The Origin of British Barbel: Any Questions Part 9
Just where did our barbel come from originally, and where did they go? Find the answer in the next part of our 'Any Questions' series, in association with Nash Peg One
Q. What rivers in the UK were barbel native to? And which rivers were they stocked into? and why didn't they exist in all rivers originally?
Paul Garner answers:
There is some debate about exactly which rivers have native barbel populations. The general opinion is that the rivers of the south east of England, perhaps extending up as far as the Humber, would have been colonised by barbel as the ice sheet receded at the end of the last ice age.
At this time these rivers drained into the east coast basin, that was connected to the rivers of northern Europe, through the then dry Channel. This gave a natural corridor for recolonisation as the ice melted and the rivers that we now see were formed. In the last 10,000 years our rivers have changed massively, including over 1,000 years of human interference, so barbel populations would certainly have come and gone (mainly gone) in the intervening years.
Because rivers in other parts of the country had no connections to the Europe it is unlikely (but not impossible) that they had natural barbel populations. Most were then probably stocked at one time or another by humans. Ironically, it is many of these stocked rivers that now hold some of the best barbel populations and finest fishing, thanks to their suitable habitats for barbel spawning and survival.
With carp and specialist anglers of the calibre of Paul Garner, Tony Gibson, Alan Storey, Steve Pope, Ted Bryan, Alan Blair, Mark Barrett, Lewis Baldwin, Ian Hardman and Bernard Anderson – to name but a few - the Nash Peg One team has a wealth of experience covering just about every species that swims and the expertise of the whole team is on tap for everyone at FishingMagic to take advantage of in these Q and A sessions.
If you have any questions that you would like the team at Nash Peg One to answer in the next instalment then please e-mail them through to firstname.lastname@example.org
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