Feb 05, 2020



Our new promotional brochure is now available and should be appearing in local tackle shops this month. We are keen to use this to recruit new members and would be grateful if existing members could pass copies on to their fishing friends and get them signed up to RDAA. The more members we have the more we can do to deliver better fishing opportunities for all at an affordable price. The brochure is also available online and can be downloaded from our
website at


The new Fisheries Management Committee has prepared a programme of work to improve our venues but it will only happen if enough members roll up their sleeves and get involved. We aim to make the sessions both productive and enjoyable. Please drop a line to if you are planning to come along or would like to help out in the future.

- The Drop In Friday Club starts Feb 7th 10-2pm (and every Friday thereafter) Meet at Farnham Flint hut for Shrub and Swim clearance and to construct 3 fish refuges. Refreshments provided.

- First Work Party 15/16th Feb 10-2pm – Meet Moatlands (next to our Kennet stretch at Calcot) for 10am. Shrub and tree clearance in order to create pathways/ swim clearing. We will also be doing some work on the river.

The weekend work party will qualify you for one stamp on your RDAA fishing tackle loyalty card per day worked. Please bring your own refreshments.

- All equipment supplied. However, appropriate footwear should be worn.

Future Work Parties

Plans are being drawn up for a full programme of new work on our waters including on the Kennet at Ufton, Lower Benyons, Wylies and Cottage Lane.  However, how much we can do depends on how many members decide to get involved.


Jan 31, 2020


GENERAL SECRETARY’S REPORT (Alan Hughes 0118 986 7430)



We held our first EC meeting in the Match Hut in January so we can now look forward to removing another significant cost from our expenditure on the future.


I have emailed all of our members asking them if they wish to attend the AGM and any questions they want answered. We will not take questions on the night but we will give answers to the questions tabled. Once I know the numbers attending then IO will book a relevant venue.



I was invited to Green Parkin late December to meet with and advise their landscaping department on the subject of Pennywort removal. There has been a change of management over the last year and they have been struggling to grasp the realities of dealing with it. This has caused RDAA problems further downstream in this last year They are now in a much better place to try and help us eradicate the problem.


With the rivers (particularly the Kennet) having very high water levels I fully expect that .
once the river returns to something like normal there will be some sort of bank damage in a
few places. These will be assessed so if you see damage please let us know.


Because the rivers are currently not ideal hunting grounds for cormorants they have been visiting Callows and Willmott waters. I have put measures in place to try and limit their success but it is a “cat and mouse affair”. They seem to adapt and overcome any new “scare” or “fish protection” that I put in place extremely quickly. Short of being on site 24 hours a day to physically scare them off there then there will be an impact. I do have a few potential untried solutions that I hope to trial soon, let’s hope they work.

Jan 31, 2020


The new Fisheries Management Committee has prepared a programme of work to improve our venues but it will only happen if enough members roll up their sleeves and get involved. We aim to make the sessions both productive and enjoyable. Please drop a line to if you are planning to come along or would like to help out in the future.

- The Drop In Friday Club starts Feb 7th 10-2pm (and every Friday thereafter) Meet at Farnham Flint hut for Shrub and Swim clearance and to construct 3 fish refuges. Refreshments provided.

- First Work Party 15/16th Feb 10-2pm – Meet Moatlands for 10am. Shrub and tree clearance in order to create pathways/ swim clearing. This work party will qualify you for one stamp on your RDAA fishing tackle loyalty card per day worked. Please bring your own refreshments.

- All equipment supplied. However, appropriate footwear should be worn.

See you there
Del & Martin

Jan 31, 2020

Promoting Fishing on Old Father Thames

Two long established angling clubs in the Oxford and Reading areas have decided to enter into a new water sharing agreement with aim of encouraging more anglers to experience some of the great fishing that the River Thames has to offer.

Reading & District Angling Association (RDAA) have offered Oxford based Littlemore Angling Society (LAS) members free access to over two miles of the Thames at Northmoor and Sandford weir stream in return with help with bailiffing and maintenance. Littlemore are offering RDAA members fishing on their waters at Sandford Meadows and Kennington below Oxford. The arrangements exclude match days but both clubs are in discussions about the possibility of holding joint matches on the river.

Both these stretches of the Thames produce excellent bags of roach, big catches of bream in certain areas as well as chub, barbel, pike and perch to specimen sizes.

Angling Trust Policy Chief and RDAA President Martin Salter said:

“The middle Thames is full of fish these days and some of the recent match weights have been nothing short of spectacular yet outside of competitions it is rare to see more than a handful of people fishing this wonderful river. I’m delighted that we’ve been able to open up more fishing for members of both clubs and we hope our partnership will encourage other angling associations to enter into similar arrangements. After all, why compete when you can cooperate.”

Alan Campbell, Secretary of Littlemore Angling Society added:

“ We already have the fishing on some of the bank opposite the RDAA waters at Sandford Weir and I know our barbel anglers in particular will welcome the opportunity to have full access to the weirpool. The RDAA stretch at Northmoor, above Oxford, has a good pedigree but has been underfished fished for years. It will certainly be another good option for our members and we know that the Reading anglers will enjoy some of the great roach and chub fishing that we have to offer below the weir stream at Sandford Meadows and for the bream up at Kennington. This arrangement is a ‘win win’ for both clubs.”

Thames specialist and angling journalist Keith Arthur said:

“How refreshing to see clubs who could easily be rivals collaborating to achieve the best outcomes for their members and, especially, the future of some brilliant wild fishing on the River Thames. In most walks of life there’s no doubt teamwork has enormous benefits and this is a fine example.”

The new arrangements come into force from June 16th 2020 


Littlemore AS -


Jan 10, 2020


GENERAL SECRETARY’S REPORT (Alan Hughes 0118 986 7430)



Tonight’s meeting is the last E.C. booking we have for TRBL. As the match hut has now been updated to include heating and toilets etc should we move the meetings to there at no cost to the Association.. Agreed to move to Flint.


The Club has informed me that they will not require any match bookings for the new season. They appear to have a problem with appointment of Officers which seems to be a major problem with most Clubs including the Association.


The new station is progressing rapidly especially on the Green Park side of the railway line. I understand that work on our side of the line is due to start early in the new year.



The fisheries forum which we held in mid November was a relative success and it was good to see some different faces. The feed back we received was pretty positive and hopefully when we host the next one, we’ll see some more new faces. Two members from the audience expressed an interest in helping out and have now joined the Fisheries Management Committee. Last week we had a meeting where plans were put in place to drive this forward.

Subjects discussed were….
The reward scheme for volunteers This will consist of tackle shop vouchers in multiples of £10 per attendance. These will be issued by way of a ‘loyalty’ card type system. Work programme . One of the agreed actions was to put some work into Moatlands, this will not only open up a much-underused venue, but will also benefit anglers wishing to fish Calcot river as one of the plans is opening up a larger parking area.

Work parties….
It was agreed there will be two different types of work party, one will be a fairly relaxed affair, doing light work to the new Callows/ Wilmotts/ Brown-Lee ponds and surrounding areas. They will be held weekly on a Friday starting on the 7th of February 2020. These work parties will not qualify for the reward scheme, but attendees will receive free tea/coffee and a bacon butty! The second type will take a much more physical form of formal work party and will be
held monthly, starting on the weekend of 15/16th Feb 2020. These will qualify for the
reward scheme.


The negotiations with Littlemore Angling club are nearing a conclusion, subject to a meeting on site with their Chairman. They have offered us complete access to waters under their control (on non match days) in exchange for access to our bank at Sandford and our Northmoor fishery. This is a win, win for us as part of the deal is they will maintain and bailiff Sandford for us. We are still perusing a similar deal with the Jolly Anglers on the Wallingford waters.


The new out of (coarse) season Trout syndicate on Upper Benyons has proved to be a success with the 20 tickets being snapped up within days. We are currently over subscribed with a reserves list. There are roughly two thirds new members out of the 20 committed.


Callows Pool will have received a further stocking of 800 tench and 800 crucian Carp in time for Christmas, these are fish from the E.A.’s Calverton fish farm. At some point over the winter I will be netting/electrofishing Callows in order to remove many of the small rudd.

Willmotts Pool will also receive an additional 1000 carp.

