SOUTHAMPTON, England, Oct. 31 (UPI) — Canoeists say they have been threatened with shotguns by anglers who said they’re scaring away fish in a river in southern England.
The Southern Daily reports the dispute also has brought a threat that razor wire would be stretched across the Hampshire Avon to keep canoeists off the water.
Canoeists said they’re undeterred and cite a 17th-century act of Parliament they said grants them access to the river and are planning a mass paddle, which the Daily said could lead to more clashes.
Owners of private estates on the river have banned the canoes, saying they will lose income if anglers go elsewhere to fish.
Along with scaring away fish, the anglers said, the canoeists are damaging a site of special scientific interest, a conservation designation for protected areas in the United Kingdom.
A message on the anglers forum, Anglers Afloat, said at least one person plans to use razor wire to stop the canoeists’ event.
But an Internet invitation to canoeists said a 1664 act of Parliament gives them the right to navigate the Hampshire Avon.