Questions are being asked about the harmful effects of luncheon meat on fish and water quality after two high profile UK fisheries banned anglers from using it.
Weston Pools in Oswestry, Shropshire has implemented a total ban on the product, while Lindholme Lakes near Doncaster, South Yorkshire has stopped the bait being fished in its open match competitions. Both fisheries say that excess use of high fat content brands, such as Plumrose, has jeopardised the health of their fish. Mike Philbin, owner of Weston Pools, revealed a scientific examination of his fish had confirmed this.
“Although they are healthy now they are still carrying a high amount of visceral fat, which can lead to stress and illness. It’s the same as the trout pellet bans which have been reported on in the past, where baits too high in fat caused problems. We can control, to a degree, that a healthy type of pellet is fed by ensuring our own are used, but the same cannot be said for meat so it has had to go. Good fishery management is about spotting issues before they arise and this is the case here,” he said.
Aaron Grantham, joint owner of Lindholme Lakes, told Angling Times that some of its open match anglers had been feeding up to 10 tins of meat in matches and fat could be seen on the surface at the end.
“We’ve done some research and discovered that it takes carp three days to digest meat but only a few hours to digest a standard coarse pellet. The waste from meat fat doesn’t get broken down naturally by bacteria like waste from pellets. We’ve invested a lot of money into fish stocks over the years so protecting the health of them is very important and next year we will probably ban meat completely,” he said.
One of the UK’s leading Fisheries Management Consultants, Dr Bruno Broughton, has seen the effects of excess luncheon meat on fishing lakes several times.
“In one client's three acre lake, I calculated that about 21,000 tins of meat were introduced in six months, which contained several tons of fat! The owner was losing large numbers of fish to bacterial infections, a consequence of the damage the fats had inflicted on their immune systems. Baits high in fats or oils are fine for coarse fish in modest amounts, but when used in excess they can lead to significant fish health problems and even deaths. Also when it’s disturbed, the contaminated silt bed of the lake releases huge slicks of oily fat,” he said.