Learn More About Fish! - Richard Stewart

Before Christmas I travelled down to Sparsholt College to learn more about the fish that we love. The Winchester-based College puts on a Fishery Management short course twice a year. Rather than being a dry, boring affair, the three-day course fuses science with practical fishery management techniques and all participants are encouraged to interact with the expert lecturers.

We covered the biology of the carp, the carp’s nutritional requirements, lake building, lake maintenance, stocking and habitat creation. There’s even a practical segment that allows everyone to get involved in hands-on netting and electro-fishing at Sparsholt’s College lake. Who does the course appeal to then? Well, on our course there were club officials, fishery owners and interested anglers, in fact, anyone who’s interested in fish and the aquatic environment will benefit from signing up!

Korda’s very own Simon Scott took part of the course. He covered stocking fish as well as hosting an informative section on otter predation and it’s likely impact on fishing. Anyone who is concerned about otters should seriously think about attending. There were also valuable contributions from Viv Shears, formerly of RMC Angling and now of VS Fisheries as well as Sparsholt’s own Mark Burdass and Neil Crooks. Shaun Leonard of the Wild Trout Trust guided us through the design and excavation of a lake, step by step. This informative section included the lessons that he learned while building the Sparsholt College lake.

I learned loads about the ecology of the lakes that we fish and attending the course taught me practical ways in which the lakes that I’m involved with as a member can be improved for fish, angler and wildlife. If you’re part of a syndicate or club or own your own lake, then I’d highly recommend the course. The next short course takes place on the 12th February 2011. Contact Sparsholt College for details of future courses:
Tel: 01962 776441
Email: enquiry@sparsholt.ac.uk