Show red light to invasive crayfish

Having done battle with invasive crayfish on the Basingstoke Canal on two occasions, I can well understand Bradford No1 issuing guidelines to its large membership to help stop these foreign invaders getting a foothold on their stillwaters.

Crayfish of various types were brought to this country to breed for restaurants or keep in aquariums, but released into waterways when businesses fell on hard times or people tired of them.

As a consequence several types of foreign crayfish, including the fearsome North American signal crayfish have spread throughout the country.

Apart from causing an imbalance in the eco-system of watercourses, these foreign invaders pose a threat to fish, their eggs and small fry.

And they are a nightmare for anglers too. They eat virtually anything, are attracted particularly to groundbaiting and they are not averse to swimming into midwater to intercept bait.

Anyone who has caught one will know the cut and thrust involved in removing a hook, which often ends with a painful nip from a king-sized pincer and blood being drawn.

The signal crayfish have small larvae and eggs that can survive for several days on damp keepnets and landing nets posing a potential problem to the next venue the angler visits.

Bradford’s committee, and this should apply to all clubs, suggests anglers make certain nets and particularly keepnets are fully dried out before being used again.

Another option would be to wash nets down with detergent to help kill off any unwanted passengers.

The club’s final river open match of the season is on Sunday at Cowthorpe, tickets from Simon Foster on 01274 571175.

Members are reminded that the final day of the river season is Wednesday March 14. Widdington Hall is closed on Saturday for an outside booking.

Stuart Campbell continued to rack up the points in the County Championships with another win on the Calder and Hebble navigation at Thornhill ... but he needed a golden draw to do it with.

Stu drew peg one which has been the most prolific through the recently ended pairs series. He caught roach and skimmers to two ounces on bread punch at 10 metres for 3lbs 15oz. Pushing him all the way at the next peg was Mike Sharpe of the host club which caught similar species on two lines using pinkies for an ounce less.

I learned with great sadness on Monday that Mike Walton, a well known and respected angler on the Yorkshire and Lancashire match scene and a lifelong member of the Ryburn club, had lost his battle with cancer.

I knew Mike as a young man and then fished with him two years ago on a Trent national.

We had a lovely pre-match evening catching up and reminiscing about the past.

In tomorrow night’s Courier Sport, Dave Pilgrim remembers his travelling partner and pal.