Thames record barbel
Real issues to tackle
I WRITE in support of John Bailey’s ‘river roach issue’. It is obvious and well known that our rivers, especially the smaller ones, are in serious decline, especially with reference to roach.
Cormorants are a common sight, seen daily. They are an incredibly efficient predator that has harvested the roach (their main target) in so many of our rivers. A REALISTIC cull of these birds is required.
Other issues include:
• Signal crayfish. Apart from eating fish eggs, they also drastically deplete the natural food of our native fish. They, like cormorants, have reached plaque levels!
• Otters. Yes, furry creatures to the public, but they are actually an apex predator that eat our remaining fish. They were released with little or no consultation.
• Pollutants. These include chemicals (pesticides, fertilizer, etc) that farmers and industry use and which end up in rivers.
• Abstraction, When did a water company last build a reservoir? 50 years ago? I believe that the water companies are most interested in their profits and share price. How many of our water companies are now owned by foreign companies? Possibly most of them?
The above list of problems is just the tip of the iceberg. We are told that the Thames is cleaner than ever – maybe it is more sterile than ever?
The EA and DEFRA are Government departments. They do, in effect, what they are told by our politicians – how is that independent? We need a truly independent authority to police our environment!
Peter Gibbins, via email. I SAW your article last week about Simon Cook’s Thames record barbel of 20 lb 2 oz. I just wanted to say that my friend Ron Phillips caught this fish at 20 lb 9 oz in March from the Thames.
Feltham, West London.
News editor Thomas Petch: thanks for letting us know, Ian. We’ll let the Thames Anglers’ Conservancy know, as they keep the official fish records for the River Thames.