HO, HO, HO. It won’t be just Santa who has ‘whiskers’ this Christmas – now the city’s tiny river Ouzel finally has them too.
For it has just gained some 500 young barbel... courtesy of the Environment Agency, as part of a 3,000 fish injection into the upper Ouse and its tributary.
After adding 200 of the little scrappers near Orchard Mill (pictured) EA fisheries officer Kye Jerrom and his colleagues also put another 300 in near the Open University.
On the Ouse they put more than 600 in each section at Adams Mill, Turvey, Harrold and Odell. A smaller stocking was carried out last year but these fish have since caught by anglers. All this week’s fish were just over a year old, four to eight inches long and fighting fit – having been reared on the Agency’s Nottinghamshire Calverton fish farm.
EA fishery staff have been carrying out spawning site and habitat improvements on the Ouse for more than two years, and it is hoped the newcomers will thrive and multiply.
A three-year EA research project – part-funded by MKAA and UOFCA – has shown that barbel surviving the fry stage grow on remarkably well in the Ouse – and the stocking is an attempt to jump straight to that growth phase.
Kye said: “Part of on-going stocking plans, these fish are intended to kick-start a new generation of specimens.”
MKAA’s Ray House has a been long-time campaigner for a serious barbel introduction on the middle Ouzel and was delighted to hear the news.
He said: “This is a result. It is an ideal habitat and they should do really well.”
> GRENVILLE Read was in a world of his own in Towcester’s Tove match, poling out nine chub for 27-15 from a swim which hadn’t produced in years. Andy Jones had 2-14 with Geoff Cooke on just 0-14.
BOB Gale, Alan Ford and Paul Chapman – like three angling gnomes with a combined age of well over 180... filled the frame with 6lb, 4-15 and 4-14 in MK Vets’ Christmas sweep on Stony main Ouse.
> KINGS Arms Cheshunt AC found fish on the Willowbridge canal as Steve Cable had 6lb, Brian Harmer 3-10 and Kevin Flannagan 2-10.
> FISHING through the ice Paul Neeve won Galleon’s canal fur & feather with 38 tiny fish for 1-12-8. Ernie Sattler and Gary Britton tied, 0-14.
> OSPREY’s Lakeside match the previous week went to Chris Thomas with 33lb, carp. Mark Carter had 15-8 and Mick Whitmore 12-8.
> FIXTURES: Thursday December 29: MKAA get-together, Stony Island, and Hangover open on Sunday January 1, Stony Ouse, 07703 556788 for both. On Sunday January 8, Towcester Tove, open 01327 353263.
> CATCHES or matches to report? Let Trevor Johnson know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling him on 01908 270000.