Friday, 30 January 2009

Fish ARE wildlife, arent they?

Well I have heard it all now. Some amatuer bug catcher says that the fish in the side ponds at CAEN HILL are disturbing the wildlife. I have two words for him and the second one is OFF. Specialist kipper catchers are netting the sardines and manhandling the sharks to put them further down at the bottom of the flight for anglers to catch. Er I think there are enough kippers down the bottom of the flight already. Overstocking will kill fish who as it happens are also wildlife or did he forget that?

So why is this happening? The bug catchers want to keep the water in the side pond clear so that the once abundant Damselflies and Drasgon flies will breed there. Well I lived near the flight in the 80's and I can tell you I didn't see any bug catchers there trying to fill it with clear water when it was dry and deralict. The canal and its environs are NOT a clear water area.

Gerald Walker, a amateur ecologist, who was interviewed by Narrowboat World said:
"It is not only the fish that cause the problem that is killing these lovely creatures, but boats too with their revving propellers that stir everything up for yards around.

"You get one boat going down causing problems, then the silt is just settling and another will come along, so why can't they all be made to come at once on a day to be arranged, which would be suitable for all. And I don't see why they can't be stopped altogether when the holiday season stops, and these ponds have been there for hundreds of years."
This man is a bloody idiot he has no idea about boating and aparrently not much about bugs. The boats, he says, are causing problems. No they are not he is. He wants all boats to come down on a pre-arranged day at the same time and stopped altogether out of season. I dont know how many boats can go down the flight in a day but I bet there isnt enough space to park them all while they wait for the gates to open

The side ponds were built to conserve water and they still do. Putting a whole pile of boats down in one day will most likely drain the flight and take a week to refill. It's not like the side ponds were built for wildlife. If the water is not clear enough for the flies they will go else where , it's not like there isnt any other water around.

BW's own Oda Dijksterhuis, British Waterways Heritage and Environment Manager, was beside himself when he said:

“This is a very exciting project for us. By removing these larger fish we hope to see an improvement in the water clarity in the side ponds."
No they wont. 56,000 gallons of muddy water will put a stop to that. This will only happen if they stop the boats. A boat stirs up more silt than a few kippers. If BW are woried about the ecology then they shouldnt mess with it.

If Mr Bug catcher has his way I predict a whole bunch of continuous moorers arriving after the season closes and waiting for the flight to open the next year. I dont think BW have really tought this one out, but then do they ever.


Wozie said...

I don't think you should ever interfere with nature, this is what BW are doing and it won't work. Instead of spending money on this hair brained scheme why don't they charge anglers to take the fish out for them. Here the anglers would not interfere with the boat movements and the money raised could be spent on much needed canal repairs. Canals were built especially for narrow boats, so, have BW lost the plot completely?

Tyson said...

A friend of mine, as a school boy, used to try and fish in the Stratford-Upon-Avon Canal. He never caught anything worthwhile. Now an adult, he fishes the same stretch and catches good sized fish. The difference? Boats using the canal as it was intended.