Every angler wants to enjoy a successful day with an impressive catch. But what if the fishing becomes too easy? Sometimes when it feels as though there’s little challenge anglers can become frustrated. This is exactly what has happened on one Hampshire river where there are now so many trout that it is more difficult not to catch one (or several)!
The Hampshire Avon is teaming with rainbow trout that appear to have escaped from a fish farm. This is not a native species which means that anglers are not permitted to return any of the fish that they catch. An estimated 60,000 trout have found their way into the river so it may take some time to recover them all. As the trout will eat native small fry, it is important that they are removed from the water before they spawn next spring. The trout have spread too far for the Environment Agency to organise a mass removal of the fish.
Trout Fishing Made Easy
Angler and Angler’s Mail columnist Andy Brown caught 52 trout in one morning and 20 of there were from consecutive casts. That would have been a major result if Brown liked eating trout but he doesn’t. His cats have been eating well recently however!
Reporting a Catch
The 900 anglers of the Christchurch Angling Club are becoming frustrated that they cannot catch their target species like chub and barbel. An investigation into the origin of the fish is ongoing and could result in a prosecution. Anglers have been asked to report any catches of rainbow trout and should mention the location, number of fish and size of fish together with the length of time it took to catch them. It could take Andy Brown some time to report his entire catch from that morning!
The native fish in the river are quite adept at evading attempts to catch them and so anglers are usually faced with a genuine challenge. They feel a sense of achievement when they succeed. The escaped trout are much more naïve and so no skill or expertise is required to hook them. They appeared in the river near Fordingbridge, an iconic fishing area, and it is not known whether the fish were released deliberately or whether there was an infrastructure failure at a farm.
Trout Fishing for your Dinner
Right now in Hampshire there are few stories of ‘the one that got away’! Anglers have the opposite problem and have been inundated with catches that they are not permitted to return to the river. If you enjoy a bit of trout for supper then you might want to spend some time trout fishing on the Hampshire Avon.
- Featured image: By Raver, Duane, US Fish & Wildlife Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons