Just what has happened to the specimen river roach?

preston96

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 21, 2002
Messages
2,107
Reaction score
8
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
 

preston96

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 21, 2002
Messages
2,107
Reaction score
8
And as we know, the lower Idle is quite deep. Some areas are in excess of 8 feet.
But if there are no retreats for the roach the black death will decimate them in 8ft Ron.........it was the rushes i was pointing at, the area i have in mind has a depth of 6ft, feeding into rushes.
 

Michael Townsend 3

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 23, 2004
Messages
61
Reaction score
1
Another obsevation I left out is the fact that where you could once catch good roach, there were also numbers of gudgeon.
I don't know if cormorants take gudgeon, but if they don't, there could also be a water quality issue (perhaps the female hormones via the pill) as well as the black death.

You're right about bridges Paul. I too have noticed that, especially road carrying ones.

Thank goodness for the odd gravel pit and 'managed lake' otherwise a big roach making the angling news would be very rare.
 

preston96

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 21, 2002
Messages
2,107
Reaction score
8
Another obsevation I left out is the fact that where you could once catch good roach, there were also numbers of gudgeon.
I don't know if cormorants take gudgeon, but if they don't, there could also be a water quality issue (perhaps the female hormones via the pill) as well as the black death.

You're right about bridges Paul. I too have noticed that, especially road carrying ones.

Thank goodness for the odd gravel pit and 'managed lake' otherwise a big roach making the angling news would be very rare.
The road bridges are usually wider, possibly making it difficult for the cormarants to dive and have a clear uniterupted lift to get airbourne.....tho i suspect it more likely to be the structure itself that gives the shelter and cover.
 

dezza

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 14, 2000
Messages
32,331
Reaction score
7
Location
Rotherham South Yorkshire
And join the Angling Trust.

Those of you who are not members and are reading this thread, join the Anging Trust NOW!


___________________
Angling Trust Life Member
 
Last edited:

Steve Spiller

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 11, 2005
Messages
15,191
Reaction score
3
Location
Bristol
Some interesting points guys, my findings echo most of what has been said. No one has mentioned otters yet, or is that a sticky subject?

I've had some stunning roach over a pound recently and some of them did have cormorant damage, although I haven't seen one yet? Are they working at night when things go quiet? I always thought they roosted up for the night?
 

dezza

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 14, 2000
Messages
32,331
Reaction score
7
Location
Rotherham South Yorkshire
The times when cormorants are at their most active are first and last light.

When we used to have our massed cormorant shoots in South Africa we used to throw out the bait, which was bits of trout guts into the margins and sit and wait behind cover with pump action shot guns.

We got 50 one morning, all African white breasted comorants which can swallow a 4 pound fish in one gulp. Due to our efforts in the late 80s they don't see many cormorants on South African rivers these days.
 
Last edited:

Bob Roberts

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 5, 2002
Messages
2,333
Reaction score
1
It would appear I'm talking rubbish about vanishing roach on the Tidal Trent so I'd like to lay down a roach challenge to both Fred Bonney and Ron Clay. :cool:

Let's meet up on the BS water at Sutton, you pick the pegs, and I'll fish with jelly babies on the hook. :j

You two can fish with any bait you care to choose but you must float fish to NFA rules. ;)

The challenge will run four hours. :confused:

Obviously this is a roach challenge so you two can only weigh-in the roach you catch. :(

As I'm fishing with a ridiculous bait I can use any method and weigh-in anything I catch. :p

If the pair of you combined can beat me by four clear pounds - that's just four nice roach apiece (one an hour), I'll donate £25 to the Angling Trust. If you two fail then you each donate £25. :eek:

If you both blank completely then it's £50. :eek:

Ron, you'll have to work out something with the BS though because keepnet's are banned at all times/ for all species, and you'll need an unhooking mat for these mythical roach. :wh

Not that there's any one-dimensional thinking going on! ;bp
 

Steve Spiller

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 11, 2005
Messages
15,191
Reaction score
3
Location
Bristol
Probably like me Steve, many are not entirely convinced they are the main problem.:confused:
I think it's a combination of things Fred. The cleaner water theory is one of these things, but then I ask myself why the roach have declined on the Hampshire Avon? As far as I can remember it has always been a very clean river, but I may be wrong?

