- Oct 21, 2002
- Reaction score
NoSaid tongue in cheek of course Ron!
Don't wanna give anyone any ideas now, do we....
The hormones used in contraceptive pills can be easily removed from the effluent coming out of sewage treatment works. A large activated carbon filter will do the job admirably as will certain oleophillic media used in the USA for the removal of certain hydrocarbons from water. I have done it in laboratory scale.Don't start a "lets knock Bob" thread, this is a roach thread and the barbel were put in as one reason for their decline, Bob is quite obviously tongue in cheek anyway.
No one has ever proved barbel are the main culprits in the roach decline because what goes on underwater is a mystery to us, we can't blame them totally but the coincidence is too great to ignore. Roach aren't the only river species that went into decline, I have mentioned the once vast shoals of dace that swam in our rivers, so vast that they were considered almost nuisance fish when in search of roach but gudgeon also come into that category as well, are the barbel responsible for their decline as well along with the once prolific 'daddy ruffe'? The river Avon was thick with gudgeon and ruffe in years gone by but they are rarer than hens teeth nowadays and this is probably true of most rivers.
Perch go through periods of plenty and famine but I don't think they are victims of spawn eating barbel that has always happened apparently. Two factors are barbel and cormorants but water quality must play a major part as well, most of our rivers are much cleaner than they were but there is a new killer lurking in our rivers in the form of pesticides and those peculiar things that women have in the urine. Surely the combination of those two things alone have had a massive impact on fish stocks.
Most cormorants do their damage just as light is breaking.
That's why a lot of anglers don't realise that they are responsible. If anglers are on the banks at dawn, the birds fly somewhere else. If nobody is there, it's slaughter time.
That's what happened on my local River Torne, though I had no idea at the time. It was a conversation with a former neighbour, who'd just returned after emigrating to Spain, that enlightened me. He walked his dogs alongside that river every morning at first light, regularly disturbing numbers of cormorants. Because the river is so close to my house, and the roach were so unpressured, there was never any need to be on the banks early or late.
Incidently, the roach made a bit of a comeback on this river this year. I was told by a few freinds of mine about the increasing size and numbers of fish in certain areas. It wasn't long before the black death was sighted causing havoc again though.
What this seems to suggest to me is that mother nature will see that the shoals of roach return, where the conditions are suitable, as long as the cormorant problem is tackled.
Regarding the Trent roach. I know there are a few very large roach in the tidal stretch, well over 2lbs, because they have been caught by barbel anglers using pellets. What I am sceptical about is that they are there in any numbers to be worth fishing for. There is the odd very localised area where you can get a bag of roach, ranging from ounces, to well over a pound, but you have to do a lot of searching on a lot of water to find those odd pegs. Mick Lomas is one of the few anglers who has caught a few good bags of roach from the tidal over the last few years, but he's worked very hard to find those said areas. Definately not a challenge for the faint hearted, or those with little time.
I don't know about other areas, but I'm almost certain otters don't have anything to do with declining numbers of good roach near to me.