Are barbel anglers extinct?

nottskev

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I don't disagree with what's been said. Aside from a particular section of Trent I fish occasionally, though, I'd say the barbel fishing itself has pretty well dried up, with fewer people interested, having anything to report or discuss. Over the last decade, one of the rivers I fished for barbel has gone from half a dozen fish on a summer evening being likely, to a capture every several trips being possible, but by no means guaranteed. Another - the Trent above Nottingham - has changed from a place where you might catch several in a day, to a place where fishing into dark in helpful conditions might get one but might well not. The fish, when you get one, may be older and bigger, but the ratio of catching to waiting is not everybody's cup of tea. Much as I used to enjoy barbel fishing, and I'd caught them on a good few rivers, it hardly occurs to me now to set out for them. The lack of barbel posts may be connected to changing styles or posting elsewhere, but the reason I've rarely got anything to say about them is that the fishing itself has changed so much.
 

flightliner

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I heard from a guy with EA connections that they won't be stocking the Trent anymore with Barbel but just let them find their own level. I see that as a situation where the numbers will drop dramatically which in turn will see a similar drop in Barbel anglers.
The fish present at the moment will get bigger but less, so how long it will be would be dependant on their age and time.
That of course all depends on wether my friends info is correct.
My take on currant populations is that numbers are'nt what they were in recant years overall , just a gut feeling , the river is still making headlines week on week and will I reckon continue for a long time but with, possibly, a diminishing number of fish in very specific bits of it -- Cromwell wier for example-- my total number of Barbel this year from the river is a grand total of one, a fish that nosed its way into a roach fishing day along with two from my Trent trib on flake when chubbing.
I've moved on somewhat,not saying I won't stop trying but right now they are certainly not on my radar, loads could do the same in the future , who knows?
 

Jim Crosskey 2

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I caught two barbel from an Oxfordshire stretch of the thames on the 23 December this year, my first "proper" barbel from the thames in absolutely years, and I've heard some reports of others coming out recently. However, the size of all the fish I've heard about being caught would suggest to me that they're stocked fish which the EA put in the river a few years back.... which will eventually just die off. The problem for barbel pretty much nationwide (with the possible exception of the wye) is that spawning is not successful, something that is reflected in the lack of year groups. (Whereas going fishing on the wye, you could have a realistic expectation of catching barbel of 8oz up to 10lb, and all points in between... which to me suggests that the fish are spawning successfully and that you then have a larger number of year groups represented).

But there's still definitely barbel anglers out there....
 

tigger

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I caught two barbel from an Oxfordshire stretch of the thames on the 23 December this year, my first "proper" barbel from the thames in absolutely years, and I've heard some reports of others coming out recently. However, the size of all the fish I've heard about being caught would suggest to me that they're stocked fish which the EA put in the river a few years back.... which will eventually just die off. The problem for barbel pretty much nationwide (with the possible exception of the wye) is that spawning is not successful, something that is reflected in the lack of year groups. (Whereas going fishing on the wye, you could have a realistic expectation of catching barbel of 8oz up to 10lb, and all points in between... which to me suggests that the fish are spawning successfully and that you then have a larger number of year groups represented).

But there's still definitely barbel anglers out there....
I think barbel breed very successfully in the Trent?
 

john step

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Extinct.........NOT WHERE I WENT TODAY. SOMEONE HAD THE CHEEK TO BE FISHING IN MY FAVOURITE SPOT grrrrrrrrrr

Only joking. :wh
 

sam vimes

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Not if you read how many have been stocked over the last ten years of so Ian.
Stocking figures for the Trent are a little misleading. Yes, they do stock plenty of barbel, but it's essentially just a proportional stocking based on the fact that Calverton harvest the Trent barbel for milt and eggs. There's little doubt that the Trent has done well out of this, but stockings are not necessarily indicative of a river where barbel are failing to breed naturally.
 

tigger

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Not if you read how many have been stocked over the last ten years of so Ian.
Yeah, but they're only replacing a percentage of what they've removed to grow on for stocking elsewhere.