Nov 29, 2019


GENERAL SECRETARY’S REPORT (Alan Hughes 0118 986 7430)


Following a weekend recently our two applicants passed their level 1 course so we are now in the position of having four Level 1 coaches and one Level 2 . We will be looking for two of these to complete a Level 2 course in the Spring. We also have another two applicants for Level 1 courses and are waiting for dates of these courses.


As the number of coaches grow I am hoping that we will be offering a fairly expansive junior and beginner programme commencing on the Callow Lake and extending on tp Willmotts Match Lake. We now have the facilities with the Match hut and also toilet facilities to host these lessons.



As was the case last month the work toward planning and attempting to change the way we do things around our fisheries has continued. This has taken up a lot of my time this last month. Hopefully the ‘Forum’ meeting planned for the 13 th with be a success and it will have been worth it.


The Flint project has now been finished. Callows Pool (silver fish only) and Willmotts Pool (match style carp pool) are now open to members. We will hold off an official opening until the spring when they will become available for day ticket anglers also. There may be occasion to close parts of the ponds for the small odd jobs still to complete, so please obey any temporary onsite signs.

Callows Pool has seen crucian carp, tench, roach and rudd stocked and can be quite literally a fish a chuck. Willmotts, has had over 1000 10ozs to 1lb 8ozs carp stocked (around 1200 fish) stocked and some good bag weights caught by the odd angler fishing it so far. We will probably stock a further 1000 fish in the near future, depending on availability.
Piers Kernoghan is opening the match hut on Friday, Saturday & Sunday throughout the
winter supplying hot food and drink along with a small range of bait and tackle.
The projects on the river, I mentioned last month have now been completed and signed off.
I expect to see the continued improvement within the Kennet as a result of these projects.


Nov 13, 2019


Thanks to everyone who braved the weather to come along to our first RDAA Fisheries Management Forum last night, in particular to Del Shackleford and Martin Kent for their excellent presentations, it was great to hear so many positive contributions and offers of help. We will begin the job of turning these into a fisheries action plan and get back to you in the New Year. Look out for two more forums on our Lakes and on our River fisheries where we want to engage members further in looking after and improving their favourite waters.

Nov 01, 2019


GENERAL SECRETARY’S REPORT (Alan Hughes 0118 986 7430)


We have recruited Lionel Cook, Nigel Sharp, Geoff Cousins and Nathan Clark who will be attending Level 1 courses in November. I am still waiting for dates for Simon East to attend but it looks like being the new year for this. Thank you to this five for helping us with this. This would give us a total of eight coaches which will greatly help with the running of Angling Tuition days. We will still need two more Level 2 coaches and we hope to have these in place for events commencing next Spring.

The island will be off limits whilst repairs are carried out to the watermill. It is expected to reopen mid November.

This venue will be our target for this Autumn as it has been somewhat neglected over the years. It is nearly 20 years since we bought this venue and a spruce up will be warmly received. We will be looking for help with this and have already received an offer, lets hope many more follow.

We are still working our way through the legal side of the Fishing Rights and access on this venue. There are other issues regarding water levels that Del will probably talk about but I don’t expect these issues to be resolved quickly.

Jamie Cook has been appointed as the new CEO for the Trust. Some of you may know him as he cut his teeth fishing RDAA waters as a boy. We wish him well and look forward to meeting up sometime in the future.

The disciplinary meeting was held prior to this meeting where the offender was given his permit back commencing the19th October.


We recently carried out some gravel cleaning below the weir on Lower Benyons. We have been doing this now for around 10 years in various places. I believe it to be a very useful tool in promoting juvenile recruitment and something I feel we are now seeing a benefit from. I’d like to thank Linda Nemeth of Action for the River Kennet (ARK) and their volunteers for helping me out on the day.

These should be opening this month.

I have been receiving a lot of reports of the misuse of baitboats on our Whistley Mill venue. It would be easy to put a blanket ban on them, however in a last ditch attempt to control their use for the benefit of most members, I have spent some time dividing a map of the lake into different coloured zones. These zones will be assigned corresponding coloured swims, indicated by coloured pegs in the swims. These maps will be made available on our website along with a sign in the venue car park and also, from our Whistley bailiffs. Anyone caught with their ‘boat’ outside of their zone will have their permit endorsed in the first incidence and removed pending a disciplinary meeting if caught again.

I’ve been getting a lot of questions and reports of the fluctuating levels of the Kennet. We are aware of this and commissioned a report on it last winter, which we subsequently sent to the Environment Agency. They confirmed our findings and have been collecting data ever since recommendations to the owners and are awaiting a time frame for the remedy works to be carried out (the EA do not own the sluices).

There are several habitat improvement works being carried out locally at present that we have had a hand in. One is on the ‘southerchannel’ below our Padworth River section. This is a fairly large project to narrow the channel in places, re-place previously washed awagravels, the placement of some ‘woody debris’ flow deflectors and washing of existing gravels.
Another is the re-connection of the ‘old’ river course at Theale. This will create a huge juvenile shelter, something that is essential in times of flood. There is also a much smaller but, no less important juvenile shelter being opened up along the Holybrook.


7.30pm Wednesday 13th November,  Tilehurst British Legion, Downing Rd. RG31 5BB.

We have recently agreed to establish a new Fisheries Management Committee (FMC) under the chairmanship of our President, Martin Salter. The FMC is tasked with developing strategies and plans to increase volunteer engagement from the wider membership in support of the Fisheries Officer in the management, maintenance, care and promotion of the RDAA fisheries and to look for new opportunities and collaborations as a means of improving the quality of fishing available to members. They will be announcing some exciting new developments at the meeting.  They want hear members’ views on how our fisheries can be improved and developed. Please come along and do spread the word to others.


The RDAA Upper Benyon’s stretch of Middle Kennet at Padworth has seen a noticeable increase in the population of sizeable wild trout. These fish have filled the gap left by declining numbers of chub and barbel on the river, although it has been pleasing to see evidence of some successful recruitment of these two species in recent years.

Whilst signal crayfish have caused big problems for the spring spawning fish trout, as winter spawners, have not been so badly impacted and have prospered.

Our colleagues at the Wild Trout Trust believe that Upper Benyon’s has the best potential to deliver quality spring fly fishing for large wild trout, particularly in the Mayfly Season. A view confirmed by trout fishing legend Charles Jardine on a recent visit.

The venue has produced fish to five pounds to both fly and coarse anglers and the lower river has thrown up specimens over ten pounds.

We have agreed to establish a specific 20 RDAA member trout section for a trial period of three years and are inviting applications from new and existing members. The annual cost is an extra £50 for existing members and £70 for new recruits plus, of course the usual annual subscription. Half of all places are to be reserved initially for existing RDAA members.

This will be some of the most affordable chalkstream wild trout fishing in the country and we are expecting demand to be high.

Trout Section members will be entitled to:

  • Exclusive fishing on from April 15th each year until June 16 thereafter shared with thecoarse fishery

  • Fly fishing on nearly a mile of river on Upper Benyons North (bank only but carefulwading allowed)

  • Fish with any single fly on floating line

  • Fly fish any other RDAA water from June 16 to March 14

All fish are to be logged and returned and barbless/debarbed hooks are compulsory.
Applications are now open and members should drop a line to to
register an interest and explain why you’d like to be considered for membership


Sep 30, 2019


GENERAL SECRETARY’S REPORT (Alan Hughes 0118 986 7430)



There are at present spaces available on a level 1 course in November. If anyone is interested please email us at . or ring or text on 07786 936794. I have advertised this on Facebook today and received four enquiries so far.




Thank you to all of this EC who took part and John Ambrose for their assistance at the most recent Angling Tuition day. These events have been slow to get going but it looks like we are beginning to get them right but unfortunately are running out of summer temperatures to keep them going. We will get more events running in the Spring of next year and we will be looking for more Level 1 & 2 coaches to be trained. We may run a couple of the early events next year in conjunction with Let’s Fish and then do our own after these.



Whist Martin Salter is compiling his approach to gaining volunteers we are still actively seeking members who can help us with a multitude of tasks including work parties on the venues, assisting with coaching and assistance at Farnham Flint with the two new lakes could you please contact us at .or ring or text on 07786 936794.


The Water Booking form for 2020-21 season has been sent out to Clubs that have had bookings this season. Any of our affiliated Clubs can apply by dropping an email to



We have now stocked 1000 pounds in weight of 10oz-1lb carp into the match lake. Although the pool is not been officially opened yet a few people have fished it and early indications are good.


