An Angling Times investigation into the prospect of creating ‘put-and-take’ carp waters to alleviate the problem of illegal fish removals has been met with a mixed response from the fishing world this week.
The idea – first suggested by AT columnist Keith last week – would work along similar lines to the schemes already in place at trout fisheries, whereby paying anglers are allowed to take a limited number of fish home for the table.
Even though the bold idea has been widely endorsed by members of internet forums and Angling Times readers, some of the biggest and most influential names in the sport are divided on the subject.
While some support the opinion that put-and-take fisheries would remove the pressure from venues which are having their stocks illegally plundered, others fear that their creation would serve only to erode our fishing tradition.
“I think small put-and-take carp fisheries dotted around the country could help alleviate the heinous poaching being experienced at a growing number of fisheries,” said Chris Logsdon, fishery manager at Mid Kent Fisheries.
“Why not try a couple as a small pilot scheme to see how they work in areas of the country with the biggest problems? If they do make an impact, then the idea could perhaps be rolled out to other areas. Some people will rubbish the idea, but I think it’s great that the sport is thinking and debating different ways to combat the issue.”
However, Chris’s sentiments have not been echoed by a number of high-profile names from within the sport, among them angling legend John Wilson.
He said: “It saddens me to think that we’re going down this road to eradicate illegal fish theft. If the Environment Agency and Defra had any backbone at all there would already be laws in place to make the removal of stock from any fishery illegal. Then people wouldn’t have to make such ludicrous suggestions.”
Meanwhile, one of the sport’s most influential men at Government level, Labour MP and Parliamentary spokesman for angling Martin Salter can see both sides of the issue.
“If we created this type of water, we’d destroy our fishing culture and our heritage. On the face of it the creation of such fisheries might seem like a good idea, but when you look deeper there are too many problems to overcome,” said Martin.
“It’s not part of our culture to eat carp and to change all of that when the sport is fighting to try to make laws against the removal of fish just sends out too many mixed messages.”