagine stocked sewin are contributing to this number which disguises the real trend in the Ogmore's capacity to sustain a wild migratory trout population, fortunately the latest batch of smolts were fin clipped which will enable us to judge the true situation from an informed position in future.

85% of the sewin we caught were released, well done OAA, we should be proud.

Salmon numbers were average despite our catch and release rate of 83% and it's very worrying to see that salmon stocks are still acheiving their conservation limit for the catchment by the very slenderest of margins. A conservation limit is the threshold level below which a spawning stock should not be permitted to fall.

The Ogmore is classified by NRW as "Probly at Risk" currently, a few more fish killed or a bad run will certainly result in the river being classified as at"At Risk" which will inevitably result in a subsequent byelaw forbidding the killing of any migratory fish. Remember, it isn't just your fishing which is at threat, the main issue is the need to ensure the survival of these two wonderful species in our local rivers.



I met NRW (formerly the Environment Agency) with club sec. Wynne on 17th October for a Local Fishery Group meeting where the release rate for salmon in the Ogmore catchment for 2012 was shown to be a very poor 56%, far worse than 2011's reasonable C&R rate of 76%. It's absoloutely unforgivable that 56% of fish are being killed when the river is only just holding its own thanks to the massive impact we're all exerting on the planet, please think very hard about your approach to the way in which you fish and how you intend to help the river in providing sport in the future.

We hope all anglers in the catchment will wake up to the fact that migratory fish are a precious and irreplaceable part of Wales' heritage which must be preserved for future generations, every fish you return makes a big difference, do the right thing






Once again the fly tying club has an excellent programme arranged for the long evenings ahead.

The classes are open to all regardless of ability, and the meetings are held on Mondays, 7pm at

11 Dunraven Place
CF31 1JF

Many thanks to Dave Lewis for compiling the list and the boys for freely offering their time and expertise to demonstrate

such a broad range of patterns.

Ogmore Angling Fly Tying List 2013/2014
Fly Name
Fly Name
William`s Favourite
Black Pennel
Black Cut Throat Cruncher
Black & Yellow Goldhead Buzzer 
Yellow Dancer
Black and Gold Humungus
Stalking Bug
Griffiths Gnat
Welsh Partridge
March Brown
Hare`s Ear
Red Tag
Minkie Cat`s Whisker Booby
Grey Duster Suspender
LDO Emerger
Greenwell`s Glory Paraloop
Y2K Egg Fly
Red Holographic Cruncher
Sherry Spinner
Diawl Bach
Partridge and Orange
Peter Ross Snatcher
Baetis Dry Fly
McCormack`s Spring Bumble
Prince Nymph
Stoat`s Tail
Grey Duster Paraloop
Tyne Toucan
Parachute Adam with a Twist
Roy`s Blob (p/h Tail)
Black and Blue Jam Fly
Bloody Mary




Ogmore estuary tyre clean up

We're still having to deal with the thouands of illegally dumped tyres in the river, the've made their way downstream to the estuary, an SAC, and have made a massive impact on the area's visual appeal, as they have in the river.


Fly Tipping Action Wales and Keep Wales Tidy have arranged a clean-up with partners to remove the hundreds of tyres that have appeared in the estuary.
This will take place on Friday 4th Oct 2013.  We will be meeting at 10am on the grassed parking area by Portobello House, Ogmore-by-sea, Bridgend CF32 0PA.

We would welcome any help so please contact the following officers if you can assist during this clean up –
Pamela Parr (02920 245086)
Brian Jones  (07824 504819)




Help Required in Removing Tyres

From Head Bailiff Andrew Thomas -

I'm going to start collecting tyres tomorrow evening from the top end of the river Im going to start at Paul's chippy in Ogmore and work my way down river, your all welcome, I will be there around 4 PM only for 1-2 hours and the same Tues 3rd September , Wednesday and Thursday and see how far we get .


