Members who attended the Speakers’ night in November would have heard Dr. Ryan Taylor of the Environment Agency talking about the research project he was leading which is designed to assess the health of the chub and barbel populations of the Middle Trent, which includes our waters.
Following the icy blast which marred the end of the river season and at a time when we are renewing our rod licenses and many, like the Monty Python cast, ask ‘What did the Environment Agency ever do for us?‘, the publication of this interim report is timely. The report gives good grounds for optimism for the Society. Not only did our members provide much of the data, but our waters appear to be in particularly good health as far as the barbel and chub stocks are concerned, and, as Assistant Secretary Kevin Stephenson pointed out to me, the potential for recovery if there should be a major disaster affecting our waters is very heartening.
The main conclusions are contained in the following paragraph:-
‘The study has found that barbel and chub in the River Trent grow faster than the national expected growth rates …….; with barbel growing approximately 20% faster than average. Barbel were aged between 3 and 14 years old, with the average age 9 years old; barbel weights ranged between 1lb 8oz and 15 lb 4oz, with the average weight 7.5lb. In addition, female barbel and chub grow faster and larger than their male counterparts …… The length frequency distribution of barbel that were sexed has confirmed that there is a good size range of both male and female barbel ….. The study has confirmed an initial perception that male barbel in the River Trent rarely exceed 8 lb in weight, approximately 63 cm. ‘
For those who wish to see the full text of this interim report, you can do so by clicking on this link: EA Trent Barbel and Chub Interim Report 2018.
Note: The sections of the river in the report which concern the Society are;
7, Hazelford Weir to Averham Weir – this covers our fisheries at East Stoke, Rolleston and Fiskerton
9, North Trent Arm – our waters on the old river between Averham Weir and Crankley Point.