POSSIBLY the most successful UK initiative for revive coarse fish stocks is to wind down its work.

Avon Roach Project co-founder Trevor Harrop, who works miracles with ‘Budgie’ Price, says they have just two more years planned.

Trevor told Angler’s Mail: “We have two more lots to stock over the next couple of years, then we’ll take our foot off the gas.

“We won’t be collecting spawn and growing any more in our system, as the river is now in the best state for roach it’s been in a generation, so mission accomplished, and little need for us to continue, as it is hard work.

“We have achieved far greater success than we’d ever have dared dream we would, so it’s time to do more fishing.”

‘Roach now thoughout river’ – Trevor Harrop

Trevor continued: “Roach are now being caught throughout the river, and in good numbers and sizes, with our first stocked fish being 14 years old and way over 2 lb, maybe even ‘threes’ by now.

“We will continue to front habitat enhancement like fry bays on the Avon, and plan to improve spawning substrate for barbel in partnership with our EA fisheries guys, but it’s agreed to front it through us, as we now have a respected history.

“We don’t really know exactly how many we’ve stocked overall, but it is certainly in the tens of thousands, with the most significant thing being that fry sampling shows that the stocked fish are breeding themselves every year.

“We went from a few dozen to literally hundreds and hundreds attending our spawning boards,” revealed Trevor.

Heroes - Trevor Harrop (right) and Budgie Price (in wheelchair) have picked up several awards for their work to revive Avon roach stocks.

Heroes – Trevor Harrop (right) and Budgie Price (in wheelchair) have picked up several awards for their wonderful work to revive Avon roach stocks.

As Angler’s Mail has reported, some impressive Avon roach catches have been made in recent years.

It’s quite probably as a result of work by Trevor Harrop and Budgie Price. Notable fish include three-pounders to vastly experienced roach anglers Mark Everard and Charlie Kemmett.

But on a national scene, many anglers say stocks of roach are well below what they would expect. John Bailey has led calls for action before its too late to save those affected rivers.

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