Griff Rhys Jones wades into battle with anglers

TV funnyman Griff Rhys Jones has waded into battle with Britain's fisherman after declaring open season to "disturb" anglers.

Followers of the pastime condemned the comments saying they had a right to peace when they were at the riverside.

Jones, who is presenting a BBC series about British rivers in which he canoes along hidden waterways, was encouraging people to enjoy greater access to the water.

He initially upset anglers with comments in an interview for BBC Countryfile magazine published this week. Jones stuck his oar in again today to clarify his points.

"I was told rather rudely that fishermen were disturbed by canoes. The point is that canoes disturb neither fish nor fishermen, and if a man gently paddling a canoe down a river is a 'disturbance', then long live that disturbance.

"In the article which has caused this apparent stir, I clearly say that access should not be allowed on some areas of river - 'we don't want canoes churning up the salmon beds of the Wye'."

Mark Lloyd, chief executive of Angling Trust, had been upset by the initial comments. He said: "We take great exception to Griff Rhys Jones' calls for canoeists to cause disturbance to anglers and to trespass."

He added that fishermen contributed £3.5 billion annually towards the British economy with 25 million pounds of that on licences. "They have a legal right to go fishing in peace," he added.

In the magazine interview Jones said: "I've met a lot of fisherman and decided that we should disturb as many as possible. What we all need to remember is that the river isn't there for a few, but for the many. Rivers have been a forgotten world for far too long."

He added today: "I am a supporter of all angling associations and thoroughly respect the rights of fishermen to peacefully fish on riverbanks, but I am also a great supporter of canoeists and want to see as much access to the rivers of England and Wales as is readily available in Scotland and much of the rest of the world."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Ashdown Group: HR Assistant - Immediate Start - Central Manchester - £20K

£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant - Immediate ...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Human Resource Officer and Executive Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join one of...

Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events business) - Central Manchester - £20K

£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...

Recruitment Genius: Project Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This privately-owned company designs and manuf...

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders