Anglers after roach, rudd and tench have had their catches ripped off the hooks by an increasing number of pike that now live in the Par duck pond according to a BBC News report.

These pike range in weight from 2-15 lb and, according to the Environment Agency (EA), have been introduced illegally into the pond as they are not native to Cornwall. Under the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act the movement of coarse fish is strictly controlled to stop the spread of disease.

Pike are not particularly choosy about their prey. Apart from other fish they have been known to eat ducklings, water voles and even each other.

Pike is the largest fresh water predator in UK freshwater. It is the 'perfect predator'. It has a very powerful tail and is therefore very fast but it is also a very stealthy fish. Its eyes, which have excellent sight, are on top of its head, the perfect place for a predator that attacks its prey from underneath. It also has sensors located under the jaw and on top of the head that can sense changes in pressure and temperature as well as vibration and scent. They also have very sharp teeth.

The fisheries officers from the EA think that the numbers of pike may increase and spread causing havoc amongst the area's native species. They are therefore catching them, assessing their health and then moving the healthy ones to new locations. The fish are being stunned with electric devices prior to netting.

But why not encourage anglers to catch the pike for food? According to 'How to Cook Fish' by Olive Green, there are twenty ways to cook pike. Ranging from fried A La Hollandaise to boiling with parsley and served with melted butter, salt, pepper, grated nutmeg and lemon juice. Then to baking or possibly boiled A La Dubois.


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