Filed under: wildlife

New Fisheries Signs + Close Season from Dusk on Thursday

Start of Fisheries Close Season
At the annual Parish meeting, this evening, we were told that new signs have been put up in the last year round the Abingdon Fisheries.

Abingdon-on-Thames Town Council issues permits to fish the rivers in Abingdon from 16th June to 14th March each year. The season ends at dusk on 14th March and commences at dawn on 16th June. The close season is there to reduce the risk to fish while they are spawning. The Abingdon-on-Thames fisheries web page has more details.

The signs show that people should not remove fish from the river at any time. I asked at the meeting what people should do if they see people taking fish from the rivers. The answer was call 101. I was also told that Town Council staff have patrolled the fisheries over the last 2 years. (More news from the Parish Meeting tomorrow.)

Fishing permits are free for Abingdon residents. However everybody over 13 also needs to get a rod license from the Environment Agency. Rod licences for children aged between 13 and 16 are free.

I have been told by some anglers that Abingdon’s medieval fishing rights have been given away cheaply. I have not found the full history yet (you may know more), but the following two stories in the Herald show that these rights have been eroded over time, and the battle ended in 2007.

Until 2007, Abingdon was unique in controlling its own rivers and anglers only needed a resident’s licence. Then the Environment Agency ordered that town anglers must have a rod licence, and, according to the Herald, the Town Council did not find legal grounds to appeal against that decision. (Abingdon Herald 28/6/2007)

Before 2007, Abingdon Town Council had negotiated with the National Rivers Authority to buy a general rod licence to cover people who had a resident’s licence. (Abingdon Herald 4/6/1992).

11 Comments March 12, 2019

Swan Upping 2018

Swan Upping 2018
Thanks to Steve for sending a text so say the Swan Uppers were leaving Culham Lock. At Abingdon marina some local boat owners told the Swan Uppers there were two swans and seven cygnets nearby.
Swan Upping 2018
The Swan Uppers followed their directions, and drew a circle of boats closer and closer round the swans.
Swan Upping 2018
They then moved the swans to the nearest garden to ring them, weigh them and give them a health check.
Swan Upping 2018
A little later the Swan Uppers arrived at Abingdon Bridge. They did not stop there, but rowed through the bridge in the direction of Abingdon Lock. The crowd, who had been waiting one side of the bridge, moved to the other side to watch them go.
Swan Upping 2018
The swan upper returned a few minutes later after this unexpected diversion.
Swan Upping 2018
They then brought the boats together and shared out the last of their rum, and raised a glass to ‘The Queen.’
Swan Upping 2018
Swan upping is an annual ceremony in England in which mute swans on the River Thames are rounded up, caught, ringed, and then released. It normally finishes at Abingdon Bridge.

1 Comment July 20, 2018

A natural grass diet

natural grass diet
This group of goslings, with some older geese, were under the Abingdon Map beside the River Thames this evening.
natural grass diet
The goslings looked very young but were already able to walk, and swim, and eat grass.

They will be much better off if they are just allowed to eat grass – NOT given bread which is to them a junk food. We humans can get away with eating junk food now and again, but baby birds grow up much quicker and so for them a natural grass diet will make them strong and healthy. Bread won’t.

4 Comments April 27, 2018

Science and Conservation on the River

Science and Conservation
Mark Bradfield of BBOWT (Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust) led a walk this morning as part of the Atom Science and Technology Festival. Passing through the lock he showed us a leaflet with paw prints so that we may now be able to tell a badger from a dog, and a mink from an otter. Mark was also interested to find that two of the earliest Lock keepers on the heritage board were Bradfields – possibly his ancestors.

He told us a lot of things on the way including what BBOWT is doing to control invasive animals like mink that are a real danger to Water Voles.
Science and Conservation
At the weir near swift ditch he identified someĀ otter spraint (droppings), probably left as a territory marker. Otters are starting to make a comeback, and often eat theĀ American Signal Crayfish (an invasive creature).
Science and Conservation
Mark also told us how important backwaters are for protecting fish from getting swept away. Backwaters and reed beds also help prevent flooding as not all the water goes down one fast channel.
Science and Conservation
He praised the reed beds over the other side of the river where a heron was stalking fish.

There was light snow falling throughout the day, and it was chilly. So after the ninety minute walk it was good to get back in the warmth. I visited the Community Shop (Free Space) where lots of children were enjoying making crystals as part of the Science Festival. The Market Place activities were not possible today because of the wind, but there are still lots of indoor talks and activities for the next week. See

Please correct anything I got wrong in quoting Mark.

Leave a Comment March 17, 2018

Osprey Sighting

Thanks to Steve for this from 1st September
Excuse the poor photos but we couldn’t contain our excitement yesterday when around 2.00pm this Osprey began fishing almost opposite us in Wilsham Road on the River Thames in Abingdon.

2 Comments September 5, 2017

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