It's time to get tough on overstocking commercial carp waters

Steve Partner’s comments in last week’s AT made interesting and thought-provoking reading. As he says the concept of fishery managers enforcing rules based on fish welfare issues is warped when one looks at the degree of overstocking the poor fish have to endure in the first place.

As in trout fishing in commercial waters, we’ve put so many fish in and kept them so hungry we have to introduce rules making those fish harder to catch and if we don’t, work out how to keep them alive.

I hark back to my trip to The Glebe. Now here is a fishery where the fish welfare rules are in place to protect the fish – only recognised cyprinid-friendly baits, no tackle designed to bully fish is allowed and matches are carefully monitored. Of course it helps that only members can fish except on a few occasions based on charity or corporate events – those members have the interests of their investment in a ticket at heart in the same way that Roy Marlow has in his investment.

The Glebe is also one of the very few fisheries that removes fish each year; usually small bream in the 3oz-6oz category. The extra breathing space keeps the larger fish happy and, as Roy says: “Happy fish are hungry fish.”

There are hundreds of fisheries that never have a net run through them to ascertain stocks. They may well be full of fish that don’t get caught but these use up oxygen and space that precludes the quality of sport that anglers enjoy at The Glebe.

I maintain that no-one should be allowed to operate a fishery without fishery management qualifications. It would make angling better and help stop Steve having to write pieces like that one last week.