Fishing in parts of Bolton has been in limbo since the closure of the Bolton and District Angling Association, late last year. TOM MOLLOY reports.

BOLTON Council are currently carrying out a review of “estate management options” on the waters they have acquired from Bolton and District Angling Association (BDAA).

Rod fishing licences are issued by central government but angling clubs, such as BDAA, can also lease fishing rights - which gives their members exclusive permission to fish on club waters.

In those cases, a person would need both an individual licence and a membership permit from that club to fish on those waters.

BDAA previously managed fishing at 11 waters; Doffcocker Lodge, Bradford Reservoir, Bolton Canal, Temple Springs, Merton Lodges, Shore Reservoir, Gleaves Reservoir, Dingle Lodge, Farm Lodges, Bunk Lodge, and Firwood Lodge.

The association folded late last year, shortly after the death of club secretary Terry McKee. Following the dissolution of the club, the waters were auctioned off to a number of sources, including Bolton Council and the Canal and River Trust.

Membership permits for BDAA used to be sold at angling stores such as Tong Moor Angling Supplies and Dave’s Aquarium.

Tim Knott, who works at Dave’s Aquarium said: “They’ve folded. All the waters have been auctioned off and sold.

“Just after Christmas they came in and all they told us is that there’d be no more fishing in Bolton waters.”

A knock on effect is that people in Bolton can no longer necessarily fish where they once did, even if they have an individual fishing licence.

Clarifying what happens to exclusive membership rights when a club folds mid-season, a spokesman for The Angling Trust said: “It all depends on how the club or association has been constituted but in the case of BDAA, I understand that most of the waters they fished were leased.

“These have now returned to the landlords.

“BDAA tell me they owned some waters and the fishing rights on those waters have passed to the new owners.”

Bolton Council now own five of the waters - Doffcocker Lodge, Bradford Reservoir, Temple Springs, Bunk Lodge, and Firwood Lodge.

As there is currently no one in place to manage them, the sites are not currently open to fishing, although this is being reviewed.

A spokesman for Bolton Council said: “We are carrying out a full review of all the estate management options.”

The Canal and River Trust took back ownership of the fishing rights at Bolton Canal, letting the rights back out to another locally based club - Little Britain Anglers.

The Bolton News understands that Merton Lodges, Shore Reservoir, Gleaves Reservoir, Dingle Lodge, and Farm Lodge are now privately owned.

Although BDAA’s former waters are currently off-limits for fishing, there are still plenty of places to fish in Bolton and the surrounding area.

As well as taking over the rights for the Bolton Canal, members of Little Britain Anglers are also able to fish in the River Irwell and the River Croal. Permits are priced at £20 for adults and £10 for OAPs. Under 16s can fish for free.

Radcliffe Angling Society provide memberships to fish in a number of waters such as Starmount Lodges, Cherry Tree Lodge, Pimhole Lodge, Red Bridge Lodges, and Red Bank Lodge. Memberships cost £40 for adults, £25 for OAPs and £10 for juniors.

For more information about clubs and fishing events, visit or