A young Herefordshire man who has been fishing the River Wye, a catch-and-release river, since he was just 18 months old believes that if more people took up angling, it could lead to a greater awareness of the damage being done to the River Wye.

"People don't realise what's under the water," said 18-year-old Alfie Rock who manages The Angling Centre in Hinton Road for Brian and Sue Greenhouse.

"They don't treat it with the respect they should, and there's so much pollution from farming. In the end, it will kill off everything.


Alfie Rock was first taken fishing as a baby by his mother and father – "The first fish I caught was a baby ghost carp at Eastnor Castle," – and in his own relatively short life he has seen a marked change in the state of the river and the fish found in it.

"It's changed drastically," he said.

Ledbury Reporter:

"Ten years ago you could swim in the river, but I wouldn't now. And you used to be able to swish your hand through the water and it would be totally clear, but now the river bed is dirty.

"It's not a good environment for the fish.

"They survive it because they have to, but the young fry can't cope. A lot of oxygen is taken out of the water because of the overhanging trees.

"You used to be able to go down to the river and, with standard fishing tactics you'd catch 40-50 low poundage barbel very quickly. Now you'd struggle to catch two or three.

"Salmon used to thrive in the river and you'd see them jumping. You're lucky now if you see one or two."


Alfie believes the damage to the Wye could ultimately kill off this popular hobby for a lot of people.

"A lot of our customers only fish in the Wye," said Alfie, who would like to see more young people taking up fishing.

Not only would they enjoy the opportunity to be out in the countryside, but they would develop and increased awareness of the state of the river.