TRY CATCHING A “FAST” FISH
The trout is officially the Linford Christie of British rivers after scientists ranked it fastest fresh water fish in a comparison with other species.
When fish experts put five river species through their paces in a special water circuit the roach didn't stand a chance against the streamlined trout and the elver never left the starting blocks.
The research into the swimming speed of coarse fish aims to provide vital clues to help scientists to boost fish populations in Britain's rivers.
The manager of the project Darryl Clifton-Dey said: "As natural hunters, trout have developed strong muscles compared with roach who tend to dawdle around on the river-bed eating whatever comes their way.
"Roach only swim fast over short distances when escaping from predators. "They tend to live in sluggish or still waters whereas trout normally inhabit the fast flowing upper reaches of river."
But there were some exceptions to this rule - some fish were simply lazier than others.
Mr Clifton-Dey said: "Although most trout were top class athletes, some had a bit of a bad attitude and couldn't really be bothered."
Rodney Coldron of the National Federation of Anglers said: "The results of the survey come as no real surprise - I always suspected the trout was the fastest because it is so powerful and muscular.
"The figures won't change the way anyone fishes, but they are definitely of academic interest. If the research boosts numbers then that's great news."
Some British fresh water fish are declining in numbers as man-made structures like weirs interfere with their migration and water companies suck up fish in the water they process.
The figures will help scientists design ladders for the fish to get through obstructions.
The results will also give water companies guidelines for the amount and speed at which they should extract water from rivers.
Mr Clifton-Dey added: "This research will open up a whole new field for improving coarse fisheries."
The fish species were ranked as follows:
Trout - 2m a second
Chub - 1.8m a second
Dace - 1.8m a second
Roach - 1.7m a second
Elvers - 0.5m a second

 

 
     
 
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