One of the Victoria Park lakes where the future of carp angling hangs in the balance.
Council U-turn threatens future of carp fishing on inner-city London lakes.
Carp anglers are fighting to save their fish, following a local council’s u-turn on angling in a city-centre park.
Anglers who fish London’s Victoria Park have seen stocks of fish at the venue’s two lakes removed in order for the park to be ‘prepared’ to act as a big screen viewing area for next year’s Olympic games. The fish were due to be returned around the end of the year, however a dramatic change of policy by London Borough of Tower Hamlets could now see the fish given away – even though half the stock were paid for by the local angling club, Victoria Park Anglers Alliance.
Not only that but with no fish due to be returned to either of the two waters many anglers believe the authorities are looking to operate a no angling policy at the site, despite VPAA having raised and spent of £80k on improvements for anglers at the venue over the last few years.
“We’ve been working with the council since 2003 to clean up the lakes for local anglers who don’t really have anywhere else to go fishing around here,” Chair of VPAA Keith Lancaster told Advanced Carp Fishing. “We raised over £80k to clean up and improve the fishing in the park, including stocking many carp worth £20k today as some are over 20lb now.
“We agreed to the removal of the fish so that work could be carried out at the park but only because the plan was to return them as soon as possible. Since then though, the head of parks at the council has changed and now it looks like we could lose the fish for good, as well as a cherished local fishing venue.”
Not taking the situation lying down, VPAA has rallied to fight the move and take its case to the Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman. The future of the fish, which are being held in a temporary home, now hangs in the balance until the Major makes his decision on the situation.
"We hope that Mayor Lutfur Rahman will recognise that this is an indefensible and unacceptable disregard for the public consultation process, and that he will overturn this spurious decision and ensure the old carp population returned to the West lake," added Keith.
Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust that is backing VPAA’s fight to have the fish returned to the park said:
"This is yet another example of the salami-slicing of angling access around the country. We call on the London Borough of Tower Hamlets to get these lakes re-stocked with fish once again and restore a vital resource for the local community and for angling as a whole."
VPAA is now asking all anglers affected by the situation to contact them with their family's stories of angling in the park at
so that they can be passed on to the Mayor. Visit VPAA's website here.