Where to go?

Recommendations etc.

Re: Where to go?

Postby Flyfisher » 11 Dec 2013 21:47

I returned to BA a couple of years ago after becoming a little bored with fluff chucking on our overstocked reservoirs. Too many anglers these days expect to have instant success, whether it be fishing for trout or enormous carp.
I soon realized however,that things on the BA were not the same as I remember 20 years ago and I started asking questions regarding the reasons for the apparent decline in barbel stocks. Most anglers that I have spoken to seem to think that the otters are the main factor and there may be some truth in this. So my question is what will these ravenous animals have to eat when all the barbel and chub have gone?
The answer of course is that over time, a natural balance will be achieved where hopefully the remaining fish will be sufficient to maintain a breeding stock as well as keeping a few cute looking otters happy. If this is not achieved let us hope some forward thinking club or the EA will embark on a restocking program for our future generation to enjoy.
Then of course, if the juvenile barbel are to survive we should also be concerned about other factors, such as climate change, with the extremes of weather that sometimes turn our rivers into vast polluted lakes. Incidentally , I haven't heard much about another unwelcome guest lately either. Have you all forgotten? Never underestimate the appetite of a cormorant. They used to eat sprats and that sort of thing but who doesn't like fish and chips? Maybe our liking for fish and chips is about as much to do with the decline in barbel as the otter. I know I might be raving nuts but please read on. Cormorants regularly eat a 2 lb trout for breakfast on Chew Valley lake and there are hundreds of these highly mobile flying dustbins there. You don't see too many cormorants on the BA these days. These birds have already sorted out the silver fish in our rivers and have an easier time of it where our local reservoirs are constantly being restocked. I did however, noticed a few on the Wye yesterday. So watch out for an aerial attack if you are a roach or dace or even a young barbel.
In my opinion, for a wild fish such as a barbel to reach maturity it will always be a bit of a lottery. Maybe we are now experiencing just a dip in the cycle. This may or may not be due to otters it is just as likely that the successful year class have recently declined due to old age.
For those interested in these questions there was an article by John Bailey in last weeks Anglers Mail.
Flyfisher
 
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Re: Where to go?

Postby J50NHR » 11 Dec 2013 22:20

Think i must be by the sound of it. :x think a looooong winter walk is due this weekend then. Find these nice quiet places i crave. :( anyone have any advice etc PM me. But i am more than happy to wonder slowly down the river looking. Shame i dont have the knowledge on the BA(yet) as i have for the Carp fishing. But thats the whole point. Expect the unexpected. :)
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Re: Where to go?

Postby runhunt » 12 Dec 2013 20:28

hi, sadly the ba has its fair share of cormorants, i always see them at avoncliff, and counted 7 on the frome last year ( albeit flying past) indeed there is a dead tree at the cliff called the cormorant tree, so they are there, damn things :cry:
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Re: Where to go?

Postby gruffergreen » 15 Dec 2013 18:35

Hi Flyfisher etc, I agree absolutely with you regards the cormorants, I remember fishing Grafham water a few years ago and seeing some of the trees around the lake black with cormorants, bloody frightening especially at the time no control could be undertaken against these predators. Going back to my original conclusions it may also be that our fish on the Avon may just have reached prime numbers and declined naturally, this followed by declining angler numbers because of the dip, could result in slow stock regeneration, although I freely admit this is just speculation. My concern is have the EA done anything about this situation, has any studies been carried out in order the ascertain reasons for the decline? After all what would the EA do on a sharp fall in license fee income if angler all simply didnt renew, I am willing to bet you could hear the slap of tightening buttocks from here to whitehall. River conditions and consequently stock numbers indicating river quality is surely the responsibility of the EA, or am I wrong, and if I am why do I pay a license fee?
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