Andrew has been working at this without support, please spend a couple of hours cleaning the river with him to improve our waters, to find out where he'll be his number's on your club ID card.





RETURNING LARGE FISH (yes again.......)


Despite the best intentions of the club to manage the river sustainably we've received reports that some members have been killing large fish.

Members and visitors are reminded that we are in the process of creating a sustainable fishery on the Ogmore and that these large fish are seen as the most valuable asset in the realisation of that ambition. Anyone who chooses to take a fish which is outside the limits established in our byelaws will have to explain their behaviour to the committee and in all likelihood face being suspended or banned, we take the matter very seriously.


One that went back last week, well done JJ

Membership of OAA or a day ticket does not entitle anglers to kill any fish they choose to take home and the committee have established rules which clearly state that only a certain size of migratory fish may be taken. By complying with these easily understood rules the fishing in the Ogmore catchment will improve as genetically superior fish are allowed to create the basis of the population.

One of the arguments for whacking our best fish, not unique to the Ogmore I may add, is "What about the club up/down river, they kill everything, all we're doing is giving our fish away to them blah blah" which translates to " I want to keep killing big fish" My view is that our club should take the initiative in demonstrating best practice, we understand the science and want to manage the river in the best possible way for our own benefit and for that of future generations, if nobody makes the first move nothing changes.

Secondly the likelihood of a released fish being caught again is statistically insignificant. This study for example puts the rate of recapture at about 5%. Couple this with an average catch and release rate in Wales generally better than 50% some simple maths suggests that if we release 100 large fish only 5 of those will be recaptured and maybe only three of those will be killed, i.e. 3%.


Taking the example of the Ogmore where five rivers contribute to the catchment the odds for released large fish improve again as they could be programmed to spawn in the Ewenny, the Llynfi, the Garw, the Ogwr Fawr or the Ogwr Fach. Given the situation as it currently stands there's a 60% chance that a large released fish will run through waters where it's protected so only 40% of the 5 large released fish would be statistically likely to be recaptured bringing the odds down to about 2% of released fish facing an uncertain future.


If you don't already hold the view that releasing large fish is an inherently good thing I hope that argument convinces members that the fish they release will be unlikely to be killed by someone else. If it doesn’t I'm afraid members will just have to accept that these rules are going to be strictly enforced strictly and behave accordingly if they want to continue to enjoy the fantastic value for money fishing which membership of this club represents.




weight to length graph














On the subject of fish disease here's an article on UDN -   UDN article



Diseased Sewin - please report sightings


Quick update on the fungal infections seen on sewin.


It appears this is a problem affecting rivers throughout south Wales and the West Country, the response from Natural Resources Wales has been very good. I reported a further four sewin I'd seen with the disease last Thursday and gave a fuller report on my return from deepest west Wales this morning. Amazingly Dave Mee frpom NRW rang me back straight away - on a Sunday - and explained why identifying the cause of the infection is difficult.

Live samples have to be shipped to the Fish Health, Ageing and Species team in Brampton, Cambridgeshire (LINK, there are some fish health leaflets by FHAS here - LINK ) and the chances are that the specimens would die en route as the 200 mile journey creates its own stresses coupled with the existing stress in the fish already exhibited by the fungus. Live specimens are essential as diagnoses are negated by bacterial post mortem changes so you can see that defining this outbreak is not going to be easy.

Fisheries officer Dave Mee has been chasing the matter with colleagues in the EA and has established a watching brief, please send reports and photos of diseased fish to him, his contact details are Direct - 01792 325 615 and by email Dave Mee.



SW Wales region tops the charts in fish kill reporting.

From "The Angle" magazine published by the Angling Trust

Fish kill reporting map



Alvrin Perkins 


It is with sadness that I have to report the death of one of our past committee members Mr. Alvrin Perkins.

Alvrin was a long standing member of the Ogmore Angling Association, he passed away following a prolonged fillness with cancer.

The Association extends its condolences to Alvrin's friends and family at this difficult time.

