Zander

JayD

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I totally agree with what you said mate and my response would have been the same. As for predatory species attacking bait fish for fun? I don't think so. They do it to survive, I believe its called the food chain? This bloke obviously hasn't got a clue. Pike mainly scavange feed? OK LOL! 😂 Yeah sure they do but they have evolved to become ambush predators.
It annoys me that some people still have this view towards the like of Pike, Zander and Eels. I was Pike fishing the other week when a passers-by said if he caught a Pike he would knock it on the head because they destroy the silverfish population. Not in a well managed / maintained eco system they won't!
As for Zander not being native, does it really matter!? And fair play to you mate for the Carp comment.
I think you mis understood my post Silver, I said that I had killed Catfish in the past, because it was a condition of being allowed to fish that lake, and I would do the same to Zander if the same conditions applied to where I was fishing. The EA has a list of non indigenous species that are illegal to stock, or return to open waters, and I would follow those laws, regardless of species, (I could probably add some others if I made the laws).
I find it strange that we as anglers can say, 'that native furry creature is eating our fish, so we should kill it', but 'that non native scaly creature is eating our fish, but we should leave it alone because we like to catch it', and, 'other non native scaly creatures are out-competing with the indigenous species, but it's ok to get rid of them because they are too small to put much of a bend in the rod'. I don't know about you, but it sounds like the definition of hypocrisy to me.

John.
 

Silver fan 82

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I think you mis understood my post Silver, I said that I had killed Catfish in the past, because it was a condition of being allowed to fish that lake, and I would do the same to Zander if the same conditions applied to where I was fishing. The EA has a list of non indigenous species that are illegal to stock, or return to open waters, and I would follow those laws, regardless of species, (I could probably add some others if I made the laws).
I find it strange that we as anglers can say, 'that native furry creature is eating our fish, so we should kill it', but 'that non native scaly creature is eating our fish, but we should leave it alone because we like to catch it', and, 'other non native scaly creatures are out-competing with the indigenous species, but it's ok to get rid of them because they are too small to put much of a bend in the rod'. I don't know about you, but it sounds like the definition of hypocrisy to me.

John.
My response was to the OP John but I do Agree with you that it is a bit hypocritical.
For example I think in some cases cormorants and otters should be culled if they are a big enough nuisance on certain waters. But I couldn't kill a zander, or any other fish come to that.
I remember there was a post earlier in the year, I think it was about a supermarket selling carp for the table. Personally I wouldn't entertain it because its a carp, one of my favourite species to catch, IMO remarkable fish. But I love fish to eat, tuna, salmon, mackerel etc.
I dunno if that makes me a hypocrite or not? Just thinking out loud really lol!
 

Silverfisher

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I remember there was a post earlier in the year, I think it was about a supermarket selling carp for the table. Personally I wouldn't entertain it because its a carp, one of my favourite species to catch, IMO remarkable fish. But I love fish to eat, tuna, salmon, mackerel etc.
I dunno if that makes me a hypocrite or not? Just thinking out loud really lol!
I’m a fully paid up member of that hypocrisy club! I watched a smoothound get despatched, skinned and gutted a couple years ago and it was horrible and rather upset me but I’ve had no problem watching the same with say cod in the past. Also I can quite happily use a bleak as a live bait but I would categorically never use a roach. Weird how minds work isn’t it!
 

JayD

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My response was to the OP John but I do Agree with you that it is a bit hypocritical.
For example I think in some cases cormorants and otters should be culled if they are a big enough nuisance on certain waters. But I couldn't kill a zander, or any other fish come to that.
I remember there was a post earlier in the year, I think it was about a supermarket selling carp for the table. Personally I wouldn't entertain it because its a carp, one of my favourite species to catch, IMO remarkable fish. But I love fish to eat, tuna, salmon, mackerel etc.
I dunno if that makes me a hypocrite or not? Just thinking out loud really lol!
At least you are honest enough to admit the possibility of hypocrisy, some would never acknowledge such a thing.

John.
 

Silver fan 82

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I’m a fully paid up member of that hypocrisy club! I watched a smoothound get despatched, skinned and gutted a couple years ago and it was horrible and rather upset me but I’ve had no problem watching the same with say cod in the past. Also I can quite happily use a bleak as a live bait but I would categorically never use a roach. Weird how minds work isn’t it!
I don't know where I stand in the whole live bait debate TBH mate. I've never used a live bait but I reckon it would probably bring better results than dead baits or lures.
I wouldn't be totally against it at all but yeah I dunno lol!
 

JayD

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I’m a fully paid up member of that hypocrisy club! I watched a smoothound get despatched, skinned and gutted a couple years ago and it was horrible and rather upset me but I’ve had no problem watching the same with say cod in the past. Also I can quite happily use a bleak as a live bait but I would categorically never use a roach. Weird how minds work isn’t it!
It's a common thing in todays society, and there would be many more vegetarians if we had to kill and prepare our own meat.

