The recent annual convention of the Catfish Study Group saw more than 70 catfish addicts attend what was probably the best meeting to date with lectures that crossed the world.
These included Julian \"Jools\" Dignall\'s \"Knee deep in the catfishes of north-eastern India\". This gave details of some of the magnificent catfish and loaches to be found in this region, as well as an insight into the culture and history of India.
Apart from the mass of information on the locations and water parameters, one of the things that stood out was his recollection of local fishermen catching fish using a form of electro-fishing.
This involved the use of a portable generator connected to two very long electrodes being held up by two very brave (or very stupid!) fishermen!
Maybe this technique shouldn\'t be knocked, as some very difficult-to-collect catfish - among other fishes - were captured using this method.
Shane Linder gave a two-part lecture aptly called \"Four years of chasing fish in South America\".
Shane has been fortunate in his having been posted overseas over the past few years; he\'s lived in Columbia for two years and in Venezuela for two years.
In that time, he\'s collected fish in Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, Columbia and Peru. Some he put in his aquaria so he could observe them further, packing them up each time he moved to another post.
He talked about the techniques for collecting catfishes, and also gave details about the countries and the different biotopes and environments as well as the Orinoco and Magdalana and Amazon basins.
Shane was able to witness firsthand changes throughout the year in terms of fish breeding and in populations present.
Preparation for next year\'s convention is already well underway.