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Fish theft, again.

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Apologies if this is off topic, but I find it incredible that in these reports clueless immigrants always kill and eat fish few of us competent anglers could hope to catch. I can't help but see it as tabloid sensationalism of the worst kind.

And just because someone is of a certain 'hue' does not mean they can't speak English.

Sorry; carry on.

And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music

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Bob, I'm not in the industry, I studied otoliths for my PhD. The science is pretty well understood.


I shouldn't think that the majority of wild-caught fish in river systems are farm-reared, though that may well be the case in a commercial stillwater. I don't think you could use otolith examination to realistically police the problem, but you could use it to establish the extent of it. You could then use marking techniques within a legislative framework to police it.


Although you could establish certain things by looking at otoliths, such as finding that the patterns of fast and slow growth matched those of wild fish rather than those of reared fish, or that the trace element composition of the otoliths matched that of fish found in the Broads and not that of the fish from the hatchery they claim to be from, you might have trouble making it stick in court. On the other hand, if by these techniques you established that there was a serious problem you could introduce legislation prohibiting the sale of wild-caught freshwater deadbaits and require that all deadbaits sold have chemically or stress marked otoliths.


Personally I'm sceptical that there is enough of a problem to justify the costs of such a scheme (both in terms of the costs to the hatcheries and of enforcement costs), but if there is serious worry about the scale of this it should probably be investigated.


My gut feeling is that the market for dodgy deadbaits is not large enough to make any significant dent in the bait fish populations.

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You said you were'nt blaming predator anglers for the demise of the stocks on the broads but after reading your last post it's quite obvious you are.


If all of Norfolks predator anglers gathered on mass on the Thurne and were able to obtain for free all the baits they could use in a six month period( 6 month as thats about the maximum any bait would be frozen for use for pike bait) they still would'nt be able to remove the numbers of roach from the river that you intimate are disapearing. I think you need another scape goat

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Reckon all the insideous anti piker propaganda being put out by Webster & Wigg is getting to you Bob!


To be honest I don't doubt that something is going on but, because of the above activities, there are some who poo-poo any claims of fish netting for the pike bait trade. A case of cry wolf cry. As I have said, I would look elsewhere.


I had a natter with the boys at Beccles yesterday, seems that their deabait sales to pikers works out at about 40% freshwater species and 60% sea. The 40% isn't just roach either.


Bob, I accept that something untoward is going on. May I respectively suggest that you put all your evidence and thoughts down on paper and address them to the Environment Agency, Attention of Julia Stanstead, Anglian Region Eastern Area, Norwich Catchment Office, 79 Thorpe Road, Norwich, Norfolk, NR1 1EW. Ask Julia to present it to the next meeting of the Broads Angling Strategy Group. She's a cracking girl and I'm sure she will ensure that the matter comes up in her report. Basically she is duty bound to report it.

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Good Morning Peter, perhaps this will better explain what I think should happen for the future of our natural fish stocks, it is not aimed soley at Predator anglers, but instead ,at ALL individuals that are too short sighted to see the consequences of their selfish actions;


The National Association of Fisheries and Angling Consultatives, (NAFAC) is supporting a proposal being put forward by the Upper Ouse Fisheries Consultative Association, (UOFCA), which seeks a change in Environment Agency bylaws to make the unauthorised removal of fish from rivers, drains, canals, and still waters illegal.


In a memorandum to member clubs and other interested parties, UOFCA point out that under current bylaws in the Anglian, and some other regions, the Environment Agency are powerless to get involved with fish removal in many instances, because current bylaws allow the removal of up to two fish without approval.


As a result UOFCA are asking other Consultatives, clubs and individual anglers to write to the Environment Agency seeking a change to the law to enable the unauthorised removal of fish to become a criminal offence.


UOFCA Chairman Trevor Johnson said, ‘The time to write to the Agency is now, because they, together with Defra, are currently reviewing the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act which is the foundation upon which regional bylaws are based’


Terry Mansbridge, NAFAC’s Executive Chairman, commented, “NAFAC support UOFCA’s appeal because there are problems in some parts of the country with fish either being taken to illegally restock elsewhere or for the table. This is an ideal opportunity to tighten up the regulations”


Anyone wishing to support a change in bylaws should write to,




Mr. A Taylor,


Environment Agency National Fisheries Policy and Process Manager.


Rio House,


Waterside Drive,


Aztec West,






BS32 4UD


Regards Bob.

I am a match angler .....not an anti-Christ!!!]

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If fish are being stolen for stocking bagging waters then tankers will be required to shift 'em. Their weight will funny chew up the mud around the Potter boats sheds.


If they are being stolen for predator baits then, well, to be perfectly blunt, I don't reckon the retail price makes the effort worthwhile.


However, who has nets, not much to do in the winter, and uses dead fish as bait?

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I think Bob that with this last post of yours , you've managed to destroy any last scrap of credibility your argument had. First post of yours says you don't blame predator anglers for fish thefts and now you do, well I'm glad you've come out of the closet as far as substance to any theory goes.


Do you realise how few coarse baits a predator angler actually needs or uses during a session fishing for pike or zander. If no runs are forthcoming then they might only use 4 or 6 baits in a full day, now if you are to be believed over how many fish are supposidly stolen by pikers for bait, you must realise that it is an impossibility to use that number of baits over a six month period, not only that but how many chest freezers would be needed to store and freeze the quantities that you talk about.


Do us all a favour and carry out an experiment of your own. Go to the said boatyards under darkness and see how many roach you can scoop out with a specimen sized landing net and see how difficult it really is with water resistance, the bending of the net arms and the short reach of the net handle and then come back with an honest appraisale of your nights endevours

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My reference to nets did not include an angler's landing net. I have to say, Bob, that I find that your suggestion is a tad far fetched. To remove the amount of fish that it has been suggested are being stolen would need rather more than a landing net.


As kids we used to catch livebait by using either a drop net or a cast net, neither of which could be used in the Potter boatsheds, and we had to work some to get the 100 baits that the local tackle shop wanted from us.


Re Potter, unless pike anglers have four paws then I don't think it is them! Re other waters, yes, I am prepared to accept that there is removal. It could be to provide bait for the pike anglers, it could be to top up bagging waters where the match boy's keepnets have taken their toll, it could be to provide bait for crab pots. But so far, from either of us, its pure guess work. We need something that can be substantiated.

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Aas an ex commercial fisherman who used to spend the majority of the year potting for crab and lobster, the very last bait I would use would be a freshwater dead. It would be a complete and utter waste of time and effort.


To haul bait and shoot 300 odd pots is quite a considerable effort for a small working boat and constitutes a full working day, now why would anyone want to compromise a days pay and waste all that effort with bait that does'nt work. Think that potters stealing fresh water fish for crab bait is a theory thats going down a dead end. I do suspect that if there is any theft of fish then its likely to be for live fish for restocking purposes rather than any other as the price that dead fish would fetch would be so small in relation to live fish that have some commercial retail value that it would make sense to keep your stolen fish alive and pocket much more in the way of illicit cash

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