Ever since being knee-high to a tiddler have I been fascinated by all things piscatorial. When I was about five years of age my mother took me fishing with net and jam jar to catch sticklebacks, bringing back some to stock my aquarium.

Later, my brother gave me a rather crude fishing rod made from two halves of an old billiard cue! Using a bent pin baited with bread, of course I caught nothing!

Then on my tenth birthday I was presented with my first proper rod and tackle with which I caught small roach, perch and assorted species in my local pond. I soon graduated to days along the Thames where chub, dace and bleak were my quarry.

However, the most memorable times were spent fly fishing for trout (pictured0 in a selection of lakes nestled among Welsh mountains sharing the area with mewing buzzards, the wild call of curlews and chak-chak and warblings of wheatears. Wonderful days.

But to return to my old friend the stickleback. It is the only British fresh water fish to build a nest into which the male entices the female to lay eggs. When they hatch, the male looks after them, herding them into a shoal and fighting off any would be predators until they are large to fend for themselves.

Until a few years ago, the river Wandle in Morden Hall Park contained a large number of sticklebacks  but I have not seen any for some while and don't know what has caused their ongoing scarcity.