A mixed shoal of young perch and roach.
A mixed shoal of young perch (Perca fluviatilis) and roach (Rutilus rutilus) (Photograph by Ian J. Winfield).


The recording of freshwater fish has for many years been a relatively neglected area of organised biological recording in the UK.  To date, the recording of these animals has been largely restricted to periodic bursts of activity by a few outstanding individuals and relatively short-term larger projects.  This unsatisfactory situation arises partly because of the low public profile of fish and partly because they inhabit an aquatic world which is difficult for the would-be recorder to cover by direct observation.

However, recreational anglers frequently ‘enter’ the world of freshwater fish and routinely make observations that would be very difficult for anyone else to achieve unless they are themselves watching an angler!  Each year, over a million anglers each spend many days by the UK’s fresh waters and together constitute a potentially invaluable source of information for fish recording if their observations can be brought together.  The Biological Records Centre (BRC) Freshwater Fish Recording Scheme hopes to help meet this worthy challenge.  The scheme welcomes recordings from anglers and anyone else fortunate enough to enjoy the occasional direct sighting of these fascinating members of our fauna.

Key objectives

  1. To stimulate and collate the recording of freshwater fish distributions in the UK.
  2. To encourage interest in freshwater fish and their habitats.
  3. To support research on freshwater fish and their habitats.
  4. To support management of freshwater fish and their habitats.
  5. To make distribution records widely available through the National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Gateway.


For further information please contact Ian J. Winfield by email at ijw@ceh.ac.uk or telephone at 07747 532897.