Ogmore Angling Association (OAA) was formed in 1892 when membership would have set you back the princely sum of 52p a season at a time when the impact of the industrial revolution was having a profound effect on the river.
Now, well over a hundred years on, we're operating in the post-industrial era, our aims haven't changed - providing good fishing for the local community and beyond - and we still face many of the challenges regarding freshwater habitat and ecological quality which our founders confronted.
OAA stands firmly by the principle that we and the people of the catchment are entitled to enjoy clean rivers and that polluters should pay. To further this aim we have purchased substantial fishing rights, become life members of the Wild Trout Trust and subscribe to the services offered by Fish Legal with whose help we actively pursue any threat to our rivers. This diligence, along with environmental legislation, has made gradual improvements to water quality over time and we now fish in a vastly improved river which attracts a membership which hovers around the 300 mark as well as the many visitors whose expeditions make an important contribution to the local economy.
There's still a lot of work to do, invisible pollutants such as neonicotinoids and synthetic pyrethroids are diminishing our invertebrate populations, introduced species - Mink, Japweed, Goosanders and Himalayan Balsam to name but a few - impact on fish and riparian plant communities while a legacy of weirs and culverts act as barriers to migration and connectivity along the catchment. Add this to the climate emergency and it's plain to see there's more to fishing than fishing.
Despite all of the negative forces we still enjoy some of the best trout, grayling and sewin fishing in south Wales and offer membership, when available, at a very reasonable price which remains the stuff of dreams for anglers from the south of England. Our members can fish for 11 months a year, at current prices (2020, £100/season) it costs less than 30p per day to enjoy some seriously good fishing. WeIn pursuit of maintaining this standard we strongly recommend our anglers to practice catch & release but lightly stock the lower waters to the south of the M4 with brown trout to offer those that want it a fish, tattooed with a blue dot on the underside for identification, which can be taken for the table. All wild trout must be returned to maintain a strong, natural breeding stock which are genetically predisposed to inhabitat our waters. As a consequence of this policy we have some big wild trout which rival any in the UK and a sense of security in the knowledge that our wild fish are increasingly well adapted to survival in the conditions which are unique to the catchment.
Similarly we boast very good runs of sewin with fish in double figures caught every season and in good numbers. Add to this our unstocked wild fishery on the Ewenny, bass mullet and flounder flounder in our tidal waters and the rapidly growing shoals of grayling which have migrated from the Ewenny into the main river and it's safe to say we have a very secure base as a club which will continue to attract anglers for years to come.
It has to be added that none of this would be accessible without our dedicated team of club bailiffs who appear when least expected and a committee which takes the historic responsibility of providing good fishing and a smooth running administration very seriously, I won't be alone in extending our sincere gratitude for all of the work which goes on behind the scenes.