Ian Finylas, Chairman.





We've seen three diseased sewin this week, two are large fish - please let us know if you spot one as NRW (formerly the EA)

are interested in any reports.

Pictures - Chairman, Ian Finylas















Keen's Tackle and Guns


We're delighted to have Keen's support for the club once more, Jeff has kindly agreed to sell day tickets for the club and to offer OAA members a 10% discount on all purchases over £20.00 on production of their club membership cards.

Jeff has offered his support to the club again so please be a good ambassador for the Ogmore Angling Association when you visit his shop, all of us will benefit from the arrangement which we hope to continue for years to come.


Tel. 01656 722448 for Fishing Shop


Bridgend Road
CF32 9AP

Keens Tackle and Guns





Some rainbow trout have appeared in the river, the one pictured above was caught this morning on the first day of the season. These stock fish are easily distinguished from wild brown trout and as such are fair game if you want to take them home for the cat, you do not have to return them.





Remember from March 3rd, 2013 if you really must kill a trout only trout marked with a blue spot can be killed, all unmarked trout must be returned.


We're only a day away from the start of the trout season, wishing all OAA members tight lines for what looks like being a chilly day and a low river. Temperatures are starting at 2 degrees C , warming to 7 C by 3pm and accompanied by a 10mph easterly according to the forecast, hardly ideal but at least it isn't flooded (yet). Pob lwc i chi bois!


Marking the stocked trout with alcian blue dye via a "panjet" innoculator.


This season's stocked brown trout have been marked with two blue spots. In the interests of conservation all wild fish must now be returned, only spot - marked fish can be killed. Please let me know if you catch a stocky marked with a single spot and record it on your catch return, we want to see whether stocked fish can survive the winter.


Don't forget that a few restrictions apply at this point of the season, so save yourself the embarrassment of falling foul of the rules and having to appear in front of the committee by checking the following -


Restrictions on Angling Methods

3.1 Members together with day or weekly ticket holders may fish with only one
rod and line at any time.

3.2 No spinning or minnow fishing with artificial or natural bait shall be allowed
on water controlled by the Company until the 16 June each year.

3.3 All ground baiting is prohibited on waters controlled by the Company.

3.4 The use of maggots and ”Powerbait‟ as bait is prohibited on waters controlled
by the Company.

3.5 The use of bread as bait is prohibited on all waters above the confluence of the
rivers Ogmore and Ewenny.

3.6 Bait fishing is prohibited after  30th September.

3.7 River Ewenny: between Treoes Bridge and the A48 road bridge at Ford is
reserved for fly fishing only.

River Ogmore: between Water Street Bridge, Bridgend and the hump-back
bridge (near the tennis courts) Merthyr Mawr, is reserved for fly fishing until
16th June.

A full copy of the rules can be viewed here







26th February

All renewals received to date have been processed and will be posted out today, 2nd class. They should be with you by Thursday or Friday in time for the new season.




Time to start thinking about getting a new licence







Cefas logo

Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science


Cefas produce an interesting bi-annual online newsletter called Finfish,a lot of it deals with commercial fish farming but there's a wealth of articles and news clips which have a more general appeal. Take a look at their archive which goes back to 2006



Finfish News











Following a discussion about the threat posed  to club finances by liability claims the committee recently upgraded our insurance cover to protect the club and its members from claims which could arise through the everyday activities associated with running a fishing club. We bought a tailor-made policy from Mead which not only covers the committee, bailiffs and work parties from public liability claims but also provides worldwide personal liability cover to all of our registered members for claims arising from fishing activities. This is the clause - "Worldwide Personal Liability Cover for all registered members in the event that their negligence leads to similar damage (third party and property), to a limit of indemnity of £1,000,000 per claim, including all legal costs. Under 16’s must be accompanied at all times by a responsible adult of at least 21 years of age."


You can view an explanatory description of the policy and the reasons for having it here.

