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The charity making life better by water

Fisheries & Angling Advisory Group

We want to secure and conserve our fisheries, making sure they are suitable for and well used by the many people who want to fish them.

National Angling Championships Shropshire Union 2014

We benefit greatly from the support of this expert Fisheries & Angling Advisory Group (formerly the National Angling Advisory Group), which comprises a small number of skilled and experienced practitioners.

The group helps us chart a course through angling and fisheries management issues, especially those that may be innovative or controversial, to ensure fisheries and angling is appropriate, well managed and reflects our charitable objectives.


The group's chair is Andy Strickland, a retired chartered accountant, Andy is now the general secretary of Prince Albert Angling Society, the largest angling club in the UK, with around 10,000 members. He manages a portfolio of more than 200 fisheries, including over 40 that are owned outright and more than 20 SSSIs, including sections of the Montgomery Canal.


Mike Heylin

Mike is an entrepreneur and business manager with a marketing, PR, advertising and sales background in consumer and b2b markets. He has wide European experience and is a starter by nature. He has proven ability as a secretary and administrator to numerous fisheries, angling and voluntary community and social groups, and has run club stillwater fisheries for more than 25 years. Mike is a life-long political and environmental activist. He grew up fishing the Grand Union Canal at Boxmoor.

Dennis Hunt

Dennis was first taken to a canal to see the locks by his dad in the early 1960s at Rickmansworth. He has been fascinated by the canals and the history of the system ever since. This interest links to Dennis's other great passion, angling. His first real fishing trip was with a friend from school and his friend's dad, to Greenford on the Grand Union Canal, and he was hooked. Since then he's fished the canal for over 50 years and during that time has served significant time as a committee member, treasurer and chairman of Luton Angling Club.

David Kent BEM

Board member of the Angling Trust and chairman of the Angling Trust Freshwater Group, David has volunteered in numerous capacities in fisheries and angling for over 40 years. David plays a lead role in the organisation of our joint competitions with the Angling Trust and is also one of our council members.

Dave Ottewell

Dave began angling for gudgeon on the Trent & Mersey Canal at the age of 10, eventually learning the necessary skills to tackle the rivers around his hometown of Burton upon Trent. He was fortunate enough to have had access to plentiful mixed stocks of coarse fish and benefitted from the coaching offered by a number of dedicated anglers from Burton Mutual Angling Association and the former Derby Angling Association. These factors combined enabled him to develop both his match and pleasure angling, forming a lifelong love of angling and our precious aquatic environments.

This led to the academic study of freshwater ecology and professional roles held within the Environment Agency, British Waterways, consultancy and his current position of Senior Hydrologist for Natural England, which enables him to advise the group on the management of fish populations and their associated legislation within the protected sites held by the Trust.

Mark Parry

Mark has been secretary of Port Sunlight Angling Club for the last 15 years, having joined as a junior in 1982. A recently retired police officer, he worked as a dedicated school officer for many years and has a Dip Ed in Safer Schools and Youth Engagement, using fishing as a means of engaging with hard-to-reach young people. He is a Level 2 angling coach and introduced his club to canal affiliation and the Let's Fish! campaign. Mark is married and now lives in Cheshire, a few hundred yards from the canal where his parents moored their boat when he was a child.

Caroline Susan Galloway BEM

Sue has been a Level 2 Coarse Angling Coach since 2010. She is a freelance coach who also volunteers as the Lead Coach for Northampton Nene Angling Club on the junior development team and is also the lead coach on the Canal & River Trust's Let's Fish activities.

Her goals and aspirations are to continue to provide angling opportunities for children and young people with disabilities as well as increasing the number of girls and women participating in angling. Sue loves being around water and nature and firmly believes in using angling activities to support and maintain wellbeing.

Her most recent achievement has been receiving the “Distinguished Award for Services to Young People,” from the Northamptonshire Association of Youth Clubs in 2020. Sue has greatly improved her canal fishing techniques, which have helped to improve her canal coaching skills.

Paul Coulson

Paul is the Director of Operations for the Institute of Fisheries Management (IFM). He has a background in education and training and was a lecturer in Fisheries Management before joining the IFM. He is also the Chairman of the East Yorkshire Rivers Trust as well as a member of the British Record Fish Committee.

He has been an avid angler from the age of 8, when he was given an old glass fishing rod by a neighbour. His kit has improved since, and he now spends his fishing time on the canals and natural waters of Yorkshire, with a particular love of winter league fishing.

Phillip Smith

Phillip holds a PhD in canal fisheries (Impact and management of Zander) and has over 20 years experience of managing research and innovation in the NHS. Phillip has a strong interest in canals and fishing from a very young age and fondly remembers his time spent on the canals fishing.

Paul Edwards

Paul is a keen angler and current secretary of Shropshire based Hodnet Angling Club and a member of the Bay Malton Angling Club. Paul has a commercial background in sales and marketing following an extensive business career at director level in the food industry. He has driven the implementation of various modern systems for Hodnet AC, thus making administration of club activities much less time consuming. Paul actively volunteers for Canal & River Trust supporting the Canal Pairs championship and various Let's Fish celebration events on the Shropshire Union Canal.

Richard Gibbs

An angler from the age of four Richard has held numerous administrative positions within fisheries and angling organisations, including being appointed the first secretary of the Grand Union Canal Anglers Consultative and was fishery officer for the Tring Anglers for many years. A retired police officer, Richard brings experience of the challenges of enforcement of legislation and fisheries and environmental crime more generally. A regular volunteer for the Trust with an extensive knowledge of hedge laying, Richard is an active advocate of the principles of sharing the space on towpaths. Richard is also an active level one angling coach supporting the Let's Fish programme.

Last Edited: 20 June 2023

photo of a location on the canals
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