The Dart Fisheries Association [DFA] represents riparian owners, including the Duchy
of Cornwall and the Dart Angling Association, and other interested parties in the
management of the River Dart above Totnes, liasing with the Dartmoor National Park
authority on matters of mutual interest.
The principal objectives of the DFA are to conserve and develop the salmon and trout
fisheries of the river and its tributaries, and to conserve the natural environment
within the river's catchment.
In order to fulfil these objectives the River Dart Partnership has been established
between the DFA, the Environment Agency and the Westcountry Rivers Trust. A memorandum
of understanding between these organisations has been agreed in which clearly defined
actions and responsibilities are stated. Working plans are formulated early each
year with progress and review meetings at the end of each year.
Work undertaken includes walk-over surveys of the upper river system describing and
recording different types of habitat, electro-fishing to establish juvenile populations
of salmon and trout, improvement of spawning habitat by removal of invasive plants
and gravel raking and appropriate trimming or pollarding of trees and bank side vegetation.
While mainly intended to benefit the fishery where stocks of salmon have seriously
declined over the last 20 years or so, the work so far appears beneficial to the
Work is also being undertaken to ensure that the abstractions of water into the Devonport
Leat and into Venford reservoir are not having a detrimental effect on the river.
Volunteers working to improve spawning gravel on a moorland tributary