Do Paddlers Disrupt Peace?

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Canoeists and anglers are sometimes at war with each other. At Hampshire Avon (in England) – one of the most peaceful and picturesque rivers in Britain, anglers are angry because they say canoe paddlers disrupt the peace of the Avon and its ecology. The paddlers scare away fish and they want the fishermen gone.


Canoeists, however, have vowed to exercise what they claim is their ancient right to use the waterway. The battle heated up and the angry anglers got seriously serious. Some canoeists were threatened by anglers carrying shotguns. There were threats that potentially-lethal razor wire may be stretched across the water to stop the canoeists from using the river. Some estates that border the river have now completely banned canoe use. They say anglers are a vital source of income to them. If they have to go elsewhere to pursue their sport, the estates will lose money.

Canoeists planned a mass paddle on the Avon in an effort to assert their “right of way.” A spokesman for England’s Angling Trust said that if the mass paddle took place it is an illegal trespass that could harm the river’s fragile ecology.

Apparently part of the problem arose from the fact that some of this particular river is private property and they’ve declared their portion as ‘private fishery’ no boats or canoes.

I’ve not heard of any ‘situations’ here in the US involving paddlers and fishermen. Perhaps we just utilize good judgement and don’t paddle near anyone fishing. There’s lots of space on the water.