The EA and the stocking of rivers.

black and silver

Well-known member
Points
18
The other night at my angling clubs AGM, it was mentioned that if the club gave up it's licence to restock the EA would not renew and don't isssue new licences.
Now i've been very critical about the EA and there stocking policy, to me sterile fish should not be allowed to be stocked, and these clubs that stock large 2llb plus fish into small rivers/streams want their head examining, anyway what is other people's thoughts on this, did they know about this and so on.

I should also point out the club i'm in only stocks one of it's streams with a very small number of fish, and are keen to keep there licence as a few years ago that little stream was wiped out by pollution, so they want to safe guard against a repeat, me personaly think it's better left to mother nature, and unless your stocking with breading fish, well it's pointless.

Ps, i want to say, well done the EA on this one.
 

eddleston123

Well-known member
Points
63
Location
Peebles, Scottish Borders
To a large extent stocking is carried out to satisfy the demands of club/association members.

Larger fish will take up the best lies and feeding spots, and can only be detrimental to wild fish.

No stocking. Leave well alone, nature will take care of itself.

There is a view however, that stocking is inevitable, due to the increased angling pressure of an overpopulated island.
A viewpoint I, and I hope that others would dismiss.




Douglas
 
Last edited:

Juneau

Well-known member
Points
18
Easy to dismiss in Scotland, but not so easy down in the South of England. It has been established that when a trout has been caught and returned 6 times it has become impossible to catch again. Given the upsurge in C & R this is a very likely scenario on a pressured chalkstream. The alternative with no stocking is that that fish will have been knocked on the head long before it gets to the 6 times & out stage so on both counts it becomes a loss to the fishery. Impossible to catch or dead - take your pick.

Natural recruitment, while highly desirable, will not fill the gaps which is something our forebears discovered. Stocking of rivers went on long before any of us were born. Chalk rivers are not good environments for recruitment despite having generally good gravels and good water quality. So introductions of hatchery fish are necessary if they are to perform as a trout fishery. Modern river keepers are generally very good at the habitat side of managing a fishery but there are limits to what they can achieve.

As far as black & silver's query goes in the club's shoes I would retain the movement order as is. It merely means that they CAN stock their river, it doesn't mean they HAVE to put in all the fish permitted. If they have a permit for 500 trout and only stock 50 this year then who is to say they won't need the 500 next year.
 

Paul_B

Well-known member
Points
63
Location
South Yorkshire
The EA have stocked my local river with viable fish over the last few years and from a dead river we now good fishing with the odd parr and brown trout, it'll be a few years before the trout are here in any volume, but its a start.
 

black and silver

Well-known member
Points
18
The EA have stocked my local river with viable fish over the last few years and from a dead river we now good fishing with the odd parr and brown trout, it'll be a few years before the trout are here in any volume, but its a start.
I'm assuming that vaiable fish are fish that arn't sterile, this i have no problem with, it's the fat over sized pellet fed sterile fish that don't belong in a natural enviroment that i can't stand.
I've dropped out of some supposedly very good clubs that control very sought after stretches of river because of thier stocking policies.
 

Paul_B

Well-known member
Points
63
Location
South Yorkshire
I'm assuming that vaiable fish are fish that arn't sterile, this i have no problem with, it's the fat over sized pellet fed sterile fish that don't belong in a natural enviroment that i can't stand.
I've dropped out of some supposedly very good clubs that control very sought after stretches of river because of thier stocking policies.
As well as trout and salmon they've stocked it with grayling and eels, this is after they saw how well their stocking of coarse fish have done :)
 

Bongoch

Well-known member
Points
18
Location
Bristol
Easy to dismiss in Scotland, but not so easy down in the South of England. It has been established that when a trout has been caught and returned 6 times it has become impossible to catch again. Given the upsurge in C & R this is a very likely scenario on a pressured chalkstream. The alternative with no stocking is that that fish will have been knocked on the head long before it gets to the 6 times & out stage so on both counts it becomes a loss to the fishery. Impossible to catch or dead - take your pick.

