Sunday, October 29, 2006

I don't want to cull all pike, says Bob Nudd

Bob Nudd answered his critics in his column in today's News of the World.

But his insistance pike need "re-locating" from some rivers cuts no ice with the PAC.

"Boy, have I had some flak since suggesting pike should be thinned out on some rivers," writes the four-times World Champion match angler.

"The sparks have been flying since I called for a cull on rivers like the Nene, Warwickshire Avon and Soar which are currently suffering a pike plague.

"Let's get one thing clear - I wasn't calling for a nationwide cull!

"I was offering an opinion on waters where, in many swims, almost every roach hooked is grabbed by a pike.

"Why not relocate the pike to other waters which need pike?"

Nudd claims numbers of small pike have increased to plague-like proportions on the rivers named.

This is often a consequence of larger fish - which of course prey on small pike - being removed from waters.

Unconfirmed reports of specimen pike being removed from one of the rivers Mr Nudd claims are plagued with jacks have been passed to the PAC.

We are looking into these and as soon as we know more, we will act in conjunction with our members in the Midlands, whose fishing now seems to be under attack from two sides.

If these reports are true - and we have no reason to doubt that they are - they not only explain the increase in small pike but clearly show how any removal of pike can upset the natural balance and damage fisheries.

The last thing these waters need is more interference. They need the removal of large predators to cease, so a natural balance can re-establish itself.

Meanwhile, the PAC has sent the following letter to controlling clubs on the Warwickshire Avon and is in the process of contacting their counterparts on the Nene and Soar.

"We are writing in response to comments made by Bob Nudd recently, in an article in a Sunday newspaper, in which he called for a pike cull on a number of Midlands rivers.

As an organisation which has campaigned for pike to be conserved and acknowledged as playing a vital role in a balanced fishery for 30 years, we are calling on your club to see the bigger picture before you act on Mr Nudd's remarks.

There is considerable evidence which shows culls achieve nothing more than an imbalance and an explosion in small pike, which in turn creates a bigger problem.

We enclose a copy of our booklet Pike in Your Waters, which provides more information, for your reference.

We are calling for controlling clubs and owners to distance themselves from Mr Nudd's comments.

We would also appreciate your assurance that you will not be carrying out any cull as a result, as we are aware that Mr Nudd's remarks have caused considerable disquiet among predator anglers.

The Pike Anglers Club is always happy to advise clubs and provide additional information where this would assist them in their efforts to maintain balanced fisheries.

Please get in touch if there's any way we can help."