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Page last updated at 17:42 GMT, Tuesday, 15 February 2011
Cudmore Fisheries fears catfish will seize unwary dogs
The catfish caught at Cudmore
The catfish caught at Cudmore was longer than a man

A leading anglers' centre in north Staffordshire has banned dogs from some of its lakes - for fear they will be seized by large fish.

Cudmore Fisheries issued the ban after netting a 7ft long catfish at its Adelaide predator pool.

The managing director at Cudmore, Cyril Brewster, said: "We were aware that the local mink population had shrunk to nothing - this could be the reason."

Cudmore hosts the high-profile national Fish O'Mania contest.

The giant catfish was caught in a stock-taking of the lake, which also contains pike and perch and more than 100 younger catfish.

The fish weighed 61lb (27.6kg), and was 7ft (2.1m) long, though what staff reported as a bigger one got away because their net could not hold it.

No dogs

The fishery said it now feels it has to ban dogs. Cyril Brewster told BBC Radio Stoke: "These cats are not little pussycats. No pets will be allowed in the fishing area. Even my wife's dog will not be allowed to swim in the lake."

He confirmed that catfish will also take birds and chicks. It is believed that wild mink diving into the lake to take small fish have also been seized by the predatory catfish.

Rules already demand that inexperienced anglers have to attend a course before they can use the site's 'predator lakes' - and juniors are banned altogether.

However, the fishery owners have said that it is not all bad news. Because anglers will travel for miles to get the chance to catch this type of fish, the confirmation of their presence is good business.

A scheme to base a national school of angling, designed to give newcomers an introduction to fishing, is being introduced at Cudmore.


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