Reaseheath students study fishy business

Reaseheath College fish management students were in line for some prize catches when they carried out a survey of specimen fish at the Coole Acres Fishery and Fish Hatchery,  Nantwich.

The students, who are studying for their Level 3 Diploma in Fish Management at the Nantwich college, spent a practical session investigating the species and size of population of fish in the specimen pool.

The scale of the haul was soon apparent  with the capture of over 500 lbs of fish, the biggest individual weighing in at 18 lbs. Most were large carp with a handful of smaller roach. All the fish received a health check and were returned to the pool.

Ryan Richardson and Regan Reynolds hold two large carp while Ben Cook has a smaller roach

Ryan Richardson and Regan Reynolds hold two large carp while Ben Cook has a smaller roach

This was the first time the group had used seine netting to catch fish, a system which relies on good teamwork and communication.  The students enjoy weekly practical sessions at regional businesses and wildlife sites but this was their initial visit to Coole Acres. Explained Course Leader Peter Bryan: “It’s important that our students learn practical skills and spend time in industry on work experience. These are the skills which employers look for and helps our students when they are moving on into employment.”

Reaseheath’s dedicated fish management course launched this year and has 14 keen students who are hoping to work for the Environment Agency or progress into the management of commercial fish farms. Students on the college’s Level 2 Diploma in Countryside and Environment also study fish management.

Said student Tom Wagstaff: “We learned a lot from our visit and really improved our skills as the day progressed. Although it was cold and we were out in heavy rain we had a great time and we can’t wait to go again!”

The fish management students have  also been working with Greenspaces South Cheshire, a not-for-profit company dedicated to improving the local environment. This has included carrying out revetment improvement and coppicing trees on a tributary of the River Weaver.

For further details of Reaseheath’s fish management courses email Peter Bryan  peterb@reaseheath.ac.uk