ask a simple question

If you want to discuss Catfish, Perch, Zander, Ferox Trout or Eels, this is the place for you
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Dave Horton
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Re: ask a simple question

Post by Dave Horton » Thu Dec 07 2017 14:54

Kev Berry wrote:
Nige Johns wrote:
Can you just answer Kevs question then we can draw this topic to a swift conclusion
Halli fookin looya :thumbs:


that's all I wanted :wink:
Don't!

(Hold ya breath chaps face)

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Neville Fickling
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Re: ask a simple question

Post by Neville Fickling » Thu Dec 07 2017 16:27

No £5 no paper simples.

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Re: ask a simple question

Post by Kev Berry » Thu Dec 07 2017 16:54

Neville Fickling wrote:
No £5 no paper simples.
cheques in the post

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Re: ask a simple question

Post by Neville Fickling » Thu Dec 07 2017 20:52

I look forward to it

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Re: ask a simple question

Post by Bob Watson » Fri Dec 08 2017 00:46

It'll buy you a pack of smelt :laughs:

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Re: ask a simple question

Post by Nige Johns » Fri Dec 08 2017 09:06

Kev Berry wrote:
Neville Fickling wrote:
No £5 no paper simples.
cheques in the post
Nev won’t answer the question until he’s sure the chq has cleared :grin:

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Re: ask a simple question

Post by Kev Berry » Fri Dec 08 2017 09:21

Nige Johns wrote:
Kev Berry wrote:
Neville Fickling wrote:
No £5 no paper simples.
cheques in the post
Nev won’t answer the question until he’s sure the chq has cleared :grin:
could always ask a mate in the ZAC for a lend of his latest news letter (till the cheque clears :wink: )

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Re: ask a simple question

Post by Neville Fickling » Fri Dec 08 2017 11:17

It’s so long ago I’ve forgotten what the problem was

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Re: ask a simple question

Post by Kev Berry » Fri Dec 08 2017 18:16

Neville Fickling wrote:
It’s so long ago I’ve forgotten what the problem was
have a look in the mirror and remind yourself

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Re: ask a simple question

Post by Neville Fickling » Fri Dec 08 2017 20:58

Don’t be any dafter than you really are

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Re: ask a simple question

Post by Kev Berry » Sat Dec 09 2017 10:21

Neville Fickling wrote:
Don’t be any dafter than you really are
so long as I remain less daft than you I will be fine thank you :thumbs:

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Re: ask a simple question

Post by Neville Fickling » Sat Dec 09 2017 21:26

Oh dear

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Re: ask a simple question

Post by Dave Horton » Sat Dec 09 2017 22:39

Neville Fickling wrote:
Oh dear
Now, where have I heard that before?

(Oh yes that's how we congratulate people on catching 40 pounders face)

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Re: ask a simple question

Post by Neville Fickling » Sun Dec 10 2017 12:43

Well I can’t congratulate you Dave Yet

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Re: ask a simple question

Post by Happy Hayes » Sun Dec 10 2017 19:05

Dave Horton wrote:
Neville Fickling wrote:
Oh dear
Now, where have I heard that before?

(Oh yes that's how we congratulate people on catching 40 pounders face)
Like the avatar Dave.
Definitely you. :laughs:

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Re: ask a simple question

Post by Dave Horton » Sun Dec 10 2017 19:13

Neville Fickling wrote:
Well I can’t congratulate you Dave Yet
Well, no.

(Can't you face)

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Re: ask a simple question

Post by Dave Horton » Sun Dec 10 2017 19:14

Happy Hayes wrote:
Dave Horton wrote:
Neville Fickling wrote:
Oh dear
Now, where have I heard that before?

(Oh yes that's how we congratulate people on catching 40 pounders face)
Like the avatar Dave.
Definitely you. :laughs:
Sooner an Ernie!

(Than a WALLY face)

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Re: ask a simple question

Post by Neville Fickling » Sun Dec 10 2017 22:01

I’ve no idea who this Ernie is? Ernie is a bit of a fraud. Couldn’t say that about you.

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Re: ask a simple question

Post by Dave Horton » Mon Dec 11 2017 10:47

Well I gather, he was the fastest Milkman in the west?

