Simon Evans was present at the meeting on 15th September at Builth Wells. He contributed nothing to the meeting despite what appears to be a wealth of knowledge held by WUF on subjects such as Voluntary Access Agreements and negotiating with Canoeists and with riparian owners on behalf of canoeists. Of course in the real world WUF have not negotiated with any clubs on the Wye neither Paddlesports or Angling.
Here is their take on the situation.
Wye & Usk Foundation News Update

Canoe Access Issue

Visit Wales are carrying out a survey of tourism in Wales to, amongst other things, assess the contribution of various outdoor activities to the Welsh economy. Worryingly, angling has been omitted from the list of activities in the survey. This may just be an oversight but in light of moves from the Welsh Government to legislate for free and open access for paddlers etc to waterways, it is important that all anglers who have visited Wales in the last year complete the survey.
It is vital that fishing interests are not marginalised and have a say in future policy-making of the Welsh Government. We would be very grateful if you could take 10 minutes to complete the survey.
To start the survey, please click the 2nd link "Survey for visitors who undertake outdoor activities" at the bottom of this Visit Wales page. Please note that Section 2 is where you will need to enter 'Fishing' in the 'Other' box at the bottom of the page and that the survey closes on 20th September 2013.
A great deal of concern is being expressed about possible plans to create open access both across farmland and, crucially for us, across the rivers and streams of Wales. Until recently, it was understood that government policy was to create opportunities to canoe by Voluntary Access Agreements (VAAs) and of course in the navigable section of the Wye.
Our part in this was to set up pilot arrangements for the upper Wye and Usk in 2007 and while the details were very specific to these sections of river we did show that it as possible for a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) or fishing group to conclude arrangements for shared use. These fell well short of the aspiration of the National Canoe body (Canoe Wales) who insisted on 365 day access - thus ensuring that few deals would ever take place.
Many anglers were also critical of these arrangements citing a number of problems, top of this list being lack of compliance by canoeists. So progress with the plan for further agreements have fallen ell short of WGs hopes, which lead to the consultation in early September and, in turn, to a Green Paper proposing open access in the Spring of 2014.
http://mailer.wyeuskfoundation.org/f...38f9df7601.jpg National Assembly of Wales: Our Legislative
http://mailer.wyeuskfoundation.org/f...68d5030574.JPG Canoeists not behaving sensibly
What always seems to get lost in discussions is that many of our rivers spend long periods of time at or even below summer level and are simply too small for rafts, canoes and even swimmers. By contrast, many of the great easterly flowing rivers of Scotland, from whence the idea of open access may have originated, remain navigable even when dead low as exasperated fishers will know on Spey and Tay.
WUF's view is that continuous river traffic, especially in smaller sections, will significantly reduce the economic output derived from fishing whilst not replacing it with income from navigation. On top of that we hold that there are limits to what can be absorbed without environmental degradation or damage. So what else is to be done?
Surely now is the time to enter into the spirit of Voluntary Access Arrangements? Just as we would not consult our national angling body about how we let or manage our fishing, there is no need to deal with Canoe Wales - anglers simply need to get on with it before this inertia is cited as the main reason for legislation. Please write to you AM if you live in Wales to endorse this view.
All the best from WUF.