Rogue catfish anglers have caused major disruption to Earlswood Lakes in Solihull, West Midlands.
The Canals And Rivers Trust are being forced to carry out a complete makeover to remove 40 of the illegal non-native species.
John Ellis, their national fisheries manager, explained: “The illegal dumping of the catfish at Earlswood also represents a threat to the adjacent Site of Special Scientific Interest on the River Blythe, and the Environment Agency has insisted on their removal.
“We’ve been able to tie that in with important valve works taking place, but it’s really frustrating that, as a charity, we’re faced with picking up the tab.”
While the works are taking place the Trust also decided to move some of the larger carp from the lakes to other Canal and River Trust waters.
John said: “We fully understand that moving the carp might not be popular with some carpers but we have to do what is right for the fish, the lakes and the local community.
“By moving them to less intensely fished and pressured waters the fish can continue to live well in to old age.”
John said: “We also want to re-establish Earlswood as one of the best match fisheries in the West Midlands, as it was in the 1990s and 2000s.
“Over time the fish have grown large and are now too big for match fishing but these works will enable us to make Engine Pool a really high quality small carp and bream fishery once more,” he concluded.
But one upset carp angler said: “It is disgusting they are removing the larger carp which go to 39 lb, they don’t need to be removed.
“I was told in strict confidence the local residents don’t like night fishing so they’re saying they’re doing maintenance but the truth is are moving all carp out to keep the residents happy. It is shocking news for thousands of carp anglers.”
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