(Until some, Wally threw a stale pork pie at him face)

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Re: ask a simple question

Post by Neville Fickling » Mon Dec 11 2017 13:54

Pre menstrual tension that is what the problem is Dave. Ernie probably had it as well.

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Re: ask a simple question

Post by Neville Fickling » Mon Dec 11 2017 21:29

No cheque received Kev?

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Re: ask a simple question

Post by Neville Fickling » Thu Dec 14 2017 12:05

Seeing as kev didn't send a fiver i thought i'd make it easier. a bit long but here goes

THE ZANDER IN 2015.

A DOCUMENT PRESENTED BY NEVILLE FICKLING APRIL 2015

Zander Sander lucioperca, have been present in the UK since 1878. Being confined to small still waters well away from river systems it wasn’t until an officially sanctioned introduction to the Great Ouse Relief Channel in 1963 Linfield and Rickards (1979) that their spread throughout England began. As far as is known zander are only present in England. Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have not been colonised by zander.
Once introduced into an open system zander rapidly spread through the fenland drain system. Via the water transfer system from the Cut off Relief Channel to Essex, zander arrived in the Suffolk Stour and Abberton Reservoir. Zander were illegally moved to the Coventry and Oxford canal system in 1974 (Fickling pers coms). They were also introduced into Coombe Abbey Lake around the same time (Fickling pers coms). They may have spread by means of escape from Coombe Abbey to the Warwickshire Avon. The River Severn was colonised around 1980, the means that this occurred is unclear. Further spread from the fens saw zander reach the Nene and the author caught one from the South Holland drain which drains into the tidal Nene in 2005.

Further colonisations have included the Trent the first example being brought to me in 1988, a 7cm specimen from West Burton Power Station screen. The Thames now has a population of zander and there are a number of stillwaters throughout England with them. So far the Broadland river system has not been colonised probably because the Broads are not directly connected to other systems. The Yorkshire Rivers have as far as is known not been colonised a stillwater near Hatfield Woodhouse (Yorkshire) being the furthest north zander have been noted.

It might seem a little unfair on fisheries scientists to suggest that as far as zander are concerned the only good news is bad news. Google “ecological problems caused by zander” and you get several leads to papers which highlight unfortunate aspects of zander colonisations. Do the same with “positive ecological effects of zander” and nothing turns up. It might well be that zander are such an undesirable species that nothing positive can be said about them.

If you ask any Dutch anglers it is unlikely that you will hear any negative comments regarding zander. They regard the zander as an integral part of their sports fishing scene. The Swedes are the same. Other European countries also enjoy the sporting qualities of zander though catch and release is not common in Germany and France. Zander have been established in mainland Europe for much longer than the UK, France 1900s, Craig (2000) Introductions of alien species generally result in population explosions followed by stabilisation at a later point. It may well be that 100 years is ample time for a species to integrate into a new environment.

My aim here is to present the facts (those we have) regarding zander to show that in recent years this introduced species has become part of the UK fish population and that generally the zander is appreciated as another sport fish. However to give a factual overview there are a number of questions that need to be asked.
1) Have zander had an adverse effect on native fish populations? By native populations I refer to our non-predatory species mainly the cyprinid and smaller percid species.
2) We also need to consider any effects the zander might have had on our major indigenous predator the pike.


First a few gems from the uninformed. An extract from a random trawl of the web.

“Not since pre ice age was the zander indigenous to the UK. It was re introduced illegally in the 1950s into the Great Ouse and then spread across the linked waterways of the midlands and can now be found as far south as the River Thames. They are a pretty destructive predatorial* species that not only seem to hunt in packs but also, due to impressive eye sight, succeed exceptionally well in coloured water; canals are an ideal environment. Over a 20 year period they have successfully depleted many indigenous species across the midlands and the south.”
*authors text!
I think first I need to challenge statements like this. Zander were introduced legally in 1963 Linfield and Rickards (1979). We need also to know which indigenous species have been depleted. I can find no evidence to confirm this statement.

The best source of information on zander and its relationship to native fish populations are the fisheries surveys on the Great Ouse Relief Channel and Middle Level. In recent years the amount of fishing effort in each survey has been reduced and alternative methods have been tried. It is not my job here to suggest that these changes might render comparisons between periods difficult. Neither as a long time lapsed fisheries management/zoology student am I able to incorporate all the confidence limits for the population estimates made. I have simply provided means from all the sites from each survey in the hope that they show the predator prey balance in the fisheries previously mentioned. All data is derived from the Environment Agency fisheries surveys in the Anglian region. Any errors in the extraction of data are mine alone and I thank the EA for their co-operation.