I have met with Action for the River Kennet regarding them using Upper Benyons as the focal point for volunteer activities on the lower river. This went well and they are keen to make a start once a new lower river officer is in place.


I have had a meeting with Englefield Estate on site at Lower Benyons were we discussed the access problems we are having from Tyle Mill and the bank collapses we have been experiencing just upstream from the footpath at Wigmore lane. It was agreed that the Estate would apply for a ‘felling’ licence to coppice all the trees along ‘Red’ section. This will greatly improve the access and the availability of swims. It will be a joint effort, where they will
remove trees to the field and we will then log and deal with any brash. Due to having to gain a licence this is unlikely to happen this side of winter. The same goes for the bank collapses, due to us having to gain a permit from the Environment Agency. both of these tasks will be aided by many hands and hopefully our volunteer scheme will be in full flow by then. Martin Salter and myself have had the first of many meetings in order to try and get this off the ground. So far we have a plan but it’s early days so not too much to report back as yet.


One thing I can report back on is us formalising the out of (coarse) season trout fishing at Upper Benyons. This will take place next year in the closed season.


I started the second cut on some of our venues last week and will continue over the next few weeks. Please, if you have a match coming up on a particular venue and you think it needs some attention, let me know and I’ll do my best to get it sorted….provided I get plenty of notice.

Sep 02, 2019


GENERAL SECRETARY’S REPORT (Alan Hughes 0118 986 7430)



We, surprisingly have sold more permits than at the same stage last year. Day Ticket sales since May 1 st have nearly doubled and I am sure this is because of the simpleness of the transaction. I wonder if we shoot ourselves in the foot with sales of Junior permits. The fact we allow juniors to fish free of charge up to the age of 14 gives a false indication of how many Junior members we actually have. It may be an idea for next season to introduce a token charge.




After a slow start applications are picking up and our next event is on Saturday 7th September which is beginning to fill up. We need more coaches and volunteers to run these events successfully and I will be progressing with Angling Trust the training for more coaches in the future. At present we are at the bare minimum for assistance on these
events and I would like to see some help from within the E.C. to start with.



Our President has stated his case of how he sees the future regarding volunteers and I thank him for taking on this challenge. We as an EC have to support him in any way we can.



The Flint project is all but finished with just a little ‘on going’ work to complete. I have ordered the first batch of fish, which should arrive this week (last week in Auigust). I’m going to start with a stocking of 1000lb’s worth of fish between 1 and 1.08lb. This stocking will be closely monitored and more fish stocked if necessary. The shop will open in line with this but will initially just be for a few days a week.


Unfortunately, Martin Kent our lower fisheries representative for ARK has decided to step down from his role due to family commitments.This, although totally understandable, is a great shame. Martin has been a true breath of fresh air at this end of the river and has helped to deliver some outstanding work below Newbury. I would like to wish him well for the future and thank him on behalf of RDAA.

Because of Martins success we cannot allow the position of lower fisheries project officer not to be filled. At a recent meeting with the ‘Environment undertakings group’ our collective opinions were heard by ARK and I then had a subsequent meeting with ARK’s director. We discussed the successes / failings of ARK’s presence downstream of Newbury and it was felt a focal point would be of great use in trying to engage interest in improving habitat and water quality within the river. I made the suggestion that RDAA allow one of it’s true river sections to become one such thing. ARK and myself will walk potential venues and will select the most appropriate one. Work to be carried out would be bank repairs, channel narrowing, aquatic planting and gravel cleaning. At the above mentioned EU meeting we discussed the Pennywort situation within the Kennet and the Foudry brook and I’m pleased to report we’re winning the battle.


On the bailiff front our bailiffs have been out and about without to many problems. We are experiencing a healthy increase in anglers particularly on our lake venues due in part to the recent form of Farnham Flint which has produced a number of Carp to very high 40’s. Whistley mill is also fishing well with lots of Carp being caught to low 40’s. We’re even seeing a bit of an upsurge in anglers fishing the Kennet for silver fish which is really good to see.


With the recent high winds there has been a lot of trees and branches coming down. I cannot get around all of the venues at once so I would appreciate it if when you see any issue you report it via the bailiff line or facebook. I will be out in the next month or so cutting the canal sections ready for the winter and doing a second cut of some of the river sections where needed.

Aug 04, 2019


GENERAL SECRETARY’S REPORT (Alan Hughes 0118 986 7430)



The online sales are going well and we are ahead of last year. The Tackle shops appear to be carrying most of the additional permit issue that the majority of Clubs did not want to take on. Angling Direct and Tadley Angling have made significant increases in permit sales.




TThe second of our Let’s Fish dates took place on Saturday 29 th June at Beat 3B. Our two new coaches Paul Mason and John Ambrose along with Dennis Hunt the Level 2 coach from Tring Anglers. The event was a huge success with 32 kids turning up and enjoying themselves and all catching fish. This was despite a very hot day and some mistakes by the event organisers. We will be looking to include more dates in the summer. Hopefully this will increase Junior Permit sales. We need some volunteer help with these events The events will be held on Weds August 7 th (evening), Saturday August10th (daytime), Weds 21 st August (evening) and Saturday, September 7 th (daytime), If you can help us then please contact on or ring 07786 936794.



We are constantly looking for more volunteers and it appears that other organisations have no problem with this and you only have to look at Action for Kennet (ARK) to see their results. The fact is that if we don’t get volunteers then this will reflect on the permit price for coming seasons and events like Junior Training above will suffer.



After the usual pre-season strimming and trimming I have made a note of some of our venues needing a little more substantial work particularly with trees. Sonning river is one and to that end we will be looking to the landowner to remedy this. While we do clear wind blown and fallen trees from venues, I do not have the time or expertise to deal with large dangerous trees. The top end of Lower Benyon is another case as is Wallingford A section.


Padworth River is another cause for concern as there are now at least two very large breaches in the bank side on the downstream end. The banks on this venue have deteriorated hugely in the past 5 years and are now at the point of being dangerous. Couple this with the on going problems we're having with access, I feel we need to start challenging the landowner. Agreed to talk to M.S. with view of taking to Fish Legal.


The new keyed locks we now have seem to have gone down well and with very few problems.


With the Flint project drawing to an end (bar any 'working progress' I will be turning my attention to Whistley Mill River for a much needed tidy up come the autumn.


We had our annual bailiffs meeting just before the season started and the over riding issue for them was the photos on the permit. Many members that are being checked do not have the photo attached as it has fallen off. I have asked our bailiffs to endorse these members as it is their responsibility to ensure a photo is on them.

Jun 30, 2019


GENERAL SECRETARY’S REPORT (Alan Hughes 0118 986 7430)



Very few Clubs have taken up the opportunity to sell permits but thank you to those that have. Most of these are Clubs remote from Reading and the system seems to have operated quite well. The online sales are going well despite Royal Mail stopping the delivery of some permits on the first issue due to insufficient postage. This matter has been taken up with them and seems to have been resolved as we have received no complaints of non delivery from permit holders since the first delivery. I only have nine Clubs registered as wanting the info Sheet every month, presumably the rest are looking on the website for it. To date we have sold 149 Senior, 92 OAP/RDP, 4 Jun.34 Gold 17 Silver and 8 Bronze permits.which I think is encouraging with a week to go before the season begins. ‘




The first of our Let’s Fish dates took place on Saturday 25 th May at the new Callow Pool. Our two new coaches Paul Mason and John Ambrose along with Dennis Hunt the Level 2 coach from Tring Anglers. The event was a huge success with 27 kids turning up and enjoying themselves and all catching fish. Well done Del you have created a superb fishery for the kids to learn how to fish. There is another event planned for Saturday June 29 th at Beat 3A where three of the half hour slots are already sold out. We will be looking to include more dates in the summer. Hopefully this will increase Junior Permit sales.



We are still looking for volunteers to help us with events and numerous other tasks such as above and unless we get them some programmes or venues will suffer from lack of attention. If you want to be involved then let us know at or give us a call.



The Crucians and Tench we ordered for the Callow pool arrived and were in good health. These were 4-6 inch fish and from what I can gather are quite hungry and are getting caught. The pathways around the pool are just about complete with just a little landscaping to finish.


Earlier in the month I had a meeting with the Environment agency, Canal and Rivers trust and Green park where we discussed what each of us has been doing to manage the Pennywort problem. As far as the area we cover (Foudry Brook below Green Park/The flood relief channel and the Kennet below Fobney) it appears we are starting to win the battle to manage the problem.