John.
 

Silver fan 82

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It's a common thing in todays society, and there would be many more vegetarians if we had to kill and prepare our own meat.

John.
Very true. I always remember my grandad skinning and gutting a rabbit in his front room when I was younger. I'd never seen it done before or since come to think of it. But he was bought up in a time where it was the done thing, quite a common thing to do. I wouldnt do it out of choice.
 

DomCrtr1975

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I’ve heard that our Eastern European friends have decimated the pike and Zander on the Fens now. Is it that true do you think ?
... i honestly couldn't tell you; i know there is a large eastern European population in Peterborough where the Nene flows through, but i only go home to visit family or occasionally fish a commercial with my old man.

I don't think i fished a Fenland river or drain for 25 years.
 

squimp

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There is a free stretch of the Severn that I used to fish occasionally. It was known for zander and the odd good barbel.

Last time I fished it I was told it had allegedly been targeted by E Europeans and the evidence of bbq’s etc on the bank spoke volumes as to why me and my pal only had one tiny zander between us.
 

Silverfisher

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@squimp well you were spot on about the odd zander being in the Thames around where the canal joins it as one came out today at Donnington! Who would have thought that after never hearing of one being caught before that one would come out the day after we discuss it.
 

Yuccaman

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For the record, here is the law as it stands (this is from the EA in 2016 - I can't find a more recent definitive statement):

“The keeping or releasing of zander in your fishery (unless it’s a totally enclosed stillwater) is an offence under the Import of Live Fish Act unless the Fishery concerned has an official licence to hold the species.

“If an angler catches a zander from a water where they are already established they can decide whether to return it or, making sure they have the fishery owner’s permission, to take it.”


So... as with many laws, it's actually incredibly vague. If you catch any reasonably sized zander, it surely comes from an 'already established' population, no? If your club has an 'all fish must be returned to the water unharmed' type rule, unless it specifically mentions zander, then you don't have permission to 'take' it.

I don't buy the 'zander are roach munching machines' argument in the slightest. Any water will balance the biomass out - it will only ever support x% of predators as an amount of the total weight of the fish that live there. Yes, there may be a short term imbalance if a new predator is introduced, but where they are already there, a) you're never getting rid of them if they are established and b) bad management is far, far worse than no management. If any species are to suffer longterm from the introduction of zander, I would imagine the answer is pike, not roach.

Two separate clubs I am no longer a member of have pike management straight out of the 1950s. Club A systematically sees anglers, some on the committee, of a very particular generation actively try to catch them and then throw them up the bank. Club B has a complex of 6 lakes and said same generation remove any pike into 1 of 6 lakes. 5 of 6 lakes have the odd decent pike in which has evaded their capture. Lake 6 of 6 is absolutely overrun with 1-2lb jacks. And thousands upon thousands of roach and rudd. I know I'm talking pike here, but something like 50% of the mortality rate of pike in their first year is down to cannibalism. Take the big pike out, and what do you get? Going with the biomass argument, take out a 20 and 2 10s, and have 40 1lb jacks in their place a year later.

I don't know if zander and cannibalism is the same, but I can't believe it's overly different. Fortunately for me, the waters I fish with zeds in (including the one in the photo from the earlier post) are definitively well established with no need to worry about returning them, but I would certainly let me thoughts be known to anyone I saw lobbing one up the bank on the Trent, Severn or Ouse for example where they are now a long established part of the ecosystem.
 

squimp

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How right you are.

The bottom line is that most anglers don’t catch much, primarily because they can’t be bothered to learn. If you extend that argument to fishery management the knowledge base is almost non-existent. Of course there are a few notable exceptions.

Back in the early 2000’s the government’s ‘Fisheries Legislative Review‘ made about 50 recommendations on how the legislation should be improved. One of the recommendations was that ALL fishery managers should have relevant qualifications. Needless to say that hasn’t been actioned.

I attended an Institute of Fisheries Management weekend workshop recently and frankly some of the other attendees were embarrassingly under equipped to run any sort of fishery. Most were club committee members. At least they had made the effort to go on the course.....

The EA has basically withdrawn from helping clubs to run their fisheries - clubs now just get on with it (Viz: the new rules on stocking consents) So it should be incumbent on clubs to have some idea what they are doing.
 

Lee Richards

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Wonder how many anglers who protest about the stress caused on a livebait continue to fish for Silvers knowing that there are Preds in the swim who will try to take the fish they are bringing in.

Ethically if there are Preds present then should you not move?
 

Curlew

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My take on zander is this...
I have fished the Severn below Worcester since 1978, as a 14 year old. I think it is actually a much better mixed fishery now than then with way more silver fish and bream. And it is also arguably the premier zander water in the country.
So go figure !
 