The true nature of the catastrophe that had befallen the Relief Channel in 1979 was only fully revealed when an extensive seine netting survey was carried out. We as zander anglers already knew something was badly amiss. Prior to 1979 there had been no seine netting surveys. The only data I have are diary entries from 1963 onwards. Up until 1976 catching bait from the RC was most of the time fairly easy. In 1976 I was regularly catching up to 50 bait sized roach 10 to 15cm, silver bream and hybrids. The zander fishing in 1976 was poor with only 3 caught in the summer. From 1977 onwards bait catching became more difficult until in 1979 it was impossible. The zander fishing improved from 1977 before collapsing in 1980. I have listed the number of zander caught by myself along with the unit effort. But first the survey data.

The 1979 survey result gave the following densities. zander 0.6 gm-2
pike 1.25 gm-2
All 2.32 gm-2
In 1983 results were also bad zander 0.47 gm-2
pike 0.21 gm-2
All fish 1.24 gm-2

The percentage of predators to prey fish was for zander 25.8%, pike was 53.9% and all predators 79.7%. Obviously a totally unbalanced fishery.
The percentage of zander in 1983 was 38%. Pike 17% and all predators 55%

During the spring and summer of 1986 6895kg of assorted fish were stocked into the Relief Channel.
This should have resulted in a biomass of 5.1 gm m-2 of non-predators. As it was during the subsequent survey 4 gm m-2 was recorded indicating that restocking had no discernible result. The view was then taken that the only way to recover fish stocks was by enhancements to the fisheries natural ability to produce fish. Incidentally zander biomass figures were now 3% and pike 4% a total of 7%.There were though very strong 1986 year classes of roach and bream suggesting that the fishery could produce its own stock fish if conditions allowed.


By 1988 the survey method had changed to using an otter trawl with zander biomass 17% and pike not evident at all. It must surely be the case that certain sampling methods are more efficient than others for particular species. The absence of pike is indicative that something is going on here. Regardless of this total biomass of all fish was only 0.8 gm m-2 which is even worse than before. I’m sure the fisheries team will have evaluated seine against trawl netting and made adjustments as required but behavioural differences of fish in relation to fishing methods have to have a bearing here.

We as anglers had maintained for years that the main problem with fish stocks on the Relief Channel was poor recruitment due to fluctuating water levels during the cyprinid spawning season. In those days the only spawning substrate were the Phragmites beds and water levels could fluctuate by 0.5m on a daily basis. Winter flows were also very strong at times with the potential for fish which had not experienced strong flows for most of the year to drop downstream and possibly out of the Tail Sluice. The fisheries team obviously recognised this problem because quite a lot of effort went into constructing shelter for young fish. The repair of Denver sluice on the tidal Ouse reduced daily water level fluctuations because the main river channel no longer needed to be diverted into the Relief Channel.

Rod and line catches recorded by myself reveal the following. The number of sessions fished and the number of pike and zander caught are recorded 1976-1981. I have then calculated the number of fish caught per session.

YEAR No zander No pike Sessions pike per session zander per sessions

1976 3 7 28 0.25 0.1
1977 8 7 11 0.6 0.7
1978 123 27 67 0.2 1.8
1979 96 25 39 0.3 2.5
1980 30 4 12 0.3 2.5
1981 8 0 3 0 0.4

What this shows is a tremendous increase in the number of zander caught per session in 1978 to 1980. It was during this period that the food fish crash occurred. Prior to 1978 catch per session of zander was much lower reflecting the abundance of food fish. After 1980 catch rate for zander was again as many had either died or left the Relief Channel, Fickling (1981)

