River experts to grow a British record

Plans to create a breeding pool to produce the record-breaking fish of the future have been revealed.
Thousands of juvenile fish are released into our rivers each year but it is uncertain how many of them actually make it to adulthood, with predation and flooding hitting these stocks hard.
To combat this, officials on the River Lea in Hertfordshire have stepped in with a forward-thinking idea to help boost the future angling potential of the waterway, and have announced their intention to build a specialised breeding pond that will replicate river conditions and grow on big chub and barbel.
Man behind the scheme, Kings Weir Fishery owner Andrew Tredgett, told Angling Times: “Our stretch of river is renowned for chub to over 9lb and barbel to 16lb, but unless action is taken now the river could become devoid of big fish in the future.
“The Environment Agency stocks fish every winter but a good proportion of them are unlikely to survive through to adulthood. I believe urgent action is needed to boost the numbers of mature fish in the river.”
“The pool we are creating will have pumps to move water and a waterfall to replicate a weir, so when the fish are finally released into the river they will be used to the conditions. I plan to rear chub and barbel to around 2lb. We want fish of all sizes in the river but this scheme could grow the record fish of the future,” he added.
The idea was sparked by the Avon Roach Project, a group that has helped silverfish shoals in the Hampshire Avon flourish. Eggs are taken from the river, and the fish are grown on to a suitable size before release – and the Avon is now home to thousands of quality roach. Scheme co-ordinator Trevor Harrop sees no reason why the concept cannot be rolled out to other species, saying: “The Avon Roach Project has been a big success and I believe a similar scheme can help rejuvenate stocks of other species.
“Hats off to anyone who starts a project like this to ensure the future is bright for anglers.”