Acid Rain Threatens Fish Stocks in Lakes; POLLUTION: Liming Could Reduce Effect and Promote River Life ANGLING

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THIS has been an outstanding season for stillwater anglers. The fishing, despite its delayed start, has been outstanding and it is doubtful if the quality of the fish in our stillwaters has ever been better.

I have been involved in the weighing-in and recording of the weights of the fish in a number of fly fishing competitions on stillwater and the average weight of fish taken on fisheries like Llysyfran reservoir in Pembrokeshire, Trawsfynydd in Gwynedd and Brenig in Clwyd and Clywedog in Mid Wales have been around the two pounds.

That, by any standard, is very good.

The quality of the fish in the small fisheries is even better and in many of these small fisheries the average is more than three pounds. Unfortunately, anglers are being spoilt and our young anglers are growing up into anglers thinking that the normal weight of the fish they are going to catch is more than two pounds.

Every year, my friend Simon Roberts from Rhayader and I spend one day fishing the Claerwen Reservoir in Elan Valley and this delightful practice has gone on for some dozen years. The Claerwen, last stocked in the early 80s, now holds only wild brown trout and fishing for them is a delight. There is no stocking and all the fish have grown on. Unfortunately, most of the lakes and reservoirs in the hills of Mid and North Wales suffer from the effects of acid rain. The size of the fish in these lakes over the last few centuries has been around half a pound and in the last decade the average weight is on the wane.

Unfortunately, the better trout, say, of 10-12 ounces are a bit on the lean side, even after to Coch a Bonddu season.

A report appears in Adain y Ddraig, an excellent news sheet produced by Countryside Council for Wales written by Dr Catherine Duigan, in which there is a warning that approximately two thirds of the lakes of Wales are affected by acid rain and that plants and animals could be totally wiped out in others which suffer from pollution. …