Hadn't seen your post Chris :rolleyes:.
 

whitty

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We will see,if the EA stop stocking,I possibly won't be here to see the result,but it will take time for the generations stocked to pass,also by then God knows how much sh1t will be put into the Trent by a growing population.
 

Jim Crosskey 2

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I think barbel breed very successfully in the Trent?
Tigger, I don't know the Trent at all so should likely have made that caveat - and I do know that loads of barbel come out of that river. But I would ask this - when fishing the trent, is it as realistic an expectation to catch a 1lb barbel as it is to catch an 8lb fish? Are there nursery ground swims where sub-2lb barbel proliferate? Because if there's not - it suggests to me that the fish being caught are mostly from the Calverton stocking programme.

(but i'd be happy to be told that's not the case and there's loads of tiddlers in there!)
 

Jim Crosskey 2

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One other point I would make is that when any small river starts to throw up a much smaller number of much bigger barbel, then this is the time to be really concerned about the recruitment of new stock. However, I think in the past this hasn't been the case and the river becomes celebrated as a true specimen water (I'm thinking of places like Adams Mill here)…. and it's only when those last big fish die off that anyone becomes concerned. Way too late to actually do anything about it....
 

sam vimes

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(but i'd be happy to be told that's not the case and there's loads of tiddlers in there!)
For many years, there have been plenty of tiddlers in certain areas. However, whether that is the result of natural breeding, or Calverton stockings, is impossible to be sure.
 

tigger

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Tigger, I don't know the Trent at all so should likely have made that caveat - and I do know that loads of barbel come out of that river. But I would ask this - when fishing the trent, is it as realistic an expectation to catch a 1lb barbel as it is to catch an 8lb fish? Are there nursery ground swims where sub-2lb barbel proliferate? Because if there's not - it suggests to me that the fish being caught are mostly from the Calverton stocking programme.

(but i'd be happy to be told that's not the case and there's loads of tiddlers in there!)
I know nothing of fishing the trent Jim as i've never fished it, although i'd like to !
I do know though that the ea catch fish in the trent and strip them of eggs and milt. They grow on the youngsters to stock other venues and also put back a percentage of what they took out.....as far as I know they do, but what percentage I have no idea.

Regarding catching tiddler barbel, I do occassionally catch them and had 10 varying in size from 6 ounces to a couple of pounds in one trotting session last year. I've never caught more than two little 6 ouncers in a session in the past. Normally those little tiddlers and even the 2 lbers seem to be seldom caught, just as little tench rarely seem to be caught. I have no idea why this is.
I've heard talk of nursery swims in the past and i've only caught 5lb plus fish in them. I think young fish move about just as the adults do, but who really knows, I don't think anyone does.
 

barbelboi

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Regarding catching tiddler barbel, I do occassionally catch them and had 10 varying in size from 6 ounces to a couple of pounds in one trotting session last year. I've never caught more than two little 6 ouncers in a session in the past. Normally those little tiddlers and even the 2 lbers seem to be seldom caught
This is what I've also found Ian and the few under a pound have always been caught trotting close to the bank. Probably the smallest caught on a lead would have been 2lb plus and they aren't exactly common. Regarding small tincas, I believe they probably don't venture out of the bankside cover that often to the spots that anglers place their bait - all the really tiny ones I've caught have been taken very close to pretty dense weed.
 

john step

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The smallest barbel I have had from the Trent was about 3lb. I am not sure how many breeding sites there are on that river.
The gravels in the weirs may be good.
The smallest barbel I have caught in the GT Ouse was little more than gudgeon size.
 

whitty

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Caught barbel 8oz on the Trent,Lea and Severn,4ozs on the Gt.Ouse,12ozs on the tidal D.Stour,seen gudgeon sized fish on the Gt.Ouse and Ivel....
 
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Keith M

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Over the seasons I’ve caught quite a lot of small immature Barbel from the river Lea; and here’s a graph produced by the NRA showing the barbel growth rates that they found in the upper Lea which was done not many years ago.



The irratic line near the top of the graph was because they had fewer fish to sample at these ages/sizes

Keith
 
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