Just what has happened to the specimen river roach?

preston96

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Oh dear,

Is this "Roach Wars" I have started?

:eek:



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

Yes but you have never tried Jelly babys as bait have you!!!!!???? :wh
 

Graham Whatmore

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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.
 

dezza

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And I never will be able to understand the obsession some people have with Borises!

Bloody things should be thrown up the bank!!!

:mad:
 

dezza

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Actually Brummie I've caught bloody Ratfish on Jellybabies. Those bloody vermin will eat owt!

:cool:

---------- Post added at 13:39 ---------- Previous post was at 13:37 ----------

Said tongue in cheek of course Ron!

Don't wanna give anyone any ideas now, do we....
No :D:D:D:D

---------- Post added at 13:48 ---------- Previous post was at 13:39 ----------

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.
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.

But Brown would never sanction the use of such methods, it would cost too much money and the water companies might go out of business.
 

geoffmaynard

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Specimen roach decline isn't a new thing though is it? It's being going on for years. I remember about 12 years ago Dr Paul Garner did some research into all specimen fish captures. He went through all the back-issues of the angling weeklies back to the late 60's and started counting captures, ignoring carp as their increase was too obvious. He discovered that whilst just about all other species were getting bigger over the years, specimen roach were in decline with less reported captures and smaller fish reported. This decline pre-dates the arrival of the cormorant on inland waters by about 10 years - assuming the bird started it's inland incursions around 1980 - which is when I first noticed them anyway.
 

Michael Townsend 3

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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.
 

Philip

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I don't know how deep cormorant can dive but I do get the impression depth and water color can make a difference.

A fish a couple of rivers which have a lot of Cormorants on them and the Roach are doing ok but the rivers are also big colored and deep....thinking about it I cant remember that last Roach or Bream I caught with obvious Cormorant damage. How are rivers like say the lower Thames faring ? ...I got the impression it was still producing Roach in reasonable numbers or am I way out on that ?
 

dezza

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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.

This is why I strongly believe that the coarse fishing close season on rivers is a joke.

For 3 months of the year we allow cormorants to stuff themselves whilst we imagine that we are giving the fish "a rest".

B*****cks!!!!

As regards the Trent roach:

Roach are one of the most fecund of all fish species and given the right conditions they will replenish themselves very quickly. The reason why many anglers do not catch Trent roach is that they do not fish for them. Although barbel tactics might catch the odd roach, they will not catch roach in quantity.

I don't fish the Trent very often these days as the banks are a bit of a problem for my dodgy legs, but the last time I was there, all the anglers I saw had two rods pointing at the sky.

The art of catching Trent roach has been lost if you ask me. If more Trent anglers did it, we would probably find more big roach being caught. But whilst the majority of Trent anglers are blinded by Boris, it ain't going to happen, is it?

Actually Bob Roberts has had the odd decent catch of roach on the float, and chub too.
 

Bob Roberts

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I've fished the tidal sevearal times this season using stick float and maggot and so far I haven't caught a single roach. I've had plenty of chub and barbel so I don't think it's my skills or presentaion that's lacking. If they were there I would surely have caught a few.

A couple of seasons back I fished the Ashfield stretch at Cromwell and in the right conditions I could catch roach in numbers, but only from a couple of adjacent swims.

Good catches can be made at Burton Joyce below the sewerage outfall in the right conditions.

In clear water these fish live in fear of predation, not just cormorants but goosander, pike, big perch and those recklessly introduced zander.

I believe barbel have benefited by the reduction in competition from roach but I don't regard them as having impacted on the roach. There are no barbel in the Torne. There is no significant barbel population in the majority of the Idle.

I know of numerous commercial stillwaters where large populations of barbel and roach thrive side by side. The difference is, commercial waters deal with cormorants effectively.

Abstraction has played a massive part countrywide but to ignore the impact of cormorants is to bury your head in the sand. There's thousands of 'em and they don't eat chip butties you know!

There are pockets of roach throughout the river but that's what they are.
 

Graham Whatmore

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The odd fruitless match that they have on the Trent would knock your theory about the roach still being there Ron, when 40 or 50 of the best river float anglers struggle for a bite in ideal conditions it tells you the fish just aren't there like they once were. Having said that there will still be pockets of them in parts of the river just as there is in all our other now 'roachless rivers' but the fact remains they aren't there in the vast numbers that they once were.

