Pike fishing club bans pike fishing
PUBLISHED: 08:47 05 July 2019 | UPDATED: 14:28 05 July 2019
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A pike fishing club in Norfolk is hoping a make a big statement in the conservation of the fish - by banning its members from pike fishing.
With concerns over the welfare of the popular catch, Norwich and District Pike Club - which hires out 23 boats across the Broads - has banned its members from chasing the fish when water temperatures exceed 21C.
It is a move geared at helping to bring about a resurgence in pike numbers across the county, which its chairman fears is depleting.
Stephen Roberts, club chairman, said: "In the summer months, pike really struggle to recover once they are caught and put back into the water.
"Since we have seen such a fall in the pike numbers over the year, we have decided to try and take action to help them."
The ban comes following scientific research into the conditions pike thrive best in, conducted at the University of Hull and relating to the oxygen levels of the waters at different temperatures.
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John Currie, a club member and director of Broads Angling Services Group, said: "The issue of summer pike fishing has been heavily debated on social media, so the study was commission to try and stop a bit of the squabbling.
"It found that when the temperature is above 21C, the oxygen levels in the water will be much lower.
"Therefore, when pike are thrown back they really struggle to recover - we compare it to when people do a lot of exercise and struggle to catch their breath."
Mr Roberts said the move had been largely supported by the group's members, who he said appreciated it was in the interest of the fish.
He said: "We want to help preserve pike for the next generation. In an ideal world there would be more regulation on when people can fish for pike.
"However, hopefully in doing this we can set an example and others may follow suit.
He added that while pike can be mistakenly caught while pursuing other breeds, there were telltale signs that anglers were specifically looking for them, which the club would be looking out for.