The situation with the pike was less clear and remained remarkably consistent, but catch per session was mostly lower than that for zander. This data can be linked to work I did on condition factors and body fat content. Fickling (1981)
Fast forward to 1988. I have been kindly supplied data from surveys in 1988, 1991, 1993 and 1996. I have taken the liberty of combining all the data. This to some extent irons out any aberrant results. All data is for all sizes of fish and most is calculated using depletion methods but later surveys were less comprehensive using single catch data. The total standing crop of all fish combined amounted to 8304.7 g m-2, pike 357.14 gm m-2. Zander 797.44 gm m-2. The term standing crop is now used rather than biomass, but unless I’m very much mistaken the figures remain the same though the definition of both differs slightly. The percentage composition was now zander 9.6%, pike 4.3% a total predator percentage of 13.9%.
This is obviously a better predator prey relationship than the previous 55 and 79%. One ought to ask if 13.9% by weight of predators is sustainable. Without an understanding of the annual production of prey fish related to consumption by predators it is difficult to say however we can refer to Hickley (1986). Tables 3 and 4 reproduced here and give an indication of prey fish production in a canal and lake system though no account is taken of production values of larger fish which may be eaten by larger zander.






Hickley pointed out that that looking at tables 3 and 4 a roach population would be unable to maintain itself with a zander percentage of the fish population of 32% Luckily these levels of zander biomass appear to be a thing of the past in most waters. It should be noted that the subject water here Coombe Abbey Lake has seen the management of the fishery switch from culling zander to returning them.

If we return to the fenland waters, Adams (1987) demonstrated quite clearly that there was no correlation between zander and prey fish biomass. He did note however that the production of strong zander year classes, coinciding with weak year classes of prey fish may present problems in the future. Fortunately there is no evidence of this occurring since 1987 and the problems experienced in 1978 may have been due to exceptional circumstances.

The earlier study of Leah and Kell (1985) suggested that predation pressure from zander on cyprinids up to 3 years old presented a risk of reduced recruitment to the adult cyprinid population. On the other hand the water examined, the Sixteen foot Drain proved to be poor in invertebrate food for cyprinids and enhanced growth did not occur with increased predation of roach in particular. One would expect in a fishery where food was initially not a limiting factor of growth that reduced densities of roach in would see increased growth. This was not the case. Leah and Kell suggested that a more sympathetic management of macrophytes and marginal plants might result in the enhancement of cyprinid biomass.

THE EA VIEW
Please find below a response from Gareth Davies our Technical Fisheries Officer which should answer your questions:
As you may know, zander are a non-native species, but they are naturalized in many of our waters. As quite a number of these waters are rivers, drains and canals, eradicating this species is practically impossible. Therefore, where they have become naturalized, it is accepted that they are there to stay.
*Where zander have become established, you can return them to the water without committing an offence. But, under rod caught byelaws, we will also permit this species to be killed and removed; however, you may contravene local club rules by doing this where they state that all fish have to be returned. I suggest you contact the angling club who lease the rights to the water you fish to ensure you comply with their rules.
THE CLUB AND RIPARIAN OWNER VIEW.
I have approached as many angling clubs and riparian owners as I could find.
To Whom It May Concern
We have owned Bury Hill Fisheries since the late 1980’s. The focal point of the fishery is its 200 hundred year Old Lake, which is a well-stocked mixed coarse fishery extending to over 12 acres. A small number of Zander were stocked into the Old Lake sometime in the 1960’s and since this time the fishery has become famous for its specimen sized zander, which grow to over 17lb and which are now a valuable part of our stocking attracting anglers from far and wide.
During the 25 years we have managed the fishery we have not seen any adverse effect on our fish stocks caused by the zander and as such we have never found the need to cull the zander preferring to leave them to integrate with the lakes other species, which include carp, tench, bream and silver fish as well as pike and perch.
Given our experience with this species, which extends to over 25 years, we write to support The Zander Anglers Club efforts to provide the same protection for zander as that of other fish.
Yours sincerely
David S de Vere
Bury Hill Fisheries

ZANDER IN OUR CLUB WATERS.

