The management of a three-reservoir commercial fishery near Solihull is being put out to tender by the Canal & River Trust.

The charity, which protects a historic canal network stretching 2,000 miles across England and Wales, is inviting licensees the opportunity to manage Earlswood Lakes in the West Midlands. The contract will be for at least five years, commencing in April 2024.

The Trust is the largest owner of freshwater fishing rights in England and Wales, renting fishing rights to over 240 angling clubs as well as running a significant commercial fisheries portfolio.

The Trust also runs the award-winning Let’s Fish programme, which introduces thousands of children and adults to the sport each year.

Faced with the challenge of meeting the costs of managing an ageing canal network against a backdrop of a significant reduction in government funding and increasing storm-related damage driven by climate change, the charity is ensuring it is receiving the best possible value for its fishing rights.

Earlswood Lakes consists of three 22-acre reservoirs. Engine Pool is heavily stocked with carp and bream ranging from 1lb to 4lb, with fishing matches taking place most weekends throughout the year. Windmill Pool sees catches of roach, bream and skimmers during the warmer months and excellent pike fishing during the winter months. Terry’s Pool is a natural fishery with large carp, eels and pike.

New or existing licensees are now invited to contact the Trust to register interest in tendering. The deadline to submit tenders is midnight on March 17th 2024, with interviews of the shortlisted candidates taking place on 26 March.

John Ellis, national fisheries & angling manager at Canal & River Trust, said: “Earlswood Lakes is an attractive fishery and is busy with both pleasure anglers and match fishing.

“Set in pleasant woodland and stocked with carp, bream, roach, perch, pike and eels, it’s a fantastic place feel the benefits of spending time outside by the water and reconnect with nature.

“As well as income growth, the successful candidate will need to present practical proposals for enhancing the impact of the Trust’s Let’s Fish programme, either at Earlswood or other suitable West Midlands fisheries.

“We’re proud to manage fisheries around the country that offer something for all types of anglers. Many of the fisheries that we own were built over 200 years ago to supply water to the canals – a task they still carry out today. But looking after an ageing network of canals is costly.

“The recent storms and floods highlight the growing impact of extreme weather and the costs involved in keeping our canal network alive. As a charity, we need to make sure we’re getting the best value so we can continue to preserve them for future generations.”

To register your initial interest and to receive further information please email:

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