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National Celebration of Young People and Fishing Event Rules

National Celebration of Young People and Fishing Rules
  1. Canal & River Trust will organise a National Celebration of Young People and Fishing each year. They will appoint an organising committee who will be responsible for supervising the arrangements.

  2. All the sections to be used in the celebration will be closed for fishing to all participants in all age categories from midnight on the Sunday prior to the celebration.

  3. The celebration will be a “pegged down” event, fishing pegs to be preferably 22 yards (20 metres) apart, or more where practicable.

  4. Entry to the celebration is open to anyone aged 7-20 years of age on the day of the Championship. The categories are: Cadets (7-10 years of age on the day of the celebration), Young Junior (11 & 12 years of age on the day of the celebration) Full Junior (13-15 years of age on the day of the celebration) Full Youth (16- 20 years of age on the day of the celebration) Developing Youth (16-20 years of age on the day of the celebration). In certain circumstances, a participant may be allowed to compete in an older age category at the discretion of the event organiser. Please email [[email protected]](/mailto: [email protected]) for more information.

  5. The draw for fishing positions will take place on the Canal & River Trust Angling Facebook page on the Wednesday evening prior to the event and a copy of the peg draw emailed to participants. Where there is a requirement due to medical or other valid reason, a van draw may be arranged by contacting the event manager via [email protected] at least 7 days prior to the peg draw. Participants should aim to arrive at their allocated fishing location around an hour and an hour and a half before fishing commences but please note that no access for participants will be ordinarily permitted to the towpath prior to 10am when pegging out will be complete.

  6. The senior stewards will have the right to examine all containers carried by participants prior to commencement of the celebration, at their pegs.

  7. Stewards and Let's Fish! coaches will do their utmost to prevent spectators unreasonably approaching or interfering with the participants.

  8. No participant will change their peg position except as agreed on the bank by the Let's Fish senior steward. Any angler fishing at the wrong peg will be disqualified.

  9. Where walking to fishing positions on foot is impractical, participants must use private transport to transfer from the event HQ to their Section and return.

  10. All participants under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a responsible adult who may also help carry their tackle to their peg.

  11. No participant will have live or dead fish in their possession before the commencement of the celebration.

  12. The signal to commence and cease fishing will be given by the senior steward.

  13. The duration of the celebration will be 3 hours for cadets, 4 hours for full juniors and young juniors and 5 hours for the youth categories.

  14. Before the starting signal, participants must not, on any account groundbait or loose feed the swim but will be allowed to wet a line, plumb the depth, and test the float, mix or wet ground bait, clear his/her fishing ground of weed or obstructions and position his/her equipment. In the cadet and junior sections of the celebration, once fishing has commenced, participants cannot plumb the depth beyond the 3 metres during the first 90 minutes of fishing but can plumb up all the way across the canal prior to the commencement signal and again after 90 minutes of fishing time has elapsed. On no account must a feeder be used prior to the starting signal.

  15. Every participant must sit or stand within one metre either side of their designated peg number. On canals, participants may fish as far as half the distance between their peg and the pegs on either side. The participant will restrict their activities completely to these boundaries, neither their person, tackle, bait, groundbait or hooked fish may intrude into their neighbour's swim. In an extreme situation, e.g., snagged tackle or a snagged fish, an angler must seek permission from their neighbour/neighbours before moving from their designated peg to try and remedy the situation.

  16. All participants will remain at their pegs, except for the purpose of clearing litter from their swims, or, to answer the call of nature, until details of their catch have been recorded by the steward, even if they have caught no fish. However, in the event of an emergency and/or severe weather conditions, a participant may leave their peg, but only with the express permission of the relevant senior steward. In such circumstances, the senior steward may decide in the best interests of the participants that fishing should be suspended. In the worst-case scenario, fishing may be terminated by the senior steward upon an instruction from the on-site Event Manager.

  17. A participant must not cause annoyance to or seek to interfere with another participant during the course of the celebrations. Participants and accompanying adult support must act in a sporting manner at all times.

  18. A participant shall have in use one rod or pole, one line and single hook at any one time, but may have other poles or rods and tackle assembled in a position behind or alongside them, if possible, providing no such other tackle is baited.

  19. Maximum length of poles permitted in this event after 90 minutes has elapsed: 10 metres maximum for cadets, 11.5 metres maximum for juniors, 13 metres maximum for full juniors and youth. Floating poles are not permitted. It is the responsibility of parents/guardians to ensure the participants use a length of pole which they can handle comfortably.

  20. Braid hook lengths are not permitted.

  21. Any bait, subject to the local rules appertaining at the time of acceptance as a celebration venue, may be used during the celebration, except live or dead fish, spinning baits and artificial lures. The following baits and groundbait are not permitted in the 2024 event: any groundbait containing fishmeal, bloodworm and joker, any pellets containing fishmeal, sweetcorn, lures of any description, luncheon meat and boilies.

  22. Floating baits, either hook or feed are not allowed.

  23. The use of electronic fish finders is forbidden.

  24. No participant shall present their baited hooks into their swim by any means other than the pole or rod to which the line is attached.

  25. All feed may be thrown in by hand, or using one or two-handed catapults, throwing sticks, swim feeders, bait droppers, bait cups and bait shuttles, but no other mechanical means of projecting feed is allowed. No bait shall be introduced with a pole or bait dropper attached to an extra pole or rod whilst continuing to fish.

  26. Participants must strike, play and land their own fish from the confines of their own peg. (See also Rule 44). Hand lining fish is not permitted; this includes hand lining elastics and line. Also not allowed is the practice of trapping stretched elastic with the hand down the length of the pole, fish should never be bullied like this. This does not apply to the use of Pulla bungs and similar devices.

