Read the story of how the Canal & River Trust came to be
Work for us
We have vacancies across all of our waterways and in the offices, museums and attractions that support them. We're one of the UK's biggest charities and we take pride in everything we do
If you're thinking of getting in touch then please take a moment to look through these pages as we probably have the answer on our website
Planning & design
All you need to know about planning and design on our canals and rivers
Find a winter mooring
Find a cosy section of canal to hunker down in this winter
10 reasons to take up canoeing
It's a great way to get fit and explore our waterways at the same time
Share the Space
Take a look at our common sense guide to sharing the towpath
Find a place to fish
From reservoirs to club-managed canals and river stretches - find your nearest place to fish
Get your free guide
Download your free guide today and start exploring the waterway nature near you
Download your free guides
You've nine free days out guides to choose from - where will you go first?
Find a walk near you
Are you ready to ramble? Find a waterside stroll or a satisfying hike along our beautiful canals and rivers
Take a look at our upcoming events here.
Find your favourite waterway
With over 95 canals, rivers, reservoirs, docks and navigations, find out more about your favourite waterway
Something for everyone
Help us make a difference and have fun along the way. Find your perfect volunteer role today
Join our team
Could you join your local Towpath Taskforce team and help us to keep our canals looking lovely?
Desmond Family Canoe Trail
If you're aged 16-25 and would like to get involved with this exciting project, please get in touch
Could you be a volunteer lock keeper?
Find out what's involved with this popular volunteering opportunity
Why we think canals are better with Friends
Become a Friend of the Canal & River Trust today and you’ll open yourself up to new experiences and endless opportunities.
We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.
The catfish (Silurus glanis) is the largest freshwater fish within the UK and probably also within Europe. Read more about this large and powerful fish.
The Northern location, cooler temperatures and availability of food inhibits the size these giants can grow within the UK. In Europe these warm water fish with plenty of food can reach weights of up to 674lb!
"Catfish are predatory but also scavengers and will eat most baits as well as most small animals and birds."
Carl Nicholls, fisheries & angling manager
Appearance: catfish are easily identified with long slender bodies, broad heads, wide mouths and long slender barbels. The Wels catfish has two long barbels on the upper jaw and four shorter barbels on the lower jaw. These barbels are used to hunt and detect prey. The body is dark brown to black in colour with a soft yellow to white belly. The anal fin is long (usually the half the length of the body) and finishes right at the base of the tail fin.
British record: 62lb (British Record Fish Committee January 2015) 100lb+ fish have been recorded but not accepted due to being illegally introduced to the water.
Lateral Line scale count: 33-40 (this is the dark row of scales along the central length of the fishes body).
Lifespan: up to 90 years
How to catch a catfish
Catfish can be large and are very powerful fish. Strong tackle is essential. They prefer to hunt in murky waters and primarily feed during the night. They use their long highly sensitive barbels to sense their surroundings and search out resting fish and other food sources. Smelly dead baits and fishing tactics similar to those used for large pike or zander are very successful. In recent years, the use of large pellets have been used to great effect and seem to be the preferred method now. Use a hook larger than a size 2 and fish a couple of large 25+mm hair rigged pellets.
Where to catch a catfish
Marsworth Reservoir, near Tring has a small population of catfish which were introduced legally by the Rothschild family who controlled the sporting rights on the Tring Reservoir complex for many years.
Last date edited: 18 September 2015