Take a gander at Nick's 'stunning' Yare zander
Roy WebsterNorwich angler Nick King, who this week relived the historic day at the end of the December 2006 when he caught the only zander recorded so far from the River Yare, photographed by his working buddy Adrian Tunmore.Roy Webster
'I shall never forget the moment when that 6lb zander surfaced in front of me in the River Yare. I was absolutely stunned. In fact I can honestly say, looking back, it was for me a lifetime experience.'
Those were the words of nostalgia from Norwich angler Nick King, who this week relived the historic day at the end of the December 2006 when he caught the only zander recorded so far from the River Yare, photographed by his working buddy Adrian Tunmore.
The 50-year-old road maintenance engineer from Virginia Close was responding to what have been seen as scurrilous allegations that the details of his catch reported and pictured in the Eastern Evening News on December 29, 2006 were somehow suspect.
'I cannot understand why a few people are in denial about zander being in the Broads - perhaps there is more to it then meets the eye,' he said.
King emphasises he fishes for recreation. 'I like a bit of pike fishing on my local rivers but I have never fished the Fens in my life, and until I caught that zander from the River Yare I had never set eyes on a live or dead one. To be honest I thought I was dreaming but the fish laying in my landing net was not a pike nor a perch. It was a zander, no argument,' he asserted.
Denying any suggestion that the picture was doctored, he added: 'To those who may still be in denial that zander are in the Broads rivers I can say this - unless it has been caught since, the fish I put back in 2006 is still out there. At the time I was unaware there was a law against releasing it.'
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Respected Norfolk naturalist Percy Trett confirmed this week that he had identified a fish caught by a holiday angler from the River Thurne as a zander of about 3lb. He described the spread of zander throughout the nation's waters as 'the work of an irresponsible minority.'
'Zander, which are an alien species outlawed in this country, have been unlawfully distributed to many natural waterways, and obviously into our own Broads. It is clear to me that the few fish that have been caught here were introduced in violation of the regulations governing the release of alien species,' he said.
The statute that outlaws zander in all waters in this country is the now controversial Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981. The proposed Marine & Coastal Access Bill, which is in the process of becoming an Act of Parliament, does not possess the power to repeal the 1981 Act and it was never intended it should.
Legal experts speaking on this subject explain that proposed bye-laws cannot overturn an Act of Parliament, so unless Members decide to repeal or somehow modify environment protection legislation, the zander will not be reclassified as an indigenous native species.
In addition it is understood angling club rules can not force anglers to return live zander to the water.
t Have you caught a zander from the Broads or any of the Norfolk rivers? What do you think of the species being in the Broads system. Write to Letters, Evening News, Prospect House, Norwich NR1 1RE or email firstname.lastname@example.org