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1977: Killer perch outwitted by electric rod

An elusive goldfish-eating perch with a prodigious appetite has finally been netted after two years on the rampage in a Kent pond.

The fish - nicknamed Jaws - was caught by two Southern Water Board engineers equipped with a rowing boat, fishing net - and a 240v stun rod.

Former trawler skipper Alf Leggett has accused Jaws of eating 3,000 goldfish in his Ickham breeding lake near Canterbury.

The greedy predator, which weighed in at just 1 lb (0.45 kg), has brushed off several attempts to catch it - including efforts by anglers and military marksmen.

Machine gun

Mr Leggett, 61, has constantly had to replenish his stock over the last two years as the numbers of goldfish dwindled.

As would be expected of a fish which last month successfully evaded the attentions of intrepid explorer Colonel John Blashford-Snell, five soldiers and a machine gun, Jaws put up a spirited fight at the end.

But using their specially-designed rod, the two men from the water board were able to stun the killer perch and catch it in a large net.

Mr Leggett said he was delighted the fish had finally been trapped.

"He has caused me a lot of trouble but I suppose in a way I have gained a lot of respect for him - I am certainly pleased to see the back of him from this pond," he said.

But one of his captors cast doubt on whether the 1 lb perch really could have eaten 3,000 goldfish.

"I rather think herons could be responsible for much of the trouble," he said.

Perch Facts


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