Royal Military Canal – has it a future?
Club News

Royal Military Canal – has it a future?

This is a relatively short account paraphrasing a very long and sad tale of woe regarding the RFA waters in Kent by Steve Crowley, RFA General Administrator. At the centre of the problem is the EA’s decision to control the south bank of the RMC rather than let the RFA have it along with the north bank. The EA say that this is because there are ‘flood defence operational requirement restrictions’, whatever that means. What it does mean is that this once great fishery is being decimated.

The following text is an email from an RFA bailiff, Tim –

“The Royal Military Canal was the jewel in the crown of all fisheries round here but it’s not anymore. The fish in the canal are being decimated. My mate who lives in the lock keeper’s cottage at Iden has been on the phone again, and a lot recently, to say what is going to be done about the people fishing on the south bank. There were 14 foreigners fishing for pike there last week on one day. When black bin liners are taken back to the lock it’s obvious what is in them. Fish, live or dead, and pike especially. They are live baiting and bringing fish in from God knows where, and nothing’s being done about it. There are no EA bailiffs, no EA signage, nothing. The canal is being killed and no one gives a toss. The RFA anglers I see are all gutted about it. There’s no point having the north bank if the south bank is being screwed over by poachers. Ask anyone, and they’ll tell you the same thing. It is me, Tim, that has kept it all under control now for ten years. Now, I can’t do anything but watch.”

Just a fact, let’s not pussy-foot around and beat about the bush. There is zero EA signage. Zero EA licence checking. Zero EA daily patrols (Tim does a twice a day patrol for us so he has a full grasp of the reality. He no longer intervenes along the south bank; he just watches in dismay).

No one but Tim who checks the canal bank and removes the set lines attached to trees and so on which are baited illegally. It’s a bloody disgrace, a situation I predicted months ago, and it’s blindingly obvious that this is how it would pan out.
Posted 08/03/23