Fish in the River Dane

What fish are most common in this stretch of the River Dane?

Dace  love fast water, particularly the rapid, shallow and highly oxygenated water immediately downstream of a weir pool. They are quite small fish, weighing about 200g on average.

dace

Barbel  can range from 25 to 100 cm in length and weigh anywhere between 200 g and 10 kg, although weights of 200 g are more common. The name barbel (derived from the Latin barba, meaning beard) is a reference to the two pairs of barbs — a longer pair pointing forwards and slightly down.

barbel

Chub is a member of the carp family. It frequents both slow and moderate rivers as well as canals and still waters of various kinds. It is a predatory fish and tends to live together in shoals, although larger fish become solitary.

 chub

Minnows are small fish (8-10cm) and are common in fast-flowing, well oxygenated fresh water and well-drained vegetated ponds. They tend to swim in shoals.

minnow

Grayling are members of the salmon family. Its maximum recorded length is 60cm, it can weigh over 6kg and may live for 18 years.

grayling

What do the fish feed on?

Small invertebrates and the larger fish sometimes eat smaller fish. They also eat maggots and worms used as bait by fishermen.

Are the fish migratory?

They tend to stay in the same stretch of river. When the river is in flood they try to avoid the main current so that they don’t get swept down river. The pool at the bottom of the weir next to Massey’s Mill is a good place for fish to live because the water is well oxygenated by the water falling into it.

How stable is the population?

It seems to be reasonably constant. Problems can occur in severe winters when cormorants move inland as they have a large appetite!

Anglers

This stretch of the River Dane is fished by Bank Farm Anglers. Only people who live in Holmes Chapel are allowed a permit to fish here (it costs £15 per year). The Chairman is Mr G Walker and the Committee members and Bailiffs are Mr M Sproston, Mr K Walsh and Mr H. Bailey.

The fishing season starts on June 16th and ends on March 15th  of the following year. The period from March to June is known as the Close Season. No fishing is undertaken during this time because it is the breeding season and, to ensure a healthy population for the future, the fish are allowed to spawn undisturbed.

Bank Farm Anglers don’t remove fish from the river – every fish they catch they record and put back in the water. Some fish may have been caught several times!

The attraction of fishing is the peace and quiet of sitting on the river bank surrounded by nature, so if you are also a visitor to the Dane Meadow please do your best not to disturb the anglers! And dog owners please keep your dogs under control so that they don’t make a nuisance of themselves either.


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