|Leighton Buzzard Angling club is
well known for its waters containing wels catfish (Silurus glanis). The
fish originate from Woburn Abbey, where they were stocked by the Duke. The
club, during the 1950s, netted Woburn for the Duke and was given a
number of catfish. Claydon middle lake was the first water to be stocked
with catfish. The cats thrived in the shallow, muddy water and grew
quickly. It was not long before cats were moved into Tiddenfoot and
Rackley, where they now thrive. Today LBAC controls three waters
containing large catfish. See the waters page for more detail about our
Claydon Lakes : The middle lake at Claydon contains a good stock of catfish. Fish to over thirty pounds can be caught from this water.
Tiddenfoot Lake : This lake now holds a large stock of catfish to 90lb. There are good numbers of fish over 50lbs.
Rackley Hills Lake : The lake contains catfish to 60lb with many over 40lbs pounds.
|If you wish to learn more about
catching the Wels catfish go to the Catfish Conservation Group site:
The wels catfish (Silurus glanis) is the only native catfish species in Europe, besides the much smaller related Aristotle catfish found in Greece. Mythology and literature record wels catfish of astounding proportions yet to be scientifically proved. The average size of the species is about 1,2m-1,6m, and fish more than 2m are very rare. The largest specimens on record measure more than 2.5 in length and sometimes exeeded 100kg. The wels catfish was introduced to Britain, Italy, Spain, Greece and some other countries during the last century. The species has flourished in the warm lakes and rivers of Southern Europe. The River Po in Italy and the River Ebro in Spain are famous for huge wels catfish, which grow up to 2m and 200lb+. These habitats contain plenty of food and lack natural predators.
The wels catfish (Silurus glanis) is a scaleless fresh-water catfish recognizable by its broad, flat head and wide mouth. The mouth contains lines of numerous small teeth, two long barbels on the upper jaw and four shorter barbels on the lower jaw. It has a long anal fin that extends to the caudal fin, and a small sharp dorsal fin positioned relatively far forward. It uses its sharp pectoral fins to capture prey: with these fins, it creates an eddy to disorient its victim, which it then simply engulfs in its enormous throat. It has very slippery green-brown skin. Its belly is pale yellow or white. Wels catfish live up to eighty years and have very good hearing.
The female produces up to 30,000 eggs per kilogram of body weight. The male guards the nest until the brood hatches, which, depending on water temperature, can last from three to ten days.
The wels catfish lives on annelid worms, gastropods, insects,
crustaceans, and fish; the larger ones also eat frogs, mice, rats, birds,
and ducks. (Small anglers need not worry!!)