Environment Agency officers working on the River Tyne had a big surprise recently when they caught an impressive specimen of chub in their fish trap at Riding Mill, near Hexham.

Measuring 54cm in length and weighing in at an impressive 6lbs, the fish is one of the largest recorded from the River Tyne.

Ecological Appraisal Officer Niall Cook said: “Our fish trap is set up to monitor salmon and sea trout stocks, as part of the impact assessment for the second Tyne Tunnel development, which is being funded by the Tyne & Wear Passenger Transport Authority. However, coarse fish are also caught, as well as unusual species such as sea lamprey.”

“The capture of this large chub is yet another indication of how well stocks of coarse fish in the Tyne are doing nowadays. It also hints at the presence of much larger chub in the river that could perhaps rival the specimens of over 8lb caught on the River Wear in past seasons.

“By taking a sample of scales from the fish and looking at growth rings through a microscope we were able to tell that the fish was at least 13 or 14 years old.”

The British record for a chub is a fish of 9lb 5oz caught by Andy Maker from an undisclosed stillwater in 2007.

All fish caught in the Riding Mill fish trap are returned unharmed to the water once they have been scientifically sampled.

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