One of the UK’s biggest angling clubs has won a victory for the sport this week after forcing British Waterways to vow it will never again cull pike on its canals.
The assurance was made by the former Government body – responsible for over 2,200 miles of Britain’s canals and rivers – after the Pike Anglers’ Club of Great Britain used Freedom of Information laws to investigate a large-scale cull of the species carried out by BW on a stretch of a Midlands canal.
The PAC found that over 150 pike to 18lb had been killed on the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal near Minworth – a cull which, according to information gathered, was easily avoidable.
“A BW survey revealed ‘significant numbers’ of pike in the canal, but instead of seeking expert advice it electrofished and all the pike removed had to be killed by law.
“There had been no health check made and no Section 30 put in place so the pike couldn’t be moved to another water,” a PAC spokesperson told Angling Times.
“In the PAC’s opinion, British Waterways just slaughtered the fish in an unacceptable knee-jerk reaction. Luckily we have reached a positive outcome with British Waterways.”
BW national fisheries manager John Ellis said: “Since the incident, British Waterways has come to an arrangement with a private fishery whereby it is willing to accept any pike in the event of there being a need to relocate them.