Since zander arrived in the Stour system they have been a valuable asset to our anglers. The predator anglers love them and the river is in the finest condition it has been in for many years. The roach stocks are particularly good according to EA fish surveys. The numbers of zander initially expanded but in recent years less are being caught as they have properly adapted to their surroundings.
Secretary and Treasurer Sudbury and Long Melford District Angling Association
John Weddup

Dear Neville,
As with all large angling organisations our members' views on predatory fish tend to divide depending on whether or not they fish for them.
But I can say that where our fisheries on the River Great Ouse hold zander they are a very popular species and the majority of the anglers that fish there are seeking either zander or pike.
The LAA as an organisation accepts the presence of zander in the river systems and feels that they have probably reached a balance with other fish populations. But when it comes to small enclosed still waters where we have stocking policies in place we would remove predatory fish as a matter of policy to prevent predation on the stocked species. (We have enough of a problem with otters and cormorants)
In this way by leaving predatory fish in the rivers and our larger still waters we hope to meet the aspirations of our members in a balanced manner.
I hope this answers your question and thank you for contacting us.
Yours sincerely,
John Woods,
Chairman,
London Anglers Association
My name is Ashley Brown and I am a director of KLAA Ltd, I have served on the KLAA committee since 1992 and have fished the Middle Level main drain. Ten Mile Bank, Relief Channel and Cut Off channel controlled by KLAA Ltd for 32 yrs. In that time I have seen the crash of silver fish in the early 1980s which led to a predator /prey imbalance and the predator cull that followed. This led to a big fall in revenue for KLAA as anglers who flocked to the fens from all over the country stayed away, as did the locals, at this time KLAA had a policy that all zander must be removed, the early 1990s saw some large zander being caught on the Middle Level as the silverfish stocks recovered. This brought predator anglers flocking back to the fens bringing much increased revenue for the club. The club then changed their rule to all pike and zander over 5lb must be returned alive. 1998 saw the Middle Level produce a then British record zander and with the match fishing taking off on the Cut Off channel and Ten Mile bank. In 2008 when the increase in Eastern European anglers, saw them taking all the fish they caught, KLAA then brought in a rule of no fish to be removed and this rule is still in place today. In 2010 when the marine bill was under consultation KLAA were as far as I am aware the only club who asked for zander to be removed from the non-native list and even asked if zander in the fens could be given special protection as they were stocked legally in the in 1963. KLAA Ltd regard zander as a very important species in their waters, they bring zander anglers from all over the country which brings valuable income to the club and the local economy.
Regards
Ashley Brown
King's Lynn AA Ltd Secretary

Registered in England No 08422512
19 Pingles Rd
North Wootton
King's Lynn
Norfolk

Nottingham Piscatorial Society would like to express our full support for zander to be afforded the same protection as other coarse fish. The society stretches of the River Trent have for many years contained a large head of zander and these fish are well integrated into the predator food chain. The river has a teeming population of prey fish and we believe it to be unfair to continue to label the zander as an invasive species. The zander is also a very popular target for many of our members who already treat it with the respect it deserves.
James Brown
NPS Committee

I have also had a positive response from Ashfield Anglers a club which has substantial amounts of fishing on or near the Trent.

There are fisheries where zander are not welcome and appear to have caused problems. With this in mind I went to see John Ellis at the Canals and Rivers Trust. Now our midlands canals tend for much of the time to be very coloured due to the constant movement of boats in the comparatively shallow water. Sometimes less than 2m. It has become clear particularly due to the work of Smith, Leagh and Eaton (1994) that zander flourish in shallow turbid water. In conversation with John Ellis it was clear that while pike did not do particularly well in this environment zander can flourish. I have no data on growth rates other than those I obtained from the Coventry canal in 1978-80. Here growth was only average, but the suggestion is that in certain situations it is possible to get a large population of mainly modest sized zander, presumably growing relatively slowly. In canals where small cyprinids such as roach and gudgeon thrive it appears that the predation pressure from the zander can impact on these species. Further work by Smith, Leah and Eaton (1995) indicated that zander removal from the canals could reduce the size of the zander with the biomass remaining the same. The suggestion was that the impact on cyprinid species could actually increase because the larger zander were eating bullheads which have little to contribute to angling returns.

One thing is clear and that is that good canal cyprinid fisheries still exist particularly on The Grand Union Canal in the Milton Keynes area and the Canal and Rivers Trust are within their rights to try and slow the spread of zander. Unfortunately this means killing those zander caught rather than transferring the zander to a stretch of canal leased by the Lure Anglers Society. At present English Nature frowns on such a movement of zander. It may well be that in time attitudes change towards canal zander. More and more anglers are adopting the lure fishing approach as opposed to the traditional bait fishing techniques for Cyprinids. If a demand is created for zander fishing and it pays the rent we may see zander accepted in the midland canal system.

