3 OCTOBER 1947, Page 17

Neglect of Fishing in Rivers and Canals No European or

American people are such ardent and successful sea fishers as the English. Our catches, which tend to rise, exceed £30,000,000. Only the Japanese, as the reprinted History of Fishes reminds us, fish on a larger scale, so to say. This makes it the more remarkable that we so neglect the product of our rivers and canals. Time was when monasteries made a good part of their large incomes from eels caught in dyke and river. Most, perhaps all, our larger rivers attracted salmon. It is, for example, on record (in a parish register) that large salmon occasionally made their way up the swollen course of muddy brooks in the Midlands. Durham, as the Dean has reminded us, once enjoyed its salmon, as did the lovely ruined rivers of the Aberystwyth neighbour- hood. Always coarse-fishing has been a popular amusement, yet coarse fish have almost ceased to make a real contribution to our food supply.