Invasive Non-Native Species
With the technical and financial assistance of the Environment Agency and the GB Non Native Species Secretariat we have amalgamated this information on invasive pest identification and control into an easy-one stop website to help our members and others to take effective action. Some invasive species are identified in the table on the left, including the new "Killer Shrimp", but there are no known total eradication techniques for some species like signal crayfish at present. We are supporting research into control of signal crayfish and anticipate being able to release initial findings this year.
Updates on invasive species work, including the most significant developments being undertaken by different environmental groups are available on the Non-native Species Secretariat webpage HERE.
You might have invasive non-native species on waters which you own, lease or fish and have a look through the files in the table on the left to acquaint yourself with the potential invaders. There are also phone Apps available HERE that enable you to compare invasive species against other similar looking species in the field. We would also encourage you to undertake the GBNNSS e-learning training on invasive species including information on identification, control and recording.
Anglers are already expending considerable effort in trying to tackle this threat to our fishing but we recognise that to be more effective this needs to be co-ordinated on a catchment basis. The Angling Trust is therefore working with the Rivers Trusts to achieve this. A pilot project set up by the Cumbria Freshwater Invasive Non-Native Species Initiative (CFINNS) in 2010 is working on a county-wide biosecurity plan to co-ordinate action to identify and eradicate threats within the county. The South Cumbrian Rivers Trust (SCRT) also have a website with information in order to prevent the spread of Killer Shrimp into Cumbrian waters. We are working with the SCRT through our North West Regional Forum to report data to the Trust and to encourage angling volunteers to get involved in the eradication plans.
By all working together we can make a significant impact on these threats to our fishing.
How did invasive species get here in the first place?
A number have been with us for many years originating from Victorian times like A number have been with us for many years originating from Victorian times like Himalayan balsam and Japanese knotweed. They escaped from gardens and now dominate a large number of our rivers and lakes. Others have been more recently imported and are sold through garden centres and then released into waterways when the owners get fed up with them. This is the focus of the Be Plantwise campaign that the Angling Trust supports and helped design. Others can be spread by the general public including anglers, accidentally carrying these species on their clothing and fishing tackle from one site to another.
Be Part of the Solution, Not the Problem!
This last pathway we can tackle now. The AT urges all anglers to carefully think about this and how you can help with what is called bio-security. The Check, Clean Dry, campaign launched in 2010 provides guidance to anglers and other water users on how to clean equipment to ensure the removal of unwanted organisms. After fishing ensure to check your equipment and remove any attached organisms, clean your equipment and dry out your clothing and fishing tackle, especially nets, before fishing again. This is especially important when going on to different water and returning from a trip abroad – carp anglers know the importance of this in spreading KHV, salmon anglers will know the importance with potentially spreading Gyrodactylus salaris. The deadly crayfish plague carried by signal crayfish can survive on damp clothing for up to 10 days (for more information and posters see the crayfish section). If drying out is not a viable option consider having one set of kit for your favourite water and another for travelling to waters you fish less often. Disinfecting kit is an option using iodone based (iodophors) disinfectant such as Wescodyne/Iosan CCT or FAM30/Iofarm generally available from farm or dairy suppliers.
Our work abroad
As well as being involved in substantial invasive species work in the UK, the AT is also promoting the concerns of UK anglers at an international level. Recognising the obligations under the new EU Regulation 1143/2014 on Invasive Non Native Species which came into force in January 2015, the AT has written a European Code of Conduct to provide guidance to anglers both within the UK, and also abroad on how to account for invasive species in their everyday fishing activities.
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