The Test and Itchen Association
The main objectives of the Association are to conserve the waters of the Test, Itchen and Meon and to protect against any factor which would interfere with, spoil or depreciate the fishery interests and other rights of the members. To achieve these objectives, we:
– Promote the adoption of good river management practices
– Are vigilant to environmental and other threats to the rivers and take action where necessary to address them
– Sponsor and support research aimed at a better understanding of the river habitat, threats to its health and improving the management of fisheries
– Maintain close relations with regulators and administrators whose policies and actions affect the rivers and associated fishery interests
– Act as a source of information and advice to members
Meetings, workshops and training
Two General meetings are held each year: an Annual General Meeting (AGM) in the spring; and an Autumn Meeting after the end of the fishing season. In addition to conducting formal Association business, guest speakers are invited to talk on topics of interest to the members. We also run river visits and workshops to explore different approaches to river management. We arrange training courses on subjects such as river fly (invertebrate) monitoring. We hold regular meetings with riparian owners to discuss their concerns and aspirations.
The Association co-ordinates monthly monitoring of invertebrates by keepers and volunteers using the Riverfly Partnership’s Anglers RiverFly Monitoring Initiative Protocol. This is primarily aimed at highlighting the occurrence of pollution, but also provides an indication of the ecological health of the river. The Association also funds and supports more detailed invertebrate monitoring, working closely with other organisations such as Salmon and Trout Conservation UK which share the Association’s conservation and fishing interests.
In the past, the Association has found it necessary to take legal action to meet serious threats to the river environment. It has also fought applications for water abstraction, gravel extraction and discharge of effluents. It has prevented the establishment of navigation rights on the River Itchen. It takes an active interest in planning applications which have the potential for detrimental effects on the rivers. It recently took action which resulted in consent to expand a cress farming operation being quashed, because insufficient environmental assessment had been undertaken to examine the potential effects, particularly from phosphate fertilisers, on river water quality downstream.
The Association agrees each year with the Environment Agency dates for weedcutting on the Test and Itchen. The Association’s river wardens monitor and help coordinate the weed cuts in order to minimise interference with fishing.
The Association sponsors research projects aimed at developing a better understanding of the river environment. Previous work has included: a study of the impact of fish farming on the Test and Itchen; an appraisal of the condition of the rivers, including the effect of river flows on water quality and pollution levels; and a study of algal growth in the rivers. More recently the Association has sponsored studies of aquatic plants and the effects of stocking brown trout.
Our members receive the following publications:
– the annual Rivers Report, containing reports on how the rivers have fished, articles of interest and information on the Association’s past activities and upcoming events
– The Association’s Annual Report and Accounts
– Newsletters containing updates on the Association’s activities and information of interest to our members
The Association published a Millennium Report on the history, wildlife and main fisheries of the Test and Itchen. The Association’s centenary was marked by the publication of a book entitled ‘Chalk Streams’ describing the natural history and management of chalk rivers. Please contact the Association’s office if you would like to purchase a copy.
The Association was formed on the 6th April 1907 at a meeting of riparian owners and lessees convened by Sir William Portal with the declared object of promoting the interests of fly-fishing for trout on the Rivers Test and Itchen. In 1946 it was incorporated under the Companies Act as a company limited by guarantee. At the same time its scope was widened to include salmon fishing interests. In more recent times the River Meon has been incorporated into the Association.
Originally known as the Test and Itchen Trout Fishing Association the name was shortened to the Test and Itchen Association in 1993 to reflect its wider conservation objectives.
The Association is steered by a Board of Directors who represent the interests of riparian owners, keepers and ordinary members. The day to day activities of the Association are managed by an Executive Director, Jeremy Legge, and an Administrator, Jacqui Williams. The Association’s office is at Kimbridge on the River Test.
Membership is open to those with an interest in the rivers as riparian owners/lessees or as individuals who fish them or otherwise have an interest in their preservation and protection. Almost all the riparian owners and lessees on the Test and Itchen and their tributaries are currently members.
Individual members pay a standard rate of subscription, currently £37 per annum. Members who are riparian and/or fishery owners or lessees pay a subscription rate which is determined by the length and type of river held.
As an insurance against a major threat to the rivers, the Association keeps a register of guarantors who have agreed to make available a stated sum should a call be made on this fund, for example to pay for legal action. This is an important tool which helps the Association combat any threat to its members’ interests quickly and effectively. New members are encouraged to participate in the scheme.
The Test and Itchen Association Ltd
Executive Director, Jeremy Legge. firstname.lastname@example.org
Administrator, Jacqui Williams. email@example.com