ANGLERS WELCOME HALFWAY WEIGH-IN
Fish welfare is paramount, says boss of Westwood Lakes
THE boss of a top commercial is calling on other fisheries to follow his lead and introduce a controversial new rule aimed at boosting fish welfare.
Soaring temperatures have left stocks at their most vulnerable in recent weeks, and Westwood Lakes owner Alan Coupland has now stepped in to make sure stocks at the Lincolnshire complex remain healthy this summer.
In order to minimise the amount of time that fish spend in keepnets during matches, he has insisted anglers perform a weigh-in halfway through each contest staged in the warmer months.
It had been suggested that the move could risk upsetting visitors, forcing them to look elsewhere, but Alan has been delighted by the support he has received. He told Angling Times: “We have spent thousands of pounds on stocks over the years and I am not willing to risk their welfare by having them crammed in nets for five hours at a time when water temperatures are so high.
“We have had huge weights to well over 250lb recently. Holding a weigh-in at the halfway point and then at the end is the best way to ensure the fish are in nets for just a short spell.
“The vast majority of anglers have been fantastic and are fully supportive of the new rule. As for those few that don’t agree with what we are doing, well, they are more than welcome to take their custom elsewhere,” he added.
“Fish welfare is paramount to us and I can see other fisheries introducing a halfway weigh-in this summer.”
Other fisheries have already shown an interest in adopting a similar policy. Angel of the North Lakes owner Ann Adlington said: “I think it’s a great idea and something we will certainly look into. We take fish welfare very seriously, and along with measures such as installing aerators and controlling what baits are allowed, this is another clever way of safeguarding their health.”