HABITAT

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Updated September 2017.

Habitat Consultancy

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Time spent on establishing the ideal environment for any species is never wasted. Whatever the cost it will always work out a great deal cheaper in the long run to ensure that whatever the project, be it a new lake venture or an old established venue, the habitat is as pristine as is possible. Apart from the obvious but often neglected duty of care that all species have a right to expect.

 

Wherever you are in the world and whatever your project the primary route to establishing a successful outcome is to ensure that every care is taken to provide a secure and self sustaining habitat whatever the water volume. We will always refuse contracts when they are geared towards a specific species as only a balanced habitat will ever be worthwhile. As an example, one of Europe's major match angling venues recently contacted us to ask if we could improve the quality of the silver fish, mainly Roach, as they were becoming ever smaller. In the past the owners had always removed and killed predators such as Pike and Perch in the commonly mistaken belief that these predators were damaging the fishing.

 

This approach is misinformed and potentially dangerous in terms of both disease and poor gene lines.

 

We refused to become involved for two very good reasons. Firstly we never take on match venues. Anglers that only have an interest in catching fish in large numbers so that they can pile them up in a keep-net for hours on end have no interest whatsoever with regards to caring for the fish.

We appreciate that our attitude to this form of 'sport', and we use the term loosely, will certainly anger many of those who prefer this type of fishing

but pick up any general angling paper or magazine and you will see dozens of fish laying in a heap either being weighed or photographed. Many of the fish incur serious damage especially those that are on the bottom of the pile let alone the ones who, in the anglers haste to get more fish, are unceremoniously unhooked and roughly tossed into the net. We are not against match angling in principle, but we are very much against the way it is done.

Our second reason for refusing the contract was that to specifically favour any species to the exclusion of all others will always end in long term problems. A balanced habitat needs predators. They remove the smaller, weaker fish and in doing so help prevent disease and the inevitable poor gene lines that will eventually bring the owners of such venues to us to seek advice. It is however possible to use the habitat itself to create an ideal environment that 'favours' the target species but it has to be balanced to work properly in a sustainable way so that all species have their own niche.

 

Whatever the project, from small lakes to 100,000 acre reservoirs or rivers, there has to be a natural balance.

 

We stopped taking on small lake designs of a few acres some years ago in favour of more substantial habitat projects worldwide but the basic principles remain the same and must be adhered to if the inhabitants of the venue are to thrive. At around the same time that we decided to focus our attention on larger environments we also closed our client facilities in most of Europe as we were constantly exasperated by the attitude of the Environment Agency, bait and tackle manufacturers, many fishery owners and to some extent the anglers themselves. A course to disaster, particularly the spread of SVC, was anticipated well before the onset of many of the problems now facing the industry but at the time no-one had any interest in anything other than profit, a situation we could not be part of especially as very few people were prepared to listen to our protests. It gives us no satisfaction whatsoever to say 'we told you so' to the many fisheries with problems, it is just sad that the typical blindness that seems to accompany profit margins has such dire consequences for the fish themselves. As a result we have concentrated our European presence on research only via our behavioural unit in N Devon and only very rarely consider contracts within the EU.

 

 

In summary, we will always give fair consideration to all proposals whether they come from individuals or large organisations and governments but we will always refuse unless the objective is one that we can agree is viable for all species involved.

Of course we are only too aware of the financial constraints that surround all projects and we also understand that compromises often have to be made if a project is to prove viable, but unless there is a way to ensure that the end result is one that we feel is beneficial to the fish as well as the clients bank balance we will reject the application.  This is not an emotional decision, it's a logical one that applies to both us and the client and benefits all concerned.

 

If you would like us to consider any habitat related problem anywhere in the world your first step is to contact us to arrange an initial discussion, an online form is provided on the 'Contact' page. There is no obligation on either party or initial charge at this stage but please be aware that we are probably one of the most expensive companies in the field of habitat design and correction so you may wish to look around for help elsewhere before contacting us. We do not compete for contracts or submit tenders, we have neither the time or inclination to do so especially as most of our clients come via recommendation and there is always a waiting list for our services.

 

So, unless you can agree with the basic principles as outlined above and are serious about doing your very best for the fish as well as your finances you would be wasting both your time and ours by contacting us.

 

One fact in life encompasses any purchase or request for advice and that is that you always get what you pay for, and we can confidently claim to be the best there is.

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