The Pike Anglers Club is investigating calls for a pike cull on Sussex's River Arun.
We have contacted the Environment Agency over a local newspaper article, in which an angling club official stated pike should be removed from its stretch of the river.
Some ten years ago the Newbridge stretch of the River Arun was electro fished to remove pike. Billingshurst club competitions secretary Peter Stockwood, who helped in the operation, recalls that 99 pike were removed.
The two biggest went to Brighton Aquarium and the remainder were put into Weir Wood reservoir.
Billingshurst thought that was the end of pike spoiling their quest for other fish in the river. But they are back – and bigger than ever with many in the 30lb region.
When pike are moving in swims during competitions the catches are very small. Stockwood said: “In a recent match every swim upstream had a pike in it and with the water crystal-clear the other fish were too busy avoiding being made a meal of to think about feeding.”
The club is now preparing to talk to the Environment Agency about another cull of the pike. The roach and perch stocks are badly affected by the feeding pike."
In a letter to the environment agency's regional head of fisheries, the PAC said: "As stakeholders in the River Arun fishery, we would urge you to refuse calls for a pike cull for a number of reasons.
"Notwithstanding the impact this will have on our members' enjoyment of this river, the collected body of scientific evidence concludes quite unanimously that such exercises are a complete waste of time.
All they achieve is an explosion in small pike, which increase predation and cause yet more problems. The evidence for this is well-documented and in the public domain."
Calls for a cull on the Arun come just weeks after more than 500 fishery managers and club officials were sent a copy of Pike In Your Waters with the winter edition of the National Association of Fisheries and Angling Consultative's winter newsletter.
The magazine also included an article outlining why culls don't work.
Click here to read it.