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Five new record fish claims ratified by British Record Fish Committee

03.12.19

Wallis Gurnard x550
Ben Wallis with his streaked gurnard

The British Record Fish Committee met at Fishmongers’ Hall, London Bridge, on 27th November 2019. Present were: Mike Heylin OBE (Chairman), Oliver Crimmen (Scientific Advisor, Natural History Museum), Nigel Hewlett (Scientific Advisor, Environment Agency), Paul Coulson (Freshwater Specialist), Tim Froome (Marine Specialist), Will Barnard (Freshwater Specialist) and Nick Simmonds (Secretary).

The committee would like to record its thanks to The Fishmongers’ Company for generously hosting this meeting and to acknowledge the grant funding provided by The Fishmongers’ Company to enable the BRFC to continue its work in considering, ratifying and recording British record rod-caught fish.

The committee has received correspondence questioning the validity of the current British sea trout record and suggesting that the fish, caught in 1992 and ratified as a British record in 1993, may in fact be a salmon. The BRFC will investigate the question of the identification of this fish to the fullest extent it is able to from the records available.

The committee considered and accepted the following record claims as being duly ratified:

Ben Wallis’s Streaked Gurnard (Chelidonicthys lastoviza) from Cornwall’s Helford river in August, was ratified as a new boat-caught record at a weight of 1lb 7oz 15dr. Ben’s fish beats the previous boat-caught record of 1lb 2oz for this seldom reported species.

Gary Marquis Mullet x400

Gary Marquis’s shore-caught Thin-lipped Grey Mullet (Liza ramada), ratified at 8lb 8oz 13dr, caught from the east coast of Guernsey on 11th August 2019. Gary’s fish is the latest in a run of record thin-lips over recent years and beats Geoff Le Page’s 2017 record of 8lb 3oz 8dr. Gary’s fish was examined at the Natural History Museum to verify the species identification. The BRFC’s Marine Scientific Advisor, Oliver Crimmen, has identified a previously unrecorded characteristic feature of thin-lipped mullet which, when thoroughly checked, may help to identify the species from good photographic evidence in future.

Wingfield tope Jun 2019 x400

Ryan Wingfield has broken his own shore-caught Tope (Galeorhinus galeus) record of 75lb with a larger fish rati-fied at 77lb 3oz. Ryan’s new record was caught in June 2019 from a Pembrokeshire shore mark.

barbel_CS x400

Colin Smithson’s Barbel (Barbus barbus) was ratified at 21lb 2oz, to overtake Grahame King’s 2006 Great Ouse record by just one ounce. Colin’s fish was caught from a Sussex river on 7th November 2019.

Mathew Faulkner with record stickleback x400

Mat Faulkner’s Three-Spined Stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) was ratified as a record with a weight of 8 grams. Caught in July from Lower Beauvale Ponds near Nottingham, Mat’s fish just pips Dennis Flack’s 1998 record of 4 drams (7 grams). Mat’s fish was weighed on a scale which gave a reading in grams and after an adjustment for slight inaccuracy shown by the scales test the rounded down weight was agreed at 8 grams.

The Committee would like to remind anglers that in the event of the capture of a potential record fish, the captor should first contact the British Record (rod-caught) Fish Committee without delay.

Captors of potential record fish should contact the Secretary, Nick Simmonds, at the Angling Trust, on 01568 620447 or by email at brfc@anglingtrust.net Nick will record the details of the capture and advise the claimant on progressing the claim.

More information about what to do if you catch a record fish can be found on the BRFC web pages

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