Anglers who put their keepnets into stinkbags without first drying them both are one of the biggest risks to the spread of fish diseases such as KHV and could put the sport of angling in danger.
This is the view of Coppice Lane Pools fishery owner Lawrence Beckett, who is asking all angling clubs which fish his venue to ensure their members take only dry nets onto his fishery when fishing a match and ensure they dry out their keepnets, stinkbags and landing nets before fishing other venues.
"One of the main reasons disease is spread around fisheries is that some anglers put their wet keepnets into stinkbags and don't open them again until the next time they go fishing. This means that if there is any disease on their nets it is transferred to the next fishery when they put their net into the water. This potential cross-contamination from one water to another is one of the biggest sources of diseases being spread," he said.
Drying nets thoroughly, preferably in sunshine, is the easiest way of killing disease and safeguarding fisheries and the sport of angling for the future, he said.
"Research has shown that drying nets in the sun is the most effective way of preventing the spread of disease because the ultra-violet light and drying out process kill any diseases which linger on wet nets. Dipping nets at a venue before starting to fish is not 100 per cent effective. Nets would need to be dipped for a minimum of 10 minutes for the disinfectant to have any real effect and this is impractical for most anglers when arriving at a fishery," Lawrence said.
"Apart from anything else, wet nets make the nets themselves, stink bags and anglers' cars smell absolutely foul - which is reason enough for anglers to dry them out properly before they go fishing again," he added.