Silver fan 82

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For the record, here is the law as it stands (this is from the EA in 2016 - I can't find a more recent definitive statement):

“The keeping or releasing of zander in your fishery (unless it’s a totally enclosed stillwater) is an offence under the Import of Live Fish Act unless the Fishery concerned has an official licence to hold the species.

“If an angler catches a zander from a water where they are already established they can decide whether to return it or, making sure they have the fishery owner’s permission, to take it.”


So... as with many laws, it's actually incredibly vague. If you catch any reasonably sized zander, it surely comes from an 'already established' population, no? If your club has an 'all fish must be returned to the water unharmed' type rule, unless it specifically mentions zander, then you don't have permission to 'take' it.

I don't buy the 'zander are roach munching machines' argument in the slightest. Any water will balance the biomass out - it will only ever support x% of predators as an amount of the total weight of the fish that live there. Yes, there may be a short term imbalance if a new predator is introduced, but where they are already there, a) you're never getting rid of them if they are established and b) bad management is far, far worse than no management. If any species are to suffer longterm from the introduction of zander, I would imagine the answer is pike, not roach.

Two separate clubs I am no longer a member of have pike management straight out of the 1950s. Club A systematically sees anglers, some on the committee, of a very particular generation actively try to catch them and then throw them up the bank. Club B has a complex of 6 lakes and said same generation remove any pike into 1 of 6 lakes. 5 of 6 lakes have the odd decent pike in which has evaded their capture. Lake 6 of 6 is absolutely overrun with 1-2lb jacks. And thousands upon thousands of roach and rudd. I know I'm talking pike here, but something like 50% of the mortality rate of pike in their first year is down to cannibalism. Take the big pike out, and what do you get? Going with the biomass argument, take out a 20 and 2 10s, and have 40 1lb jacks in their place a year later.

I don't know if zander and cannibalism is the same, but I can't believe it's overly different. Fortunately for me, the waters I fish with zeds in (including the one in the photo from the earlier post) are definitively well established with no need to worry about returning them, but I would certainly let me thoughts be known to anyone I saw lobbing one up the bank on the Trent, Severn or Ouse for example where they are now a long established part of the ecosystem.
Great Post @Yuccaman. Some interesting points and figures there. I don't buy into the whole roach munching machine thing either. As you say things do balance out. IMO and I don't know if this will ruffle any feathers but it's otters, mink and cormorants that need "bashing on the head". They do far more harm to a waterway than any Zander will ever do.
 

Silver fan 82

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Wonder how many anglers who protest about the stress caused on a livebait continue to fish for Silvers knowing that there are Preds in the swim who will try to take the fish they are bringing in.

Ethically if there are Preds present then should you not move?
Fair point Lee.
 

JayD

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A good well thought out post Yuccaman, with some very salient points made. The only thing that I would question though, is what would you do if the person who caught the Zander, didn't 'lob it up the bank', but took it home to eat? You quote the EA regs that say it would be legal if the fishery rules allow.

“The keeping or releasing of zander in your fishery (unless it’s a totally enclosed stillwater) is an offence under the Import of Live Fish Act unless the Fishery concerned has an official licence to hold the species.

“If an angler catches a zander from a water where they are already established they can decide whether to return it or, making sure they have the fishery owner’s permission, to take it.”


I'm no expert on Zander, but from what I have read, and heard from those who do fish for them, is that they can fill a predatory niche in in a fishery. Like perch, it seems that they have exceptional eye sight in dark/turbid and deep water, and will feed mainly at night in some waters. They also hunt in packs, especially the juvenile fish. It's been suggested that the decrease in the numbers of gudgeon in some waters is partially due to the introduction of Zander. While I accept that Zander have become established in some waters, and nature has/will eventually create a new balance, it might not be a balance that suits all anglers, and might not be sustainable long term.
I also can't understand, could someone please explain, how there can be waters that have a reported continual increase in prey fish, and an increase in the main predatory fish, (perch, pike, and zander), as well as a reported 'devastating' increase in predation by otters and cormorants, unless there is a continual, and sustained restocking of prey fish.

John.
 

Davethefish

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Old Bury Hill Main lake in Surrey has for a long time had a good stock of Zander therein. I can't say that the silverfish stocks have been impacted in any significant way. It is however a balanced fishery and I feel that this may be the reason. Nature will always eventually even out the creases.
 

Lee Richards

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Strange you don't understand why otters are thought to be the contributors to stock crashes (and especially Barbel) JayD as there is plenty of literature online and on here about it.

Search for eating preferences (Barbel as prey) and then consider the size of fish that the forms of predators eat.
Also look for Severn seal videos.

As for fish restocking,doesn't tend to happen much on the Severn and yet the Lower fish stocks are improving every year.
 
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