Canals in the West Midlands have received a massive boost as British Waterways carried out additional fish stockings as part of its Angling Action Plan ‘to conserve and improve the angling experience of fishery ecology of the canal systems’.
One such fishery to receive the injection of additional fish stocks of roach, perch and bream was the Cannock Extension Canal which runs from the A5 near Norton Canes to the junction with the Wyrley Essington Canal at Pelsall.
The Cannock Extension canal is leased from British Waterways and the angling rights of its complete length are controlled by Harrisons Sports and Social Club, based in Wharwell Lane Great Wyrley.
Harrisons S&SC club chairman and keen match angler Tony Kulik said: “This is a fantastic and positive move by British Waterways to improve the quality of fishing along the canal which is already noted by local anglers for its head of tench, pike and large carp.”
Mr Kulik added: “The club is indebted to the efforts of Carl Nicholls, angling coordinator for British Waterways West Midlands, who has worked extremely hard behind the scenes over several months to bring about the stocking and thus in the process realised some of our dreams for the canal.”
British Waterways angling co-ordinator, Carl Nicholls said of the stockings: “Angling is the country’s biggest participatory sport and with thousands of people visiting the West Midlands Waterways every year to fish, we want to ensure that the best possible opportunities for good fishing are available.”
Members of Harrisons S&SC fish the canal free-of-charge. New members are always welcomed by the club; just visit it during opening hours to arrange a membership.
Alternatively, annual adult season tickets to fish the canal are available by contacting Tony Kulik 07989 700638 or Dave Meredith 01922 413925. At just £5 per year, it’s a small price to pay when it’s not uncommon to pay £5 or more per day for a day’s fishing.
A word of caution, though, for anglers wishing to capture newly-stocked fish.
The canal is a designated site of scientific and special interest because it is home to 34 aquatic plants, including rare species, making it the richest known waterway of its type in Staffordshire and the West Midlands.
Because of this status it still carries a close season and angling is strictly banned between March 16 and June 15 each year. Failure to comply with this law could result in a fine of up to £2,500 and confiscation of tackle if Environment Agency Enforcement Officers find anglers fishing during these dates.