Natural recruitment, while highly desirable, will not fill the gaps which is something our forebears discovered. Stocking of rivers went on long before any of us were born. Chalk rivers are not good environments for recruitment despite having generally good gravels and good water quality. So introductions of hatchery fish are necessary if they are to perform as a trout fishery. Modern river keepers are generally very good at the habitat side of managing a fishery but there are limits to what they can achieve.

As far as black & silver's query goes in the club's shoes I would retain the movement order as is. It merely means that they CAN stock their river, it doesn't mean they HAVE to put in all the fish permitted. If they have a permit for 500 trout and only stock 50 this year then who is to say they won't need the 500 next year.

Could you provide a link to where this has been published as I'm genuinely interested in how this was established? I've read the Fish & Game studies which were done on the Roaring Lion river in NZ as to how long it takes a fish to return to its station after being caught and released but I've never seen any research concluding that a fish is impossible to catch after being caught and returned 6 times.
 

Juneau

Well-known member
Points
18
Could you provide a link to where this has been published as I'm genuinely interested in how this was established? I've read the Fish & Game studies which were done on the Roaring Lion river in NZ as to how long it takes a fish to return to its station after being caught and released but I've never seen any research concluding that a fish is impossible to catch after being caught and returned 6 times.
It was something I read from the USA quite a long time ago. If memory serves it was from rivers in Montana. I'll try to locate it, but it was several years ago. The 6 times and out thing definitely stuck in my mind.
 

ejw

Well-known member
Points
18
Location
Helsby, Cheshire
My local river in North Wales stocked for 90+ years, but 30+ years ago we were forward thinking and set about improving the habitat ? Stocking ceased 8 years ago. We now do not stock, have good quality fish and a bonus 20 years ago Grayling, mainly due to habitat improvements appeared and have thrived.
I used to work on an advisory panel to the EA and advised that stocking non breading Browns was a problem, especially as mentioned earlier, they take the best areas, eat a lot, as there is no breeding instinct and will drive off smaller native fish. A secondary high concern was where will future "Sea Trout" come from ?? There was no answer at that time.
While stocking must be available, due to possible "fish kills" the stocking of triploids should be avoided and overfishing should be managed. Commercial river fishing is bad practice and only encourages "extra" stocking, especially with larger fish.
Eddie
 

boisker

Well-known member
Points
48
Location
Devon
Easy to dismiss in Scotland, but not so easy down in the South of England. It has been established that when a trout has been caught and returned 6 times it has become impossible to catch again. Given the upsurge in C & R this is a very likely scenario on a pressured chalkstream. The alternative with no stocking is that that fish will have been knocked on the head long before it gets to the 6 times & out stage so on both counts it becomes a loss to the fishery. Impossible to catch or dead - take your pick.

Natural recruitment, while highly desirable, will not fill the gaps which is something our forebears discovered. Stocking of rivers went on long before any of us were born. Chalk rivers are not good environments for recruitment despite having generally good gravels and good water quality. So introductions of hatchery fish are necessary if they are to perform as a trout fishery. Modern river keepers are generally very good at the habitat side of managing a fishery but there are limits to what they can achieve.

As far as black & silver's query goes in the club's shoes I would retain the movement order as is. It merely means that they CAN stock their river, it doesn't mean they HAVE to put in all the fish permitted. If they have a permit for 500 trout and only stock 50 this year then who is to say they won't need the 500 next year.
“...It has been established that when a trout has been caught and returned 6 times it has become impossible to catch again....” established by who exactly?
is the implication from this that trout are super-sensitive or intelligent? Not my experience, I caught the same trout twice in the space of 30 mins last summer when fishing the same run... I caught it again a few days later... which is unlucky for other club members as I‘d used Up 50% of its ‘catch availability’ 😂
trout on regularly fished C&R undoubtedly become more picky (or probably do), but ‘impossible to catch’.... rubbish!
 
