No Season Extension 2015

Would members please note there will be No Season Extension for salmon fishing this year and the season will finish as normal on September 30th.

Given the very difficult year experienced with fungal disease and the introduction of the emergency bye -law restricting salmon fishing to ‘Fly Only and Catch and Release on July 22nd I am sure members will feel this is the right approach.

Ulcerative dermal necrosis (UDN) in wild salmonids

As an aid to understanding what might have been going on in the Dart for the past couple of years, the following link is to an abstract of a paper that gives a more detailed pathology of UDN.

Ulcerative dermal necrosis (UDN) in wild salmonids

Salmon with UDN-like lesion on its head
Dart sea trout with UDN-like lesion on its head ©

There is a suggestion that the disease we have been observing may not be UDN. However, the article above appears to describe precisely the appearance and consequences of what we have been seeing.

The good news is that at least one shoal of clean sea trout has been spotted  in the river recently.

More about the new look website

Apparently one or two members have said that they preferred the old look website to the new. As designer of the former I have to say that I agree to a large extent. However, the new WordPress site has several advantages over the old and is much easier to administer.

Previously, some degree of tech savvy was required to merely to post an item on the news page. For instance, text and photographs had to be manually formatted and care had to be taken not to affect the formatting of items previously posted or even overwrite them. Having composed the item it was then necessary to use an FTP client program in order to publish to the correct place on the server, making sure that any dependant files were also uploaded correctly.

With WordPress, contributors can compose posts and pages much more easily, with formatting being done automatically. A press of the ‘publish’ button is then all that is required to make the item live. The drawback is that although some customisation is possible the overall look of the site is largely constrained by the chosen WordPress theme.

One of the features that we have been hoping to add for some time is to have newsletters available on the website. Owing to the fact that these newsletters occasionally contain privileged member information, it would be necessary to have these in an area only accessible to members. This is easily done with WordPress and it is hoped to have this up and running in time for the next issue.

With many users, including visiting anglers, now accessing the site via smartphone or tablet it was essential to make it accessable to these devices. Again, the WordPress theme makes this easily possible, working equally well on all types. Anglers can for instance now check maps or fishing regulations on the river bank.

These are some of the advantages of moving to a WordPress. Undoubtedly there are some as yet undiscovered that will make this site easier to use and administer.

Apologies then to those of you who preferred the status quo but one hopes that you will warm to the new look as the site becomes more familiar to you and that you will understand why we see this as the way forward.

Changes – update

Several more pages have now been added to the site, with more to follow. All of the pages on the menu are available, although you might still encounter the odd broken link.


As you will see if you are a regular, our website is changing.

At the time of writing only the welcome page and news items are accessible. Other pages will follow as time progresses.

Some things may not work for a while or may be missing. Please bear with us as we change over from the old site to the new.

The new site is much more easily read on smartphones etc than was the old.


River Dart Emergency Salmon Bylaw

The Environment Agency have brought in an emergency bye-law to protect salmon stocks. From 1st August 2015 to June 1st 2016 all commercial netting will cease. This closes the net fishing two weeks earlier than normal this year.

Also, with immediate effect, rod fishing for salmon will be by catch and release only and also by artificial fly only.

Sea trout fishing remains unaffected as before the introduction of the bye-law and usual rules and methods still apply. The Association committee would however call for all anglers to be conservation minded and apply good practice catch and release wherever possible.

The full text of the by-law is here: River Dart Emergency Salmon Byelaw 2015 as made 220715

A letter to members will follow shortly.


Little news of any consequence. One or two salmon have been spotted and seatrout continue to enter TWP. Catches have been meagre, and up river, disease still very much in evidence.


Visiting anglers over the bank holiday weekend seem likely to encounter low water and an east wind though some rain is forcast for saturday. Anyone wishing to take a sea trout should check carefully for lesions and ulcers – particularly around the head – as early signs of disease are easy to miss.