Could it be a cyclical event? I hope it is and they make a full recovery.
 

preston96

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 21, 2002
Messages
2,107
Reaction score
8
It would appear I'm talking rubbish about vanishing roach on the Tidal Trent so I'd like to lay down a roach challenge to both Fred Bonney and Ron Clay. :cool:

Let's meet up on the BS water at Sutton, you pick the pegs, and I'll fish with jelly babies on the hook. :j

You two can fish with any bait you care to choose but you must float fish to NFA rules. ;)

The challenge will run four hours. :confused:

Obviously this is a roach challenge so you two can only weigh-in the roach you catch. :(

As I'm fishing with a ridiculous bait I can use any method and weigh-in anything I catch. :p

If the pair of you combined can beat me by four clear pounds - that's just four nice roach apiece (one an hour), I'll donate £25 to the Angling Trust. If you two fail then you each donate £25. :eek:

If you both blank completely then it's £50. :eek:

Ron, you'll have to work out something with the BS though because keepnet's are banned at all times/ for all species, and you'll need an unhooking mat for these mythical roach. :wh

Not that there's any one-dimensional thinking going on! ;bp
Bob.........must you keep bringing your BS gripe out? FFS delete him now and let the roach debate continue!!
 

Fred Bonney

Banned
Banned
Joined
May 26, 2001
Messages
13,833
Reaction score
12
Location
Domus in colle Lincolnshire Wolds
Not certain he is is Paul.

BUT I did qualify my remark about the tidal, and anyway jelly babies are a banned bait:j

---------- Post added at 19:38 ---------- Previous post was at 19:20 ----------

Have a look at the site I highlighted Steve, the problem appears to be that there are roach, but their spawn/juvenile need assistance to get to eating size!!!

Maybe, it's just too clean?
 

Bob Roberts

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 5, 2002
Messages
2,333
Reaction score
1
Bob.........must you keep bringing your BS gripe out? FFS delete him now and let the roach debate continue!!

Paul, I do not have a gripe with the Barbel Society. I have spoken at enough conferences and regional meetings, not to mention giving a platform to the Chaiman on the last BD&W DVD to refute this.

If you mistake challenge for confrontation, questioning for negativity, then so be it. Others don't.

If the Society was open to progressive development I would probably be a member today. However there are rules and practices within the Society that I happen to disagree strongly with but that doesn't mean I don't have a perfectly amicable relationship with Steve Pope and others within the Society.

Steve and I chatted only last week on the phone and he'll be the first to verify the fact that we fully understand each other and that we find much ground in common.

This is not a barbel debate. The parties I've challenged understand that completely and so do I. The Society water was stipulated because they both know it well, Ron mentioned joining it and I've fished it on-and-off for thirty-odd years, so it was common ground.

If you can't see past the leg pull about keepnets (and the prolific use of smileys) then maybe it's not my post that wants deleting...

The challenge stands as far as I'm concerned. If a national newspaper wants to turn the event into a feature to raise awareness for the Trust and the dilemma faced by river roach I'm game for that too. We could probably open it up to spectators at a fiver a go - all proceeds to the Trust of course.
 

preston96

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 21, 2002
Messages
2,107
Reaction score
8
OK Bob, in that case i apologise........without further mention of the BS.

I don't fish the Trent so can't comment on the tidal.............
 

dezza

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 14, 2000
Messages
32,331
Reaction score
7
Location
Rotherham South Yorkshire
Oh dear,

Is this "Roach Wars" I have started?

:eek:

All I did was start what I thought would be an interesting thread about roach, and I've been made to want to start crying, and now I have to fish a match on a stretch of the Trent I haven't fished in years, to float fishing rules I am not familiar with and without the use of a keepnet.

Anyone who has fished for roach on a river will know that without the use of a keepnet you cannot amass a decent weight.:wh

Never mind, I'm going to have a look at the Idle tomorrow.

:)
 
Top