Northumbrian Water has frozen day permit prices for the new fishing season, which opens at the company’s reservoirs on Saturday, March 11.
There will be at least 12,000 fish stocked at the six premier fisheries waiting for anglers on opening day at Derwent in County Durham; Fontburn and Kielder in Northumberland; Grassholme and Hury (fly-only) in Teesdale and Scaling on the edge of the North York Moors.
Throughout the season, a minimum of 80,000 fish will be stocked in those reservoirs this season with more than half of them from Northumbrian Water’s own fish farms in Northumberland and the Tees Valley.
An additional benefit for anglers this season is that they can now reel in extra rewards towards their free day’s fishing entitlement when they purchase retail goods from Northumbrian Water.
The scheme will run alongside the existing loyalty programme, where customers gain one credit-swipe of their loyalty card when they purchase a fishing permit from us. When customers reach seven swipes their eighth day permit visit is free.
The new retail scheme will enable customers to earn extra credit-swipes of their card when they spend £20 on the day they visit. Extra credits can be earned on any single retail purchase above £20 and will increase by one credit for every additional £20 they spend on the day.
Don Coe, Northumbrian Water’s Leisure Operations Manager – Waterside Parks, said: “We appreciate that many of our anglers are finding it increasingly difficult to fund their fishing. It’s not easy for us to meet the costs to sustain our fisheries either but we continue to look closely at our budgets and believe that we can keep price and catch limits the same.
“To help us achieve this we have changed our visitor centre and fishing lodge opening times at Fontburn, Derwent, Grassholme and Scaling Dam from a 7am start to an 8am start Monday to Friday. However we will continue to open at these sites at 7am on weekends and Bank Holidays.”
A full eight-fish day permit costs £24 with concessions at £22, the four fish Credit Cruncher from 2pm is £17 and the family and couples 12-fish ticket is £36. The barbless fly-only sporting ticket costs £15. Full day boat hire charges for Kielder Water have also been frozen the same as last season at £15 midweek and £19 for weekends.
Building on past successes of encouraging young people to take up the sport, Northumbrian Water is promoting affordable family fishing. The age limit for free fishing with an adult is 18 and all the children in the family under that age can fish for free and share the limit catch with their full paying parent or guardian.
‘Try it’ teaching sessions will be again held at Derwent Reservoir on Tuesdays and Sundays and alternate between any method and fly.
Everything required is provided under expert tuition and three hour courses cost £35 for adults and only £20 for the under 18’s – a special offer made possible through a unique partnership with the British Trout Farmers Restocking Association (BTFRA), which has donated the proceeds of a memorial fund collected following the funeral of the late trout farmer Rob Mackie from Lancashire.
Courses can also be arranged at other premier fisheries by appointment. All ‘Try it day’ sessions must be booked by phone on 01207 255250.