Coarse anglers face a difficult start to the new season.

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The Wye is currently very low with the Coarse fishing season due to start in 6 days time.

2020 has been the weirdest of years for more reasons than we all care to recall and now anglers are in an unbelievable situation. Just a few weeks ago in early March we were suffering record water levels at Ross and now with no rain through March, April and May we have the mighty Wye trickling through Ross on its way to the sea. Flows are canal like and the fishing threatens to be difficult with water the colour of pea soup and algae covered rocks everywhere.

Wye shows her bones in Weirend.

As I write this there is a threat of significant overnight rain in Wales which is sure to make a welcome impact the catchment of the Wye. But we will have to wait and see. Just in case we don’t get the promised rain I asked Paul Dowgill, Club Treasurer, and barbel supremo, to give us some words of advice on fish handling in hot low water conditions.

He says ” With the Wye experiencing low water levels and significant growth of algae it is likely that dissolved oxygen levels will be lower than what would normally be expected this time of the year.

Therefore it would be wise to take even greater care than normal when landing, unhooking and releasing fish. Please follow the guidance outlined below.

Handle all fish with care, use wet hands when holding and unhooking fish.

Try to keep fish in the water while unhooking and release them as soon as they’ve recovered.

If you plan to take photos, try to take them with the fish still in the water.

Where possible, release your fish into deeper, faster flowing water, where it is safe to do so. This will hold more dissolved oxygen and speed up their recovery.

If fish need help to recover, hold them upright with their head facing into the current. This will allow clear oxygenated water to flow across their gills.You can also hold fish in a landing net in the river current until they show strong signs of movement. This may take a few minutes, but it is best if the fish is fully recovered before release.

Beatiful Wye barbel from Ross AC waters.

Taking care of our fish is paramount any time of the year but especially during warm weather when conditions are more stressful to the fish.

Tightlines to all Ross AC members in the coming season, may all your fish be so big that there will be no need to lie!

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