If I understand this cover correctly club members are covered for costs up to £1,000,000 if their fishing activities injure someone or somebody's property anywhere in the world. This is a great added benefit for the club and the chairman deserves a pat on the back for his exhaustive enquiries into getting the best cover and bringing added security to the membership.

You’ll  receive the protection of this policy when you join the club or extend your membership for the 2013 -14 season so be careful when you fish but rest assured if an accident does happen our insurance will prevent you from being bankrupted by a huge insurance claim.






Fishing's quite a high risk sport, if you log this number - 112 - you'll have a better chance of getting help from the emergency services if the need arises.

Watch the video right through for simple instructions to maximise your chances of getting out of a scrape and to register your mobile for permission to make SMS calls to the emergency services.







Dwr Cymru/ Welsh Water pollute yet another of our rivers with sewage.


Click to enlarge, click enlarged image to return


This time it's the Ewenni Fach.

From Rhondda Cynon Taff's Water Framework Directive report on the upper Ewenny Fach "The waterbody is currently achieving Good Ecological Status. However the waterbody maybe at risk of deterioration, problematic CSO’s are currently being investigated."

Committee member Clive George and I set off before the Wales - Ireland game to take a look at the Ewenni Fach south of Brynna as Clive had received reports of sewage polluting the brook. Ever anxious to see a turd strewn spawning stream we set off to find where the problem lay.

ewenni fach
Clive's Brynna born and bred but I hadn't walked this part of the Ewenni before, it's a nice enough water although the course is fairly heavily modified in parts, it's been dredged and straightened like half of the rivers in Wales but much of the river runs naturally through woodland and meadows and we saw a few small trout, not a bad place to be and the sun was shining for once.

Our first clue as to the whereabouts of the pollution announced itself with the steady purr of a diesel pump and some rubber pipe which crossed our path, we followed it along a dirt track for a couple of hundred yards to its end where it terminated in an open sewer chamber.

Click to enlarge, click enlarged image to return


Walking back along the pipe we soon arrived at the pump, obviously something had gone seriously wrong with one of the many sewers which run along the Ewenny valley, the pump was diverting the sewage from one pipeline to another. Clive spotted a Combined Sewage Overflow (CSO) below the pump so we popped down for a look and sure enough sewage was flowing into the Ewenni Fach at a steady pace.


Click to enlarge, click enlarged image to return
Click to enlarge, click enlarged image to return

Dwr Cymru had made a pathetically lacklustre attempt to intercept some of solids from the CSO, one of the four grids they'd used was up in the air doing nothing, the other was blocked and the remaining two were lying flat on the river bed festooned with a disgusting load of bog paper and goodness knows what else.

Click to enlarge, click enlarged image to return
Click to enlarge, click enlarged image to return
Click to enlarge, click enlarged image to return


It was obvious that no one from the water company had bothered to look at what was happening in the river or clear the grids for weeks. Thank goodness for angling clubs, no doubt it would have been left to discharge into the Ewenni for another month or two if one of our members hadn't sounded the alarm.

Coordinates from our GPS were phoned in to the Environment Agency Hotline, 0800 807060, and the incident number, NIRS reference number 1083313, logged.

Click to enlarge, click enlarged image to return Our club's tried to engage with Dwr Cymru but no one from the company thought it appropriate to let us know what is happening on the Ewenni Fach. We have no idea why or for how long the sewage has been polluting the river or when DC plan to deal with it. I hope to get some answers but my last information request to the company took the intervention of the Consumer Council for Water and over 70 days to evoke a half baked response from this multi million pound business. Meanwhile we can only assume the sewer will continue to pollute the stream.  


Click to enlarge, click enlarged image to return

I'd be grateful if anyone can let me know if any improvements have happened at this site , you can find it off the Brynna Road -





Drying CDC

Here's an innovative and unguent-free tip for drying cul de canard flies from the land of the rising paella -





AGM - Thursday, 31st January, commencing 7:30 pm at the Heronston Hotel, Ewenny Road, Bridgend.


