Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Zebras Blogs and bits and bobs

Ive been back from the Ebro for a week now and just about caught up with the work load. Why does it always seem that you are in need of another holiday as soon as you catch up from the first? I suppose it keeps you wanting more, and more holidays are always a good thing.

I wanted to start this post with a thank you to the excellent blog called Carpcast by Will James which Ive been reading over the last few days and would recommend for any Carp Angler. And also to my friend Mike who's just getting started on his blog. We have also just started a joint venture and you can read more about that here.

The other topic I wanted to mention was brought to my attention when traveling and fishing along the river Ebro. The Full story of that trip can be read here.

The Zebra Muscle is coming to a waterway near you....

It seems that this foreign invader has infested the river Ebro and is making devastating inroads up river and more worryingly into inland lakes and water ways.

Zebra muscles are native to the Black, Caspian and Azov Seas of Eastern Europe and probably arrived on the hull of a visiting sailboat. The little blighter's are resilient and can live for up to 2 days out of water, making anglers boats a prime and free transportation method from rivers to inland lakes and waterways.
The Zebra muscle wrecks havoc from both and industrial and environmental point of view. At a Michigan power station they stacked up 700,000 per sq. meter!

Zebra muscles are equally devastating to the ecosystem. They colonize on native muscles, killing them. They eat virtually anything suspended in the water, meaning algae, bacteria, protozoa, phytoplankton and all manner of important little microscopic creatures. This deprives other microscopic organism - dependent species like native muscles, minnows and baby fish.

From a fisherman's perspective its no bed of roses either.

How many times have you picked up a screaming take only to have the line part like cotton with not a whiff of contact? Its like someones played a practical joke on you, and I have actually looked around at moments like that to see if someones having me on.
But of course its just a hazard of fishing close to, or over, muscle beds, and from the sound of those Zebra muscles it could be a far more frequent problem.
I remember a very frustrating session on Salagou in Southern France when I lost fish after fish, I am sure the mussels actually open and closed on the line, as I had a couple of cracking drop backs only to find the line cut clean as a whistle!

At a local level there are plenty of well produced signs at all the popular boat launching sites, explaining to fishermen that they must clean their boat and gear on leaving the water. The signs are in three languages but it seems a bit weak when compared to the Zebras frightening reproduction rate, as the red areas on the map showing the infested regions, seem to be snaking their way inland.

The video highlights the current problems on the Ebro, and remember, this little critter has only just got started, the commentry is in Spanish, but a picture tells a thousand words as they say, click here to watch the video.

From another source - The daily news aptly describes it: The dastardly Zebra muscle And its well worth reading the article if you have an interest in this subject.
Finally a glimmer of hope from Millawokee Journal Sentinel
I have just found this interesting article that might be the solution to the Zebra muscle problem.

The article talks about a scientific experiment where the Zebras were subjected to low frequency electromagnetic waves, which apparently made the muscles die within 40 days.
Another couple of excellent blog post I found, again in Spanish but stressing that the local and regional authorities are not doing nearly enough to fight the problem. If you can read Spanish they are well worth a visit.

So its left me in a bit of a dilemma....

Do I respool all my reels with Krystons Ton up or electrocute the little buggers...

The Truth WareHouse

BaggingUp.co.uk Blog

Video Catch reports Morocco Carp