Last edited:

thetrouttickler

Well-known member
Points
38
Location
Sussex
I know of a book from the 1700s which says my local river was crammed with trout. There are no trout in the upper reaches today, I am told. It looks trouty. Many of the upper tribs are dammed so access by sea trout found downstream is impossible. Would the EA consider stocking fertile trout to establish a population where there is historical precedent?
 

diawl bach

Well-known member
Points
83
Maybe it's a reference to the odds of fish survival following release.

I've seen some pretty awful fish handling over the years and wondered what chance of survival the fish might have, for example, after being placed on dry stones for a portrait while the captor fumbles with phone or camera settings.

This could support the view that it's impossible to hook after 6 releases, there's some likelihood that it'll be dead after the first one.

 

silver creek

Well-known member
Points
18
Maybe it's a reference to the odds of fish survival following release.

I've seen some pretty awful fish handling over the years and wondered what chance of survival the fish might have, for example, after being placed on dry stones for a portrait while the captor fumbles with phone or camera settings.

This could support the view that it's impossible to hook after 6 releases, there's some likelihood that it'll be dead after the first one.

Catch and release has a mortality rate of about 4%. So 6 catch and releases is a cumulative mortality of about 25%. This is hardly close to 100%.

Here is a summary article from the Henry's Fork Foundation in the USA. The Henry's Fork is a premier fishery in Idaho.


Even if barbed hooks are used, there is little difference in C&R Mortality .

Here is the best scientific study of barbed vs barbless hooks. See pg. 72 of the Wild Trout VI Symposium. Needless to say, only the most rigorously peer reviewed and important articles are chosen for the Wild Trout Symposium. The Wild Trout Symposium is the premier annual scientific meeting of trout fisheries biologists in the USA and possibly the world.

http://www.wildtroutsymposium.com/proceedings-6.pdf

Here is the full article from the Idaho Fisheries Dept:

https://collaboration.idfg.idaho.gov/FisheriesTechnicalReports/Res-Schill1997 Barbed Hook Restrictions in Catch-and-Release Trout Fisheries--A Social Issue.pdf

The abstract from the North American Journal of Fisheries Management Volume 17, Issue 4, 1997 is here:
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1577/1548-8675(1997)017<0873:BHRICA>2.3.CO;2

Barbed Hook Restrictions in Catch-and-Release Trout Fisheries: A Social Issue: by Schill and Scarpella

"For flies and lures combined, mean hooking mortality was 4.5% for barbed hooks and 4.2% for barbless hooks. Combination of test statistics from individual studies by gear type via meta-analysis yielded nonsignificant results for barbed versus barbless flies, lures, or flies and lures combined. We conclude that the use of barbed or barbless flies or lures plays no role in subsequent mortality of trout caught and released by anglers. Because natural mortality rates for wild trout in streams commonly range from 30% to 65% annually, a 0.3% mean difference in hooking mortality for the two hook types is irrelevant at the population level, even when fish are subjected to repeated capture. Based on existing mortality studies, there is no biological basis for barbed hook restrictions in artificial fly and lure fisheries for resident trout. Restricting barbed hooks appears to be a social issue."

The USA's best trout researcher, Robert Behnke, recently passed away in 2013. Midcurrent Magazine called him, “one of the world’s foremost authorities on trout and salmon species.” He has written many times on barbless vs barbed hooks and his own research shows from a fish mortality standpoint, there is no advantage of barbless hooks over barbed hooks.

