This is the description, usually shortened to BCN, used for the net-work of canals in and around Birmingham. It has been said that there are more canals in the Birmingham area, 112 miles of them, than there are in Venice. In some BCN canals, fish life miraculously continues which is why, as fisheries, they are used mostly by desperate anglers in need of water to fish near their homes ratherthan as attractions for the visitor. As one Birmingham angling official put it to us: ‘It is a very special kind of angler who fishes these waters. His typical swim might have a gasometer to his left and a factory to his right with a busy trunk road behind him and an equally busy inter-city railway line to his front. Add the fact that in most places a bite – never mind a fish – is a luxury and it is clear why these waters are not thick with anglers’. It should be immediately pointed out thatthese canals are not all bad, with the rider that there remain many other places in the area more likely to attract the angler. Only four of these canals are considered relevant to this Guide -though two are still dubious angling propositions.