31st January.The Environment Agency will be removing a tree from the A48 road bridge over the next few days.



A really good online library of historical documents

National Library of Wales


This resource from the Welsh Journals Online project is stuffed with fascinating, broad ranging, well written articles on local history, nature and culture

I entered the Search term "trout" and look what comes up. Brilliant!

Nature In Wales - first issue 1955

Give it a go and if there are any articles you'd like to see on the site let me know.

As a Cardiff boy here are two which I found particularly interesting -

Salmon and sea trout in the Taff - past, present and future Renew your membership

Notes on the Hatchery and fish hatching at Roath Park Renew your membership


To save you a bit of time when you look at the page and see an article you're interested in click the "View Issue" link - see below


and it'll bring up a list


You can either view the article as a photo of the journal or download it as a PDF by clicking on View Article or the PDF logo to the right of the page. Hope you find something you like.





We have a winch


We now have a winch, the ACE Wire Rope Hoist in fact , purchased for pulling trees, trolleys and heavy stuff in general from the river, so, if there are any problematic trees etc. please let me know - . The winch manual's online for future reference and available for viewing here - it's utter gobbledygook.

Renew your membership

The first winch we received failed badly, it was hopelessly machined and literally unusable. We now have a replacement, so far untested. Just for a laugh this is the classic reply we received to our initial contact regarding the failure of the winch from SecureFix Direct who supplied it -

"You will be amazed how many people have trouble with these when they are brand new.

This isnt a faulty unit its just that the release lever is very hard to push forward when new. To get the release lever to move fully forward to lock into place you need to use alot force
(sic). On soft ground if you can lift the wire rope hoist and then while pushing the release lever as far forward as possible you need to drive the wire rope hoist into the ground. This will give enough force to move the lever forward."

They did eventually replace it to be fair but the useless instruction manual coupled with the admission that the winch doesn't work properly from the off would make me think a lot more than twice before buying this bit of kit.




stained glass salmon

The Topmouth Gudgeon in South Wales

Pseudorasbora parva - Topmouth Gudgeon


Six years after its discovery EAW finally tackled the problem of the topmouth gudgeon, Pseudorasbora parva, which had been accidentally introduced to the Millennium Lakes in Llanelli. This non native introduced species is particularly difficult to erradicate and is known to carry a parasite which can affect wild salmon and trout populations called the Rosette Agent.

Bournemouth University is particularly concerned about the threat posed by this parasite and the poor regime for testing wild fish for its presence


The EA in England issued a press release on the subject -


Topmouth gudgeon eradicated from Surrey pond
The Environment Agency has successfully culled more than 100,000 top mouth topmouth gudgeon from a pond in Surrey.

The fish, which are one of the most threatening invasive species in the country, were culled at Juniper Pond, Shalford, on behalf of Guildford Borough Council, on Wednesday.

Despite being only 3-4 centimetres long, topmouth gudgeon are particularly threatening to native fish in Britain, and are number seven on the Environment Agency’s list of most wanted invasive species. As well as eating the eggs of other fish, topmouths, which were introduced to the wild in Britain in the 1960s from their native Asia, breed at four-times the rate of native fish and carry a parasite, similar to, or possibly the same as, a disease called "rosette agent" which is found in some US fish stocks

Topmouth Gudgeon also eat vast quantities of plant life and invertebrates, which upsets the natural balance of a pond, lake or river. As a result, algal blooms can occur turning the water into a green soup. Had they been left to thrive in the pond, it was feared that they would have seriously affected the ecology of the pond.

The pond is also in the River Wey floodplain and it was feared that a larger flooding event could have washed them into local rivers, where they would have spread to the Thames and threatened a much wider fish population.

The operation involved the use of a fish-orientated pesticide, Rotanone, which killed all the fish in the pond, including several hundred native species such as tench and carp. The fish were then removed from the pond by fisheries officers using nets.

