Our Level 3 Fish Management students had their first netting practical of the year at the well-known Godalming Angling Society venue Marsh Farm, home to some stunning crucian carp (which resemble bars of gold) along with many other species.

The aim of the day was to carry out some age sampling to find out the age structure and growth rates of the various species on the Richardson Lake within the complex. Three successful sweeps of the 100m net produced well over 250 crucians up to 2.5lbs, more than 300 bream up to 4lbs, and a few tench up to 4lbs as well. Added to this some small silvers, perch and a few carp up to 7lbs were captured.

The group then selected 30 fish of a range of sizes for each species and these were then scale sampled. This involves carefully removing 4-6 scales from the flank of the fish – not an easy job with tench – along with weighing and measuring the fish.

The scale samples and information for each fish were then posted off to the EA Fish lab at Brampton where their fish ageing team will look at the scales and then produce a report which will allow the club and students to look at how healthy the population is in terms of growth rates and year classes.

To round the day off, the club laid on a lovely spread of hot Cornish pasties, beans and hot drinks for the group to thank them for their efforts. This was very welcome after a day stood in the water juggling fish but that’s what we love doing here at Sparsholt!
Find out more about our Fishery Studies and Aquatics courses