FISH stocking reached a record number into rivers - and should help produce bumper sport for the 2017-18 season.

Fish stocking details were revealed as the new season got underway on rivers. Angler’s Mail – No.1 for news – got the full lowdown.

A record 452,220 prime fish being reared at the Environment Agency’s Calverton Fish Farm and released mostly into flowing waters.

And a further 1.3 million fry were also released to help England’s fish stocks on natural venues.

On top of that, local fish stocking schemes have also put in tens of thousands of fish into rivers with the Avon Roach Project leading the way.

The EA have taken techniques developed by the ARP and put into other areas like the Anglian Region and now there is also a Kennet Roach Project in Berkshire.

Roach Projects boost fish stocking

Trevor Harrop, joint leader of the ARP, explained: “There is no doubt that our work over the last decade has paid dividends with decent bags of roach now possible all along the Hampshire Avon after years of decline.

“Fish introduced by us at the outset are now moving towards the 2 lb mark, and 10-20 quality fish in a session have become possible again.

We have advised a number of other projects around the country which have adopted our methods to various degrees.

“The Kennet Roach Project has copied our system completely, and now has fry growing in tanks until they are big enough to be released.

“Other projects we have helped include the Wensum and upper Great Ouse.”

Trevor Harrop – helping to boost stocks in rivers.

“Sadly it is necessary to stock in numbers to defeat predation, especially by cormorants – more have to go in than they can eat.

“Otters aren’t such a big problem although one was seen this year taking a decent roach off our spawning boards. But one was spotted taking a big old crayfish off the boards when it was eating the roach eggs.

“We are pressing for further changes in the law so that the cormorant menace can be better controlled,” he concluded.

‘Judicious’ fish stocking call by Birmingham AA

John Williams, chairman of mighty Birmingham AA, remarked: “The EA in the Midland Region is against restocking, believing that there is usually a natural cycle of fish numbers, with famines followed by plenty.

“This has been borne out to some extent on the Severn at Shrewsbury where roach and dace bags to 100 lb were possible many years ago but then all but disappeared.

“However in the past few years there has been a recovery without any stocking and there is a good chance of a decent bag again.

“However I do believe that some places like the River Teme, fish numbers need to be enhanced by judicious stocking.

“This is a river that has declined terribly due to environmental factors, pollution and predation, yet the EA refuses to help,” he added.

Frank Lythgoe, secretary of one of England’s biggest clubs, Warrington AA, said: “Fortunately all our stretches on rivers like the Trent, Severn and Wye are doing very nicely as it is – there is no need to stock if things are good enough anyway.”

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