Last September the Parish Council obtained the fishing rights on a section of the Market Weighton Canal as it passes through the village, from the main road bridge north to Seavy Carr Drain. To date some £930 has so far been raised to be spent in the village, this is in addition to the welcome additional trade brought to local shops, the butchers, Fish and Chip shop, and pubs by the visiting anglers.
In early 2009, at the request of residents and Newport Parish Council I managed to obtain clarification from the Environment Agency as to the ownership of the Market Weighton canal, who was responsible for the banks, who owned the fishing rights, and what happened to the money paid by people to fish.
It was confirmed to me that until a few years ago, Hull and District Anglers Association paid rent to the Environment Agency and its predecessors for the fishing rights. The Anglers Association requested fishing platforms to be built, but the Environment Agency however were unsure of who owned the canal banks, and from this time on, I am led to believe the Association refused to pay the lease to the Agency presumably because they assumed that if the Agency did not own the banks then they did not own the fishing rights, although this had not stopped the Anglers Association continuing to charge people for fishing.
Needless to say that after considerable effort, particularly by Newport Parish Council, the fishing rights have been taken back and returned to the community.
There have been 5 matches and almost 200 tickets sold since the rights were obtained by the Parish Council – this was despite some revenue being lost due to flood water and ice. The costs to administer the fishing rights including the lease to the Environment Agency runs at less than £150 per year, although it must be stressed that the Londis supermarket makes no charge for issuing the tickets - which is a terrific gesture on their part.
The fishing is not restricted to any side of the canal and there are no pegs provided, there have been some issues with parking (which is being looked at by the Parish Council), litter and toilet facilities which require addressing - but on the whole many positive comments have been made.
I fully support the Parish Council’s efforts to extend their fishing rights further along the stretch of the canal northwards towards the River Foulness, and their plans make more leisure and amenity use of the canal as it runs through the village.
This is a great example of a community raising additional funds for public use, as well as contributing to the sustainability of the local shops and pubs in Newport.