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Cormorant Watch
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Fryfishing
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been watching Perch Pro 2018 on YouTube. if you know the series you will understand why I like it, as it is a combination of lure and fly fishing for Perch on European waters.

In Episode four towards the end there is a lot of discussion about the amount of cormorants on the waters but even more concern about commercial netting of fresh water in in France and Holland.
No doubt the netted fish are then made into fish meal that then go to the Salmon farms which Jamie Oliver and his mate Jimmy promote by cooking Salmon on their Friday night program.

If fishermen do not get organised one wonders what future there is for us and the next generations.

Sad Sad Sad
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was sent this picture by a friend, if ever you were in doubt about how they can clear out a lake.
see below
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Last edited by Fryfishing on Fri Dec 20, 2019 8:11 am; edited 1 time in total
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Fryfishing
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2019 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[img][/img]
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lakefisher
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2019 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quite a few then -- Shock
Glad you managed to "upload" the pics Cool

Tony
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wylye
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2019 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting photo. I'd say that all bar two of those are the same year class, and it is just a vague possibility that one or two might have made it through their first winter which is just as well because if they all survived it would take maybe three generations of perch before the anglers started complaining that all they could catch were 3" perch. "This place is useless, there's no big perch." Or it could be roach, or bream, or tench. I've heard it all before many, many times.

Nature is a wonderful thing. She always over-produces so that some will survive long enough to reproduce in their own right. It's a tough watery world and the vast majority of that year class of perch will die over winter due to starvation and predation from a variety of causes and not just cormorants
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tenet
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2019 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nature is a wonderful thing. She always over-produces so that some will survive long enough to reproduce in their own right. It's a tough watery world and the vast majority of that year class of perch will die over winter due to starvation and predation from a variety of causes and not just cormorants

Nature is a truly wonderful thing but given the number of Cormorants on places like Chew and Farmoor she is being severely tested. Sad
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wylye
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2019 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Which proves that there is food for them to eat, does it not? Or would you persist in going to Tesco or any other supermarket or food shop if there was nothing there for you? While there is food there the cormorants will be there. When the effort of catching the food outweighs the benefit obtained from eating it they will go. One thing is absolutely sure, they will not eat every last fish in either of the reservoirs you have mentioned. They've had thirty years of trying and haven't done it yet.
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tenet
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2019 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All very true Wylye but should they get moved onto the general licence they may well get lead poisoning and that can't be soon enough. Very Happy

You know better than most that they are a scourge to trout fisheries. Proprietors are having to stock larger fish but given budgetary constraints this usually results in lower stocking levels - lower stock levels result in lower catch rates which leads to a reduced footfall and a ultimately closure of the fishery.

You, probably like me, are old enough to remember having to prebook on Chew, Blagdon and certainly Grafham to get a boat at weekends. This was pre the pike and Cormorants explosion when your average stock fish was circa 1Lb 4oz which proved a tasty snack to those predators in later years.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2019 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as I am concerned Cormorants are a bloody nuisance, they should be at sea eating the fish there that nature supplied for them but of course those fish have been plundered by humans or other protected species.

So they will eat everything in a lake then move on to the next one, then once a lake has been restocked or re established it stock they come back and clear it out again.
Sad

I still have a theory that the fish are spoked by cormorants being on a water feeding, I know I would be if some bloomin great thing was trying to eat me.
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wylye
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2019 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tenet wrote:
All very true Wylye but should they get moved onto the general licence they may well get lead poisoning and that can't be soon enough. Very Happy

You know better than most that they are a scourge to trout fisheries. Proprietors are having to stock larger fish but given budgetary constraints this usually results in lower stocking levels - lower stock levels result in lower catch rates which leads to a reduced footfall and a ultimately closure of the fishery.

You, probably like me, are old enough to remember having to prebook on Chew, Blagdon and certainly Grafham to get a boat at weekends. This was pre the pike and Cormorants explosion when your average stock fish was circa 1Lb 4oz which proved a tasty snack to those predators in later years.


