The Ribble Fisheries Consultative Association, formerly the Ribble Fisheries Association, was founded in 1951, a year which saw the formation of the River Boards with responsibilities for flood defence, pollution control and fisheries. A few years previously the Chief Inspector for Salmon & Freshwater Fisheries had suggested the setting up of fisheries Consultatives to represent the interests of fisheries within specified areas – usually river catchments.
In 1986 the Standing Conference of Consultatives was established under the auspices of the National Anglers’ Council (NAC), and this Association became a member. In 1991 NAC was dissolved and two years later the Standing Conference became a self-supporting body known as the National Association of Fisheries and Angling Consultatives (NAFAC). This now included Consultatives from all over the country and was for a time the most rapidly growing angling organisation.
The demise of the over-arching Consutative framework meant that the collaboration with the E.A. was lost. However, the formation of h Angling Trust as the national representative body for angling has in recent years re-established to some degree the national dialogue. Regrettably the former Lancashire Fisheries Consultative, which dealt mainly with coarse fishing issues and covered a large part of Cheshire, also ceased to exist.
Locally the RFCA continued and created excellent partnerships with the local E.A. and established links with the Angling Trust, the Salmon & Trout Conservation UK and the Hodder Consultative and the Calder Group; along with the Ribble Rivers Trust.
Consultatives have no executive powers. Rather, they work in a variety of ways to influence the “powers that be” in order to ensure that fisheries and angling are protected and developed. Our objectives are summed up as follows:
“To safeguard and promote the interests of owners, lessees of fishing, and anglers, by developing sustainable fisheries and maximising the riverine environment through consultation with the environment Agency and other bodies with similar aims and objectives.”
As a body, we do not own any fishing, but our members are drawn from individuals, a large number of clubs, Associations, and riparian owners within the Ribble Catchment.
By working together we seek to achieve our objectives. However, insufficient funding through “Grant in Aid” to the Environment Agency Fisheries function has made “self help” necessary. Without it our fisheries would be very seriously under threat. All anglers have an obligation to help in any way they can in order to ensure the long-term future of angling.