- Oct 21, 2002
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The main reason for the 'vanishing specimen river roach' are cormorants.
You missed out the tiny River Torne when you named your local roach rivers Ron. This river, along with the others you mentioned, was alive with specimens until the last 10 to 15 years.
All the rivers mentioned, Wensum, Severn etc, all have the odd remaining shoal of specimen redfins that have escaped the black death, but they are isolated cases. If you want to find good roach on the rivers these days, look for stretches that either have an active keeper (who shoots the cormorants) A stretch with lots of trees lining the banks (that prevents them landing and taking off) or a stretch lined with houses or that's popular with dog walkers (human activity scares them away)
It's no coincidence that when you find such a length of river, good redfins are often present.
Also take into account abstraction, more barbel being introduced into rivers (I've no evidence that this is a reason, but the rivers can only support x amount of fish) and the reduction of flood relief channels (like the old dead arm off the Idle at Bawtry) and the future of my favourite fish in rivers looks grim.
Luckily, I do know local stretches of rivers that will allow me to catch roach to well over a pound, but that was once possible from nearly every stretch of every river.
Superb post..........other things to look for as roach holding areas are bridges, deepish water(2ft plus) and rushes,my own favourite area is a Severn backwater that has these.....plus other human activities just as Michael says.......it keeps the cormarants away and makes a haven
The barbel debate is something we should chat about elsewhere......probaly a pub lol