John Sutton, fisheries and biodiversity team leader, who led the operation, said: ”It is very sad for us to have to kill native fish along with the topmouth gudgeon, but we have to protect the long term future of our native species.

“Topmouth gudgeon are extremely difficult to get rid of by other means. Using nets to catch them, or transferring other fish out of the pond before the culling takes place is too risky as topmouth fry, which can be the size of an eyelash, can be hidden away in the mouths and gills of other fish and get accidentally transferred to other waters.

“Culling all the fish is the only real guarantee that the topmouth gudgeon can be removed completely and, while it was a tough decision to make, we believe this was the right thing to do.”

The pesticide used in the operation will not have any impact on other wildlife in or around the pond, such as birds or other predators feeding on the fish. It naturally breaks down in the water, and water quality will return to normal after a couple of days.

Mr Sutton added: “It is not clear how the fish first came to be in the pond, but they were originally imported into this country for ornamental aquariums. I suspect an owner may have had trouble keeping them and illegally released them into the pond, an offence which could result in a fine of up to 2,500 and serious damage to the environment.

“We also found goldfish, a common pet in many homes and gardens, but again, non-native to this country and a threat to native fish due to the parasites it often carries and its ability to cross breed with native species such as crucian carp.

“We want to stress to people who own fish that the apparently harmless action of tipping an unwanted fish into a local pond such as this can have disastrous long-term effects on the environment and other animals within it. Hopefully, however, we have eradicated the topmouth gudgeon in this pond and ensured that when it is re-stocked with native fish they will have a much brighter future.”

Topmouth Gudgeon

The assertion in the release - "transferring other fish out of the pond before the culling takes place is too risky as topmouth fry, which can be the size of an eyelash, can be hidden away in the mouths and gills of other fish and get accidentally transferred to other waters." is a cause for concern as the BBC article on the work at the Millenium Lakes contains this statement from EAW's Dave Mee

"The agency will rescue large native fish from the lakes before they draw down the water in the lakes and apply a natural pesticide from the root of a tropical plant to kill off the Topmouth Gudgeon"

I'll enquire why this apparently contradictory method of dealing with the invasive fish is being used by EAW. *

The pesticide - or, more properly the piscicide in this case - is more than likely to be Rotenone, a poison used by ingigenous cultures throughout the world. There's an interesting series of pages looking at the properties/origins of the poison on the Bristol University web site LINK

For a list and description of the more common non native fish species in Wales visit this page .

*I did check, each fish is inspected on four occasions prior to being returned.





Thursday 24th January, 7pm for a 7.30pm start at the Heronston Hotel, Ewenny Road, Bridgend, CF35 5AW


We're pleased to have secured the time of three distinguished representatives from Environment Agency Wales who make a real difference to our fisheries. Each of them will be be presenting talks about their specialist areas and answering questions from the floor about their work.

The topics are -

‘Salmon stocking: ecology, angling and all that’ – Dr Kyle Young, Water Framework Directive Advisor, Environment Agency Wales.

‘Fish passage and habitat improvements’ – Mr Dave Charlesworth, Sustainable Fisheries Projects Manager, Environment Agency Wales – South West Region.

‘Natural Resources Wales – Implications for Fisheries Management’ – Mr Paul Varallo, Area Monitoring Environment Manager, Environment Agency Wales – South West Region.

These three topics are particularly relevant to the River Ogmore and it's future, the talks will give members and visitors alike an insight into the management of our local rivers.

OAA are offering this event free of charge to members and anyone interested in rivers, we're sure you'll have an educational, entertaining and thought provoking evening.






Utagawa Hiroshige trout





SEACAMS have published a good article detailing some of the results of the club's hook trials this year. Click on the image to open the document.





bridgend crest


Head Bailiff Andrew Davies organised a mink trapping workshop for the club bailiffs late last year with the support of Mike Jenkins, Biodiversity Technical Specialist from Environment Agency Wales and Selwyn, pictured far left, mink trapper extraordinaire.