We welcomed the Army Infantry Carp fishing team at Junction 12. They had two 48 hour matches spread over a two week period as qualifiers for an inter-forces final later in the year. All had a great time and caught some cracking fish, topped by a new lake record mirror of 45lbs.6ozs.


I’m currently busy strimming venues for the start of the river angling season. I hope to get around the vast majority of our venues before the 16 th but some maybe done just after due to delays.


There has been a slight delay in the opening on the ‘carp puddle’ at Farnham Flint but we hope to be in a position to open in the coming weeks. When open it will be named Willmott Match Pool after Ken Willmott our Match Secretary for many years who recently died.

Jun 10, 2019


GENERAL SECRETARY’S REPORT (Alan Hughes 0118 986 7430)



At present I have issued permits to Bracknell Avocets, Adventure, Reading C.S. Sundial, Met. Police and Westward HO!. Well done to Bracknell as they have sold and paid for their quota. Sundial and Westward Ho! Have sent their members details in but no payment as yet. Kennet Ospreys and Courage /SE have enquired but no order as yet Thatcham A.A. have told me they no longer wish to be affiliated to RDAA. This may prove to be a difficult year for us regarding permit sales especially with Clubs not selling them but hopefully the online sales will compensate this.




The first of our Let’s Fish dates will be on Saturday 25 th May at the new Callow Pool. Our two new coaches
Paul Mason and John Ambrose will be in attendance and they will be mentored by Dennis Hunt the Level 2 coach from Tring Anglers. The event will be in the form of 30 minute sessions for each attendee. Our Chairman has volunteered his services for the day to look after the paperwork I will unfortunately be away.



Despite advertising on Facebook and on our website we again received no volunteers and the work party on Saturday at Wallingford was again attended by just four E.C. members. We have to improve the volunteer situation and get more people involved. A recent ARK litter pick on the Kennet in Reading had more than 50 volunteers assisting.


I would like to thank Andy Chapman, Trevor Slater, Steve O’Keefe and Fred Jones for all of their endeavours in the closed season on the Wallingford B stretch of the Thames. They have managed to create 19 swims despite the fallen trees in some of the old swims. We will need these swims plus the same amount on the A section if we are able to hold our Thames match in November. We may have to limit the numbers fishing this event.


I also want to thank Alby Cohen for the organising of this event. This was probably the best one for a long time with everything going superbly on the night. The food was excellent and the venue was ideal , thanks again Alby.




Flint/Callows pool – The pathways are just about done, with only a small amount of pathways to complete. I have stocked a further 1000 4-6’’ Crucian carp and 500 4-6’’ Tench into Callows Pool which is fishing well with more and more anglers having a go.



Unfortunately, I have cancelled 3 out of the 4 volunteer days organised because of a lack of interest. The one that went ahead was building ‘spawning boards’ ready for the Roach spawning. This was a great day attended by two RDAA members (Mick Gough and Peter Schofield) and two members of Action for the river Kennet (ARK)….thank you. The boards were place into the river on the 28th April.


Upper Benyons has had a stocking of 5000 Grayling from the EA’s fish farm at Calverton. These fish are the spawn of brood fish taken (and then returned) from the Kennet back in February.

Apr 30, 2019


GENERAL SECRETARY’S REPORT (Alan Hughes 0118 986 7430)


We have now completed the dealings with Reading Borough Council and they are clear to start the work for the new station.



At present I have heard from nine of our Affiliated Clubs regarding a contact email and whether they want to sell permits. At present six have asked for permits. I have received no nominations to come on to the E.C. from the Clubs



I have spent some time with our website advisor and I think we have completed what we needed to do within the new Constitution. All has been swapped over and we are ready for a new season from May 1 st when the permits will go on sale. If anybody sees anything wrong please let me know.




We have agreed two dates for the start of our Canals & rivers Trust Lets Fish events to try and get some youth back into fishing. The dates will be Saturday 25 th May at new lake at Farnham Flint and Saturday 29 th June at East Towney, If these are a success then we will look at further dates in the school holidays.



Although RDAA never formally objected to the planning application due to it being a Civil case I understand the application has been withdrawn for the moment and a remodelled application is coming in the future.



Despite advertising on Facebook and on our website we received no volunteers and the work party on recently at Wallingford was attended by four E.C. members. We must progress with volunteers and push the numbers up.





The Roach project is gearing up and we have been given a clean bill of health by CEFAS again this year.


The new café/tackle shop at Flint should be opening around the end of the month.


I have spent a few days at Wylies removing some bankside and fallen trees along the righthand and top bank. Thanks to Alan Cannon and Mick Carwardine for their help.


Last month I attended a meeting called to discuss the K&A canal and its interaction with the river. A number of new ways of approaching the issue of the canal influencing the main river were aired and I'm hopeful that things in the future can be improved.


We have had problems at Cottage Lane with a group of party goers breaking through the barrier and having a 36 hour party on Englefield land.I have since had a meeting with Englefield Estate in order to come up with solutions to the lack of Police interest.


After a walk along the banks of Mapledurham (below the weir) I am looking at the possibility of opening up some additional swims .I hope this will number around 16 -18 pegs.

The Annual Dinner & Prizegiving is to be held on Friday 10 th May at Calcot Golf Club. Any
members wishing to attend please let us know at

Apr 01, 2019


GENERAL SECRETARY’S REPORT (Alan Hughes 0118 986 7430)


The fishing hours on the venue have been changed to 7am till the end of daylight hours.



We need to start getting a programme in position for Introducing young people into the sport, we have the Level 1 coaches but need someone to drive this forward and volunteers to assist with the coaching. The Canals & Rivers Trust use Social Media to advertise these events and this does seem to get the numbers along.‘



We have found out that our ownership of the Right of Way on Fishermans Lane has never been registered and as such is holding this matter up. We have applied for registration but not sure how long it will take. This does not affect the planning application objection as the “right of way” is classed as a civil matter and dealt with between the relevant owners.




Interest has fallen away since the original notices went out. We need to increase the participation on this and hopefully we can increase numbers before the start of the new season. There will be working parties on Wallingford and the Kennet plus lakes please show your interest by replying on




With the high winds of late I have had to deal with a few fallen trees in various places and no doubt there will be a few that I’m unaware of at present that I will have to sort in the coming weeks. I have recently carried out some much needed tree work to the righthand bank at Wylies.



The Flint project is coming along and at long last I can see an end in sight. Hopefully to open at start of new season.



The Roach project is about to get into full swing. With new spawning boards to be made and the growing on ponds to grade. I hope to be stocking out a good few thousand fish this year.




Bailiffing continues without any major problems bar a group of ‘lads’ who think it a great idea to light large fires on our venues. We have not managed to establish as to whether they are current members as yet and because of this we have passed the matter onto the landowners and the police

Mar 02, 2019


GENERAL SECRETARY’S REPORT (Alan Hughes 0118 986 7430)



Finally, we have agreed with Reading Borough Council regarding the provision of land on the old 4X4 site to provide the replacement floodplain area as requested by the E.A. We will not be selling this land to them but allowing use of it whilst the station is being built to excavate down to the required depth.



Following the recent meeting the only update I have received is from Twyford stating that they will not be attending the AGM but support us in the change of Constitution.



The sale of these permits has increased since the cold weather has receeded and we have
received quite a bit of interest in emails to the website




Our two prospective Level 1 coaches enjoyed their weekend in Warwickshire on their course. I
expect both to pass with flying colours but Angling Trust do not issue the results very promptly.



A planning application is about to be submitted for the reopening of Fishermans Lane in
Aldermaston. This is by the owners who gave us some grief a couple of years ago and the
application is very vague regarding the reasons. I am waiting for further information from West Berks Council.



The appeal appears to be bearing some fruit with several inquiries being made. Del has already
made use of some as you will see in his report and the dates listed on the website has yielded some applicants.



With our Treasurer away on holiday Alby and myself trawled through the accounts and despite a couple of missing entries we can say the books balance.







After the initial mass clearance with the weed boat we have had our contractor visit the affected stretches (Foudry brook, The flood relief channel and the main river Kennet from Fobney to County weir) on a weekly basis. Over the course of the summer we have & 'tweaked' our approach to suit and the signs, although early days, are very encouraging, with the main river more or less clear of Pennywort at the end of the autumn. Foudry Brook and the relief channel showing only small infrequent patches. Due to the way in which we suspect the plant over winters, this coming spring will be a crucial period as to the effectiveness of our efforts.




