British Record (rod-caught) Fish Committee


                                                                                                                          12th July 2007

The Freshwater Sub Committee of the BRFC met on 6th July 2007.  In attendance were Ken Ball (Chairman  and National Federation of Anglers), Nigel Hewlett (Environment Agency, Scientific Advisor ) , Ian Epps (National Federation of Anglers), Mike Heylin (Specialist Anglers Alliance), Andy Nellist (Specialist Anglers Alliance) & Dr Bernd Hänfling (Department of Biological Sciences, University of Hull). 

1. Claims accepted

The following claims were accepted by the committee and will be recommended for ratification at the next full meeting of the BRFC:

Species                    Verified Weight                       Captor                              Location                         Previous Record

Coarse Fish     
Chub                            9lb 3oz                                Steve White                 Southern Stillwater               9lb 2oz   

Chub                            9lb 5oz                                        Andy Maker                Southern Stillwater                                          9lb 3oz
2.  DNA Testing

The committee is extremely grateful to Dr Bernd Hänfling who attended the meeting to provide expert help and guidance as to how DNA testing could be used to provide an accurate way of identifying Crucian Carp.

Dr  Hänfling gave an extremely useful presentation to the committee which covered the background, methods and accuracy of genetic testing. The committee learned that DNA testing could detect 100% of f1 hybrids and that with the identification by  Dr  Hänfling and his team of 12 microsatellite markers that distinguished between Crucians, Goldfish and Carp detection of post f1 hybrids would be far more likely than by examination of external characteristics via photographs.

In the subsequent discussions with Dr  Hänfling the committee agreed that DNA testing  was indeed an accurate and practical way to confirm the identity of Crucian Carp and that the committee should move towards its use as soon as it was practical to do so. 

The committee currently has no choice but to reject many claims for Crucian Carp when photographic evidence proves inconclusive. The committee believes that the introduction of DNA testing will lead to an increased chance of claims being accepted.

The committee will continue to work with Dr Hänfling to determine how samples can best be collected and preserved. 

3. Review of Species

The committee reviewed the current list of freshwater species for which records are maintained. In particular the committee considered the removal of alien and ornamental species. The committee will be making recommendations at the next BRFC meeting for the deletion of several records from the list.

4. Suspension of the Record for Wels Catfish (Silurus glanis)

With catfish well in excess of the largest UK born catfish still being offered for sale the committee agreed that the record should remain suspended.

5. Stillwater and Running Water Records

The committee addressed the possibility of establishing separate Stillwater and Running water records for Roach and Chub. The committee  agreed  that the establishment of separate lists would not be a positive move having noted  the following:

5.1   both records had until recently been held by river fish;

5.2   the margin between the largest stillwater and the largest river fish remained low; and

5.3   there would be difficulty in defining what was and was not a stillwater fish and a running water fish (the present record chub was believed to have spent much of its life in a river).

The next full meeting of the BRFC is scheduled for October 2007.
David Rowe

Secretary BRFC

Level 5 Hamlyn House, Mardle Way,

Buckfastleigh, Devon TQ11 0NS 

Tel 01364 644489, Fax 01364 644486