FISH are beset by cormorants, crays, otters, poachers and biblical-proportioned floods – but it can and just DID get worse...with the discovery of junior ‘killer shrimp’ in the cut!
Dikerogammarus haemophaphes – a smaller but equally voracious cousin of the ‘killer shrimp’ discovered in Grafham last year – is in the local Grand Union.
Environment Agency scientists found s amples of the creature, more commonly known as ‘demon shrimp’, near Blisworth and Stoke Bruerne on Thursday.
And the fear is that, if it isn’t there already, the alien species will spread into the nearby Tove, the Ouse and then into lakes, streams and ponds in this area.
Described by the EA as: “Posing an equal ecological threat to killer shrimp,” the centimetre-long bug is an aggressive coloniser with a taste for fish eggs, tiny fish fry – and invertebrates which are the main food source of both immature fish and water birds...which is bad news for future fish and bird populations.
Controlling its spread in ‘open’ water systems is described as ‘difficult’ (biologist-speak for next to impossible).
The hope is that bigger fish will eat enough demon shrimp to reduce its potential for damage; and that all anglers will take serious steps to help avoid hastening its spread.
EA Central Region head of fisheries and biodiversity Dr Ian Hirst said: “It can cling to wet nets and waders and, in cool conditions in a car boot or a garage, still be alive a week later.
“That’s why we are asking everyone to follow our check-clean-dry code: checking their equipment for strange organisms, wherever they’ve fished, cleaning them off, and DRYING the kit thoroughly.”
The latter is a proven way of killing the problem beasties.
Originating from the Caspian Sea area of Eastern Europe, the demon has come to Britain (possibly partly via boat hulls and ballast tanks) through Western Europe’s major rivers and canals...changing aquatic life systems on its way.
Looking much like an ordinary shrimp, it has distinctive red antennae and a liking for silty areas – making canals and ponds its ideal home.
Before the rains came, Karl Bean (pictured above) had this 16lb Furzton common.
With river sport washed-out it was canal or nowt for many at the weekend. DATS’ Stony Main flooded right up to Watling Street on Sunday!
DATS, Black Horse cut: Paul Neave had 3-5-12, Rus Nash 3-1, Dave Tysoe 2-15-8.
Calvert, Hill Farm lake: Derek Bishop (six carp) 33-6, Steve Dobbs 12-10, Barry Witteridge 5-2.
Midweek, pre floods: Towcester vets, Navvi, Tosh Saunders 8-1, Gerald Green 5-12 and Mick Reed 3-2.
Olney Ouse, Nigel Porter 9-2, Mick Burrell 5-5 and Barry Glidewell 5lb.
MK vets, Calverton Road Ouse, Mick Reynolds 1-14, Steve Chilton 1-5 and Bob Gale 1-3.
Fixtures: Saturday, MKAA youth Christmas match, Bletchley canal, 01908 320007 and MKAA Christmas match – venue dependent on conditions – tickets most MK tackle shops or 07703 556788.
Catches or matches to report? Tell Trevor Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01908 270000.