Surveying the scene in the west

CHRIS BISHOP Anglers in West Norfolk and the Fens could soon be using Environment Agency survey maps to guide them to where the fish are.EA staff who like to wet a line in their spare time are already using the survey results to plan their own fishing, one of its fisheries scientists has revealed.

CHRIS BISHOP

Anglers in West Norfolk and the Fens could soon be using Environment Agency survey maps to guide them to where the fish are.

EA staff who like to wet a line in their spare time are already using the survey results to plan their own fishing, one of its fisheries scientists has revealed.

The disclosure comes in the latest edition of Angle, the EA's magazine for anglers in its East Anglian region.

"Every angler wants to know where are the fish. Well, we have the maps that can tell you," it says.

The article explains how data collected from electronic surveys of rivers is plotted into maps.

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The piece is illustrated with a map of the Great Ouse between Ten Mile Bank and its confluence with the River Wissey, near Downham Market, in Norfolk.

A large concentration of fish is shown immediately downstream of the infall, which will be of no surprise to anyone in that part of the world.

As the EDP reported last July, around the time the EA survey came out, swims in the area were producing 100lb-plus nets of bream and tench.

EA fisheries scientist Justin Mould goes on: "I'm an angler myself and I can tell you they really do work. I've had some memorable fishing trips using these maps.

"I used the maps to identify where there might be shoals of prey fish and then went fishing for the predators that would be around them."

Mould said his best catch using this technique was a 14lb zander.

"Fish move, of course, so the maps are never 100pc accurate. But it does show you stretches where the fish are likely to be.

"These maps, once they are made, can be distributed to anglers free of charge.

"All they have to do is ask."

The EA magazine also reveals illegally-stocked carp and catfish have been removed from a small fishery in the Fens.