Environment Agency officers are reeling after spotting a monster fish whose size has tipped the scales towards a River Tyne record.
A 6.5lb chub, weighing an estimated 6.5lbs (2.94 kilogrammes), has been seen in the Tyne which officers say could be around as much as 55 centimetres long, and 20 years old.
The Tyne is best known for its salmon and sea trout fisheries, and although anglers can hook bigger chub in the South, the officers say it is the biggest chub they have seen in the area.
Environment Agency fisheries specialist John Shelley said: “This monster fish was caught on camera swimming through our Riding Mill fish trap. We know there is are some chub in the Tyne but this is a real specimen, particularly as the Tyne is not renowned for the species.
“This just goes to show how healthy the Tyne is, and it is getting better and better as a coarse fishery. The chub proves that the Tyne is the place to go for a big catch!””
The team wants to find out more about coarse fish in the Tyne, and operate a log book scheme for coarse anglers in the area to record their catches. Anyone interested in a log book should contact the Environment Agency’s Newcastle office. All returned log books are put into a prize draw at the end of the season.
The Riding Mill fish trap is set up to monitor salmon and sea trout. It has a fish counter, an underwater video system and two fish traps – one for smolts (young salmon) and one for adults.
It collects information about the number of adult fish returning to spawn and juvenile fish migrating out to sea, as well as the timing and nature of their migrations. The information is then used in the management of the fishery.
Environment Agency staff, based in Newcastle, were so stunned when their cameras picked up the giant chub, they sent the photographs to their national fisheries expert who confirmed the findings.
A chub has the reputation as the glutton of the river that eats anything. The average adult specimen weighs up to 4kg2 kg (4.4lbs), is 30-45 centimetres long and lives for about 12 years.
Fisheries officers are reminding anglers that they need to renew their rod licence for the start of the season. Buying a licence couldn’t be easier – they are available by phone, through the Environment Agency’s website or from the Post Office.