Once again most of my time has been taken up with the new pond at Flint.Things are moving along nicely. However, the recent weather has been challenging, not to mention extremely muddy! Most of the platforms are now in with only a few left to site once the banks settle a little. A big thanks must go out to Martin Porter/ Alan Cannon and Jim Reid who answered the call for volunteers to help. Hopefully in the next week or so the dividing curtain will go in, which will then leave the outfall to construct and the pathways.




Currently I have around 15-20 thousand one, two and three year old roach in our growing on
ponds. The three year olds will be stocked out Into the river this coming April and I expect there to be around 4000 fish. I will be keeping some of these three year olds back to use as brood stock. The reason for this in case of spring time floods. Last year was a bit of a disaster with regard to removing spawn from the river (which the whole project relies upon) ...out of the 20 plus spawning boards we put out, not one collected any spawn, this I suspect was due to the mature fish not congregating at their usual spawning locations due to the floodwater. Fortunately, I have had some Kennet brood stock right from the start and if it wasn't for them I wouldn't have any 2018 fish.



Bailiffing continues without any major problems.


Feb 02, 2019


GENERAL SECRETARY’S REPORT (Alan Hughes 0118 986 7430)



Probably due to the Christmas and New Year break we have heard nothing more from the Council.



Following the Discussion night for Delegates it would appear that following the discussions there are no serious matters affecting the Clubs and that those present were not against the change tom the new Constitution. There were Clubs missing from the meeting and three apologies were accepted. Civil Service saying they will not attend the AGM but agree with the change of Constitution proposed. If any Clubs are not attending the AGM then please let me know and also your Clubs proxy vote by email. If the vote goes in RDAA favour then all Affiliated Clubs will retain that affiliation even if they take up no Water Bookings. This will continue unless the Clubs lets RDAA know that they wish to cease.



Due to the permanent pegging not working due to boat moorings the new sections below will be adopted.


No match section - above Lock 68
A1 section - Wides to Power lines on Short Pound.
A2 section - Wires short pound to Road Bridge
B1 section - Road Bridge to first Ash Tree
B2 Section - First Ash tree to Lock 71
C Section - Lock 71 to end of Venue



We have two members who will be attended a Level 1 course in January. The course is provided by Canals Rivers Trust and Angling Trust, They are Paul Mason and John Ambrose and I hope that they successfully complete the course. One original applicant canceled due to work commitments and the other I have heard nothing back from. Unfortunately, the last one was the one I had hoped would be the prospective Level 2 coach.






Volunteer days- for the first time I have listed a number of days in which we will be doing work on the rivers and also some of the lake venues. The days involving the river will be carried out in conjunction with Action for the River Kennet (ARK) and will consist of various habitat improvement works. If you wish to help out (dates below) on any of these days please contact me on


Junction 12 is proving to be a great success with 2019 fully booked and only 7 (at time of writing) weekends left available in 2020.



Work to the new lakes at Flint is coming along and I hope to be in a position to open fully on or before the start on the new season.





Jan 02, 2019


GENERAL SECRETARY’S REPORT (Alan Hughes 0118 986 7430)



Reading Borough Council expects to hear more from the Environment Agency in the new year but I understand they have accepted the area they require. They expect to come back to us early in January.



I have issued the proposed new Constitution and accompanying letter to all of the Clubs and asked for confirmation of receipt. I have this confirmation from all of the Clubs with the exception of CSAS, Twyford and Thatcham. This is after a second email reminding them. To date have received no questions from the Clubs.



The draws for the forthcoming Association matches and the Open on December 30th will be held at the Borough Arms at 77 High Street Hungerford. Breakfast will be served from 7am and the draw will be at 8am.



It is with great regret that RDAA have to report the death of their former Match Secretary Ken Wilmott. Ken served this role magnificently for over 20 years when our match participation was over 400 anglers. Difficult to imagine organising this without all of the modern aids that are available to us now. His funeral will be held on Friday 4 th January at 1.30pm at West Berkshire Crematorium and afterwards at the Civil Service Club, Burghfield. Please let me know if you will attend.



We have four members who will be attending a Level 1 course on January 19 th & 20 th. The course is provided by Canals & Rivers Trust and Angling Trust.





Things this month have largely been based around flint and continuing with the planned carp puddle. Despite us installing a security fence around the car park, some kind souls attempted to remove one of the panels in order to gain access. After replacing the damaged panel, have now built an earth mound around the inside, which will now make it impossible to gain any access.



Finally after 3 years in the planning we have every thing in place in order to start work on the noise reducing bund along the motorway bank at Pingewood. Work to build the track up on the workings bank has all but been completed and a new set of entrance gates have been installed. Work on the bund itself will start in March.



We have recently sent in a report and complaint about an issue with the erratic flows and levels on the Kennet below Tyle Mill. After investigation it appears that the river is” pulsing’ with levels rising and falling around 4 inches over a 2 hour period local to Tyle Mill. This then is exacerbated as it travels downstream. In turn, this is having a huge impact on the habitat within the Osier Bed Stream and to a lesser extent on the habitat and morphology within the main river. We are currently awaiting a response from the Environment Agency.




A few weeks ago the Kennet received some barbel and chub from the EA’s fish farm at Calverton-500 chub just upstream of Upper Benyons- 1000 barbel and a further 500 chub downstream of Burghfield. All of these fish were between 1/2lb and a 1lb in size. Although they were not stocked into our venues, we will benefit from downstream drift and certainly the river will benefit holistically.



There has been an issue raised by our bailiffs regarding permits not having photographs attached to the front cover. At the start of the season I instructed the bailiffs to be a little lenient as it was a new initiative, however things have not improved so I have instructed the bailiffs to endorse any permits found without attached photos. A sperate photograph as ID will not be accepted, contrary to mis-information given out by some permit sellers.


Dec 01, 2018


GENERAL SECRETARY’S REPORT (Alan Hughes 0118 986 7430)



The proposed new Constitution has been issued to all of the E.C. and also the proposed letter that will accompany it. The decision to support this was unanimous and this will now be issued to the Clubs at the same time as the December Info Sheet and will be discussed at the Delegates meeting on January 28th 2019.



The draw for the forthcoming Association matches will be held at the Borough Arms at 7  High Street Hungerford. Breakfast will be served from 7am and will cost £6.00 per head.



Some time ago I placed some official signs on to the posts on the Wides and Short Pound at Froxfield asking moored boats to leave a 5m gap between boats. It appears to have worked and I hope it lasts.



We have been asked by C&RT to hold one of the qualifying heats on the Froxfield stretch of the Kennet & Avon Canal. This will be held on Saturday 28th September 2019.



These continue to drop and have shown a 10% deficit in the last year. This is in line with our own permit sales and this has now become a major worry to all Angling national bodies.



A reminder to all Clubs that no bookings will be received after November 28th.




With the tree falling down season now in full swing I have cleared a few this last month. Some of the trees have been blocking the paths. Some of our members have clearly been aware of these blockages but failed to contact us to report them. I urge members to report such things either by calling the bailiff hotline or via our Facebook page. Nothing is more frustrating than being accused of the lack of action when no one reports it.



The Environment Agency’s Annual River Surveys of the Kennet where completed last month and the unofficial results are very encouraging. The parts of the lower river surveyed were Lower Benyons (however this was very limited as a freshly fallen tree blocked their access). Garston Lock (Arrowhead to Burghfield) (start of Beat 1 to Fobney to County Weir.


As mentioned above Lower Benyons was limited as a tree had fallen blocking the river just upstream of the Osier Stream. Electro fishing was only for a 4 minute duration below this, yet 3 large barbel, 6 large chub and around 100 roach were caught. Calcot to Beat 1 produced some of the best ever results in recent history. Lots of roach (including a 2lb specimen) a good helping of barbel and chub and over 500 bream. Fobney to County Weir showed its usual chub, roach, dace etc but interestingly a lot of big barbel (15 in total). After all the work we have been putting into the river digging juvenile shelters, cleaning gravels, work to the Osier bed stream and the roach project over the last 6-7 years hopefully we have turned a corner.



