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Remember the Hotties?


23 Jul 2016
Aldington Kent
Having read the article about the legality of selling certain plants in the UK does any of the NW members remember "The Hotties" at St Helens back in the 70's?

Adjacent to one of the Pilkington Glass manufacturing sites (Watson Street?) the cooling water was sprayed into the canal which raised the temperature of the canal to the low 70's F.
No one was ever sure how it started but the canal was full of tropical fish & at weekends you'd find many people pond dipping & many Guppy breeders would collect stock there to start new lines as the guppies had bred back to wild form.
A now derelict mill we would often walk past when it was a hive of activity was teeming with carp,tench and on really hot days you could see huge Goldfish in between large clumps of Eloeda in the moiddle areas at the surface, my Dad always said there were Tropical fish in there.The water was always warm ,we always thought he was joking after what Kipper has said maybe there was
Hi all,
I've never been, but when I used to fish I knew some-one who claimed to hold the British record for "Albino Walking Catfish" (presumably a Clarias), caught in the out-flow of the Pilkington glass-works in St. Helen's.

cheers Darrel
Well guy's "The Hotties" were real, I went a couple of times.

I'm just not sure which Pilkington works it was it was a few years later that I became a subcontractor to Pilks looking after the loading shovels.
UK5 became Greengate, Watson street was in the centre & Cowley Hill was near the East Lancs. There may have been other works but they are the 3 sites I regularly worked at.

The main rumour on how it started was that the stock from a closing down local fish shop was dumped there!
If that's true I'm sure a number of unwanted hobby fish also ended up in there as well.
I remember all the "Hotties", and as I am rapidly becoming an old fogey,,it's about all I CAN do is remember.
Carol,Susan, Debbie,Teri,Mina...:rolleyes:
I grew up in Nottingham, the Trent Valley was well known for a string of power stations sited along it's banks. In fact it was so well known as a powerhouse that during the cold war it was thought to be on the soviets nuke list.
The river water was used for cooling which elevated the rivers average temp by a few degrees, but a lot more directly adjacent to power station outflows.
Anyway, there were regular reports of anglers catching tropical fish around the outflow of Radcliffe on Soar power station. I think there was even an article in the local rag about one fellow who caught a red bellied piranha:eek:
In my country Guppies reportedly live in the Meuse river, at an electricity power station. Also in a artificial dug channel dumping the cooling water back in the river. :) But never been there myself, red about it already long time ago it in the oficial Dutch aquarium textbooks..
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Tropical cichlids such as Oscar's,Dempsey's, are routinely released here in U.S. in southern states such as Florida where they thrive to the detriment of native species.
Is same with Asian Carp,big head carp, introduced accidentally year's ago from farm's where they were being raised for food.
All caused by humans and in most cases without good results. I watched a few documentaries where Lion fish were decimating the Caribbean local fish which previously had no predators, it must have been a field day for the Lion fish. They suspect that the Lion fish got there by being released into the wild by aquarists in Florida. there was also another where sea weed was taking over entire reefs which wasn't indigenous. They traced it back to the Jacques Cousteau aquarium centre reckoning it had been flushed into the water, ironic that a man who had dedicated his entire life to marine biology had inadvertently caused so much damage to something he loved.

Don't know if it's an urban myth or not but they reckon that the largest population of tigers is in Florida. kept by shows and drug dealers.
Don't know if it's an urban myth or not but they reckon that the largest population of tigers is in Florida. kept by shows and drug dealers.
No that's true, at least there are nowadays more tigers in captivity or so called domesticated than in the wild. I can truly imagine that most captive tigers live in the USA.
Is same with Asian Carp
All carps are from Asia :) They ended up in Europe alledgedly with the Roman Legions. Later in the USA and Australia, in Europe they are present for so long and deemed indegenious.. In Australia and USA it is a crime if you do not kill it when you catch one.
Yeah, on the documentary about lion fish people were actively encouraged to kill as many as they could with no limits. If spear fishing lion fish is your thing florida is the place to holiday. Locals in the Caribbean were getting paid to do it so had started a micro economy also benefitting local Fishermen whose catches were going down through predation.
Reminds me of round our way in the late 70 's early 80's where the local council would pay you for rat tails.

Lesson for us all here I reckon about taking care of what ends up in our water courses from our tanks. Especially in the UK where temps seem to be rising through global warming. It only takes two fish to survive and away you go, environmental disaster.

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There was similar thing happening somewhere in Wales about 35 years ago but it was in a land locked sea water area.
I think it was to do with cooling a power station? Anyway... mullet were trapped in the warm water & several huge ones above the fishing record were taken.
I remember it caused all sorts of controversy.
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Hi all,
happening somewhere in Wales about 35 years ago but it was in a land locked sea water area. I think it was to do with cooling a power station?
Was it Aberthaw? I know there were big Bass there, and it is alleged to be where the "Jif Lemon" float was invented.

cheers Darrel
Sounds about right, I remember reading the stories in Sea Angler, there were numerous double figure fish caught.
I was a member of the National Mullet club at the time & several members were enjoying the sport. The main issue was about one particular fish being put forward for a British record. However in the end (if I remember rightly) a even bigger mullet was caught in Alderney, in the cold sea!
A little further on this, I remember when I was in Singapore 1971/72 ish, Singapore Aquarium had a tank of Piranha with a licence attached to the tank as they were illegal to be kept as a pet due to local water conditions being suitable for them.