Catfish and Sturgeon in the River Trent: A Tale of Unusual and Unexpected Encounters

Catfish and sturgeon are not native to the River Trent, one of England’s major rivers. However, there have been recent reports of anglers catching these species in the river, which is believed to be due to their release by people who had them in their ponds or through illegal stockings. This article delves into the fascinating accounts of catfish and sturgeon being caught in the River Trent and the potential impact of these non-native species on the local ecosystem.

Sturgeon in the River Trent: A Historical Perspective

Although sturgeon are not native to the River Trent, they have been caught in the past. In 1902, an impressive 8ft+ long sturgeon weighing 250lb was caught near Holme. This historical capture, described in the book ‘The River Trent’ by Richard Stone, offers a glimpse into what the river’s ecosystem might have been like before industrialization and pollution affected its waterways.

Recent Sturgeon Catches

In 2021, angler Dean Herbert caught a prehistoric sturgeon weighing 19lb 5oz in a tidal section of the River Trent near Nottingham. Dean was initially targeting barbel but ended up catching this surprising specimen.

The presence of these non-native sturgeon in the River Trent poses potential threats to the recolonization of native sturgeon species, including hybridization and disease spread. While it is fascinating to catch these rare fish, it is crucial not to introduce more of them into the river.

Catfish in the River Trent

Catfish have also appeared in the River Trent, with anglers reporting surprising catches. During a short barbel fishing session, Sheffield‘s Tarl Bailey caught a 47lb catfish near Newark. The fish fought fiercely, taking Tarl up and down the river several times before it was finally landed.

Locations and Secrecy

Some anglers are hesitant to share the exact locations where they have caught catfish and sturgeon in the River Trent to prevent overcrowding. However, areas such as Bob’s Island/Maltkiln Lane, around Newark, and the tidal Trent have been mentioned as potential hotspots. Additionally, there is a rumor of a 69lb catfish and several 20+lb specimens released near a power station that pumps warm water into the river approximately 15 years ago, which could be home to much larger catfish by now.

Join the Conversation

To stay updated on the latest news and catches of catfish and sturgeon in the River Trent, consider joining the Facebook group at Share your experiences, learn from fellow anglers, and enjoy the thrill of these unexpected encounters with non-native species.


While the presence of catfish and sturgeon in the River Trent is intriguing, it is essential to remember the potential ecological consequences of introducing non-native species. Anglers should enjoy the excitement of catching these rare fish but refrain from stocking more of them in the river. The River Trent is a unique and diverse ecosystem, and protecting it is crucial for the future of its native species.

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