The Tavy Walkham and Plym Fishing Club can be traced back to the 1860’s. The original book of minutes shows that a meeting took place at the Magistrates Room, Tavistock on August 6th 1864, prior to the 1865 season and proposed the formation of an Association to protect the Fisheries of the Tavy and it’s tributaries.
The meeting resolved:
“That Mr Benson as one of the Conservators of the Tavy be requested to communicate to the Earl of Devon and JH Gile Esq, the other conservators, the following letter on the subject of the meeting –
..and that such form be sent if approved to the landowners and occupiers :–
Salmon Fisheries Act 1861 **see below
We the conservators appointed under the above Act for the River Tavy are desirous of obtaining your consent to and cooperation in the carrying out its provisions
To enable us to do so it is proposed to form an Association to provide by subscriptions and the sale of tickets the funds necessary for the protection of the fish and such other purposes as may be required.
Owners and occupiers having a river frontage to have a ticket.
The season ticket to be in compliance with the Act.
May we request an early answer whether you concur in the above and authorize us to prosecute all poachers and persons illegally trespassing on your lands and damaging the river and banks.
We are your obediently
D Evans, J H Gile, J Benson } Conservators
Be pleased to address your answer to Mr Benson – Bedford Offices, Tavistock.”
**The Salmon Fisheries Act of 1861 set out laws for protecting salmon and appointed two Inspectors to report to Parliament in addition to allowing for the local implementation of the law through “Conservators” – see para 33 of the Act.
The subsequent meeting resulted in the “River Tavy Fishing Association”. The name was changed to “Tavy Walkham & Plym Fishing Association” in 1887 and changed again in 1956 to the “Tavy Walkham & Plym Fishing Club”. The minute books provide a fascinating insight into the club and the fishing fraternity of the 19th, 20th and current century including accounts, conflicts and developments of the current set of rules and constitution, battles with mine pollution, illegal fishing and financial crises .
The original subscription was set at £1 to fish within the bounds of the association, with the fishing above “Doublewaters” being set at 10/- (50p). Day tickets were set at 2/6. Special tickets were available for labourers, bailiffs and landowners.
Stocking in the 1930s.