There does appear on the face of it to be an issue with the river below Tyle Mill “pulsing”. Th  levels throughout the summer have been constantly rising and falling by 60mm plus on a 2 hour cycle. This pulse has the potential and indeed is disrupting habitat, particularly at time of low flow. This pulse gathers momentum as it travels downstream to the point where it can be clearly seen at the EA’s monitoring stations at Theale and Blakes Lock. We have been gathering evidence over the last month and have had a report commissioned by ARK in order to present to the Authorities.



The silver fish pond (Callows) has all but been finished and I see no reason for members not to start fishing it. There are a permanent 13 platforms and a stock of over 3000 crucian carp to around 1.5lbs. 1,000 tench plus an astonishing amount of rudd and roach. There are a few minor jobs to do and these will be carried out over the winter as time allows.



The onsite toilet has also been completed and members are free to use it. It is situated in  wooden lean to building on the side of the new building. The code for the lock is as our gates. This is a first for RDAA and to be honest I have my reservations about people abusing it. Please treat it as you would your grandmothers and prove me wrong.



The pennywort clearance has been a success this year with only a few small patches on th  waterways we are responsible for. Our success has not gone unnoticed and we are providing advice learnt from our experience to other organisations. Over this coming Winter we will be trialling “some experimental things to limit any regrowth in the coming Spring”.



I am being asked when the dates for booking Junction 12 in 2012 will be made available as 2019 is sold out. These will be advertised and become available to book on the 1 st January 2019.



Bailiffing continues without too many issues however we do have a situation where a certain gentleman who despite being asked to surrender his permit pending a disciplinary hearing is refusing to do so. This is his third such altercation with fellow members. The gentleman in question via email communications accused us of being a joke club. I think the above is only a small fraction of what goes on proves we are not.

Nov 01, 2018


GENERAL SECRETARY’S REPORT (Alan Hughes 0118 986 7430)


Reading B.C. have now found a problem with the infill of the area near the station site whereby additional land is needed to replace the floodplain. We are in negotiations with them over this.


Several points were raised at the October Delegates meeting following on from the issue of questions raised by Clubs in emails. We have formed a sub committee to deal with the changeover of the Constitution and issue of new rules. We need to get the proposed rules out to Clubs well before the meeting on January 28 th and we hope this can be issued with the December Info Sheet. A Sub- Committee has been formed that consists of Gen Sec, Chairman, Alby Cohen & Paul Wilding



We are proposing to include an extra date in each month (probably the last Sunday) that will involve something similar to the Association match or maybe based on Teams of Four. This will mean that Club Bookings for waters will not include these dates unless the Club’s members do not want to be involved.



Despite a very wet day it was encouraging that so many people turned up for this event at Fobney Island. It resulted in 28 children wanting to have a try at fishing. Beat 3A has not been used for Club matches for many years but it turned up a few surprises with roach, perch and skimmers showing up and not one of the children failed to catch. I would also like to thank Luton A.C. for the loan of their three coaches. Thank also to our prospective Level ! coaches for turning up on the day. I firmly believe that RDAA must get back into encouraging juniors to fish and to get involved with the local community.



All three applicants are booked in for a Level 1 course in January 2018 which is held over two days. I am waiting on information regarding the existing Level 1 and 2 coaches.




We are now in ‘tree falling down’ season and this year seems to be worse than normal with the root systems of many trees shrunken because of the lack of rain it’s only taking a bit of wind and rain for them to shed limbs or fall. So far this last month I have dealt with at least half a dozen large trees at Whistley Mill, Lower Benyons and Englefield Lagoon.



The secure car park at Calcot has now been reopened. Finally, after many months of pestering the land agent responsible they have cleared the fallen tree from within it. The tree did damage the fencing, but I have temporarily repaired it best I can. Once time allows I will make a more permanent repair.


We now have a proper flushing toilet for membership use at Flint, the lock code will be the same as our gates and work to the ‘silver fish’ pond is ongoing. The last job to complete is to site the platforms, which will be carried out this week. I will announce it’s opening via Facebook.


Something I have been working on for a while now, is to have the juvenile shelters we have dug over the last 5 years or so scientifically surveyed. There is very little research currently as to the various benefits of shape, depth and design in relation to the number of fish species using them and at particular times of year. So, along with our colleagues at the Loddon Fisheries Consultative we are working toward a plan to commission a year long study. This study when finished will be of great benefit to those wishing to create shelters on their own fisheries aswell as justifying our past and future work.


lt looks as though we are starting to make some headway with regard to managing the Pennywort problem with very little now making its way into the main river Kennet. This coming winter we have a few experimental plans up our sleeve to limit the amount of re-growth next spring.

Sep 30, 2018




Three Clubs have answered my statement and I issued the answers to questions from Reading Fishing Club out to you all. Three Clubs agree with us and none against so far. The October Delegates meeting will be a discussion meeting with no vote Agreed that a meeting would be held in January or February 2019 to receive a vote from the Clubs with the final vote at the March AGM.


If we remain as we are with Affiliated Clubs then I cannot see how the Clubs will be able to issue RDAA permits. At present the Club retains all of the member’s details even though they are RDAA members This is our responsibility to safeguard the members data not the Clubs. I have also issued the last few info sheets where the recipient is the only email address shown on the email. This again is to protect data.



Canals & Rivers Trust held a Lets Fish event at Fobney Island on Saturday 22 nd September. This was along with Friends of Fobney Island and despite the weather was well supported. We had 28 children through the coaching and this gives me hope for running a junior section next season.



At the above event I had to pull in Level 1 & 2 coaches and I would like to thank Dennis Hunt and his colleagues from Luton A.C. for helping us out. I have received four applications to attend a Level 1 course in January. Thank you to the applicants. We do have a Level 1 & 2 coach but both certificates are out of date and I am progressing their renewal.



We will apply to hold this event on our Froxfield venue in 2019.




The new silver fish lake will be named Callow Pool after Martin Callow who died earlier this year. This project has stalled in the last few weeks due to someone taking my keys to the new building on holiday with them! So, unfortunately I’m still a few weeks from opening this up.


The lack of keys has given me a chance to deal with the many trees and branches that have
fallen/cracked off in the last few months. With the hot dry weather drying roots and limbs out we’ve had a lot more of this than in a normal year. As with most of the things around our venues, I have to prioritise things and it may take some time for me to get around to all of the trees. I fear that once we get some serious much needed rain there will be many more coming down.



The dissolved oxygen and water temperature within the Kennet have now returned to what we would expect at this time of year and from what I’m being told (and experiencing myself) the fishing has improved also.


A few members have expressed the need for some work parties on some of our venues which I will be organising in the coming month or so However, we have been here before and when push comes to shove nobody turns up,.you never know this time may be different.


We seem to be having a few problems with people fishing Beat 3 backwater without tickets this year. 17 anglers over 6 visits in August is far too many, with some of them becoming very abusive. We will be upping the amount of visits and try to get on top of the problem. There seems to be an urban myth that large parts of Beat 3 are no longer under our control.


The roach project although not doing as well as last year is going well with the fish from this years spawning due to go out to the rearing ponds in the next week once I’ve made room by transferring the crucian stock to the new Callow Pool at Flint.


With a few clubs now opting to fish the canals, I will be going around trimming and strimming them. Please if you have a match booked on a venue let me know if you would like an extra trim and I’ll do my best to accommodate.



Sep 21, 2018





Recently myself and the two other Trustees (Graham and Keith) signed the documentation for the go ahead of the build of the new station by Reading Borough Council. When the station has been built we will decide what to do with site. There is no chance that we could provide a lake as it was originally a landfill site so we will have to look at other avenues.


The ban has been lifted as D/O levels and temperatures improved. All matches are now back on the Kennet and the Associations match in September. The draw for this match will be at Green Park and not Farnham Flint as the Triathlon is being held at Kirtons Farm on the same day.



We have been in negotiations with the land agents over taking on a further piece of fishing at this venue. Del and myself have looked at it and it is not suitable due to access and a very large Norfolk reed bed. We have asked about the section between the two car parks. We are waiting for a reply and a new lease that is now out of date.



The same agents have offered us the section of the Holybrook above the Prospect stretch at Southcote. We have asked about car parking and await a reply.





While the recent unrelenting hot weather has been great for bbq’s and sitting in pub gardens, it’s been bad news for our rivers and lakes. The Kennet in particular has suffered with extreme water temperatures and assovciated low dissolved oxygen levels. This has led to the unprecedented action of banning keepnets along the river. I’m pleased to say the drop in air temperatures and the subsequent rise in d/o levels meant that the ban was lifted.
Unfortunately, we’re not out of the woods yet and are in desperate need of some rain, otherwise I feel these measures and possibly more may become commonplace.