I can think of two prolific lakes in my area where there are roach but nowasays they never seem to make 1lb in weight let alone 2lb plus, for whatever reason maybe this scenario plays out on our rivers as well, could it possibly be they have become stunted as a result of farming chemicals leeching into the water?
 

Mark Wintle

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Hampshire Avon roach problems stem from all of the following: mechanised weed cutting (1953 onwards), decline of water meadows/ silting of carriers, hookworm, overfishing, and cormorants.

Stunting in stillwaters is usually over population but also lack of the right type of food needed for the later stages of growth which is water snails.
 

dezza

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I fished the Trent near the A1 bridge - September, 1978 with **** Clegg. I was on a 8 week family holiday in England.

In those days the river was stuffed with roach between about 8 oz and 12 oz and it was one a chuck. **** brought nearly a gallon of maggots and had a net totalling 50 lbs of roach I guess; there were certainly over 100 fish in that keepnet of his.

I had only 1/2 a pint of maggots but I caught roach nevertheless.

The following day I went out with my friend John Weston. We fishing the Trent at Holme Marsh. I used a light feeder rig and this time I came with 1/2 a gallon of casters and a fair amount of hemp.

In 8 hours fishing I amassed a huge catch of roach to about 14 oz, chub to 3 lbs and loads of skimmers. I had to get John to help me lift out the keepnet.

In subsequent holidays in England I always had a day or two on the Trent. On one occasion fishing at Walt Bowers stretch of the river in 1987, I took a huge catch of bream and chub. There were no roach in that catch if I remember right.

I have a friend who fishes the Trent almost exclusively. I set great store with what he says about the river as he has fished it man and boy for over 60 years.

He is regularly catching good nets of roach. He is also catching numbers of barbel on float tackle. He had a catch of 15 barbel to 12 lbs and in subsequent visits several more doubles, also on the float. He wouldn't thank me for naming the where and wherefore of these catches but I know he would lose his fishing if he publicised them.
 
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Michael Townsend 3

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There's no question about the main decline of roach. It IS cormorants, and yes Ron, I'm sure the close season is doing more harm than good, especially regarding fish like dace and roach.

The worse thing is cormorant numbers don't seem to be decreasing and they are getting more confident around humans. On one of the best, if not the best, roach lakes of all time, a cormorant would never land if it detected human presence. Last year, a few would dive for fish all morning before roosting on the island in the middle of the lake.

The river Wear, famed for its large numbers of huge dace, including the record fish, was decimated by cormorants last season. Where once, only the odd bird would have a sneaky dive, there were dozens wreaking havoc. Even the flotila of university rowers, that make this river more like a motorway at times, didn't deter them.

Even last week on one up and coming roach lake ( That's yet to become known in the wider angling circles ) A cormorant landed brazenly in the middle of the lake. It took the owner of the lake several minutes to get this bird to fly off, despite running all over banging bits of wood together.
 

Graham Whatmore

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I know a few fisheries where cormorants are no longer a problem ;) they have done what was necessary to protect their investment and I do not blame them in any way whatsoever. Only last week some busybody reported a local angling club to the EA and notified those doolally bird watchers that because he hadn't seen a cormorant on the water for a month he ASSUMED that a member of said angling club had shot them. No dead birds were found either by him or anyone else and he had no proof whatsover that they had even been shot but still the authorities saw fit to issue a warning to the club on his say so - daft or what.

Did they shoot them? I know nussink but I fervantly hope they did :rolleyes:
 

Michael Townsend 3

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As my uncle told me, when it comes to birds eating your fish, the only protected ones are those with suits of armour....
 

Rickrod

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I've had a comorant almost past under my rod tip ive also seen them gorge on fry thats where they do some damage
 

Peter Jacobs

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Strangely enough on my last 4 trips to my syndicate venue I've not seen so much as a cormorant feather, let alone a whole bird . . . . . .

The roach on that venue are continuing to grow at a good rate, as are the Dace; I've had them to 15 ounces and not just one or two either.

But, there has been an awful lot of work restoring the side-streams and some assisted spawning/stocking using lengths of old keepnets nailed to wooden boards.

The point is; if you really want a decent roach venue then it is not all that difficult to help it out, time-consuming, yes, but damn well worth it.

PS; we also have daily inspections and bailiffing all through the Close Season, and being private, we don't suffer from dog-walkers or paddlers either.
 
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