I have tried to contact Milton Keynes DAA who have non zander colonised canal fishing with a satisfactory standard of cyprinid fishing. I have not had a response but I believe this club would be against zander colonising their waters. I suspect they have no wish to take the risk which is perfectly understandable.

Recent reports suggest that light lure fishing techniques are resulting in fishing tackle sales topping those of the usual silver fish or carp tackle sales. Whether this is sustained cannot be determined at this moment, but the major companies such as Daiwa, Fox and Shimano appear to be taking this trend seriously. It may well be that predator fishing supersedes general coarse fishing in some areas. This would in itself reduce any pressure to cull zander.

CONCLUSION.
We have come a long way from the crisis days of 1978-79. Since those days there have been no complaints about zander that I could find. That means zander have been trouble free for about 27 years. Whether this is long enough to result in full acclimatisation I cannot say, but things look fairly good so far. The purpose of this paper is to try and get the zander the same protection as our native fish. (Where the introduced common carp Cyprinus carpio fits is as a native I’m not sure!) At present zander can be removed at will and angling clubs have to enforce their own rules which either forbid zander removal or have a size limit (usually under 5lb) of fish which can be removed. It would be far better if EA enforcement officers and the police could act if zander were being removed illegally.
The threat of tackle confiscation and a large fine would be more of a deterrent than an angling club having to take their own action.

If zander are given the same protection as our other coarse fish, it will be necessary to retain some form of exemption for clubs or riparian owners who have zander illegally introduced to their fisheries. Hopefully such events will be rare.


REFERENCES.
Adams, J. 1(1987) Zander: 25 Years on Their Current Status in the Fenland Fishery. Proc. 18th IFM Ann. Stud. Cour. 163-174
Craig, J. (2000) Percid Fishes Systematics Ecology and Exploitation. Wiley Blackwell
Fickling, N.J. (1981) The Ecology of the Zander. MPhil Thesis University of Aston in Birmingham
Hickley, P. (1986) Invasion by Zander and the Management of Fish Stocks. Phil. Trans. E. Soc lond. B314,571-582
Leagh, R.T. and L.T. Kell (1985) The Impact of Introducing Zander to a British Fishery. Proc.4th. Brit. Freshw. Conf. 183 -192
Linfield, R.S.J. and R.B. Rickards, 1979 The Zander in Perspective. Fish Manage., 10(1):1 16
Smith A, R Leah and J Eaton. 1995 Removal as an Option for Management of an Introduced Pisciverous fish – the Zander. Annales of Zoologic, Fennic, 33. 537-545
Last edited by Neville Fickling on Fri Dec 15 2017 10:04, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: ask a simple question

Post by Kev Berry » Thu Dec 14 2017 13:04

Thanks for that Neville---now why didn't you do that at the beginning :roll:

Two of those clubs who sent letters supporting the zander sent them because of my position on the committee of one and me asking the other on your behalf to do so.

The fiver was sent via pigeon post, some fecker must have shot it, will send another today :thumbs:

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Re: ask a simple question

Post by Neville Fickling » Thu Dec 14 2017 19:46

It wasn’t sent before because you didn’t ask nucely

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Re: ask a simple question

Post by Neville Fickling » Thu Dec 14 2017 19:47

By the way some of the tables have not copy and pasted. Well sorry about that

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Re: ask a simple question

Post by Kev Berry » Thu Dec 14 2017 19:49

Neville Fickling wrote:
It wasn’t sent before because you didn’t ask nucely
didn't ask nicely? :laughs: get fooked

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Re: ask a simple question

Post by Neville Fickling » Thu Dec 14 2017 20:31

Get whatever you said yourself😀

piker60
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Re: ask a simple question

Post by piker60 » Fri Dec 15 2017 06:38

Thanks for that Neville. Those catch return numbers 1976-1981 were hard to decipher (no commas face).
"The best argument against democracy, is a 5 minute conversation with the average voter"
W.Churchill

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Neville Fickling
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Re: ask a simple question

Post by Neville Fickling » Fri Dec 15 2017 06:48

There are bigger spaces in the original text dunno where they went. Will try and edit when I get chance

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Neville Fickling
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Re: ask a simple question

Post by Neville Fickling » Sat Dec 16 2017 11:34

Kev is now a member of ZAC fiver received!

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