J12 continues to prove to be popular with anglers and with the exception of a couple of weekends next August is fully booked for 2019.


Our contractor has been busy ‘trying’ to deal with the Pennywort. At present with the growing conditions perfect, it’s a case of damage limitation but we feel he is making headway and without the regular weekly picking, we’d certainly be back where we were last year.


Most of my time this last month has been spent at Flint developing the new ‘silver/crucian’ pond . Once completed later this month, there will be 12-15 pegs and with around 14 thousand fish, including 3000 crucians to over a pound, stocked recently should prove to be a cracking little fishery. Once finished I hope to carry on the work to the other half of the project. Agreed that the new silver fishery will be known as Callow Pool after Martin Callow who recently died after a long RDAA service.

Apart from the usual minor problems the bailiffs face we haven’t had any reports of issues from them.



Jul 23, 2018


Reading & District Angling Association are banning the use of keepnets on all of their Kennet venues from Padworth to County Weir in Reading, this includes canalised river venues. This will be from Friday 27 th July until further notice and is due to the rising temperature of the river. We will keep you informed.



I understand that the builders merchants (Sehmi) have gone into administration so I fully expect to see planning applications for this site to become another block of flats. This will make parking even more difficult I will of course object to it but stand little chance of success.


I still have not received a revised lease from Reading Borough Council for this venue so we continue as we have done over the past four years.

It appears that the change Jolly Anglers made to their membership rules has reduced the numbers of their members barbel fishing on our venue. I hope this continues and we now have an increased bailiff presence on the venue.

The contractor is now in place and has commenced checking weekly for signs of the return of the
weed. To date he has relied only on handpicking but this may have to change fairly soon to spraying as the growth rate in this hot weather is phenomenal. The drainage ditches have been sprayed due to the E.A. stopping us using machines from the banks and a second spraying is imminent. We only spray when all else is not working or the growth is too fast.

The Polish AA recently held their Lure Qualifier on RDAA waters on the canal and river sections at Benyons and Ufton. They had a good day catching 63 perch, 31 pike,6 trout and 2 chub.

They did it in style as the pics shown in their Facebook page (see link below) showed.



Jun 27, 2018


Permits with a signed photo attached must be carried at all times when on the venues. You will be asked to leave without this requirement.




Jun 05, 2018


As reported in the May Information Sheet the May Delegates meeting’s future was discussed. With Information sheets being issued and the use of social media we can update Clubs almost instantly. This means the May Delegates meeting is basically used only to distribute permits. Permits now are much smaller and can be posted to remote Clubs or collected locally thus making this meeting unnecessary. We will for the moment not continue with this annual meeting but if anything comes up to change this decision we will discuss it then.



We now have a contractor in place for the manual removal and herbicide spraying of the Pennywort. He will be carrying out checks on the weed in Foudry Brook, down the Kennet to County Weir and the back drainage ditches. We will receive monthly reports from him and re-assess the position after a year .He will be carrying out these checks in a kayak so you may see him on the water. If you could also ask your members to keep an eye out for the weed and let us know if they spot any asap. 


As most of you are aware there is a new Data Protection Law that comes into operation on the 25 th May 2018 and it is our duty to inform you of this, please see below. 


The information that you give us will be held in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.
We send you regular updates about what’s going on and don’t worry, we won’t share your information with anyone else and we won’t send you unnecessary information. By giving us your details, you are agreeing that you are happy for us to communicate with you regarding news on RDAA. If you don’t want to receive this Information Sheet please let us know. 


I have had some flyers printed to be distributed around shops that are outside of the Reading area. If you would like to put some in your local tackle shop then please let me know. 


The closing date for this return is Monday18th June. This is also the date for the small Clubs only permit return.




May 09, 2018


We are in the process of drawing up a contract for a person to carry out weekly checks on Foudry Brook, flood ditches and the River Kennet. This will be for a year and will include hand removal and spraying where necessary. It is important that Clubs when using the Beats for matches supply us with sightings of the weed. We can deal with it more quickly if reported when seen.



Martin is at present asking Clubs with waters on the Kennet to supply any plans they may have regarding improvements to the river. If he has not contacted you then please contact him on 0785 045 0695




Every 3 or 4 years we make a contribution to the sailing club at Sonning Eye for repairs to the access track and we were asked again a month or two ago to do the same. However, over the years the cost to us has steadily increased to the point where I thought it was unsustainable. So, in an attempt to drive down costs to us, I offered to do the work at cost. This has resulted in a saving for both parties.

Once again we have removed some grayling from the river upstream of Newbury and sent them off to the EA’s fish farm at Calverton in order for them to be stripped and the resulting fry grown on. These fry will then be introduced to the lower river sometime in July.


I’ve spent the odd day working on the Osier bed stream with the EA again this last month and the stream is now really starting to come along and is playing a vital role as a juvenile recruitment area. Last week I took a walk around some of the backwaters we have dug in recent years and was delighted to see them teaming with young fry. These fry would certainly have been washed out of the river in the last week or so due to the high water levels.

Brown-Lee Pool received a stocking of 300 6-10 inch Carp recently these were replacements for the fish I moved earlier in the year to Pingewood / Englefield and Flint.

Things are starting to turn towards the roach project and getting the spawning boards out for mid April…hopefully the river will drop a little by then! I will in the next week be draining down one of the growing on ponds and grading the roach. Any fish over the magical 3 inches in size will be stocked into the river.

Bailiffing continues with 1279 permit checks made as of the beginning of April.

Apr 23, 2018

Ken Woodley - Reading District Angling Association for over 50 years

We recently received a sad message regarding a RDAA member Ken Woodley who is receiving palliative care for cancer and will not be renewing his permit this year after 50 years membership. He obviously enjoyed himself on our waters and RDAA thank him for his loyalty.


Images of Ken in gallery view here

Mar 31, 2018


Foudry Brook has now been cleared of the weed and Canals and Rivers Trust will be clearing the River Kennet from the Brook to County Weir along with their bank maintenance programme. The drainage ditch from Green Park to the Kennet via Island Road will be cleared when the weed has grown. It is, at present too stringy to remove after the recent frosts. We will be appointing a contractor to carry out routine removal (hand picking) and spraying very soon.


As reported at the AGM Martin Kent has been appointed to this post. Some of you may know him as he has played a volunteer role with Del for quite a time now He will be responsible for the improvement of fishing on the Lower Kennet and will also include the Pennywort removal. He will also be responsible for talking to our Affiliated Clubs who lease water on the Kennet regarding schemes for habitat improvement and any other worthwhile schemes. There is money available from the Environmental Funding made available by Thames Water and this is looked after by ARK (Action for the River Kennet).


At present we are not getting enough junior enquiries for us to embark on a Junior programme but in the last week I have had two enquiries with reference to this. If this increases then we will look at re-instating a programme.


We were asked at the AGM for at least one Association match to be moved from the Kennet to the Thames. We have discussed this and decided not to change our existing arrangement. We have committed ourselves to improving the Kennet with the Roach project and the appointment of a Lower Kennet Project Officer and as we have seen an improvement this season we will continue to support the Kennet.



Last year I reported that a company was looking into a gas generation project that would involve some usage by them of the Farnham Flint site. They have been told by West Berks planning that planning would not be granted due to this site being within the floodplain. They have since looked at the old 4X4 site to house the generators. I am meeting with them soon on site to see if we could house them and build the station at the same time.



Over the last month I have spent some time clearing brambles from some of the pathways at our Englefield and Flint fisheries. The largest amount of work has been along the northern bank at Farnham Flint. I have also spent a few days working at Whistley. There has been an issue with the boundaries and the position of a gate adjacent to our entrance. Hopefully this has been sorted now and I have opened up an area to save any confusion. I also attempted to scrape the track as it was becoming a little rutted. Unfortunately, this was interrupted by the snow. I will be getting a machine to Whistley sometime during the closed season, so I’ll spend a little more time on the track then.


The project to try and re-establish a Grayling population in the lower Kennet has kicked off again this year, with broodstock being caught and sent up to the EA’s fish farm at Calverton to be stripped. The resulting fry will be brought back and stocked into the lower system sometime in July. As they were last year.


