Keith Arthur - stillwater barbel and chub will never break records

I see that some people are speculating that chub and barbel, now being stocked into commercial stillwaters as carp continue to perish thanks to KHV, may be providing record-sized fish in the future. Logic tells me there is more chance of me taking a holiday on Venus.

We’re not talking about low-stocked waters where fast-growing strains of fish are fed on high-protein diets if anglers don’t oblige sufficiently, but match/pleasure type waters with high stock densities where even ‘pigs with fins’ don’t get to anywhere close to record sizes.

There is little doubt, and some evidence, that fish have shorter lives in commercial fisheries ¬ even low-stock ‘specimen’ waters ¬ than in rivers or natural lakes, even semi-natural lakes such as gravel pits where an individual eco-system develops.

Commercial fisheries have been part of the scenery for more than 20 years now and, perch apart, have yet to provide anything like a record fish of any species. If I recall, some very big ¬ and controversial - barbel were stocked into Makins when it first opened.

There were doubts as to the source of supply, although I think they had Brummie accents, and if the speculation had any basis they would have gained even more weight and be massive by now. If they are still there, they have also gained invisibility.

So, will there be record chub and barbel grown on in commercial fisheries?
No is the simple answer. That isn’t to say that, like carp, some enterprising fishery owner doesn’t stock a few and fatten them up with pellets in a private syndicate.

Some people will go to any lengths...