Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Pikers asked to look out for sea trout

Scientists are appealing to pike anglers in East Anglia to help them understand the mysterious migration of the sea trout.

Despite all the sluices and other barriers placed in their way, migratory trout are still occasionally seen and once or twice a season even caught by anglers in the area.

Now the Environment Agency hopes those fishing the Great Ouse and its feeder rivers will notify its fisheries team if they come across one.

Pike or zander anglers, particularly those using lures or small fish baits, are thought most likely to catch sea trout, which begin their migration up our rivers to spawn in late September or early October.

Fisheries technical officer Andy Sadler said: “We know that trout do come up and you get the odd capture by people fishing for pike and other predators.

“We’re trying to get an idea of where people are catching them and where they’re going.”

Mr Sadler said the various sluices such as those at Denver and the Relief Channel Tail Sluice offered few opportunities when flows equalised enough for trout to enter the freshwater system and begin their journey upstream.

“Are they trying to get up the Ely Ouse, or do they run up the tidal river all the way up to Earith and then carry on up the Ouse.

“We have heard of captures but it’s all anecdotal, we want more evidence of what’s going on.”

Anyone who catches a sea trout is asked to return the fish alive and submit the date and location of capture, the weight and length of the fish and remove scales – preferably from high on the fish’s flank above the lateral line – to aid identification.

Returns can be emailed to anglian_seatrout_returns@environment-agency.gov.uk, or posted to Roger Handford at the EA at Bromholme Lane, Brampton, Huntingdon, Cambs PE28 4NE.