A few weeks ago I was approached by the sailing club at Sonning Eye about the track. In the past we have allow them to sort out contractors and then bill us for 50% of the total cost. However, with the escalating cost of this I suggested we (RDAA) do it and bill them. This should go on to save us a not inconsiderable sum of money.


The Roach project is starting to become busy again. Now is the time of year I drain down the growing on ponds to grade the fish in preparation for the fry from last year’s spawnings to go into them. The indoor tanks have to be cleaned and disinfected ready for this year’s spawn to come in.

Mar 01, 2018


Work has commenced on the Foudry Brook to remove the pennywort in this part of the Kennet. This should take around three days to complete the section from Longwater Lake to the River Kennet. The ditch sections will be left until the weather warms up and then removal using a mechanical digger to put the weed on the bank will commence. The weed will be left to rot down and compost. We then hope to put a contract into position for a visit by boat every two weeks to check the relevant sections including the river and to remove and spray where required. This contract will probably have to be repeated until we have eradicated the weed.


Reading Borough Council have completed their works on this venue and I have agreed a lease to commence at the start of the new season. They have tidied up the venue and removed the trees from the river. There is some clearing up to do and this will be done in the close season. They have also installed an obstruction to prevent motor cycles entering the venue via the track from the access road. This may cause a problem to anglers with wider than normal trolleys or barrows.


There appears to be some misunderstanding over the price of Club Match Day ticket prices.
I did clarify this some time ago but just to make sure I will go through it again. Day -ticket price for the remainder of this season will be £5.00 and this is done on trust with the Club to pay after the match. From next season the Day ticket price will be £10.00 ( the same as a normal Day ticket) and these must be purchased from Tackle shops prior to the match and be available for Bailiffs to see on the bank. These tickets are also available on the website and the receipt shown on recipient’s phone for Bailiffs inspection.


Bookings are down for the coming season and there are only ten Clubs now with regular bookings on the venues and two Clubs with more than six bookings. Out of a total of 27 Affiliated Clubs this is not a good uptake of bookings.


2018-19 PERMITS
I will soon be getting in contact with the Clubs that have sold less than ten Permits. I will be asking for their permit requirement for the new season. We will issue this number of permits and expect a payment for all of these on the first permit return. There will be no permit return 2 or 3 and any additional permits will be obtained from the Tackle Shops.




Eight carp were recently moved into Pingewood Lagoon from the Brown Lee Pool. These will be replaced with a stocking of two to three hundred smaller carp in the close season.


Alan and myself recently attended a meeting with C&RT and Newbury A.A. chaired by Martin Salter which was called due to reports of excessive bank maintenance on the canalised river sections on the Kennet. C&RT were threatened with legal action by Angling Trust and work was stopped. Agreed at meeting that the level 2 maintenance used on the river will be reduced to level 1 for the rest of the works.


The palisade fencing at Pingewood is being dismantled and will be used at Farnham Flint Flint.


Following complaints, litter picks will be arranged on several venues where there is a problem.


Everything is coming along nicely and another pond for rearing barbel has been dug.









Following the aborted start for the manual removal of the weed due to boat access problems we are still waiting to hear from the contractor regarding a new start date. They are looking at the use of a small portable crane moving alongside the Foudry Brook to lift the weed boat in and out of the water due to the pipes crossing the brook.


Paul Rogers one of our members has reported the capture of a 16lbs 14ozs barbel from the River Kennet. This beats the previous record by 7ozs. He has asked for the details not to be published on social media but is happy for pics to be shown on RDAA website.


Reading Borough Council have finally answered our complaint regarding the tree cutting etc. I am waiting for them to come back with a programme for the removal of trees and general tidying up of the site. 


As you would expect at this time of year things are pretty quiet. The winds recently have caused some issues with a number of trees falling down. I would urge anyone seeing a problem tree to get in touch, as I can’t be everywhere at once to check.


Currently the Flint project has taken a back seat for a few weeks as I need to get some machinery up to Whistley Mill to remove some trees from the river and grade the track again.


J12 has once again surprised me with the amount of bookings we have received. As things stand, today, there are only two available weekend dates left before November. I will announce the opening up of additional mid-week dates on social media in the next few days don’t expect these to be available for long!


The Roach project continues to expand, with last years crop growing on nicely. We took delivery of some Crucian Carp that are destined for the new lake at Flint late last year, some of which I will be holding back as broodstock for the future. Plans to create more ponds and a bigger hatchery are underway and should be completed in the next month or so in time for spring.


Just before Christmas we had a bailiff meeting, just to touch base with the bailiffs and talk through any issues they had. One of the issues raised was motorbikes using the canal towpaths between Beat 3 and Calcot. Please could anyone seeing motorbikes using the towpath, report it, regardless of whether they have caused you personally any harm. The more reports the Police get the more pressure is put upon them to act.





RDAA wish all of our Tackle Dealers a very merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

GENERAL SECRETARY’S REPORT (Alan Hughes 0118 986 7430)


Jolly Anglers who lease a share of the venue with us will tighten up their application rules to stop persons outside of Wallingford gaining a permit that enables them to fish our venue at a much cheaper rate than ours. I estimate we have lost out to the tune of 40 permits. Most of these losses are barbel anglers from the Reading area.


An attempt to start the removal of the weed had to be abandoned on Monday 11 th December due to not being able to access the towpath to get the weed boat in on Foudry Brook. The contractors are looking at other options but it is doubtful whether anything will happen until the New Year.


We still have heard nothing more from Reading Borough Council regarding the site despite email messages and phone calls.

Things appear to be moving along satisfactorily with the Winter Moorings and we don’t appear to have the amount of Continuous Cruisers moored up as we usually do during the winter months.



Late last month we took delivery of more fish from the EA’s fish farm at Calverton. 500 6-10 inch barbel, 750 4-8 inch chub and 1000 dace which were stocked into the Kennet system at the Osier bed stream. These fish were in addition to the previous stockings of fish that are now currently being caught both above and below the Osier. The Osier bed stream is now (after lots of work) a perfect nursey for these fish to spend a little time in before they venture out into the wider river. We also took delivery of a further 1000 4-6 inch tench, 2000 3-6 inch roach for our new lake at Farnham Flint.


Things at the new lake are continuing to progress, all be it a little slower than I hoped. The hard landscaping is now all but completed and a start has been made on putting in the bases for the pathways. Next on the list is sitting the pegs and fitting the separating pontoon, which will be happening in the next few weeks, weather dependent. Although things have slipped behind time wise, we are still on budget and I’m confident come completion in time for the new season, it will remain that way.


The keyed lock is now on the barrier at Cottage lane and despite my fears has not caused any problems, in fact it has been received well by the membership.


There have been a few worrying developments within the Environment Agency’s policy making department. For the last 5 years or so we (RDAA) have lead the way in ‘low cost high impact’ river restoration techniques and pioneered a way in working with the EA’s Fisheries team to achieve results for a fraction of the cost associated with just the EA doing things. The work, to date, that we have carried out within this period is unprecedented on the lower Kennet however, this may be under threat! Everything thing we do on the river, from putting pegs in to replacing spawning gravels, needs a permit. That permit, at present is a token gesture sum of £50. In granting the permit the EA looks into the impact of the proposed work on flood defence and its impact on things such as the overall ecology of the river. This is to ensure people don’t just blindly do as they feel with no regard to any impact they might have. It also allows for any follow ups to ensure you have complied with said permit, which is fair enough in my book. However, they are now looking at revising those charges and some of the figures they are quoting are obscene. Where as currently I can opt for a blanket permit to cover many individual aspects within the same project, they wish to break it down to individual permits, all with an increased cost for that permit. As an example, placing some woody debris into the main river channel, such as we’ve done along the Osier Bed stream would now cost £764 per 0-200m stretch. Replacing spawning gravels will cost £968…this is JUST for the permit alone. So, take 50m of river with one piece of woody debris and 20m of replacement gravel will cost £1732 in permits and then a charge of £100 per hour for any follow ups to check we abided with the terms of the permit. Obviously, these charges will seriously affect our potential to deliver these low cost habitat enhancements. Which will be a crying shame as we are starting to see some real improvements and I fear we’ll go back to the days when very, very little was done on the lower Kennet. There is a post on our Facebook page under my name, with a link to the consultation document regarding these proposed changes. I implore you all to make comment because if we lose the facility we currently have to do this type of work it will be a huge step backwards in respect of any habitat improvements and even making the river fishable.




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