Yes tenet, I do remember the days when we had to pre-book our boats on Chew. In fact it was one of the things I used to do when I sat in the office between Christmas and New Year. 10 boats on Chew from 2nd day up to about mid-June, and that was in the late 80's when the cormorants were already well established.

However, I really don't think that we can blame the fact that boats are more readily available on the major reservoirs on the presence of cormorants. There are a lot more factors involved than that. There are many fewer people fishing per se these days whether it be for trout or coarse fish generally. Young people are not coming into the sport in numbers, and older people are dropping away because we are getting older. I don't fish as often as I used to because there are more claims upon my time and I'm a lot less single-minded about it. My spring/summers are taken up with guiding and my winters with working gundogs.

Furthermore, there are a lot more small stillwaters around where success is much more likely. People generally don't want to flog away from dawn to dusk these days on a windswept reservoir. I don't for certain. I'll roll up at Farmoor at about 9.30 - 10.00 and fish until 4pm. Small stillwaters offer a higher likelihood of catching a few fish from the bank and people like to get a decent bang for their buck.

At the start of next season have a look at the guys fishing Chew. How many are in their 30's & 40's and how many are 60+? I think that will show you what is happening to the demographic of trout fishers. Most of the guys I used to fish with and against in competition are either dead, not fit enough to fish or have moved on to other things. I look at the list of names of those who qualify for England and there are maybe one or two names from the heyday of competition angling if that.

As I understand it, Chew has just had one of its best seasons for many years with plenty of quality fish being caught, so that sort of contradicts your view on lower stocking densities. Those who fish Grafham have been praising the place and Draycote seems to perform miracles. Farmoor has suffered and I think you know my thoughts on that problem.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2019 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A good discussion above ... Very Happy

Personally I am in the camp that feels that Cormorants should be moved to the General License and said as much in the recent Government consultation that ended earlier this month. This is simply because I believe a landowner should be able to protect their assets from predation when it is having an impact on their business. It always seems strange to me that no one thinks it is wrong to shoot a fox caught raiding a hen house but it is to shoot a Cormorant pillaging a fishery. Confused

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tenet
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2019 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that Cormorants are not a direct result in lower footfall but I believe they have contributed to higher costs. As detailed above fisheries used to stock 1 -11/2lb fish, now they have to stock 21/2lb plus fish AT A cost. In order to recoup costs the fisheries have upped the ticket price and one now pays £40 plus for a day. Add in travel (for me a 100 mile round trip to either Chew or Farmoor) and it's an expensive day. I can afford it because I have paid off my mortgage, kids are away and I made sensible provision for my retirement. Compare that to our young married guy or gal with a thumping great mortgage and a couple of kids wanting to fish on a regular basis. That, I believe, is a major reason why the younger folk are not queuing at the door.

Perhaps I'm looking at the past through rose tinted glasses but it doesn't seem that long ago that an afternoon boat on Chew was £14.

Anyway Happy Christmas to one and all.🎉🎊
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wylye
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2019 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tenet wrote:


Perhaps I'm looking at the past through rose tinted glasses but it doesn't seem that long ago that an afternoon boat on Chew was £14.

Anyway Happy Christmas to one and all.🎉🎊


That must have been a lot longer ago than you think tenet. I seem to recall that a shared boat on Chew back at the turn of the century, ie 20 years ago give or take a few days was around the £30 mark, so a £10 increase spread over 20 years can hardly be called excessive. Also, I seem to recall from looking at historic records that the average size of fish caught at Chew and Blagdon was for many years up around the 2-8 to 2-10 size. I think there was a move a few years ago to stock smaller fish but more of them, but it fell flat on its face.

It might interest you all to know that in Austria fishery owners are permitted to cull cormorants that are attacking fish in their rivers and lakes on the basis that the fish are more valuable than the bird and this is permitted under EU law. There is the possibility to derogate the law protecting one species in favour of another. This also applies to herons and believe it or not, to otters the population of which has increased significantly in recent years. The only reason why we have not been able to apply the same derogation here is because government listens to the RSPB instead of fisheries interests.
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