About the river
The River Towy (or Afon Tywi in Welsh) is the longest river which runs entirely through Wales. It is 68 miles long and on its journey seaward it is joined by several other tributaries, the main ones of note being the River Cothi, River Gwili, River Bran and River Doethie.
The river rises on the lower slopes of Crug Gynan in the Cambrian Mountains and and flows through the Tywi Forest which forms the border between Ceredigion and Powys.
In 1972 a section of the river was dammed at Llyn Brianne in order that winter rain and snow melt water could be stored and released back into the river during periods of prolonged drought. The purpose behind this construction was to support the new abstraction at Nant Garedig which provides a large part of south Wales with drinking water.
Without this damming the Towy would have been unable to sustain the abstraction required were it not for the controlled release of water into the catchment.
From Llyn Brianne, the river flows south-west through Carmarthernshire and passes through the towns of Llandovery and Llandeilo.
One of the Towy's main tributaries, the Afon Gwili joins the main river at Abergwili. From here the Towy continues through Carmarthen finally emptying in to the sea in Carmarthen Bay in a combined estuary with both the River Taf and the River Gwndraeth.
Anglers, clubs and private owners have financially compensated six of the nine commercial seine net licensees operating near the estuary. This leave only three licensees operating and the net limitation order will be altered accordingly. It is hoped that this will help protect stocks and that with the cessation of Irish drift-net fishing, the increasing practice of catch & release and the restocking programme, numbers of migratory fish will return to sustainable levels.
The net fisheries on the Towy open on 1st March and consist of the seine net fishery on the estuary at Ferryside and Llanstephan and the coracles in Carmarthen town. Their licence allows them to take sea trout until 31 July. Salmon, however, must be returned before 1st June. They are not allowed to fish at weekends and are further restricted as to the method and use of certain monofilament nets, ropes etc. As proof of the Towy's early sea-trout, four fish over 15lbs were caught up to the middle of May in 2007. There were also other reports of double-figure fish. One wonders how many more big fish would be caught if more anglers fished early on?