Mink trapping

Left to right : Selwyn, Andrew Davies, Tony Morris, Nigel Haines and the chap from the fly tying club whose name I can never remember

Selwyn has extensive experience of mink trapping and has been instrumental in the reintroduction of water voles to Llyn Syfaddan, Llangors Lake, due to his persistence in removing the voles number one predator. Selwyn eliminated the mink around the lake then continued to trap along the tributaries which feed Llyn Syfaddan thus establishing an environment that supports this vulnerable native species.

Trapped mink - photo andrew davies

A trapped mink from the Ogmore - photo Andrew Davies


The commitment to undertaking this activity is really impressive, the traps, which are spaced at around one kilometre intervals, are checked every day, mink are despatched and the trap rebaited. An exercise like this requires an outstanding commitment but the hard work pays off, Andrew has removed over twenty mink from the Ogmore to date and Selwyn’s work helped to allow over two hundred water voles to be safely reintroduced to the waters around Llyn Syfaddan. People like this are the unsung heroes of conservation in Wales; their work creates a legacy from which we all benefit. LINK

OAA have bought a number of traps from their own funds and EAW have generously provided several more for the club to use. The traps are modified to create an entrance that excludes the otters which have made a welcome return to the Ogmore catchment, a wire mesh closure is fixed by cable ties to the trap door -


Modified mink trap


Mink are enticed to the trap with fish oil or a mix of macerated fish and water and the least expensive bait, crab stick, is positioned both outside and inside the trap near a plate which springs the trap. Once the mink is caught it's destroyed by a shot from an air gun after being positioned and confined by a cleverly designed wooden comb shown below. Mink are beautiful creatures in their own right and it's hard to kill such an appealing animal but they have to be controlled if our native riparian wildlife is ever going to stand a chance of returning to our rivers.


Mink management


Monitoring the success of the exercise is achieved by another cleverly designed device shown below, a mink raft. The raft was designed by the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust.

The raft has a tub of clay which sits in a recess cut into the base. The container for the clay is perforated to keep the clay moist and the presence of mink which are attracted by the tunnel formed by the wooden cove, is confirmed when their tracks are seen on the clay. When the clay is free of tracks trapping activity moves further along the river, if tracks reappear trapping resumes.



Mink trap monitoring

Mike Jenkins EAW far left

Our aim is to keep the river clear of mink and to enjoy a diverse range of wildlife while we walk the river banks enjoying our sport, currently the mink are denying anglers and members of the local community this pleasure but thanks to the dedication of Andrew Davies and his colleagues we all hope this situation will steadily improve over the coming years.

Photos - Colin Chapman

the rise

Broodstock Sewin Returned

A big "Thank You" to the boys for giving up their evenings and returning the eight surviving sewin donated to the hatchery. Mark Ryan, Phil Bissmire, Geraint Jones, Ian Finylas and Johnathon Jones all helped to return the fish safely into the lower reaches of the river earlier this week.The released fish shot off downstream in good flow conditions, we hope to see them later.

Pictures by Geraint and Ian.


The view frm Newbridge, circa 1912




Please note the change of fees for membership applications, all future correspondence to be sent to

Honorary Secretary,


21 Woodside Avenue, Litchard,

Bridgend, CF31 1QF


OAP, aged 65 or over before March 3rd 2013
Adult, aged 18 or over before March 3rd 2013
Disabled adult member
Junior, aged under 18 before March 3rd 2013


Existing Members, download the OAA Membership Form for 2013 season Renew your membership


Remember to include your two catch return forms with your membership -

Catch return Pages 1 & 2



Prospectve members

Want to join OAA? Good idea! Download the application form - New members application form


Click for new member application form

If you've been poaching up to this point please send in a catch return........


A nice old shot of the Swing Bridge by Merthyr Mawr showing a river bank mercifully free of Japanese Knotweed




The moratorium on fracking has recently been lifted creating concerns for one of our main tributaries, the Afon Llynfi.

