Anglers who opted for a two pound price rise to still be able to take up to eight trout have landed a surprise catch.
Northumbrian Water ran a social media vote to sound out their anglers’ choice and the majority opted to keep an eight fish limit by paying an extra £2.
The other option was to keep permit prices the same as last year and reduce the bag limit to six fish.
But after a close look at budgets the company has decided it can still continue to offer the eight fish catch limit for just a modest permit increase of just £1.
Don Coe, operations manager waterside parks and fisheries said: “We have been able to avoid any price increases for the past three seasons and this small £1 rise means we can maintain the quality of stocked fish and allow anglers to continue to take up to eight trout this season too.
“During 2015 we asked our customers their views and ran a Facebook poll about prices and catch limits and the majority preferred an increase to sustain the eight fish limit,” said Don.
The new season on Northumbrian Water’s reservoirs opens from 7am on Saturday 12 March.
By popular demand the new all-day sporting ticket introduced after fly anglers’ requests last season will also be continued in 2016.
A full eight-fish day permit cost £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 the same as last season at £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.
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 fly-only Hury in Teesdale and Scaling on the edge of the North York Moors.
And a minimum of 80,000 fish will be stocked into those reservoirs this season with more than half of them from Northumbrian Water’s own fish farms in Northumberland and the Tees Valley.
There’s also a unique and exclusive new opportunity available for the 2016 season. Anglers can experience a guided fishing day with England International and Northumbrian Water Ranger Andrew Scott on a one to one basis or with a friend for £250.
Don Coe added: “An opportunity to spend a day on the water with an expert like Andrew is really special and would make a fantastic present for an angler keen to learn and help unlock the secrets of one of our reservoirs.
“We are really pleased to be able to continue the sporting ticket that so many fly anglers had asked for - and at just £15 for a full day there probably isn’t a better value permit in the country.”
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.
“We will continue to invest in the future and attract newcomers to the sport and there’s a brilliant season lined up for all our customers.
"Our emphasis is on having fun while fishing and encouraging people to join our fishing loyalty ‘family’ is a big part of that. The future of fishing is in the hands of the younger generation and we are doing everything we can to encourage them,” added Don.
It’s free to join the company’s loyalty card scheme which offers anglers who visit seven times an eighth visit free representing an eventual saving of almost £3.42 each time a permit to fish is bought.
‘Try it’ teaching sessions will be again held at Derwent reservoir on Tuesdays and Saturdays 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.
This year Alnwick-based tackle company Greys, the leading fly fishing brand now part of the Pure Fishing Group, will be supporting this teaching providing all tacking part with excellent quality rods, reels and lines.
There’s a busy competition calendar lined up throughout the region headlined by the annual WaterAid fundraisers once again supported by Greys.
Northumbrian Water’s partnership with the tackle company has so far raised a record breaking £55,000 for its adopted international charity WaterAid – helping save more than 3,600 lives in Africa and Asia.
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 £200.
Day permits for Northumbrian Water’s reservoirs can be bought in advance online from www.fishpal.com or are available on the day from the fishery.
Loyalty members will get special offer deals on tackle, clothing and bait and existing loyalty card holders will automatically receive their free copy of the new-look ‘Discover Waterside Parks and Fishing’ guide packed with information.
The guide features all the premier stocked trout reservoirs together with coarse fishing at the Whittle Dene lakes in the Tyne Valley and at Derwent reservoir and includes a feature by coarse fishing expert Dave Coster from Pure Fishing.
There’s also information about the wild brown trout waters of Balderhead, Cow Green and Selset as well as tips and information from Northumbrian Water’s own angling expert, Teesdale ranger Andrew Scott.
Loyalty cards and copies of the guide are available from 0845 155 0236 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Further information is available on the website https://www.nwl.co.uk/your-home/leisure/go-fishing.aspx and anglers can follow stocking and other news on Facebook at ‘fishing with Northumbrian Water’ https://www.facebook.com/nwfishing and on Twitter @gofishingnwl.
Fishing opens at all reservoirs from Saturday 12 March apart from the wild brown trout waters of Cow Green, Selset, and Balderhead 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.
• Kielder Pairs: Heats 24 April, 22 May, 26 June – final 10 July.
• Fontburn Lions charity day 7 May.
• Kielder Scierra Pairs 7 May.
• Derwent Bankmaster 12 June.
• Kielder Jack Charlton Disabled Anglers Cup 8 June.
• Kielder ATTEFF England qualifier 5 June.
• Fontburn Blind Association charity day 29 July.
• Whittle Dene Coarse challenge 29 August.
• Derwent Reservoir Charity coarse challenge 13 November.
For further media information contact Alistair Baker 0191-301-6851 or 07711-793493