Dr. Trout, RIP: Robert Behnke, 1929-2013 | Trout Unlimited - Conserving coldwater fisheries

Dr. Robert Behnke: A Life With Trout | MidCurrent

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_J._Behnke

"Dr. Robert J. Behnke (December 30, 1929 – September 13, 2013) was an American fisheries biologist and conservationist who was recognized as a world authority on the classification of salmonid fishes.[3] He was popularly known as "Dr. Trout" or "The Trout Doctor".[4] His seminal work, Trout and Salmon of North America, was published in 2002. He wrote a regular column for Trout Magazine, the quarterly publication of Trout Unlimited. He was a fisheries biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the Colorado Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and a professor at Colorado State University in the 1970s. He became a Professor Emeritus at the Department of Fishery and Wildlife Biology at Colorado State University.[5]"

From About Trout: The Best of Robert Behnke from Trout Magazine

*By Robert J. Behnke, PhD

https://www.amazon.com/About-Trout-Robert-Behnke-Magazine/dp/159921203X

“The fisheries research studies in Yellowstone Park have also helped to dispel some long-established beliefs. Contrary to popular opinion, it is not necessary to restrict catch- and-release fisheries to barb-less flies only. A large proportion of Yellowstone anglers have only casual interest in fishing and are not highly skilled or experienced. Many use large treble hook lures. The trout they catch are frequently left flopping on the bank while a camera is dug out and photos taken. Yet survival of the released trout is exceedingly high (99.7 per cent) based on the 1981 study. Most all detailed comparative studies on hooking mortality have demonstrated no significant differences in mortality between trout caught on single, treble, barbed or barbless hooks.
 

ejw

Well-known member
Points
18
Location
Helsby, Cheshire
Reading the last article, one has to ask WHY barbless then. Is it just a manufactures way of getting a new income ? If there is no significant mortality issue can we have our old barbed hooks back then ?
Eddie
 

Juneau

Well-known member
Points
18
How do people think trout got into some remote loch in the ar*e end of nowhere? Not on the feet of ducks, that's for sure. It happened because some bewhiskered Victorian gent badgered some poor local to cart a container full of fingerling browns up there on his back. Are the fish that are there now truly wild, or just the progeny of stockies?

How about New Zealand? One of trout fishing's meccas? How did those trout get there in the first place? They were brought over from the USA in the case of rainbows and from the UK in the case of the browns. How they kept the ova viable beats me, but they did.

Trout of both species have been moved around the world to waters large and small, flowing and still. Bit late to start wondering about shoving the toothpaste back into the tube.
 

boisker

Well-known member
Points
48
Location
Devon
How do people think trout got into some remote loch in the ar*e end of nowhere? Not on the feet of ducks, that's for sure. It happened because some bewhiskered Victorian gent badgered some poor local to cart a container full of fingerling browns up there on his back. Are the fish that are there now truly wild, or just the progeny of stockies?

How about New Zealand? One of trout fishing's meccas? How did those trout get there in the first place? They were brought over from the USA in the case of rainbows and from the UK in the case of the browns. How they kept the ova viable beats me, but they did.

Trout of both species have been moved around the world to waters large and small, flowing and still. Bit late to start wondering about shoving the toothpaste back into the tube.
not sure what point you’re making... stocking on an annual basis, from fish farms using considerably larger stockies than the average sized trout the river naturally holds has nothing to do with introducing stock fish decades ago into a river and leaving them to get on with it... take the oreti river in SI NZ, the trout were introduced years ago but it isn’t stocked annually. Just happens the trout loved it and grow to a large size in lower numbers than would be found in a U.K. river; many generations later they would be considered wild fish... but not native. Brown trout introduced annually into say a Dartmoor river from a hatchery would still be stocked fish, but native.
stocking rivers that already hold wild trout impacts on the wild inhabitants, increasing competition, reducing available food and reduces the average size of the wild population... but it makes anglers happy.
That’s the crux of it... ‘happy anglers’ with impacted wild fish populations or ‘happy wild fish’...:unsure:
 

Secret Angler

Well-known member
Points
48
Location
London
Quite a few clubs in the South are slowly moving to C&R wild fisheries. Anglers are becoming more interested in fishing for wild fish rather than knocking a few stockies on the head.
 

Latest posts

Top