  27. Participants must retain all fish in a keepnet that complies with the relevant Environment Agency bylaws. Nets should be dry when arriving to fish, as dry nets do not spread diseases. Fish must never be handled with gloves or towels.

  28. All fish caught are eligible for weighing except game fish, pike, zander, wels catfish and crustaceans.

  29. Participants must, if practicable, keep all fish caught alive. If for any reason participants cannot keep fish alive, the stewards shall have the power to weigh in during the celebration and return the fish alive to the water.

  30. Participants must cease fishing at the all-out signal. Should a participant still be playing a fish hooked before the finishing signal is given, they will be permitted no more than 15 minutes after time has been called to land the fish.

  31. Participants are responsible for ensuring their pegs are clear of litter and no participant shall have their catch weighed in who has litter on the banks of their swim. This includes event peg cards.

  32. The event weigh in stewards will remove the keepnet and weigh in the participants catches at the end of the match. Participants must double check to ensure that the weigh in steward has not left any fish in the net for these cannot be retrospectively weighed in once the scales have moved to the next participant.

  33. The individual weight of each competitor will be recorded to the nearest 10 grams rounded up.

  34. Each participant will be responsible for ensuring that the weight of their catch is correctly recorded by the record steward on the weigh sheet. Potential writing errors cannot be corrected once the weighing team have left the participants peg.

  35. After being weighed, any dead fish are to be suitably disposed of by the weigh-in steward.

  36. Any fish about which the stewards have any doubt must be brought before the management team and the participant's weight will not be confirmed until a ruling has been obtained. Even if a steward recommends the disqualification of a participant or particular fish, they MUST weigh the fish in case the steward's ruling is not upheld.

  37. Any objections must be made in writing and lodged with a member of the celebration management committee no later than one hour after the end of the celebrations on the official forms issued to the senior stewards. Irregularities which are brought to notice at a later date may be dealt with only by and at the discretion of the celebration adjudicators.

  38. The celebration must conform to Environment Agency bylaws. Participants aged 13 and over must possess an Environment Agency rod licence. Any participant reported to the Championship adjudicators by the Environment Agency for being unable to produce a valid licence shall be deemed to be in contravention of the rules and shall be disqualified. Local fishery rules will also apply.

  39. The use of lead, including any alloy or compound of lead, in the form of split shot or any other suitable items for weighting fishing lines is prohibited. The prohibition does not apply to weights of lead, alloy or compound of lead, of 0.06g or less or of more than 28.35g. The prohibition also does not apply to weights of lead, alloy or compound less than 28.35g if said lead, alloy or compound is incorporated in the construction of swim feeders or self-cocking floats.

  40. If in the opinion of the celebration adjudicators, any individual participant is in breach of these rules or is guilty of behaviour which is contrary to the best interests of the sport, or upon complaint being received by the celebration adjudicators that there has been an alleged breach of the rules, the celebration adjudicators shall decide on all available facts and that decision will be final and binding. An appeal can be made to the AT Board; a copy of the appeals procedure is available from the celebration adjudicators.

  41. Any participant proved to be in contravention of these event rules will be disqualified.

  42. Any individual participant or accompanying adult deemed to be bringing the sport into disrepute will be severely dealt with by the celebration adjudicators.

  43. In the cadet and junior sections of the celebration, the maximum distance away from the towpath water's edge that a participant can fish for the first 90 minutes of the celebration is 3 metres. Likewise, if using rod and line during the first 90 minutes of the celebrations, the float must not be more than 3 metres away from the towpath water's edge and the length of the pole overhanding the eater must not exceed 3 metres. For the first 90 minutes cadet and junior participants must not loosefeed or groundbait beyond this 3-metre distance from the waters-edge nor plumb the depth beyond the 3-metre line (plumbing of the depth all the way across the canal can take place before the all-in and again after 90 minutes have elapsed). In the event of a large fish being hooked during the first 90 minutes, participants may add additional sections of pole as required for the sole purpose of aiding the landing of said fish. These restrictions will not apply once the first 90 minutes of the celebration have elapsed, nor do they apply at any time to participants in the youth categories.

  44. Reasonable help can be given to a competitor by an accompanying responsible adult and appointed Let's Fish coaches who will be suitably branded for identification purposes. Examples of reasonable help would include using a disgorger to unhook fish after the participant has first attempted to unhook that fish, pulling for a break when snagged and there is a health and safety risk to a young person, tying a new hook to line, retrieving a lost section of pole from the waterway and/or using a landing net to assist the landing of a bonus fish. Participants are however expected to be in sole control of their rod or pole at all times, cast or ship in and out their rod or pole at all times, bait their own hooks and feed their own pegs with groundbait and/or loosefeed. Where practicable to do so, the responsible accompanying adult should sit at the rear of the towpath slightly upstream of and not adjacent to the participant close to the water's edge. In the unlikely event of any dispute around what is deemed to be reasonable help, the decision of the Let's Fish Event Manager shall be deemed final.

  45. Every cadet and junior participant who weighs in at least one gudgeon (Gobio gobio) is entitled to receive a voucher from an event steward. Presentation of this voucher will entitle the participant to claim their complementary gudgeon mug back at the event headquarters prior to or during the period of the prize presentation ceremony.

  46. As well as trophies and prizes for the individual top weight catches, there will be trophies awarded to the top teams in each category. These team results will be calculated on section points and in the event of a tie on points, team weight will be the deciding factor.

  47. There are more useful guidelines and support on making the most of the day on the National Celebration of Young People and Fishing page on our website.

Last Edited: 18 January 2024

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