Frank Lythgoe's Warrington Anglers Association column...

THE recent River Mersey fish kill reported to us by members last Wednesday was a body blow to anglers who cherished the river and supported its recovery over the past 30 years to enable it to change from an open sewer to a prolific fishery and haven for wildlife.

Lots of bream, roach, perch, skimmers, pike, and eels could be seen dead or dying due to massively reduced oxygen levels.

The reason given was the high temperatures and recent storms – the Environment Agency have taken samples and the results are awaited with interest.

I took a boat ride from Warrington to Woolston Weir and saw lots of dead fish in the margins caught up in the branches of overhanging willows along with detritus.

Strangely when I went along the original river, which is now a part of the Thelwall Eyes Conservation Area, there was not a single dead fish to be seen anywhere.

As this is an arm of the main river, one would expect the oxygen levels here would be suffering far worse than the main river where the water is continually oxygenated by Woolston Weir.

However, despite the obvious cloud of doom and gloom I have a confirmed report from an angler of fish that have been caught since the aforementioned fish deaths. Hopefully more similar good news to report next week.

Disappointing news that the stretch of the River Severn at Montford Bridge which we have rented since the 1980s has now been let to another club, who apparently worked on building new pegs during the close season even though it was still rented to ourselves at the time. Thankfully, this is a very rare occurrence.

Thankfully, the River Dee at Worthenbury was a different story for Anthony Rough when he paid it a visit for a three-hour evening session on Monday evening.

With the river carrying extra water and some colour, he loose-fed white maggot running a chubber float through his swim to catch lots of small chub to 12oz plus the occasional dace, but no grayling which the Dee is famous for.

The track may be hard going but this place is magic and worth a visit – no low-slung cars but I made it once in my wife’s little red Fiat 500.

Brian Gibson enjoyed his Friday at Appleton Reservoir, where he fished from 7am to 2pm from a swim below the wall.

Using waggler tactics up in the water at around four feet whilst loose-feeding caster, I watched him catch some specimen roach and as I was moving away, he shouted that he had just landed a tench around the 4lbs mark.

He went on to keep catching roach, reckoning that he ended his session with 90-100, plus some chunky perch.

Tom Rutter was also made up with his catch from the same venue of a mirror carp just a smidge off 19lbs, which fell for a 12mm pineapple pop-up.

Our Monday disabled and over 60s match this week was fished on the Bridgewater Canal at Grappenhall Trees, the length where many of our junior match anglers honed their skills over many years.

This week’s winner, “The Breadman” (George Barber) drew the end peg just as you access the canal from Euclid Avenue. It didn’t start well as when plumbing the depth, he found a tree snag in his swim on the offside.

Bites were hard to come by despite seeing lots of fish topping further along the canal before the start of the match, but lady luck was on his side when he hooked what he thought was a snag…that was until it started to move.

Result, a 4lbs beam which added to his half a dozen small roach gave him exactly 5lbs, surprisingly all on bread.

The runner-up Neil Buist – aka ‘The Engine’ – was on the adjacent peg and also included a bream which he caught on the tip on a piece of worm for a combined weight of 3-0-0. Sixteen anglers fished.

Warrington Guardian: George Barber, left, and Neil Buist with their catches from Monday's disabled and over 60s matchGeorge Barber, left, and Neil Buist with their catches from Monday's disabled and over 60s match (Image: WAA)

Our WAA Headquarters at 52 Parker Street, Warrington WA1 1LT remains closed on Friday evenings but members can simply post to this address or put their membership book or request in an envelope with their payment and a stamped addressed envelope through our HQ door, where mail is collected and dealt with most days.

Alternatively, you can post to Warrington Anglers Association, PO Box 71, Warrington WA1 1LR, where mail is collected weekly.

Please get in touch with your catch reports, which are always welcome as lots of members rely on your kindly shared information for their angling visits. Email


Disabled and over 60s (Bridgewater Canal, Grappenhall Trees): 1, George Barber 5-0-0; 2, Neil Buist 3-0-0; 3, Roy Hollis 2-6-0; 4, Roy Rogers 1-12-0


Sunday, River Mersey: Matches cancelled for the time being following the recent fish kill.

Monday, disabled and over 60s, Bridgewater Canal, Stage Lane: Draw 9.45am. £5 all-in, exact money only, no change given.