Survey discovers shock specimens in Grand Union Canal

One of the largest populations of specimen fish ever found in a stretch of UK canal has been discovered.

Vast bream shoals boasting fish to 12lb 12oz, chub over 6lb, huge numbers of carp to 28lb, 20lb-plus pike and perch over 3lb were found when the Canal & River Trust (CRT) carried out an electrofishing operation on a stretch of the Grand Union Canal.

The survey took place at Maple Cross, near Harefield in London, which is controlled by Blenheim Angling Society and it wasn’t just the size of the fish that has stunned fishery experts, but also the numbers, as the survey uncovered well over 200 bream and 50 carp.

A healthy stock of barbel was also discovered in the stretch that was surveyed by MEM Fisheries and the news further proves the specimen potential of canals across the nation.

“This is an incredible find and what’s even more encouraging is that this is probably only around 30 per cent of what’s actually in this stretch,” said Carl Nicholls, Fisheries and Angling manager for the Canal & River Trust. “Many anglers still underestimate canals and think they’re just about small silver fish - this just goes to show that this certainly isn’t the case.”

There is a growing number of anglers that have already realised the specimen potential of the nation’s canals. One of those is Fox-backed specialist Dan Sales, who is delighted by the news and hopes it inspires more big-fish hunters to set their sights on their local ‘cut’.

“It’s crazy, I see commercial fisheries packed out and then I’ll walk for two-miles on a canal without seeing another angler, yet I’m catching perch to over 4lb,” Dan told Angling Times. “This is an incredible spread of species of specimen fish and anyone who reads this story and doesn’t feel an urge to go and give a canal a go must be mad.”

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