A gas exploitation company currently intends to tap gas trapped in the old St John's Colliery near Garth, Maesteg, at the head of the Nant Cwm du which joins the Llynfi at Pont Rhyd -y - cyff , fracking may take place on the site at a later date if exploratory drilling suggests viable quantities of gas exist below the site.

Site of fracking operation, St John's Coliiery, Maesteg

The siting of the operation raises concerns due to the proximity of the Nant Cwm ddu, a recovering spawning stream formerly polluted by coal mining. Concerns arise as fracking creates millions of gallons of contaminated waste water containing metals and minerals previously trapped and inert beneath the ground.


Fortunately the area is well served by public footpaths which allow us to view the operation which is being undertaken by Bridgend based company UK Methane Ltd.


Map of St john's colliery, site for fracking operation .

News Reports -

Ban on Fracking Lifted

UK Methane Ltd. bid for drilling


Reproduced from their web site with the kind permission of Frack Free Somerset


Science & Data

Below are resources which detail the scientific evidence justifying concerns about fracking.

Environmental Impact

Climate Change

Economic Perspective

Geology, Licensing

Health and Community





A great little video of the illustration process from Classic Michigan Flies




Wishing you good luck and good health in 2013

I'm sure I'm not alone in hoping for better weather in 2013 after the seemingly never ending downpours which characterised the last season.

The conditions were such that the worm or spinner were the default method for many of us and the settled water which favours dry fly or the fly at night proved all too elusive for me which took the shine off of a season that produced some excellent fishing, particularly and unusually, for salmon through the summer months.



The snapshot of river levels above doesn't accurately reflect the highs and lows of the season as it reduces many of the peaks in river level through the year, for example the recent height of the river nearly hit the eight foot mark, but for some reason that peak isn't registered on the table above, copied from the Fishing Wales river level page LINK. Monthly records, (below) reflect the extremes more accurately -



Global warming is is going to continue this year with a predicted increase of a half a degree Celsius on the cards so the extreme conditions we're slowly becoming familiar with look set to continue which ought to remind us that we all need to think about what we can do to make a contribution to reducing our negative impact on the planet - there are some good suggestions here from the Common Ground web site -


New Year's Resolutions

A new year may be simply an arbitrary contrivance of calendar, but it is ingrained in all cultures (regardless of when in the year they actually hold it) as a time for fresh starts and taking stock. Resolutions have been part of this for around 4000 years, since the Babylonians first began making them. Their persistence in recent decades have had the desultory air of self-denial, the "giving up" of guilty pleasures - which inevitably collapse as the pressures of everyday life re-assert themselves.

For 2013, why not make positive resolutions? Not so much "giving up" things, as doing them differently for yours and others' benefit.

What can you do? Think and act in a more "green" way!

Use more local stores and farm shops rather than superstores. Visit your town's farmer's market.
Certified Farmers' Markets:

If you eat meat, switch to organic and free range. If you find it too expensive, eat less of it. You might even consider becoming a vegetarian.
Soil Association (for information on organic foods):
Vegetarian Society :

Walk more - think twice before using your car (especially for short hops).
Cutting Your Car Use:
The Ramblers Association:

Recycle all you can - better still, avoid packaging. Always take a re useable bag to the shops.
Re useable bags:

Make your mark on greenhouse gas reduction - switch to a green tariff with your power provider, or find out about solar and wind energy.
Green energy:

Feed the birds!
RSPB advice for feeding birds:




So..., still occupying that peculiar position which typifies January, the condition of looking back while looking forward here's a review of what 2012's weather did to our sport., a year when the flow of the Nant Ffornwg was so insignificant in May that it disappeared into the fissures of its bed followed by continual floods which saw the Ogmore running three feet up for days at a time through the summer months - strange days indeed.




Why was it so wet last year? LINK
















Odds and sods


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