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  #1  
Old 12-09-2017, 12:20
Steve Lewis Steve Lewis is offline
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Default Barbel stocked in the Somerset Levels

First (small) barbel starting to be caught from the river Brue in Somerset apparently, having been stocked by the EA just under a year ago in association with several clubs. Still only babies at this point, but apparently in tip-top condition according to Brue anglers I spoke to at the weekend whilst on a recce down there.

Until now, the only Somerset river to have produced barbel was the river Axe, but these have been fish that are likely to have got into the river when nearby lakes (many of which had barbel introduced years ago, due to the complete lack of them in the region's rivers) have flooded, and catches have been very few and far between, and by accident. Unlikely that there are enough of these "escapees" to promote a significant barbel population in the Axe.

The Brue, however, is the first proper Somerset river (that I'm aware of, at least) to have benefited from an official stocking, after years of the EA refusing to introduce barbel to rivers where it has never been an indigenous species. Presumably the apparent success of stocking the river Chew in nearby North East Somerset annually since 2009/10, as well as the struggle of existing stocks in other rivers across the country, has made the EA review their stance.

Hopefully this will mean similar stockings in other South West rivers - many of which are more than suitable for barbel - will take place in the near future.

Naturally it's very very early days - and, despite being 7 or 8 years into their introduction, it's still very early days for the Chew barbel as well - but I know the Brue well, and it's a healthy river with a plentiful enough ecosystem to support them. I think this is a good bit of progress.

Now if only the Bathampton and Amalgamated clubs organised themselves and got the EA to re-stock the Avon below Chippenham...
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Old 12-09-2017, 12:44
Rob Francis Rob Francis is offline
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I was fishing the Blue last Friday, well, more like watching as it was so low and clear nothing wanted to know.
I saw some nice Chub & Bream as usual but swear there was a Barbel amongst them.
Do you know whereabouts the stocking(s) took place Chris?
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Old 12-09-2017, 13:12
Steve Lewis Steve Lewis is offline
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All I know is that the stocking had the involvement of "several" clubs. There are 4 that I know of that have control of stretches along much of the whole length and, I think I'm right in saying, there are no weirs or passes for the entirety of its length. So in theory they should now be present in, or at least have access to, the whole river.

Of course, it's entirely possible that there were already barbel in there from surrounding lake floodings, like the Axe, but as far as I know no one has ever reported a barbel capture from the Brue, unlike the Axe.

As I said, very early days, but they're still in there and now being caught a year later.
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  #4  
Old 12-09-2017, 13:40
Rob Francis Rob Francis is offline
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Im in the Glaston Manor club Chris, was fishing in the Glastonbury/Street area.
I read about it earlier this year below and wondered if it was correct.
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/a...nglands-rivers
It sounds like it is then, there's some good Chub in the Blue, fingers crossed the Barbel thrive too.
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