Anglers return to cast a line on the Tees
FISHING returned to the Tees last week as the lockdown restrictions were eased over where people could go and what activities they could do.
However, anglers wishing to cast a line into the dale’s reservoirs have had to wait longer as Northumbrian Water officials worked out a safe system for the reintroduction of the sport.
Frank Harrison, secretary of Barnard Castle Angling Club, said the decision to reopen the club’s beats had been taken after guidance had been received from the Angling Trust.
He said some members were “chomping at the bit” to get back on the river.
He said the absence of angling from the river since the officials start of the season on March 22 would have little if any effect on the river, which is currently running very low after the recent dry spell.
“It won't have done it any harm and there should be good fish in the river,” he said.
In an effort to attract young anglers, the club has introduced free membership for U16s as long as they register.
Senior club membership can be renewed at Connelly's, on The Bank (9.30am to 11am) or by contacting Mr Harrison on 07827 623300. Day tickets are also available from Mr Harrison.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Northumbrian Water, which is responsible for the management of the dale’s reservoirs – including fishing activities – said having reviewed the Government's latest guidance, the company's sites remained closed.
“We urge visitors to continue to stay away as we need time to ensure that when facilities including toilets, angling and car parks do reopen, this can happen in a way that best follows Covid secure guidelines and protects the safety of those who live and work in the area.
“A phased re-opening of car parks and facilities is being planned.
“We appreciate that the continued closure is disappointing for many, but we trust people will understand that this is a difficult situation and that reopening plans must be made in a way that takes into consideration the safety and concerns of everyone, including the local communities, who we live and work alongside 365 days of the year,” added the spokesperson.