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  1. #1

    Default Is fishing dying of old age?

    Last night i attended my local fishing associations AGM,and as the room filled up i said to my mate that there was not much hope for the future as the average age of those attending was probably over 60,with only 1 or 2 under 30.OK older folks are more likely to attend an AGM than the younger generation,but things look rather bleak for the future.
    I dont know what the answer would be to get more youngsters to take up fishing but if things continue as they are fishing will be a thing of the past.
    Each club, association,And most river beats need income to keep them going but as the oldies die off with no one to replace them makes it very difficult.
    Last year my club increased its subs by 20 and has had to do the same again this year to compensate for the loss of members but increasing the subs can only be a temporary measure as the more you increase them the more likely you are to lose members.

  2. #2


    Happens with a lot of hobbies and pastimes, fishing is not unique. My local gliding club have the same issue, typically youngsters come through at an early age but quickly stall once into teens when education(college/uni) starts. Thereafter careers take precedence, followed by etc which ultimately leads to lack of time and perhaps lack of cash flow. Once the kids are up and away and self sufficient(typically once into your 50s) then one has the capacity to get back into the hobby, hence what probably seems like a generation gap between the youngsters and the old codgers down the river.
    Last edited by MikeCC; 16-01-2020 at 12:51 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    East Lothian


    'Last year my club increased its subs by 20 and has had to do the same again this year to compensate for the loss of members '

    Yes, it seems that rent price for waters fished decreases at a slower rate than the decline in demand due to bad value
    Last edited by ozzyian; 16-01-2020 at 12:55 PM.
    Taking a short break from piracy

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009


    I dont think fishing is , I do though think salmon fishing is
    theres plenty younger anglers inti trout, coarse and sea fishing
    the cost of salmon fishing is a big issue to any young lad or lass over 16 and add that to a growing society of anti blood sports which puts many people off and also the fact that salmon and sea trout are In a steep decline it doesn't help as not many sub 16 year olds are going to have the patience to stand about for hours catching nothing
    I'm my opinion you dont start fishing for salmon you grow into it through different methods , spinning for mackerel, worming for trout/perch , learning to cast a fly at a fishery for stockies then graduate from there , at least that's what I did and so did most of my fishing friends , to skip out that then I think you are a less learned angler
    I just hope there will be enough salmon left for our younger generation to enjoy
    we pass this way but once ............

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009


    I too was at that meeting last night and I said exactly the same to my mate. It was like a rehearsal for last of the summer wine.
    I don't know the answer to this problem. But years ago I taught a lot of kids to fish, supplied them with the tackle etc. I still fish with two of them thirty years on. I stopped when I was told I'd have to be checked out to see if I was safe with kids. I told them to poke it and never taught another kid. Bloody shame, but that how it is today.

  6. #6


    Id say fishing participation is almost certainly on an accelerating downward curve.

    Rod licence sales are down by around 400,000 over the past 8 years.

    Some sectors are doing better/worse than others; salmon fishing obviously being one of the worst affected.

    If it wasnt for the growth in carp fishing (now seemingly slowing) and the development of heavily stocked commercial fisheries the participation would have collapsed.

    Factor in the reduction in government grant-in-aid funding to the EA; and angling/fisheries has a major problem whichever way you look at it.

  7. #7


    From what I've seen on the river bank, salmon angling is definitely dying of old age. It doesn't seem to be as bad with coarse angling since the advent of commercial fisheries. Cost wise as I've said in a previous post, salmon angling doesn't need to cost a fortune. Part of the problem with youngsters is they want instant success without the effort. When I tell them I had 2 salmon in 35 trips last year they think I'm mad.

    Sent from my SM-J320FN using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    North Yorks


    Your hunch on rising average age of salmon anglers is correct and evidenced by the EA's data from England, which shows an increasing age of those anglers with salmon and migratory trout licences.

  9. #9


    I can only speak for my own river where costs are much lower, in general, than Scottish rivers.

    It really depends on what you call young. I agree there's not too many kids on our banks but every year there seems to be a lot of new faces in their 30s and 40s.

    Quite a lot of these people spend a lot of time fishing on stocked lakes and then join an angling club on a river.

    As far as I am aware, my club has a full membership of 800+ members with an ever growing waiting list waiting to get on.
    One of the best skills that an angler can ever develop is knowing the difference between passing the time and wasting it!

  10. #10


    I get the bit about kids starting on still water trout ponds,but our club has three of them,but you very seldom see any kids fishing them.
    Our club used to have a 1000 members with sometimes up to a 10 year waiting list,now you would be lucky if there were 650 members.
    With about 25 miles of river fishing on 4 different rivers one of them being one of the best Brown trout rivers in the country plus the three stocked fisheries,as well as exchange tickets for other rivers,this is still not enough to maintain membership let alone increase it.And even with the new increase in subs an adult ticket is only 250 a year so the cost is or should not be an issue for most people.

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