On 17th December 2012, H&DAA took the unusual step of microchipping their carp, following ongoing thefts over previous years. This is the best current deterrent available, and was recommended and fully supported by the EA, who offered advice along the way.
If a microchipped carp is stolen and its whereabouts is discovered, which is usually quite easy, the EA and the Police have the power to close that water under enforcement, and the water can then be electro fished, or scanned with a submersible tracer to allow the fish to be read for an implanted microchip. The microchip is unique to that one fish anywhere in the country, similar to a cat or dog, and proves beyond doubt the ownership of the carp. Prosecution then follows and the fish can either be returned under the requirements of an EA section 30, or compensation will be paid by the offending water in which the fish has been located.
Because the microchipping was an unusual step to be taken by a club, the story was covered by BBC Radio Sussex, BBC News, the Argus, The Sun, The Times, and The West Sussex County Times as well as by The Angling Times! The BBC sent out cameras to film the process being done, and this was aired two nights later on BBC South Today News. Carp angler Rob Hughes from Sky, was one of the people who commented on the radio coverage.
Tony Loveless of ‘Chips4Fish’ came down on the day and trained the four volunteers in how to carry out the implanting. Tony demonstrated on 2 of the 10 new carp, a common carp and then a mirror carp, and then the remaining carp from the delivery were microchipped by the four trainees, each repeating the procedure to obtain the required certification. Photos from the day along with other articles about the effectiveness of microchipping can be seen on his Chips4Fish website.
In order to be taught how to microchip the carp, a delivery of 10 new carp arrived on the morning, 5 commons and 5 mirrors. The microchipping process varies slightly so both types were required for training purposes. Ian Petch (H&DAA Secretary), Clive Bashford (H&DAA Chairman), Les Eggleton (H&DAA Fishery Officer) and Simon Tooth (H&DAA Head Bailiff) were the trainees!
Since the training day, H&DAA have begun the process of microchipping our entire stock of carp. This is going to be done by netting lakes, and we also require our members to assist.
Should you catch any of the following,
Roosthole Pond: carp of 15lb and above (several smaller carp have already been microchipped but for now we want to concentrate on the bigger carp)
Birchenbridge Pond: carp of 8lb and above
Island Pond: carp of 8lb and above
please retain it in a landing net or carp sack, and call any of the officers listed above (telephone numbers on your membership card). They will then come down to the lake, check the fish to determine whether it has previously been chipped, and if if it hasn’t they will photograph the fish and microchip it for their records.