At the meeting yesterday of the BRFC Freshwater Group chaired by Mr Ken Ball, and attended by Ian Epps, National Federation of Anglers; Marsh Pratley, Phil Smith: Specialists Anglers Alliance,  Nigel Hewlett of the Environment Agency and Scientific Advisor to the BRFC, the following freshwater records listed were agreed. They will now go for final ratification by the members of the full committee at its next meeting to be held in June 2006 along with other recommended changes.


These changes are the result of the Group identifying the issues and agreeing on action which will have the following implications :-


1.       Change the procedure as regards naming the precise venue where a fish is caught to protect the identity of the venue.       This will have the result of enabling the claim by Keith Berry to be ratified.


2.       Revise the decision to consider other new species to the coarse list, provided that they are agreed as an indigenous species:  This will have the result of enabling the claim by Geoffery Green to be ratified.


3.       Look into the procedure that resulted in dead coarse fish or scales of coarse fish being accepted for recognition of a claim. The group considers it unacceptable in the present anti angling climate.


The subject of using DNA as a method of identifying certain species was discussed and the Group agreed that it could accept no action that was invasive to the fish.


Nigel Hewlett the Freshwater Scientific Adviser explained that invasive procedures may be subject to Home Office licence and were, therefore, not viable. 


Concerns were also raised about asking the public to remove a part of a fish. Therefore, work is preceding to investigate the viability of taking mucus swabs from the flanks of the fish. 


Overall the coarse fish sub-group was very positive about the value DNA testing could add to the validity of coarse fish records.




Captor                              Species                            Weight                           Action Recommended.


Keith Berry                       Roach                               4lb  4oz                          Accepted                         


Les Brown                        Perch                               5lb  15oz                        Accepted


Grahame King                  Barbel                              20lb 14oz 8drms            Accepted      (interim)      


Grahame King                  Barbel                              21lb                               Accepted


§       The weight was corrected down from the claimed 21lb 2oz, because the scales used were calibrated in 4oz divisions.


Geoffrey Green                 Stone Loach                     14drms                          Accepted

·         The group recommends that this fish is accepted onto the list despite the ruling last year that no more fish would be added to the coarse list. It is a native species and the ruling was made in respect of “exotic” species.


The group rejected the following claims:-


Andy Fielding                  Stone Loach                Preceded by a bigger fish.


Mark Smith                      Roach                          Identified as a Roach hybrid


Duncan McLean               Minnow                       The time factor would bring the record procedure into disrepute




Chairman: Mr Ken Ball                                                                                                                                                  Secretary: Mr David Rowe