Environment Agency fisheries officers have been helping anglers from Stoke on Trent Disabled Angling Club, Moorside Fisheries, Abbey Hulton, to solve the mystery of why they are not catching as many fish as they used to.
Fisheries officers used a seine net from a boat to net the fish living in the pool to assess how many there were and to advise the fishery on whether the pool needs to be re-stocked.
“Angling is a wonderful sport for people with a disability and we encourage fisheries to provide suitable facilities such as those at Stoke on Trent Disabled Angling Club,” said Fisheries Officer Mick Buxton.
“But the thrill of angling lies in catching fish. When we heard that anglers at Moorside Fisheries had not caught so many recently we agreed to investigate.
“We had a good result with two sweeps of the net, really amazing club members with the amount of fish caught (over 400 kilos).
“We believe that it is likely that some of the chub escaped during last summer’s floods when the bank of the lower pool breached. They are a very nomadic species and it is possible some of the fish escaped into the river.
“But the main problem seems to be too many fish rather than not enough. Most anglers think that having more fish in pool improves catches but after a while the fish suffer and so does the sport. Stock needs to be taken out from time to time to allow room for regeneration and growth, otherwise they become stunted and unhealthy.
“Like so much of the work we do, this project to help disabled anglers get more out of their sport will be paid for by other anglers who buy rod licences.
“It is their support that enables us to continue to improve angling for everyone. When anglers buy their new rod licences at the end of March they can be reassured that their money is being well spent for the benefit of themselves and their fellow anglers.”