It is the duty of Blythe Angling and Conservation Society to advise its members, officials and all visiting anglers with the principals of safety and risk assessment. All members, officials and visiting anglers should make themselves aware of the risks they face in the surroundings they find themselves and carry out their own risk assessment. This usually amounts to common sense. All persons must then take the appropriate action to ensure their own safety and that of others. However, it is a requirement that all anglers read, understand and accept this Safety and Risk Assessment Statement.
All Angling activities are undertaken at the Anglers own risk.
General Risks Associated With Angling
There are no designated paths at the river, banks at times, may not be stable. Look at each swim carefully and consider both access and egress.
Take particular care when wading in deep or fast water and on rocky bottoms. Use a wading staff and wading belt at all times. A floatation device or buoyancy aid is also recommended but is at each Anglers discretion. Ensure that the footwear you choose is adequate for the terrain.
- Power Lines:
Do not fish under or near power lines, electricity can arc over considerable distances. You are ideally earthed in water to conduct electricity. Carbon fibre rods are also an excellent conductor of electricity as is a fly line coated in water. Power lines which cross the river and are clearly visible. Any overhead lines that cross the river are power lines and must be treated as such.
Fishing under trees can be unsafe in windy conditions. Beware of falling branches.
- Stiles, Bridges and Fences:
Always take care when negotiating stiles and crossing bridges. Fences and walls should not be climbed this causes damage and presents further unnecessary hazards. Before negotiating a stile or bridge a visual inspection should be made to ensure safety for use. Iron Bridge needs extra care when crossing, the old sleepers that form the bed of the bridge have rotted in places. The holes are clearly visible and easily avoided. If you feel unsafe crossing the bridge then don’t! Please be aware that now the sheep are longer grazed, tufts of grass are appearing on the bridge which can hide holes.
- Electric Fences:
Electric fences which are used for the control of animals and can periodically discharge high voltages. Contact with the wires may result in a painful electric shock, or worse. At present we have no electric fences at or near the river.
Again you are ideally earthed when in water and if using a graphite rod, you have a good lightning conductor. In case of lightning it is recommended that you lay your rod flat on the ground and take shelter (not under trees). A car is a good place to shelter.
Always show consideration to other users on the river bank by avoiding contacting anyone with your back-cast. It is recommended that protective glasses are worn when fishing to protect your eyes from hooks and flies.
Hooks by their design are sharp and easily penetrate the skin. Their use brings them into contact with germs etc, that can be injurious to health. Caution should be used when handling hooks, tying on or removing hooks. Rusty hooks should be avoided at all times. Weighted flies can cause unpredictable movement of cast when casting. Extreme caution should be exercised. When casting all flies ensure they do not come in contact with you, your fellow anglers or the public, paying particular attention to persons using bank side paths.
Barbless hooks are mandatory for all forms of fishing on club waters.
Treat all livestock with respect. Note that cattle can be troublesome! Avoid contact where possible and approach the river with caution.
- Weils Disease
This is transmitted in rat’s urine. Never put wet lines in your mouth or any other items of tackle that has been in the water. Wear waterproof plaster on any cuts or abrasions. There may also be a risk in some waters from treated sewage effluent. Use anti bacterial hand-wash and avoid handling food items until you have washed thoroughly. Symptoms of Weils disease include: Chills, nausea & vomiting, sudden headaches, loss of appetite and muscle pain (particularly in the calves and lower back). If you have these symptoms after fishing, seek urgent medical attention.
- Falling in the water:
Falling in the water may cause drowning. It is recommended that a buoyancy aid is worn at all times when on, in or near water. Wearing these devices is at each Anglers discretion and a matter considered at their own risk.
- Weather Conditions:
The weather may change suddenly and cause unforeseen dangerous water conditions. Be constantly aware of changing weather and its consequences and especially cautious if fishing the river whilst it is in flood or carrying extra water.
Vehicles must be driven in a courteous manner at all times and in line with club rules.