Should we be banning children from fishing?

I’ve just been doing a bit of research for an upcoming Youtube series called Bus Stop Fishing. In this series, I’ll be exploring Wales by public transport – mainly bus – to find some great fishing locations. Obviously living in Newport the locations will be reachable from here.

One of the sites I researched was Cwmbran Boating Pool. It’s a great location not too far from Newport and easily accessible on public transport. But one of the things I discovered led me to do a riverside chat video. The issue is that, since being taken over by a local fishing club, children under 16 can not fish at the lake without adult supervision.

For a few years now the lake has been effectively free to fish. This is due to the local council Torfaen not having the staff to be able to collect permit fees. So last year a local fishing club was given management of the lake. There is now a fee of £5.00 a day for anglers to pay. But the fishing club also decided to ban anyone under 16 from fishing there unless they were with an adult. For me, this is a big regressive step.

The catchment area of the Cwmbran boating Lake is quite dense and made up of working-class homes and estates. Fishing is an affordable hobby for many people of all ages and is a great sport for young people and children. I know many children from the age of 11 or 12  that are perfectly capable of going out for a day fishing on their own. To ban them is not a good move for a fishing club and will have a negative impact on the sport. We don’t need to start becoming exclusive.

I remember in the early 70’s when I was 12 and would often head off fishing with friends on the canals of Birmingham or to the local reservoir. Going out enjoying nature and catching fish was all part of growing up, it instilled a love of the sport in me. It help us develop our characters and built resilience, it helped us discover independence.

There is little enough for children to do in the modern world, and what there is costs money. To ban children from enjoying an affordable hobby and sport is wrong on so many accounts. 

In this video – my first of a series called Riverside Chats – I give my thoughts on why this is such a bad move.


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