Piscatorial Quagswagging

...the diary of a specialist angler in around the Warwickshire Avon and its tributaries.

Saturday 31 March 2018

Closed Season Canal Zander Quest PT74 – Hyenas and Humgruffins

After last weekends incident of blatant excrement dumping on the towpath by a lowlife dog owning barge dweller and further encounters of sh*t throughout the session, I wasn’t happy.

Is there an answer to this problem, which seems to be getting worse….?

As a kid growing up in the 80’s I could remember quite vividly the white dog poop that occasionally littered the path, when I was trudging my trolley loaded with the stupidly thick freebie Solihull Times during my evidently uphill paperbound.

So why had it largely disappeared now then, in-fact I cannot remember the last time I’d stumbled upon a chalky white turd. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t miss it, however the amount of dog dumping that appears out of nowhere on the towpaths I’ve been treading, is boarding on the scandalous.

Watch Out !!!!, on a towpath near you.
It is quite frankly disgusting; maybe we need to think outside of the rarely used, poo bags and more the stick and flick approach, not out of sight out of mind, but maybe the opposite.

You see after putting my thermos down on one particularly fresh one the weekend then soon after my landing net handle, maybe we could learn something from the 80’s and the canines diet at the time because at least being white it was a contrast to its resting places and therefore makes it easier to see.

Now this would help the lazy gene meddlers who just cannot be arsed to depose of 'their' dog waster in the right manner.

You own a dog, it eats, it poos, you clean it up, a simple process not adhered to by many….

And you know who you are don’t you, name and shame and say….

Young children like mine are particularly at risk of getting toxocariasis because their play habits make them more likely to come into contact with contaminated soil, being more visible, would help surely Shirley….

Now apparently from the 5 minute lunchtime research I’ve conducted Dog poop turns white because of the calcium phosphate in it. This is generally derived from bone meal in prepared dog food, or from dogs gnawing on bones otherwise. After all the organic matter dries out and washes away, one is left with that block of calcium phosphate.

The bleached-out poop is known as a 'dog pure'. There used to be a class of casual labourer known as a 'pures collector'. They wandered about cities collecting white dog poop to sell to leather tanneries for the calcium phosphate. What the tanneries did with it, I've not a clue. Another quick Google suggests that the 'dog pure' was used to prepare extra-soft, more expensive leather for making ladies' gloves.

An early April fool ? most probably, well let’s hope so….

Chappie dog food, the cause ? apparently it changed its recipe in the early 90's or late 80's. Chappie was and still is widely considered to be the best dog food you can give a mongrel, because they often get the squirts if they are put on Pedigree Chum as it is too rich for them quite often.

Was it something in the Chappie that reacted with the colouring of the poo in warm conditions to whiten the poo which is why you never saw a dog actually laying down white cables, but you may have seen pale brown ones. ? This also conveniently explains why posh pedigree dogs are more commonly associated with the noble dark brown dog's egg.

It’s all a bit of mystery….

Or some friends with dogs residing therein are fed on butcher scraps which consist mainly of pigs' tails, rib ends and whatever. So lots of bone are consumed by the house mutts and many white turds are apparently deposited afterwards. So back to calcium again.

But then another theory the sun had an effect ‘whitening’ to the stool and because it is picked up more these days (must be bolloc*ks) then that’s why we see less of it.

Yeap, a much needed scientific study required if there ever was one….

I did discover a fascinating fact during my ‘extensive’ research, hyenas can produce both white and brown poo, and more significantly can select which at will. A hyena will leave certain messages concerning the boundaries of its territory and its current sexual status by means of poo-ing. The two colours (and presumably the different smells which go along with them) are something to do with the message the hyena is leaving. They can also increase the accuracy of these 'messages' by distending their anus for better aim.

And dog poo powered street lamps I’m not making it up….

So if you’ve managed to read this far, I better get back to the fishing….

The session was at a stretch of canal that I’d only fished once before and blanked big time, there is no reason why reason there wouldn't be any fish here though because it looked just the ticket.Plenty of swims with thick cover, quiet, moored up battered barges and because of the access the foot and boat traffic a little quieter. As a solitude seeker exactly the type of stretch I like.

Especially when I was hoping a larger specimen would be thinking the same as oneself. It was the lack of smaller fish that it remained on my radar, not a bad thing in my book.

So the session would be back to two deadbait rods to try and winkle out something other than the humdrum I’ve been catching up till now.

Now the first couple of hours were uneventful, leapfrogging quite along stretch whilst it was peeing down is not exactly pleasant. So I decided to go and fish the area that is nice and secluded. As I was making my way there a run off was depositing a load of mud from the neighbouring fields straight in to the water as well as providing some more oxygen by the extra volume of water.

So with a bait positioned it didn't take long for the float to get moving. When I leant in to the fish it felt half decent and after giving me a bit of run around it was landed.

A nice fat fish of 4lb 3oz's....

Now despite fishing some really tasty looking swims, cover, moored boats and that sort of thing without even a nudge I decided to go and have a noise at a bay swim I planned to fish Sunday evening. I had to retrace my steps and go beyond from where I came from. So nearly 6 miles covered roving around I was glad to settle in the swim.

One bite one fish, this challenge as after half an hour without a bite it was time to get off home.

Getting bigger, that's encouraging but certainly last closed season and this, in my opinion fish numbers are down. The water temperature was 7 degrees so that's not going to help matter as get to 10 I'm sure they will get a move on, they seem to be laying up at the moment. With a huge body of water to go at, not an easy task this challenge of mine.


  1. I always thiught the white poo was from poodles. And why do we almost exclusively get brown eggs inj supermarkets these days whilst in America they are mostly white? Feed
    Fd again?

    1. Quite possibly you might be right....spotted a white poo yesterday so my theory may not be based on solid ground. Hmmm

  2. I always bag the terriers poo and drop it into a specially provided bin that is fortuitously close to our back gate and emptied once a week by the local council.

    The man who does the job said that of all the area he does the one with the posh houses has the bags hanging in the trees and hedge and very little in the bin. He now has to carry stepladders for the lovely job of cleaning the tree decorations. People eh? Mind you plenty of people round here just let their dogs drop it anywhere. John

    PS I remember those white weathered turds being collected.


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