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World's oldest angling club casts a new line in Manchester

Dozens of anglers will soon be a familiar sight on the Rochdale Canal through Manchester city centre, thanks to a new fishing agreement between with the world’s oldest angling club, the Salford Friendly Anglers Society.

The club, which can trace its roots back to 1817, currently has fishing rights on the River Irwell and a few small lakes and reservoirs around Greater Manchester. However from the end of this April, their members will be able to extend their angling activities to a 12-mile stretch of the Rochdale Canal, from the canal's start in Castlefield, through Manchester city centre to Middleton, near Rochdale.

Anglers will be able to fish for roach, bream, perch, pike, carp, tench and eels which swim between the canal's many locks.

A friendly presence on our towpaths

John Ellis, national fisheries and angling manager with the Canal & River Trust, is delighted the Rochdale Canal will soon become a mecca for anglers. He said: “The canal provides a green corridor of peace and tranquillity through the busy urban streets. The water quality has improved greatly in recent years and we are very pleased to welcome Salford anglers as a friendly presence on our towpaths.”

Mike Duddy, chairman of the Salford Friendly Anglers Society, added: “The rejuvenation of the Rochdale Canal through Manchester is great for anglers but also for walkers, joggers, boaters and cyclists too. It's wonderful for people to escape to the canal to enjoy a piece of countryside in the middle of the city. I have recently spotted kingfishers and red shanks flying over the water. It's a wonderful, peaceful place to enjoy a spot of fishing.

“Anyone wanting to fish on the Rochdale Canal should contact the Salford Friendly Anglers Society at Membership is available free online, as the Society actively encourages people to take up angling as a pastime in a region where so many of the lakes, rivers and canals were polluted by our industrial past.”

In addition to being a member of the Salford Friendly Anglers Society, any angler also needs an Environment Agency rod licence (if aged 12 or over) available from

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Last Edited: 14 April 2015

photo of a location on the canals
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