Trout fishing opens at Northumbrian Water’s six premier reservoirs in the North East on Saturday 15 March.
Permit prices will not go up – they have been pegged at the same level as last year when they went down.
Early bird anglers will be able to catch with the worm … and bait and fly as the reservoirs will open an hour sooner at 7am in response to customers choice. Afternoon credit cruncher permits will also be on sale an hour earlier at 2pm.
Repeat visitors will get an extra reward this season with a catch limit increase to ten on a full permit complimentary loyalty day.
And to start the new season anglers have the chance to buy a new rod for half price while stocks last at Fontburn, Derwent, Grassholme and Scaling Dam tackle lodges.
Don Coe, operations manager waterside parks and fisheries, said: "We appreciate that in these tough economic times many of our anglers are finding it increasingly difficult to fund their fishing - and it’s not easy for us to meet the costs to sustain our fisheries either.
"We continue to look closely at our budgets and believe that we can still offer the reduced charges we introduced last season. We hope that anglers will find it that bit easier to enjoy their pastime and support our fisheries with their visits."
An eight fish day permit cost £23, a concessionary £21, a credit cruncher £16 and a full day boat hire charges for Kielder Water cost £15 midweek and £19 at weekends.
Advance day permits can be bought online through visit: www.fishpal.com.
‘Try it,’ three-hour tuition courses for the under 18’s costs £15 – 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.
As many as 20,000 fish will be waiting for anglers on the opening day. During the season 42,000 prime conditioned, home grown rainbows from the water company’s own fish farms in Northumberland and the Tees Valley will be introduced as part of the minimum total stocking of 100,000 trout.
Fish will be stocked at the premier reservoirs: Derwent in County Durham; Fontburn and Kielder in Northumberland; Grassholme and fly-only Hury in Teesdale and Scaling on the edge of the North York Moors.
Anglers are urged to strike and join the growing 6,500-strong loyalty card fishing family and catch up to a £3.67 discount bargain every time they have a day out.
They can fish seven times to get an eighth loyalty free day and then take an increased limit of up to ten fish as a reward this session.
Unused loyalty credits automatically carry into the next season and loyalty members also get regular free newsletters and monthly special offer deals on tackle, clothing and bait. It also applies to boat hire at Kielder and once a loyalty card registration has been processed it lasts for life. The more visits made the more loyalty free days are accrued and there is no limit to the amount of free days that can be claimed.
Loyalty cards are available free of charge by calling 0845 155 0236 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Rainbow trout marked with special sweep tags will continue to be stocked in Fontburn, Derwent, Grassholme and Scaling. Anglers who catch one of these marked fish and who have joined the optional over 18’s sweep for just a £1 stake before fishing could win up to £400.
Building on past successes of encouraging young people to have a go, 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.
Don Coe added: "There’s a brilliant season lined up for our customers and we will continue to invest in the future and attract newcomers to the sport with our popular ‘Try It’ sessions under qualified angling instruction.
"Our emphasis is on having fun while fishing and encouraging people to join our fishing loyalty ‘family’ is a big part of that. We also intend to reward those who join our family club with more and more benefits.
"The future of fishing is in the hands of the younger generation and we are doing everything we can to encourage them. We are proud that more youngsters and adults are getting hooked on fishing.
"Northumbrian Water is determined to maintain and enhance its position as the leading provider of stillwater game fishing in Northern Europe, " said Don Coe.
‘Try it’ teaching days are held at Derwent reservoir on Tuesdays and Saturdays and start on 9 April and will alternate between any method and fly.
Everything required is provided under expert tuition and three hour courses cost £30 for adults and only £15 for the under 18’s.
Courses can also be arranged at other premier fisheries by appointment. All ‘Try it day’ sessions must be booked by phone on 01207 255250.
Existing loyalty card holders will automatically receive their free copy of the new-look 24 page ‘Discover Waterside Parks and Fishing’ guide packed with information not just for anglers but for all leisure visitors to the sites.
Copies of the guide are available from 0845 155 0236 or by email: email@example.com
Further information is on the website www.nwl.co.uk/gofishing and anglers can follow stocking and other news on Facebook at ‘fishing with Northumbrian Water’ and on Twitter @gofishingnwl.
The guide features all the premier stocked trout reservoirs and coarse fishing at the Whittle Dene lakes in the Tyne Valley and at Derwent reservoir.
There’s information about the wild brown trout waters of Balderhead, Cow Green and Selset and there are tips and information from Northumbrian Water’s own angling expert, Teesdale ranger Andrew Scott, who is a gold-medal winning England International.
Fishing opens at all reservoirs from Saturday 15 March except the wild brown trout waters of Cow Green, Selset, Balderhead and Blackton which open on 22 March. Brown trout caught at Kielder and Derwent must be returned before 1 May and after 31 October. Whittle Dene is open to coarse fishing all year round.
For the competition angler there are more than a dozen dates to choose from throughout the region headlined by the annual WaterAid fundraisers once again generously supported by world class Alnwick-based tackle company Hardy & Greys.
Northumbrian Water’s partnership with Hardy & Greys has so far raised a record breaking £45,000 for its adopted international charity WaterAid – saving about 3,000 lives in Africa and Asia.
There are three fly fishing boat heats this season at Kielder (April 27, May 25, June 22) and a final on July 13, there’s the Bankmaster event at Derwent on June 1 with separate competitions for bait and fly anglers and there’s the coarse challenge at Whittle Dene on August 25. There is also an eight-match spring series coarse competition at Whittle Dene this year between March 23 and June 8 and on November 16 there’s the annual Derwent reservoir coarse competition.
There is also a charity trout competition at Fontburn on 25 July and top notch anglers can qualify for the fish-off for the English national team at the Kielder regional eliminator on 15 June.
For further information contact Alistair Baker 0191-301-6851 or 07711-793493