A 21st century traditional salmon fishery

fishermen with salmon by Severn bridge

The Black Rock lave net heritage fishery based at Black Rock, Monmouthshire is the last surviving traditional salmon fishery remaining on the welsh region of the severn estuary, all other methods of fishing such as tuck nets, stop boats, putts and putchers have long gone, never to return.

So how have the Black Rock lave nets men survived when all others have been closed down or disappeared? Simply the fishermen embraced change and this path was not always a smooth one. An agreement eventually was forged by the Welsh assembly government and the fishermen and agreed by the Environment agency to be sustainable. One of the restrictions agreed was to take a maximum of just five salmon for the group during the three month season.

This agreement is now in its tenth and final year and we are optimistic that the newly formed NRW with a fresh approach to fisheries such as ours will renew this agreement which has worked well for all concerned.

fishermen with salmon by Severn bridge
Tim bevan , Rob Evans , Richard Morgan Matt Fox and Richy Fox in “Gruggy “

The fishery unlike others is now thriving with all eight licences taken up by young local men which has given it a new lease of life.
A huge part of the fishery has been promotion of it as a tourism / heritage site, this aspect could or would not exist without the fishing.
The fishermen over the past several years have achieved many great things appearing in many TV programs , on radio , books and magazines. Exhibiting all over the country in prestigious events such as the Eisteddfod, St Fagans and the Royal welsh show. It has also become a huge local community feature.
But perhaps the greatest achievement has been to prove that a traditional salmon fishery can exist in a sustainable way in the 21st century.

The fishery open day will be held on Saturday 26th August at Black Rock picnic site, Portskewett. There will be an exhibition, demonstration and film of lave netting, presentation of trophies and home baked cakes! All are welcome to this community event.

The lave net fishing can be watched from the comfort of the picnic site at black Rock which gives panoramic views of the estuary.
Times and dates can be found on the web site or telephone Martin on 07788672001
www.blackrocklavenets.co.uk and facebook

1920s fishermen by Severn
1920s fishermen