Fisheries

Thanks to the diverse range of habitat found throughout its course, the River Kennet supports a wide range of fisheries, many of which offer excellent angling opportunities for coarse and fly fishing alike.

The upper reaches of the  Kennet have classic chalkstream characteristics and the river has been famous for trout fishing since the late nineteenth century because of the healthy populations of wild brown trout.  Today the river still supports wild brown trout, but these are supplemented with stocked fish for anglers to catch. Brown trout are traditionally caught using a 'dry-fly', which imitates a real insect or larva. The historic tradition of dry fly fishing uses a range of imitators such as the March Brown, Hares Ear and the delightfully named Lunn's Particular. Fishermen skilfully cast these onto the surface of the water to fool the fish into rising to catch it.

Access in this part of the river is provided through a number of syndicates, the majority of which employ River Keepers who not only strive to keep the river and its surrounding habitat in good condition, but are also on hand to provide advice and guidance.

ARK's priority is to create and maintain habitat that supports healthy self-sustaining wild fish popultations, which will allow fisheries to reduce reliance on stocked fish.

As it flows east, the Kennet becomes wider, deeper and moves off the chalk over clays and gravels. Whilst wild brown trout continue to thrive in these areas, the change in habitat offers opportunites for species including Barbel, Bleak, Chub and Roach, Perch, Gudgeon and Bream. Here coarse fishing is the order of the day using a range of methods, including the stick float, the waggler and the feeder.

Access to angling on the lower river is provided by a plethora of associations, clubs and syndicates with some retaining an employed fisheries manager and others relying on volunteers, members and funding in order to maintain and improve their particular stretch of the river.

ARK's role is to promote healthy wild fish populations by improving habitat, removing barriers to fish movement and improving water quality