Mon­ster cat-ch

Canal Boat - - News -

WHILE IT WASN’T Nessie hid­ing in the depths, mon­sters have been dis­cov­ered lurk­ing in the Grand Union Canal. Two huge cat­fish (one weigh­ing nearly 20kg), more com­monly as­so­ci­ated with the rivers in north­ern Europe, have been hauled out of the canal at Soul­bury Locks in Buck­ing­hamshire.

The non-na­tive cat­fish, so called be­cause of their prom­i­nent bar­bels which re­sem­ble a cat’s whiskers, were caught by the Canal & River Trust as it car­ried out a fish pop­u­la­tion sur­vey along this part of the wa­ter­way.

“It is not cer­tain how the two cat­fish came to be in the canal al­though it is likely that some­one has il­le­gally dumped them af­ter find­ing that a small pet cat­fish has sim­ply out­grown its tank,” said John El­lis, CRT’s na­tional fish­eries and an­gling man­ager.

“Cat­fish are pow­er­ful fish and are hard to catch and have been known to oc­ca­sion­ally eat birds, small an­i­mals and non-na­tive cray­fish. Be­ing bot­tom feed­ers, most peo­ple would never see one while vis­it­ing the canal but, if you see a big fish swim­ming in the canal, it could be this mon­ster of the wa­ter­ways.”

Once re­moved, the cat­fish were re-homed to a much more suit­able lo­ca­tion. Visit canal­rivertrust.org.uk/en­joy-the-wa­ter­ways/fish­ing for pho­tos and info to help you iden­tify the fish found in our wa­ter­ways.

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