Maggot Times - July 2003
Trevor Price (Ton Up Baits) Rocked the current UK/European Record (417lb) and nudged the World Record with a new Match Record for Rolfs Lake of 403lb 12oz from Peg 24 - but that is only the start of the story!
Environment Agency Ecological Appraisal Officers in Sussex have identified the rare Blue-Green algae (Cyanobacteria), named Arthrospira, in a sample from a pond in West Sussex. This is the very first confirmed record of the algae in the UK. Sean Ashworth, Area Ecological Team Specialist, said: "We don’t know how this algae found its way to Sussex, as it usually occurs in warmer climates than those in the UK. However, with global warming and increasingly hotter summers it is likely we may see more of this algae appearing in our waters."
Blue-Green algal blooms are common in warm weather especially in nutrient rich (eutrophic) waterbodies such as ponds. If a watercourse looks bright blue-green then members of the public should contact the Environment Agency on 0800 807060, so that a water sample can be taken and analysed.
When the algae is viewed under a microscope the Agency’s Area Ecological Appraisal Officers can easily identify whether an algal bloom is as a result of Blue-Green algae. Although not all species are harmful the Agency adopts a precautionary approach and considers all Blue-Green algae blooms to be potentially toxic.
If a waterbody is found to have a Blue-Green algal bloom then all contact with the water, such as swallowing it or swimming in it, should be avoided. Pets and livestock should also be prevented from drinking the water.
Date: 7 August 2003 Time: 10am to 4pm Event: 120 children to learn about angling at Young Anglers’ Day Location: Passies Pond, Lancing in West Sussex
The Environment Agency is urging youngsters to "give fishing a go" at a Young Anglers’ Day this Thursday (7th August) at Passies Pond in Lancing.
At the free one-day event the Agency will encourage children to learn more about the nation’s favourite pastime as well as giving good practical advice on bank-side health and safety, security issues, fish welfare, caring for the environment and the rod licensing system.
Funds raised from the licence fee scheme allow the Agency to continue its work in restoring fisheries, restocking rivers and improving the riverside habitat. Additionally the monies enable the Environment Agency to run angling days to introduce children to the sport and to provide increased fishing opportunities for the young.
Jason Lavender, Environment Agency Area Fisheries, Recreation and Biodiversity Team Leader, said, "The day represents a fantastic opportunity to introduce children to angling and caring for the environment.
"We will also be able to explain to the children how funds generated from the sale of rod licences are used and why they are essential to the future of fisheries management and improvement. My team is looking forward to a very challenging and highly rewarding day."
Environment Agency staff will be on hand to offer advice on how to catch the one that doesn’t get away. Also, there’s no need to rush out and buy a rod and reel, as all equipment will be provided. Additionally it will not be necessary to purchase a rod fishing licence either, as the Agency has issued a blanket licence for the day.
Passies Pond is located approximately two miles north of Lancing on the Coombes Road (Sussex Pad Hotel turn off from the A27).
Fish all over North Yorkshire will be stunned this summer during a survey to assess their health. Specially trained Agency officers will use electro-fishing techniques to stun fish so that they can be counted and measured before being returned to the water. A current is passed through the water to temporarily knock the fish out so that they can be handled without causing them any distress. Electro-fishing also allows Agency staff to remove a small number of scales from each fish, which will give an indication of their age and growth rates. Agency officers will be operating from boats as well as from river banks to conduct the surveys on all the main areas in the region including the Swale, Ure, Wharfe, Nidd, Ouse, Derwent, Esk and Tees. Nets will also be used to catch fish during the survey. Most species of river fish will be surveyed, including salmon, trout, grayling, dace, barbel, chub and pike. Environmental Appraisal Team Leader for the Agency, Richard Jenkins said: "These annual surveys give us vital information, enabling us to assess the current status of fish stocks and identify any changes in populations that may have occurred over recent years. "It is also invaluable for putting together future action plans for improving the local environment."
THE Yorkshire carp record has been beaten by a near 50lb common known as Sally.
The fish came from Walsh’s Dam in West Yorkshire and was landed by Peter Johnson, who comes from Thurnscoe in South Yorkshire. The 47-year-old caught the same fish in May 2002 at 48lb 4oz. This time the fish fell for a boilie concocted from Nutrabaits flavours and Granite Hardener, popped up on a size 6 Nailer hook at 40 yards over a bed of free offerings.
IN the second incident of its kind this year, the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) and the Environment Agency have confirmed the presence of Spring Viraemia of Carp (SVC) in a batch of fish. Now the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has issued an order preventing the movement of fish to or from the site at Staunton Court Fishery, Gloucestershire. The previous case this year was also in the Agency’s Midlands region.
Nigel Hewlett, Senior Scientist at the Agency’s National Fisheries Laboratory said: "We’re very concerned about the threat posed to carp fisheries by this potentially devastating disease. SVC can decimate carp populations in a very short space of time. It is important that fishery owners and anglers act responsibly to prevent the spread of the virus. "The National Fisheries Laboratory has been contacted by a number of fishery owners in the Midlands who are very worried about SVC reaching their sites. "We are giving them advice on how to protect their fisheries, but we also need anglers to be aware of the risks of transferring the virus and the damage it can cause to a fishery. "Outbreaks of the disease can devastate carp fisheries. Past cases have killed up to 80 per cent of carp populations in some waters. This has a huge impact, both in terms of the quality of fishing and to the business of many fishery owners. "An outbreak of SVC in 1988 affected 37 fisheries costing businesses millions in terms of lost fish and lost revenue."
A virus that mainly targets carp and their variants causes the disease. But it can also infect roach, tench, rudd, goldfish, pike and wels catfish. It is primarily spread by the introduction of infected fish but it is also possible that anglers could carry the virus on wet nets or their boots.
Nigel Hewlett added: "There is no reason why anglers should not fish affected waters, but they should ensure that they follow on-site rules and respect the rules on disinfecting nets placed by other fisheries. Anglers can help to control the spread of the virus by ensuring that all nets and other tackle are thoroughly dried, ideally in bright sunlight, before fishing another water." Infected fisheries are subject to Designated Area Orders, placed on them by Defra. Under these orders they are prevented from moving any fish on or off site. They are usually in place for a minimum of three years. Fishery owners should always report fish mortalities on their waters. As well as investigating possible disease, Agency officers can provide advice on preventing problems in the future.
Anyone finding dead, dying or distressed fish in their waters should contact the Agency immediately. The emergency hotline is 0800 80 70 60.
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